Synopses & Reviews
The 140 unforgettable images that make up this unique photographic journey are the result of the long-term, unprecedented access the author/photographer was granted to one of this country’s wildest and most beautiful places. Every July, some 40,000 people converge on the barrier islands off the Virginia-Maryland coast to observe the annual Chincoteague Pony Swim, a trip that takes the herds only seven minutes to complete (with the assistance of the famous Salt Water Cowboys), but is critical to their preservation. This is the element of herd life best known to the world. But there is so much more to see and know about the wild herds. With the support and cooperation she has received from the Chincoteague Volunteer Fire Company and National Park Service, noted wildlife photographer Jayne M. Silberman has devoted years to visiting the area and getting to know the animals firsthand and in every season—their relationships, rituals, behaviors, habits, family life, and intimate moments. The result is this moving and beautiful array of gallery-quality photos, accompanied by an informative 8,000-word essay presenting the history of the herds and many fascinating details about their environment and way of life. A foreword by Diana XX, queen of XX, completes this enduring, one-of-a-kind volume that will be heralded by lovers of the natural world and fine-art photography, as well as the thousands of devotees of the wild horses themselves.
"More than a marvelous compilation of photos, Jayne Silberman's book is a celebration of freedom in its dazzling simplicity. She has created a collection of magical moments, from quiet grandeur to sweet humor to flashes of power. With a talent for understatement and a keen eye, Jayne has captured the unexpected serenity of the wild horses and ponies of Assateague Island."
–Lendon Gray, coach, instructor, and two-time Olympian
“Jayne Silberman’s book is fresh, authentic, beautifully photographed and written, and thoroughly informative. This is the work of a sensitive and extremely observant photographer who is uncommonly “tuned in” to the ways of these horses. Here is documentary photography of the highest order. This book will teach you about the intimate lives of these horses and to appreciate the beauty of the photography of them.” –Barbara Van Cleve, photographer
“Two years, several roundups, and countless trips to Assateague on her own or with me as a guide, Jayne has done just what she said she would do: produce the book. In this man’s opinion, she has produced the best pictorial/informative book that has ever been done about the world famous wild ponies of Assateague, Virginia, and those in Maryland. Jayne started off as any other ‘book-writer’ but ended up as a good and valued friend, not only to me but to the Chincoteague Volunteer Fire Company.” --Roe "Duc-Man" Terry, Public Relations Officer, C.V.F.C.
About the Author
Jayne M. Silberman is a fine art and equestrian photographer who lives in New York City. She is an experienced rider who specializes in dressage, and is the owner of an Andalusian stallion, Amador TCV. She holds a Master of Social Science in Clinical Social Work from Smith College and a doctorate in the same subject from New York University, and has worked for many years as a psychotherapist. Her keen understanding of human dynamics and relationships informs her work with the wild herds, resulting in strikingly intimate views of the animals’ family and group life. Silberman’s photography is known nationally and has been selected for juried exhibitions and appeared in equine publications. In 2009, she was awarded first place in the Ex Arte Equinus International Equine Art Competition. Two of her images are on permanent display in the Maryland Visitors’ Center on Assateague Island.
Diana Reiss, Ph.D., is a professor of Psychology, Biopsychology, and Behavioral Neuroscience at Hunter College and CUNY Graduate Center, and the co-founder and vice president of Thinking Animals, Inc.