(This article first appeared in the November 15, 2017 issue of The Independent Newspaper)
Marylou Kaler is an East Hampton resident with a passion for equine. Driving down Route 27 heading east, just before Red Horse Market, is a wide-open space where many a passerby has pulled over to take a picture of the four magnificent White Shire horses — Gunner, Patsy, Tess, and Isabelle. They have had a rather tough life. Rescued in 2015 from Quiet Times Shires in Ridge, their former owner was found guilty of animal cruelty, abusing them as carriage drivers. In the almost three years since, with 25 years of equine caregiving experience behind her, Kaler has rehabilitated her new friends and formed an incredible bond.
Yet, without outside funds, her resources have become exhausted and thus a non-profit, Stable Environment Equine Rehabilitation, was created.
“I’m aware of the horses’ profound effect on people, their therapeutic value for equine-facilitated mental health,” Kaler explained.
“I hope to be able to create a more positive image of working horses by making the correct information freely accessible. Gunner and Patsy have some driving experience; however, I am lacking the proper equipment to move forward with their training. They are a team and I have only a single harness.”
With the cold weather officially setting in, the animals need to be moved indoors no later than November 30. Over $25,000 is needed in order to properly shield the four horses from the weather, and that’s where photographer and restauranteur Lincoln Pilcher stepped in. Owner of the former Hamptons’ hotspot Moby’s, Pilcher spends a lot of his time on the East End, passing by the creatures often.
“I was so taken with their presence and beauty,” Pilcher acknowledged. “It’s been an amazing experience creating the bond and camaraderie that I now have with them. It would be great to share with others, this equine relationship.”
Pilcher spent some time developing a relationship with Kaler after photographing the breed. Upon finding out there was no place for the animals come winter, he came up with the idea for a show. In the days following Thanksgiving, November 24 and 25, visit Dune Alpin Farm for Pilcher’s photography exhibit in which a portion of the sales are going to Kaler’s non-profit to board the horses. About 20 prints will range in size with the largest 6′ x 8′.