Tracy Ane Brooks is a co-founder and director of Mission: Wolf, a self-sustainable, solar-powered, captive wolf sanctuary and nature center in southern Colorado. In addition to providing many animals with a permanent home, Mission: Wolf provides education to the public, both on-site and off-site through the traveling ambassador wolf program she leads. The sanctuary has provided Tracy with countless extraordinary experiences working hands-on with wolves and horses, and that work has put her on a life-changing path.
Tracy is one of those unique people who possess an instinctual understanding and connection to many animals. She grew up in the mountains outside of Boulder, Colorado, spending countless hours exploring the forests and creeks near her home with her Alaskan malamutes and other mixed-breed dogs. But not all her time was spent outdoors. “I developed a love of drawing and other art projects early on and learned that I could connect to nature and animals through my art,” she explains. She continues to share that connection through drawing, painting, photography, and by creating intricate, hand-wrought silver jewelry – an art she learned from her father.
In her twenties, she began to dream that she could one day use her work to help animals.
“When horses came into my life, I really buckled down and listened to them,” she says. “I would learn that this would be the key to developing a relationship with wolves in a way I had only dreamed of. I went on a ten-year, home-school journey of learning all I could about ‘horse whispering’ or ‘natural horsemanship,’ learning from many top trainers in my area how horse-whispering cowboys train horses with gentle methods. … Unknown to me at that time, eventually my work would evolve into communicating and working hands-on with wolves and horses.”
Her work with the wolves in public has sharpened her awareness and intuition, inspiring her to delve deeper into understanding how animals think – and, more importantly, how she could communicate with clarity and ease in a gentle, loving way.
To meet that challenge, Tracy has had to go beyond traditional methods to achieve a better understanding and different perspective. She has developed her own successful methods by learning from the animals themselves. “A horse named Ike taught me that the most powerful way I could communicate with him to resolve his behavior of running away was to use body language simply, and to mirror or mimic him,” she explains.
“This has developed into a many-year study of using my body to communicate with wolves and horses. Today, I have developed a way to use my body, energy, intuition and more to build a trustful and strong relationship with my animal friends, experiencing a connection beyond my wildest expectations.”
Tracy’s goal is to contribute to the greater global understanding of how to communicate with other species, such as the horse and dog, through the teachings of the wolf and the horse. She shares with people what she has learned from wolves and horses through demonstrations, presentations with her own animals.