When the Wild Horses Caught my Heart and Soul
I know exactly when the wild horses caught my heart and soul. It was April 4th, 2016. I had heard from a friend that there were wild horses in the west desert of Utah. As a photographer, this was an intriguing idea. I tried to find information on exactly where they could be, and ended up with a fairly good, but in the end mostly inaccurate idea of where to find them. I then convinced my son to spend the day with me, looking for the wild horses.
We drove for most of the day without seeing very much. Our first sighting was a lone stallion, meandering along near a water hole. Several miles down the road we spotted two horses way off chasing each other around. We drove as close as we could get, and I was able to get a few shots. At this point I was thrilled for that. It was getting late and the sky was dark with a storm coming in, so we started heading back out. Then, we saw the herd far off in the distance. We could see a couple stallions fighting and we were so excited. We parked as close as we felt we could, and started walking towards them. By this time the sky was dark, the wind was blowing and I knew the odds of a good photo was about nothing. But the thrill of seeing the wild horses, that’s what it was all about.
We watched the herd in awe, thrilled that we had finally found them. We stayed as long as we dared, rain was starting to fall and we had a lot of dirt road to drive before we got back. When I got home I looked at my photos and realized they were all crap. Between the dark sky, and my not very long lens, I didn’t get much. So the next day I drove out alone, determined to get better photos. It was sunny, and this time I drove right to the horses since they hadn’t traveled too far from the night before.
I hung out with the herd for several hours, before driving home happy and satisfied. But, I had caught the wild horse bug.
Several weeks later my husband and I took our RV out and camped for a few days. This was the way to see the horses. We got a feel for where they usually could be found and I was able to start my collection of 1000’s of wild horse photos.
Looking back, the funnest part has been watching these first foals grow up, and have foals of there own. I called this little filly princess because she had a silver mane, she now has foals of her own and has grown up so beautiful.
This little filly with the horse pattern, has done the same. She is a momma and has grown up healthy, and strong. Watching them grow every year, is such a treat.
Over the years I have learned more about herd dynamics, the family bands, who has what mares, and who lost mares.
Observing these magnificent animals and learning more about them has been one of the most satisfying things I’ve done. They are so family oriented, and the stallions take just as much pride and joy in their little ones as the mares. I have watched stallions teach and correct foals, and mares watch out for each other and their babies.
I have become a fierce advocate for the wild horses. They only want to live their lives wild and free, and they deserve our respect. I will always be there voice.
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