Wild Horses in Oregon’s South Steens
I’ve just spent 12 days enjoying the Wild Horses in Oregon’s South Steens mountain area. This is a remote, and extremely rugged high desert area in the south/east part of Oregon. The Steens mountain area is varied, and you can travel from about 5000 feet elevation, to 10,000 foot elevation and enjoy the variety in the landscape. We went specifically for the wild horses, which are just as gorgeous and varied as the land they live in.
The first thing that strikes you is the color and conformity of these horses. I have visited wild horses in several different states, and while every wild horse is beautiful, I’ve never seen such a variety as there was here.
This guy and his band quickly became a favorite. More on him later.
Pretty little family.
This roan pinto stallion was amazing. Having a short conversation with the black pinto.
He’s all that. He is also a very good protector of his family band. He was extremely aware of us at all times.
We only saw these three bachelors once, but wow.
There are a lot of beautiful palominos in the Steens. Ranging in color from a striking golden color, to a more subdued “earthy” tone I guess you could say.
This guy was just simply striking. He was a big stallion, and with that flaxen main……
This little one was maybe a week old, and just as cute as can be.
The variety of pintos is amazing. Not just colors, but patterns and types. I had to look up and learn more about all the different varieties while we were there. I learned some new stuff, which is always fun. Check out this description for Overo horse.
Colts will be colts.
Look at that shiny coat. Every single horse is fat, and healthy.
There are a lot of blue eyed horses. Every wild horse area has some horses with blue eyes, but they are generally the exception. Not so at the Steens, I would guess maybe half have these gorgeous blue eyes.
Finding wild horses at a water hole is always something I like. This large band was pretty unsure about the 2 humans at first, and I thought for sure they would run away. But, we just stood quietly at a pretty fair distance away and they settled in for a drink.
Ok, back to this guy. We saw him and his band everyday. In fact, this was the first band we were able to photograph from day one.
He has a small band of 3 mares, 2 foals and another stallion. His lieutenant stallion they are called. This little guy looked just like dad.
Every time we saw this family, it was the same. Except on the day when it wasn’t. Our second day there this filly was with the stallion I started calling Mr. Jazzy. She was clearly in heat, and we watched him breed with her a couple times. I thought maybe I had missed her the day before, which was our first time seeing these guys. But, she was never with this band again. It was like she came looking for the most handsome stallion on the range to breed with, and then I assume went back to her family band. I’ve never seen anything like this before, and I am still going through photos trying to track her down and what band she really belongs with.
I would say she has good taste though.
Well, that’s about it for this post on the Steens. There will be others I promise. I have thousands of photos to get through, and more stories to share.
All photos from Mary Hone Photography were you can find beautiful images of these, and other wild horses to purchase.