Wild Horses in the Snow
In my previous post, Springtime with the Wild Horses, I mentioned there was snow. Spring is always unpredictable weather wise, but this was the first time I’ve had the chance to experience the wild horses in the snow. It wasn’t a huge snow storm, just enough to cover the ground a little bit, and gave me the chance to photograph the wild horses in the snow.
I’m not sure it’s possible to make wild horses more beautiful, but snow certainly did that. Even looking at these photos weeks after I took them, I get a thrill over how fantastic that experience was.
Even wild horses like to catch snow flakes on their tongue.
The greatest part of the storm, was the stallions were all wound up. And wet and gnarly looking. The photos I got that morning, are my favorite wild horse images. I have a lot of sunny, blue sky images, but nothing as raw as these are.
This guy! This is one of my favorite stallions. I call him California Rockstar Surfer Dude. Or, Mr. Sexy. If a horse can be sexy, this guy is it. Getting him in the snow, chasing after other stallions and whipping that fabulous mane of his around. Phew.
What a fabulous home these guys have.
More gorgeous stallions, just being themselves. The posturing, the grace, the sheer presence of these guys takes my breath away.
Listening to these stallions breath into each other is something I can’t even explain. The power that they have, is unreal.
The next morning was foggy, wet and cold. Perfect weather to go out and photograph the horses. Another of those chances that rarely come around.
It burned off after about an hour, and the light was fantastic.
This was just too cute. This little foal went to spend time with big brother.
They spent some quality time, bonding.
Then the foal went to find mom and get a drink.
One more quick story, and a reason why my heart resides with these horses. I may have mentioned somewhere that I first visited these guys in April of 2016, so this is my 6th year of spending time with them. I’ve watched them grow, and watched their lives evolve.
This is Norma Jean, the horse in front, and Cream Puff. People who haven’t visited the Onaqui for very long think these two are mother and daughter, but they aren’t. They are both originally from the same band however. Norma Jean was a yearling when I first met her in 2016. She also has an older brother, who is a Cremello, Norman. She’s had a few foals, who are very cute, but no cremellos like her.
Cream Puff is 2 this year. Her mom, Princess, is a horse I met in 2016 when she was just a foal. And a cute one at that. She had Prince, her first foal, then 2 years ago had Cream Puff.
Generally foals, especially fillies, will stay with their family band for a couple years. Last year, Cream Puff went with Norma Jean and a roan stallion. There is also a gelding that someone dumped on the range that hangs out with them. I was so worried about her last year when I saw her away from her mom and family at such a young age. But, the four of them make a good little group, and everyone seems to be doing great.
Cream Puff has her moms delicate features.
What a pair they are. So beautiful.
Norma Jean has always excelled at the fuzzy chin.
My sweet Cream Puff. She’s grown into a beauty.
This is only one story of so many that I have collected in my heart over the years. These horses are a part of me, part of my life, and my heart is with them. The roundup that is scheduled of these horses in July is more than I can bear to think about. I sit and spend time with them, breath in their essence, and just be. I look at their faces right now, and see how calm, content, and in the right place they are, and my heart just breaks because I see fear, brutality, and uncertainty in their future. Their families, which are everything to them, will be torn apart. They will be brutally chased by helicopter jockeys, men on 4 wheelers, roped, shoved in a truck, and forced into a filthy holding pen. Gone from their home, their family, and the only life they know.
And selfishly, I think, they will be gone from my life too. With tears welling up in my heart, and eyes, I’m asking you please be their voice. Go to this post, and find all the info you need to speak up for their lives. The same thing is happening to herds all over the west. And it’s time it stopped.