As the current level of serious photographers reaches epic proportions, more and more subjects that previously were rarely photographed, are getting their pictures taken (and shared). In the Americas, Bobcats, Mountain Lions and Jaguars are now being photographed with regularity. Such is also the case with wild horses.
Wild horses are one of those critters that I can claim to have seen, but I have no “real” pictures to prove it. I do not count the wild horses that I photographed in North Dakota, or the wild burros I photographed in South Dakota, as they were all a bit too easy. In the early 1970s I spotted a wild herd of horses in Wyoming as my wife and I returned from a trip to Yellowstone. In the 1990s I spotted a distant but clearly wild herd near Mesa Verde N.P. in Colorado.
I have friends who live in Colorado and they photograph one of three or four different wild herds of horses on a weekly basis. With today’s equipment, their imagery equals that of nature’s top photographers of yesterday. I also see some great work from Oregon, Nevada and Arizona. Our eastern states have some of the oldest herds of wild horses in the U.S. on the barrier islands of the coasts of Georgia and the Carolinas. Montana has the most remote and least photographed herd in the U.S. Canada also boasts wild horses in its western provinces. Patagonia in South America, has wild horses and central/eastern Europe and Iceland have them as well.
Discover Wild Horses is a great website that provides info on the viewing of wild horses in 14 U.S. states and Canada.
With the exception of a few herds with pure blood lines, the color variation within a large herd is amazing. Whites, Palominos, Buckskins, Pintos, Strawberry Roans, Bays and Chestnuts of all shades are not uncommon within one very large group.
The images below were “captured” by me from Google Photos. I figure Google has been stealing and giving away my pictures since the late 1990s so it’s about time I use this resource for myself. I have acquaintances that make even more powerful images than this, but I think these give a sense of place as well as a sense of the animals.
Oddly enough, of all the wild animals that never found my cameras, I consider missing the wild horses of the American west the most disappointing. The imagery being produced today by a variety of photographers, is very powerful, and I would have loved to have gotten my share.
I sometimes ruminate over what I have not accomplished in photography. There was much more to do. I feel okay with most of what I missed, if I at least have had an impact on other photographers. A passion for photography, a love for nature, help on how to make those pictures, ideas on where to go and what to find, and just maybe a tiny sliver of inspiration.
Thank you for stopping and have the best of days, Wayne