We all need someone to lean on. This gorgeous snow white mare very heavy in foal takes a nap on her handsome prince charming in the afternoons harsh wind and sun. She had been resting there sometime, and when challenging stallions approached, he needed to ward them off, literally returning to her side so she may yet again rest her tired head upon him.in 2011 1,132 horses were gathered by helicopter, chased for miles from their home territory. Only 139 were returned back to this vast landscape of 779 thousand acres in southern Wyoming. The continuing inequality of horse to land ratio saga grows, while tax payers dollars are spent at 100k per day forstock piling these now removed majestic icons.
Drinking from the well of life...Time at the watering hole is just as sacred for me as it is for them. As the bands come in for water, stallions will challenge for first rights, as the challenge goes on sometimes the lead mare takes the band in to drink. This stallion and his bachelor stallion came in to water aftermaking sure they established their right to be first. While watching them drink you could feel the essence of life being sustained, the horses not only drink the water but will eat the surrounding dirt and mud to absorb the rich minerals and nutrients the earth has provided them. Horses are literallywoven into the fabric of the natural world, they are intended to be there, an integral part of our eco-system, an important part of the environment around them. We must nurture our integrity and ethics for them before its too late.
Heading down an off shoot, a rocky messed up road on a gut feeling...20 minutes in thinking it was a bad idea. Literally at the very end, up on a plateau...quietly grazing was this amazing and beautiful herd. The chilly yet soft November winds were blowing grasses of yellow and gold as thesummers green had long passed. Furry coats and chunky bellies preparing for the winters return...Mother Nature blended their beauty so softly with the seasons landscape...This image put me at ease, I can close my eyes and be back on that ridge in my minds eye...remembering the honor I felt when this stallion decided to lay down in the late morning sun, his family all around and in my very near presence...
Great Divide Basin, Wyoming
Returning to the area after the 2011 round up, one never knows what to expect. I'm grateful that the horses I saw were healthy and vibrant. I was also elated to see some familiar faces...one older mare, that I really did not think would escape capture was still alive and kicking with a healthy feisty youngcolt at her side. What a significant gift to witness. The sex ratios were very much askew; I have never seen so many older bachelor bands in all the years I have been venturing out. EVER. Due to this there were also an extraordinary amount of injuries from the challenging stallions. Injuries are part of life in the wild; I'm no stranger to that; however this trip I saw more than the comfortable amount. I felt so much pride being back here for the 3rd time, and just weeks after adopting a beautiful young gelding from this area. This vast beautiful American landscape was his home and the horses there hisfamily.
Literally appearing over this ridge as I was photographing a small bachelor band to the right, this handsome Grullo stallion arrived, standing proud, patient and regal. The hair on my neck rose and the feelings that came over me were astounding, in my heart I could feel that this may be my newlyadopted mustang's father. He embodies the exact likeness in look and feel, the exact. He is a stallion of age that should have a family band but instead had a band of bachelors due to the askew numbers of females to males in the area post 2011 round up. He stayed in this very spot for a good long moment, watching his bachelors play and allowing me the time to observe and the days's remaining light to shine upon him. el Regalo is what I named my young mustang and translated it means "the Gift".