Last week, I had a chance to head out into the western desert in Utah to try and track down one of the several herds of wild mustangs in the state. About 50 miles west of Salt Lake City, the two lane blacktop road maintained by the army turns to gravel. Another 30 or so miles of dust later, we came across a group of maybe 50 horses. These individuals are part of local herd that numbers close to 400 and is said to have originated in the 1800's, mainly escapees from local ranches and the army.
The BLM monitors the herd and many carry brands, both as identification and as aids to one of several research studies that have been done on the herd in recent years. Even though they've been handled some, they are still quite wild. The body of the group was composed of a mix of mares, stallions and colts, some as young as a couple of days old. There was also a group of "bachelor" stallions that move with the group, but stand off a bit, either by choice or by force. The young bachelors all have numerous bite marks on their hides and they constantly harrass one another, a lot like a pack of high school boys, but with more intensity.
It was a joy to be near these animals, and a bigger joy to photograph them.
Hope you enjoy them as much as I did