Yesterday, I headed out to see the wild mustangs and when I got there my hopes of finding them started decreasing. There were a lot of people with big rvs, cows grazing on their home range that usually drives them away. So I looked around, drove the Jeep in the back roads hoping that they had gone behind the mountain but with no avail. The thing you need to understand, for me, the most memorable experiences with them is when I am completely alone with them, the only distraction is them and only them. Trying not to get sad about it I started driving near a mountain, out in the distance I saw one white horse up on a hill. I parked the Jeep, packed up my cameras and everything else, in case I found them.
As I got closer I recognized Old Man, that was the white horse I was seeing in the distance, high up on the hill, then I saw 5 more wild mustangs hanging below him, then I turned a corner and in front of me were hundreds of them, tucked into the valley of the mountains, protected from intruders (except me:)). My heart skipped a beat, I had found them and nobody else was there.
I like keeping my distance from them, so I set up my "little tripod chair" sat down with my camera with a great vantage point. Focusing in front of me, a few hours passed by, I suddenly felt a breath behind me, a filly had sneaked up behind me and stood there for 5 minutes softly, sniffing my hair, unafraid. I am always a little cautious since I know how dangerous horses can be and getting up and moving was definitely not an option. So I stayed in the moment, she then moved a few feet and dozed off by my side.
I spent 7 exquisite hours completely alone with them. I saw conflicts, chases, posturing, sweet moments between friends, teenagers playing around and so much more. As the day was winding down, they started leaving the mountain, following them at a respectful distance, they headed to the watering hole.
All the wild ones that had escaped the turmoil of dirt bikes, side by sides, cars and prying eyes, came down from the mountains, hundreds of them! Every time I thought I had seen the last group, another one showed up in the distance. Once they had their fill of water and their mud baths, they headed to their range to finish off their day in peace. Reflecting the desert mood, the time for playing and fighting was over it was the time for quietness .This photograph is not the whole group but being there seeing all of them in the distance calmly grazing just, filled my heart with gratitude to have been able to spend the day with them. There is nothing better in my world than wild mustangs and desert sunsets.
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