Massive forces of moving muscle wrap and grace the equine form and spirit. There is no other creature on the planet quite like them...
The largest herd I have even been surrounded by, literally immersed into the middle of what I guessed to be 275+ wild horses. Its raw and lyrical and there is no other feeling in the world like it. In the spring the bands come together and the fight for breeding rights ensues. When I'm out with the wild herds, no matter which area I'm in, I find myself surrounded by the herd leader. I’d love to think its kismet, however as herd dynamics go, its the proud role of the leader. This exquisite stallion was near me almost every day of this trip. Spanish in his look and stature, he was like watching poetry as he courted the hearts of young fillies. This image was captured as he was doing just that. Literally courting a beautiful bay filly with big doe eyes away from her family band. Such a beauty to witness as the mare and stallion of that band, put up no argument, knowing this is the true order of things in the wild.
The strong and wonderful stallion courting away a young filly from his family. A sight to witness, a memory forever...
Every time I turned around during my time in Skull Valley Utah this stallion was within 50 feet of me. I felt at first he was certainly “watching” me and by the end of the five days I felt as though he was watching over me. Quietly sitting within the herd on my last day I put my camera down and took time tothank mother nature for the joy she had given me. With tear filled eyes I said thank you to him and repeated a promise I had made years ago...to the best of my ability I will help tell their story, and make sure they matter, have a voice and be seen. In fall of 2009, a “last minute” round up was executed, this herd was stripped down to approximately 40 horses from the herd of about 2-300 strong. There is a good chance this stallion, the strongest and most untouched one of the herd is sitting inpermanent holding with a brand on his neck and hip, somewhere in the middle of Utah, his freedom on the other side of a pipe fence.
The art of Horsemanship.
This stallion was educating his young filly, as another stallion approached he protected her, kept her nearby and seemed to inspect her to make sure she had not strayed to far with the demanding stallion. She was to young to leave the family band. And he made sure she was safe.
Its very rare that I use a wide angle lens, on a warm October day, alone, having lunch on a blanket in the sun. Laying down and closing my eyes for a brief moment, when I looked up, they were so much closer to me. The feeling and the view overwhelming me with awe. Spacious, quiet and contemplative. These amazing creatures, free and wild, living a life many of us yearn to have.
Quiet moment on the wild range.
Esperanza means H O P E ...This stallion exemplifies hope for me, he sealed a fate in me that can not be undone...to work hard and share his story...he represents strength within softness. With barely a mark on him he was the herd leader and one of the best ones I have ever laid witness too. My "hope" for him and all his bretheren is forever freedom.
Two siblings, together in their joy.
One of the very aspects of being in the wild does for my soul. Reflecting on the beauty and gifts mother nature has for us. We must protect her and all of us who rely on her.
The most joyful, inspiring time of the day...witnessing their absolute serenity while the sun arrives.
I could not get enough of him...
We are not the only species with emotions...as soon as we realize that maybe we can share and spare heartache to those we inhabit the earth with.
The eyes of stallion are never still, they are vigilant, contemplative and aware of every thing around them.
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