Mustangs

It is mid-afternoon, and even though we are careful, the crunch of our wheels and the dust cloud pursuing us through the desert betray our arrival. We have been heard, and we have been seen. Above us, the sun is dipping steadily towards the edge of the day, when the shadows are longest, and the colors are warmest. Blues, gold and pinks will soon bathe this landscape and the wild mustangs we hope to see.

I am acutely aware of the privilege of being allowed to linger and observe horses in the wild. “Privilege” is the appropriate term for many reasons. Firstly, the landscape wild horses live in is vast, covering expansive areas that would require hours to access by vehicle, assuming these areas are vehicle accessible at all. Once you arrive in their homeland, the mustangs are few and getting fewer by the day. I realize that simply finding these beautiful animals and seeing them at a distance is challenging enough. And if you do stumble upon them, these horses are shy, easily spooked and have been justifiably conditioned to think of humans as … well, let’s say there are not many upsides for them to hang around. Hence, “privilege”. We see them only on their terms.

The photographs I have been fortunate enough to take attempt to capture both the beautiful scenery and, perhaps more importantly, the diversity of interactions these absolutely beautiful horses have with one another and their world. The wild mustang is grace and power. It is swiftness and boldness. It is fight and flight. It is loving and harsh. It is calm one moment and explosive the next. It is all these contradictions and so much more. But above all, the wild mustang is quintessentially symbolic of the living American West.

I hope you enjoy.

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