• Caitlin McAninch

Escape from Domestication: Wild Horses in Nevada

Updated: Feb 16, 2019

Even though Nevada is mostly desert, our state is home to more than half of the nation’s wild horses and burros. There are only a few highways throughout the state, and if you take off on one of the dirt roads off to the side, you might find yourself facing tons of wild horses.

Because of my blog, I have really gotten into photography. I’ve been using my mom’s old Canon Rebel, but I don’t really know how to use it. Up until this point, I’ve mainly used the auto settings to take all my images. But, while we were in Bridgeport I got to talking to Dylan’s Great Uncle, Vic. He is an amazing photographer, and he invited me to tag along with him and some of his photographer pals to a shoot to take pictures of some horses.

So, last Wednesday, at 4:30 am, I was picked up to take photos. After driving around for hours, we finally found the herd that Vic knew about. We got to them around 9 am. The lighting was great, and within a few hours, I was taking amazing photos of the horses.

When we saw these animals, I was in disbelief. I have seen the wild herd that lives behind Damonte Ranch, but this was way cooler. There were hundreds of these horses. All kinds, types, and ah, just leaves you speechless. Read on to see my breakdown of the types of horses I saw.

Baby Horses

Turns out, the past few months has been birthing season for horses! We saw SO MANY BABIES!! I was in love! They’re just so tiny! All were glued to their mother’s sides. I didn’t get a photo, but the cutest thing, was they would reach their back leg to their face/ears to scratch themselves, just like a dog!

Injured Horses

I think it’s because they are horses, I didn’t really consider the hard life these animals have in the wild. But, we saw so many stallions covered in scars from fights. And this poor horse, the scar on its hind could only be from an attack from a large predator, such as a mountain lion. These animals truly face some rough hardships, they’re wild animals, we can’t forget that.

Different Types of Horses

One of the neatest things about being out there, was seeing the different colors and types of horses. Every shade, they were out there. Perfect Barbie horses, to Black Stallions, and even Albinos! It was just a rainbow of horses and kinds. I really liked the Albino ones, though (see below to the left). They had crystal blue eyes that were just gorgeous. We also saw two or three “stumpy” horses. They had the head and necks of normal sized horses, but they were incredibly short (see below to the right).

Horses with Excited Attitudes

Vic said that there is even more action during mating season, but we saw three different fights while we were there. They would get up onto their hind legs and created so much commotion! Another interesting thing we saw was one horse actually mount a female horse. Sheree, one of the photographers we were with that breeds her own horses, said that female horses have an after-birth heat that attracts the males. So, while they were doing their business, the tiniest baby stood right next to them! It was unique to witness.

Curious Animals

One of the coolest things about being there, was these animals came right up to you. You can literally walk through all these animals, and they barely take notice to you. Some will come right up to you because they are so curious. But this is because they simply aren’t scared. Humans haven’t done anything to scare them. It’s just incredible. I was able to pet three them. Too cool.

I took hundreds of photos on this outing. And it was incredibly hard to narrow it down to a few for this blog post. So, please check out the gallery to see more of these amazing animals.

I think what I witnessed on this day was truly magical. So much of the US is being taken over by people and buildings, ya know, the wilderness is disappearing. So, with that said, I am not sharing where I saw these beautiful animals. But, I would love to take you if you’re interested. Because, you know how it works, you tell one person, who tells five people, and next thing you know, everyone knows about it.

If you’re willing, please share where you have found wild horses in the comments below.

#Nevada #Activities