Keep the Wild Horses Wild
Back in April I took the opportunity to go out into the west desert of Utah and photograph the wild horses. This was an amazing experience, as I said in this post.
Since then, I have been waiting until we could take a few days and go camp near the horses. I have also been doing a lot of reading, and have become engaged with some wild horse preservation pages on facebook. The American Wild Horse Preservation Campaign is especially active, and is great at spreading relevant news. They are trying to keep the wild horses wild, through education, petitions to stop the roundups, and stopping the sterilization of mares. Most specifically the sterilization of the mares is inhumane, dangerous, and in my opinion, unethical. The Bureau of Land (MIS) Management feels there are too many horses for them to be healthy. I feel this is complete crap. Where I have gone in the west desert there are miles, upon miles, upon miles of open grass lands. This trip we saw 2 herds, that were about 15 miles apart. One herd has around 100-120 horses, the other around 60. There is more than enough feed for this many horses. Another photographer out there told me there are some small bands scattered around, but certainly not enough to make a difference.
There were some incredibly cute foals. This little one had a bird friend.
The thing that angers me the very most about the wild horse issue is the ranchers. They want the ground for their smelly cows, and feel the horses are competition for the cows food. But this is public land. My land, your land, I don’t want cows on my land. What gives them the right to graze their cows on our land? If they want to raise cattle, they should buy their own land, then they can do whatever they want. Cows on public land has bugged me for years, and years. Go hiking, or camping somewhere and you better hope the cows aren’t there to ruin it for you. (And no, I don’t eat beef)
I feel it’s way more important to keep the wild horses wild for future generations. They are an icon of all that is wild and free, isn’t that important? Why spend millions of dollars of taxpayer money to round them up and imprison them in pens for the rest of their lives? How does this make sense when they can be free and not cost anybody, anything.
If I win the lottery, I will buy a giant tract of land, adopt all the wild horses that are trapped in BLM pens, and set them free.
Ok, I’m going to step down off my soapbox now, and share a few of the 2000 photos I took. I will do another post with more photos another day, I’m trying to sift through them all.
To observe the herd and their family dynamics, plus the hierarchy they obviously observe is fascinating. I will have more on that in the next post though.
I called this guy Mr. Bag of Chips, because he thought he was all that. He was challenging the other stallions, and was quite the instigator.
Sometimes, it didn’t go as planned for him.
But he gave it his all.
This foal couldn’t have been more than a day or two. Mom was very protective of him and kept him away from us, and the herd. This stallion stayed right near her too. Clearly he was the dad, and was protecting both mom and baby.
He wanted her near the rest of the herd, but she was having none of it.
This little pinto has a horse pattern on him, can you see it?
I had an interesting perspective of this one.
It was a great couple of days, and we are already planning on another trip before we head to Wyoming for the summer.
What’s your opinion on the wild horses?