In September, I was visiting the Red Desert Complex in Wyoming and I turned down a road into Lost Creek. It was a windy day, which usually means wild horses are especially wary. I spotted a huge group of wild horses quite a way from the dirt road. I decided to hike out and see how close I could get. The horses immediately spotted me as I got out of my vehicle and watched me intently as I picked my way through the sagebrush. I counted roughly 70 wild horses in about 10 different families, all together and they looked as though they were waking up from a nap.
When I attempted to move closer they looked as though they might leave, so I stopped and just watched. Soon two horses came down the hill toward the group. Then more horses followed them. Once they spotted me, they changed course and headed straight for me. I immediately knew that this was a group of bachelor stallions who had grouped together, wild stallions without families, no doubt intent on wreaking havoc. They were a very colorful group with roans, grays, pintos, and even a cremello. When they first started toward me the bay roan was in front but he became more hesitant as he got closer and let his braver pinto friend go first.
Then they finally stopped only about 90 feet away from me. I tried to be quiet at first but then could not help laughing out loud at their expressions and antics. They paused for a couple of minutes and we looked curiously at each other.
Finally they broke ranks and ran away in the wind and the dust.
But soon they found and even braver leader, a big sorrel stallion who was willing to lead he way as they came back.
The families of wild horses in the background watched the whole encounter intently.
They stopped this time on the other side of me.
The cremello pinto got a bit braver and was willing to come closer.
And as normal when you get a lot of rowdy boys together, there are hijinx.
When it was time to go, I took one last look back, and they were still goofing around. I felt profoundly grateful that they were willing to come take a look at me and let me into their world for a little while. Perhaps next spring some of them will have their first mares – I look forward to seeing that.
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