I was giving a talk on Monday about our wild horses at Medicine Horse in Boulder, CO, and one of the last things I left people with was that wild horses are on our public lands, and they should try to get out and see them while the wild ones are still out there, wild and free. There is a great guidebook, Lisa Dine’s The American Mustang Guidebook, available at Amazon, that gives you guidance on how to go see them and areas to go. You can also just Google search for wild horse areas + BLM in the state you want to go.
Today I am going to talk about taking photographs of wild horses. First of all, most of them are going to be quite skittish so you need a long lens. if you like zooms, I recommend the 100 – 400 or the 80 – 400. Usually a 300 will not be long enough. For a fixed lens, I recommend 400, 500, or 600. I like to use the 500 with a monopod or a tripod if I am going to stay in one place. What I like about the tripod is it is not as heavy and cumbersome as a tripod, and if I am going to sit in the ground, it is easier to fold up and get down quickly.
The best way to get close to wild horses is to approach slowly and quietly, then watch and wait. Don’t sneak up on them – they will run. See where their flight zone is – it might be quite far out – and stop there and wait. I like to sit down on the ground and quietly watch them, and they will often come very close to investigate. Horses are curious. Then, if I am quiet enough, they might go back to their normal activities – and it is that interaction that I want to capture with my camera.