Monday, April 21, 2014

Don't Fence Me In

Tonto National Forest, part of the National Parks system has the Salt River running through it and wild horses. Yesterday, I went down early, it was Easter Sunday and I thought there would not be many people there. To my surprise, there were lots of families, setting up for a day of cookouts, floating down the Lower Salt River. Which is still a bit chilly.

I did not expect to see the wild horses which is what I came down for, that and a nice walk. Yet, as I walked to the river, there they were, tucked under the trees, at least half dozen of them. I had my camera with the long lens. I took a couple shots and was trying to walk down and around to get a better view. The spot I was planning to walk up, well, the horses thought I needed a better view too, so they came on down. Right in front of me, they had no concerns for me, as the head of the herd was there to protect them. They stopped on the sandy area, the male moved out into the river, watching and checking. As I looked around, there was another horse on the other side of the river, hmmmm.

I continued to take pictures, so many that I went back to my car, got my folding chair, sketchpad and pencils so I could sketch awhile. The male moved slowly across to the other side of the river. The one horse became three, I believe it was a bachelor herd. I kept my camera on my lap just in case something interesting happened.

There was a young one, very friendly and came rather close. It was amazing to see how calm they were. I know many people come down to the river just to see these wild horses. The male in the mean time had a little challenge from the bachelors. Nothing he could not handle and after a bit of a tussle, he used his body to walk them away from his harem and then they were gone. The male returned to his family as they continued to hang under the trees along the river.

What a wonderful way to spend the morning. Keeping the fences away to allow these wild horses to be part of our American Heritage.

male bonding

young one

posing just for me

Salt River Wild Horses

The Challenger

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