Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Travels in July

Images: Farm Call with the Andalusians and Wild Horses drink at a water source in the Steens Mtn Wilderness area.

This time of year is always busy. Either photographing a show, a farm call, off doing freelance work or chained to the computer dealing with all the images that I created. Sometimes, I barely have time to look at them for weeks as I am off creating more while the sun shines.

Just before Dressage at Devonwood I took the opportunity to drive down to show Sharon Fibelkorn the wild horse herds and all that is SE Oregon. One of my most favorite areas, so any excuse to head in that direction and I am there!
And find the herds, we did. Maybe I have given Sharon just a wee bit of "the bug". The more I visit the various wild horse bands, the more I want to delve in a bit deeper into what they are about.
I am attracted by the wildness, the true nature of what the horse was meant to be, but I have also found that with some degree of "horse sense" one can relate to them as what they are... just horses. I was able to play with them a bit, from a respectful distance, of course. And spend time witnessing some of the herd dynamics. Sparring as "practice herd stallions", see the lead mare decide when its time to move off, notice how many of the stallions of various bands always seemed to be reluctant to move on, lingering a bit in the back, eating, watching us, watching the herd head off into the distance and finally seemingly reluctantly, they follow after them.
Some of the youngsters would whinny a greeting, others, depending on how antsy the herd was, remaining within the safety of the band circled tight and staring at us with big eyes.
We hope to head back down right after the ODS Championship show, looking for some harder to find herds. Its nice to find them where I know to look, but the "hunt" is just as intriguing. There are some serious threats to America's wild horses. Its a complicated issue and I continue to read and research this issue. The herds of Nevada are slated to be zeroed out. That means all removed, all gone. Why would this be? Do some googling on wild horses and BLM lands in the west and join me in researching this issue. There are things in the works that may or may not stand the light of day. History tells me its the latter.

Prior to heading down to the wild horses, Sharon and I were able to photograph some beautiful Andalusians over in Washington State. Recently gelded, classic in looks with still that bit of stallion macho attitude, they seemed to know just what we wanted and they performed accordingly. I hope to get time to work with some of those images soon!

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