It was the coldest day of the season; we had just had a snowstorm the night before. I had been wanting to photograph the wild horses that live out in the western Utah desert for quite some time, but I wasn’t even sure I could get out to the Onaqui herd. For that matter, I wasn’t sure I would find them. The last time I had made a serious effort to photograph the herd, I was still using my old film camera, a Nikon N80. I really needed an adventure for so many reasons, so off I went.
By the time I got out to the west desert and located the herd, it was around 1 pm and really cold, about 18°F (-8°C). The wild was blowing pretty hard as well, so I was really glad I had brought all my winter gear.
I am not going to disclose the exact location of the Onaqui herd, but you can find some information on Google. Too many people harass the horses, and as you’ll see in a minute, they have a tough life.
After a little while of staying quiet, the sentries decided that I was cool, and allowed me to move in closer. The herd gradually became more accepting of my presence, and I was able to gradually keep moving in a little closer for better photographs.
The longer I was with the horses, the more comfortable they became with me. I got some curious looks, but was always being watched by at least a couple of the mares.
I was finally able to get quite close and just sort of blend in with the group, and as you will see, the photograph opportunities got better too.
Hopefully you will enjoy these photos of our wild horses. And, if you do decide to venture out to find them, please respect these majestic icons of the American West. Remember that this is their turf, and you are entering with their permission.
I really hope you have enjoyed my New Year’s Eve adventure with the horses of the Onaqui. Happy New Year to you all!