Wild Horses Couldn’t Keep Us Away

While we are staying in Mesa, Arizona we were told about the Wild Horses (Equus ferus) in the Tonto National Forest. Someone we met told us that he had been going in search of them for four years and only seen them twice!

We must be blessed because we saw some each time we went looking for them and once when we weren’t.

There are over four hundred wild horses in the Tonto National Forest. As they are descendants of the horses introduced by the Spaniards they are really feral horses. But they are just gorgeous anyway.

Click HERE to see my Whole Gallery of Wild Horses

Wild Horses Eating

When we visited the Deerwood Wild Horse Eco Sanctuary in Wyoming in 2017 we learnt that the beautiful condition of their coats was due to the fact that they “buddy up” and groom each other. Again we saw some of this happening with the Tonto Wild Horses.

Grooming Buddies

In the large group we met in the forest we were fortunate to see a new colt foal. The foal was very distinctive to us as it had blue eyes. Apparently this meant at least one of its parent had blue eyes.

Blue Eyed Colt

Our second encounter of a group of the wild horses was as we were taking a hiking trail along the Salt River looking for birds. We saw a group emerge from the trees on the opposite river bank and proceed to drink and walk along the river upstream then disappear back in to the trees. We were simply amazed when further up the river the group emerged from the trees and proceeded to walk out into the river.

Wild Horses Emerging from the Trees
Wild Horses Emerging from the Trees
Wild Horses in the Salt River, Tonto National Forest
Second Emergence from the Trees
Wild Horse Wading in the Salt River

What a great day.

Gear: Nikon D500, Nikon MB-D17, Nikon GP-1, Nikon 80-400mm f/4.5-5.6 VRIII, Nikkor TC-14 EII, Sony Digital film

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5 Responses to Wild Horses Couldn’t Keep Us Away

  1. Bruce KAY says:

    Wow! Wow! Wow! What a fascinating story. Thanks so much for sharing.
    As always, Richard, your photos are fabulous and the story your photo-essay tells is captivating. Loved it.
    In Australia early settlers also had horses that escaped and went wild. In the Kosciusko National Park there are also wild horses. Our Aussie term for them is, “Brumbies.” There is heated debate over whether they should be allowed to roam in the fragile wilderness of our largest national park because they destroy the habitat of our indigenous fauna and flora.

    • Bruce KAY says:

      Just looked at the Deerwood Wyoming photos as well. What a lovely place.

      I also wanted to wish you all the best of health over the coming months during the Coronavirus pandemic. Keep safe and keep well Richard and Louise.
      Love you both.

      • R & L says:

        Thank you for your kind words.
        Louise and I hope you and Rita are keeping safe and well during this exceptional trying time.
        Love to you both.

  2. Dennis says:


  3. Libby says:

    Hi guys! It is so great to see these pictures in these trying times! What a beautiful sight. We hope you are all staying safe!

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