wild horses on prairie
05/21/2010, 12:50 PM
Canon EOS 7D, 1/200 sec, f/8, 105mm (EF24-105mm f/4L IS USM), ISO 640 (auto)
05/13/2009, 3:18 PM
Canon EOS D60, 1/800, f/5.6, 300mm (70-300), ISO 100
San Diego Zoo
05/13/2009, 1:45 PM
Canon EOS D60, 1/320, f/5.6, 210mm (70-300), ISO 100
12/31/2011, 12:21 PM
Canon EOS 7D, 1/1250 sec, f/5.6, 340mm (EF100-400mm f/4.5-5.6L IS USM), ISO 400 (auto), Exp comp 0
This herd of wild horses was observed grazing near the marsh. These are truly wild animals found in several isolated herds in the Baltic countries.
Horse poop found on hiking trail in Eaton Canyon
Would love to know more about the horses. They don’t look entirely like classic Arabians. Have they been bred to outside saddle stock (larger, to accommodate us fat Americans, and more even-tempered)? Or are these simply less refined local horses than the high-bred Arabian?
The little sorrel was my ride for the last 700 meters back up the hill. And when this guy saw I was able to 'drive the vehicle' myself (or, rather, fake it credibly), he let me take the reins while he put another customer up on a spare animal and led that one up the hill. This was a huge thrill for my inner teenage girl. :-) And we even got to trot a bit. These guys hustle -- he's on foot, and I'm trotting to keep up!
The horse was a joy to ride, calm and steady enough for a novice like me, but eager and highly responsive. Quite to my surprise, she proceeded entirely at my direction, rather than simply following the horse in front up the slope, as I would have expected from previous 'horseback riding' experiences. Horses that go up and down the same path all day generally tend to proceed up and down that path regardless of what the human cargo on their back might be suggesting; furthermore, horses are social animals with a strong herd instinct and have a strong desire to follow the horse in front of them. I can see why Arabians are prized the world over -- and, to give well-deserved credit to trainer as well as horse, why Bedouin horsemanship is renowned the world over.
The horseback rides go from the mouth of the Siq (slot canyon) back up to the visitor center. Once you exit the Siq, there's a parallel bridle path so the horses are safely separated from the foot traffic. (I'm sure that serves to protect both parties, as horses are easily spooked.) Horseback riders are not allowed at all in the narrow, crowded siq itself, although they do use camels and horsedrawn carriages there. It was a long, hot hike back up though the Siq. I was dehydrated & glad for the ride, even for that short distance. Besides, I got to ride a horse! Rick, who is both in far better shape than I am and far less smitten with large, sexy, dangerous animals, opted to walk.
Asking price (before negotiation, which seems to be de rigeur) is ~$10. It seemed like a lot at first for such a short ride, but I don't begrudge them the money. First of all, as our Jordanian tourguide was at pains to point out, these are the local Bedouin, whose village used to be down amongst the Nabataean tombs. It was moved by the Jordanian government, in exchange for the right to earnings from the park. And these guys hustle hard, in the desert heat, leading a horse up that slope on foot and then galloping down to pick up the next customer.
But beyond that, horses are expensive to breed, and raise, and train. Even in the US, horses tend to be a wealthy person's hobby. It must be even more costly in the desert, where food doesn't grow on trees. And it takes years to gentle a saddle horse to the point where it can be trusted with a rank amateur like me -- years of highly skilled work, drawing on a great tradition of horsemanship. So I’ve decided that these folks earn their money.
Feral burros (wild donkeys), exhibiting wild-type pelage, are established at Red Rock Conservation Area, near Spring Mountains west of Las Vegas, Clark Co., Nevada. The second photo is from 3 Jan 2013, same spot.
Wild? Donkeys know where they can get a handout of snacks
Location: Kaziranga National Park - Western Range, Assam
Date: 9th January 2012
Equipment: Nikon D300s with Sigma 150-500mm OS lens
Status: Vulnerable in the IUCN Red List