Winter Range

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I always say you can tell a lot about a person by the way they treat their horse (and you can tell a lot about a man by the way he drives his truck).  I came across this herd over in Arbon Valley, the next valley West of the Portneuf Valley, just a hop over a mountain pass from where I live.  I don’t know how I ended up in Arbon Valley yesterday except I was driving my truck, I had country music playing on the radio, the dogs and my ski  gear in the back, the world was covered in fresh snow and dappled with springtime sun — I felt like seeing some country so I did a little wandering on the blue highways.  When I saw this posse of horses out on their winter range, I pulled off, grabbed my camera and made some friends.

As I walked to the fence, they picked their heads up from grazing, looked at me from a far, and then the leader began to walk to me — an old swaybacked paint with wind woven dreadlocks in his mane.  One by one they wandered over, sweet and curious, eager to exchange scent with me.  They nosed my pockets for treats.  Let me rub their cheeks, press my cold hands beneath their wild, tangled manes as they draped their heavy heads over my shoulders.  I touched the softness of their muzzles and fell into the pools of their kind eyes.  These horses have a good cowboy and cowgirl.  I can tell.

Horses are good for the soul.

:::Post Scriptus:::

Doesn’t that buckskin have a beautiful tail?  It hits the ground!


  1. Elizabeth Waggoner says:

    Beautiful! My personal totem!

  2. One of my animal guides, says this girl, here, about those gorgeous creatures, there! And those look to be my particular kind of favorite…wild, windblown, and wise!

  3. A great creature to go through life with. Student, teacher, confidant, friend.
    My farrier always tells me what truly nice and special horses we have; I try to take it as a compliment.

  4. I can’t even put into words how much I love these photos, especially the 2nd and most definitely the 3rd (I had to share that one with Nate’s Aunt, who has a sweet old boy of 34!).
    They surely do look like they have a good cowboy and cowgirl!

  5. the head shot of the buckskin is stunning, the darker hair rimming its ears…absolutely perfect.

  6. Catherine Chandler says:

    Oh my god. Okay. Now I want ALL OF THESE on my wall. Especially the close up of the b&w one! Dear Lord, each image makes my heart swoon and squeeze. It might burst. That’s right. You’re giving me palpitations. OF LOVE!! (faint)

  7. Ditto what Catherine said… If you ever decide to sell prints of your work, count me in. I love especially the 3rd, 5th and final photos. Those horses move my soul – and that’s even seeing them thru the computer, thru your lens, thru your eyes – thrice removed! Beautiful. You capture so much deep-souled life in your photographs. Thank you so much for sharing with all of us! Makes my city-life cabin fever ebb a bit.

  8. These are goregeous photos! Always a pleasure to visit your blog! They are wild looking horses but very healthy you can tell by the dapples in the coat, particularly having just left winter!

  9. Those horses do appear to have great owners…what a treat to get a muzzle rub and sniff, my favorites : )

  10. They are so beautiful! That wild white and black mane!

  11. your nature shots belong in national geographic!

    The Delight Song of Tsoai-talee
    By N. Scott Momaday

    I am a feather on the bright sky
    I am the blue horse that runs in the plain
    I am the fish that rolls, shining, in the water
    I am the shadow that follows a child
    I am the evening light, the lustre of meadows
    I am an eagle playing with the wind
    I am a cluster of bright beads
    I am the farthest star
    I am the cold of dawn
    I am the roaring of the rain
    I am the glitter on the crust of the snow
    I am the long track of the moon in a lake
    I am a flame of four colors
    I am a deer standing away in the dusk
    I am a field of sumac and the pomme blanche
    I am an angle of geese in the winter sky
    I am the hunger of a young wolf
    I am the whole dream of these things
    You see, I am alive, I am alive
    I stand in good relation to the earth
    I stand in good relation to the gods
    I stand in good relation to all that is beautiful
    I stand in good relation to the daughter of Tsen-tainte
    You see, I am alive, I am alive

  12. I enjoy your photos here and on flickr. I’ve started reading the archives of your blog and think your writing is at turns humorous, inspiring, and poetic. Happy Spring from the farm in Tejas.

  13. Such beautiful animals they are! A while back a lady I came across on the street while walking my dog told me that she can tell by my dog’s presence that he has a very loving home. So I agree with you about these horses having a good cowboy/girl.

    Thanks for always being such an inspiration!

  14. Hey Calamity.
    Thanks for being responsible for putting the biggest smile on this face.
    You an’ old swayback and the gang. x

  15. Eeep, your pictures are always amazing!!! I love horses!!! Is it possible to purchase
    a few of these pictures?

    Your soul is amazing!

  16. Now I am curious: what are the truck-driving signs of a good man? (It’s a total cop out to say “the way RW drives his truck”.)

    These creatures are incredible. I’ve had very few encounters with horses. I envy you something terrible.

  17. pure magic my friend
    pure magic

    love and light xo

  18. Marie-Sophie Bertrand says:

    I now follow you since a year or two and I love your blog, mostly because I love the way you perceive the world and share it with us. Thank you!

  19. Oh I’m so thrilled I had the chance to stop by & see these glorious ponies! Love these shots lady!

  20. Gorgeous

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