Western Utah has quite a large number of wild (feral) horses. The Onaqui herd consists of around 450 mustangs near Simpson Springs and Dugway in western Utah. Relative easy access has made these horses quite popular with photographers. Unfortunately the BLM, who oversees the horses, has attempted to seriously limit the population. Their contention is the “appropriate management level” for this Horse Management Area (HMA) is 121-210 horses. BLM has been darting Onaqui mares with fertility control, and alarmingly have called for rounding up and removing most of the herd.
While this area of the Utah desert is generally barren during the summer months, parts of the valley floors are covered in purple mustard wildflowers during spring.
There is not much more beautiful to watch in nature that wild horses in their natural habit going about their daily lives, which involves grazing, playing, sleeping, running, nursing, and sometimes fighting for dominance. For more information on preserving this natural treasure, please visit ReturnToFreedom.org.
I was fortunate to encounter two separate groups of these magnificent horses on my recent trip. I spent one morning with the horses in an area covered in purple mustard wildflowers. The grandeur of the scene was unforgettable. For more shots of these horses, please check out the YouTube video (and watch in HD for optimal viewing).