I was on an early morning desert hike with David, a volunteer with the Salt River Wild Horse Management Group, when a text came in from his colleague, Freddie, about some horses that needed help. Stuck on a busy highway, the band couldn’t find its way around the fence and back to safety.
We turned back to go help the stranded family. David and Freddie cut the fence. We formed a line to help guide the horses through the opening. Soon after came another call for help, for a mare and foal struggling to cross the river near Gold Field. When we arrived, though, there was no sign of them. We looked for a couple hours but only found a lone young bachelor. He looked distressed. He had likely been kicked out of his herd and was trying to join a band of bachelors.
I ended the day at Butcher Jones Park, feeling disappointed I hadn’t seen many wild horses. I was packing up when I heard hooves clomping down the mountain. I grabbed my gear and ran to the lake to get a few low-light shots of the horses entering the water. They waded around, drank from the lake and then, as quick as they arrived, they were off into the night. Magic.