1. Meet some of the wild horses of the Ochoco Mountains! Over 40 years these wild horses have been roaming the Ochoco Mountains of Oregon!
2. We got into the Ochoco Mountains before 6am yesterday. We stopped off at the first and only restrooms we know of in this part of the mountains and I got this photograph of the sign telling folks of the wild horses. Unknowing of course we would be running into what we did.....
3. Some folks who know the Ochoco Mountains or have kept up with my photography will know exactly where we were due to the historical building in some of these photographs. We came around the corner and BAM horses to the right of us and horses to the left of us! Horses everywhere! Guy counted over 40, however it was a crazy time so he says it is safe to say over 30 head.
4. As you can see if we were going of any speed, if the morning light were not in Guy's eyes..... The horses were in the road, as I said the horses were everywhere!
5. At first everyone was grazing and just welcoming in the morning.....
6. For the most part everyone looked pretty healthy. Some bite wounds and other small things, nothing major for wild horses. This is looking to the left of the road.
7. Young were part of the group, that one is running to catch up to it's mare.
8. Some of the horses were content to stay to this side of the road and do what horses do in the mornings!
9. This foal was young so I was happy to get a couple shots of it. The mares were staying far enough off the road and to this side of the road they did not feel threatened.
10. Now we have every ones attention! Meaning the dogs woke up! They to were sleeping and barely raised their head when we stopped earlier, now the dogs were fully awake. Treating the wild horses just like any other large animal who were just a little to close to us.
11. Back to the left side of the road is where the lead mare was, and where all heck was breaking loose!
12. Even those on the left side of the road were now getting going!
13. This mare was confused and did not know what to do! The lead mare on the other side of the road, we were in the middle of the road.....
14. Still she did not know what to do.... you can even see bite marks on her.
15. These were grouping together as horses do. The lead mare was going the same way just on the other side of the road.
16. We are being checked out!! This one is trying to figure out what is going on.....
17. Once these two got together both of them calmed way down..... perhaps a family? That maybe her foal?
18. Off they went. Like most of the herds of wildlife we run into, we do not follow! We do not try and freak the animals out. These horses are not looked at as tame or anything but wild animals
I am sure some horse pets get loose and run off to ban with this herd. Several years ago folks were, "dumping", their beloved pets in these mountains which I would think have banned with these wild horses? No one wants a pet to ban with these wild horses! They are not fed regularly!! They fight, you can see the bite marks!! They do not have a vet to care for them when they are sick or hurt. Mountain lions and bears are in these mountains.... Some get shot during hunting season. They are not supposed to shoot these horses, but stuff happens! Just not a good idea to think you are helping your horses by, "dumping", your horse... just don't do it!
We must have run over horse dung for gosh .. miles! The horses must have been traveling the road for some time! This is typically how we know the wild horses are around! The horses do not have shoes on so their tracks are void of such markings. Since this is big horse riding area, I bet folks who are up here with their horses do not like the wild herd showing up?? We try and get out of such areas before getting out and hiking, since of course large wildlife tends to make the dogs very alert, stressed even?
Thank you for coming by and seeing my untouched photographs of the happening yesterday (Saturday), morning!
UPDATED: added a couple extra images I took