Desert Trot

Desert Trot

The Red Desert of southwestern Wyoming is a vast, featureless desert, devoid of anything, except the miles upon endless miles of desert sage. If you stand on top of a low rise you can see for something close to forever, if not a little farther, and you won’t see much. This doesn’t mean that the Red Desert is completely empty, however. It actually teams with life, as most deserts do. And sometimes, if you are lucky, you can see some of the residents trot on by.

Such as this fine fellow. This stallion is trotting alongside me as I made this photograph. He is a true wild horse in every sense of the word. He, and his band, fend for themselves, without the want or need for human intervention. For generations, wild horses have lived comfortably out in the desert, and they know the life and true meaning of freedom.

This area of the Red Desert is called the “checkerboard”, so named because of the land ownership. Public and private lands are interspersed and intermixed throughout the area, making figuring out who owns the exact piece of land you are on a difficult task. Oddly enough, this situation came about when the railroad came through, since much of the land needed for the railroad was acquired by land swaps. In any event, the checkerboard is a confusing hodgepodge of ownership. What makes it an exceptional area for wild horses, however, is the complete lack of fences, or any other barrier. Mile after mile of unbroken desert await our equine friends, and they are free to live wherever they choose. Encompassing hundreds of thousands of acres, they have quite the environment in which to live and flourish in. However, not everyone is completely pleased with this arrangement, and we’ll continue the tale of the wild horses in Stallion Battle.

The stallion continued his trot on his never-ending journey.

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