Conner

Whenever I go out to photograph the Onaqui’s in Utah’s west desert I try not to have a preconceived idea about what kind of photographs I’m going to get. I never know what story is going to present itself. I’ve had days where I spend all day out there and only get a few keeper images, and other days where all day is a productive day.

This particular day took on a life of its own and was very productive! It was the first part of October. I like going out in the fall because it’s cooler. (But I am more than happy to go out any day I can no matter the time of year!). And if I’m lucky I will get some exciting weather to go with it! Bluebird skies are by far my least favorite conditions. And the more clouds in the sky for the sunset or sunrise the better! 

When I first found the horses there wasn’t much going on. They were quietly grazing just doing what horses do most of the time. When out of the blue a lone stallion came running towards the herd whinnying and carrying on. He hit the herd like a bowling ball, scattering horses everywhere! The bachelors circled him and pretty soon he was fighting any horse that would fight him! I’m not positive where he came from, because I’ve never seen him before. And neither has my other photographer friends. There are other wild horses in other Herd Management Areas around the Onaqui’s but they are not very close. But that doesn’t mean they can’t venture off looking for other herds.

As far as the behavior he was exhibiting, I can only assume it was his way of coming into the herd and establishing himself amongst them, and putting them on notice that he intends to steal mares and create his own band. I’ve decided to call him Conner, after the MMA fighter, Conner McGregor. He’s one of the toughest horses I’ve ever seen out there!! 

I don’t always get to see things this exciting all the time. It’s unique to have something like this happen when I’m on the range. 

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