Winter On the Onaqui Range

I hope everyone is doing well. I am always happy to be through the holidays and past the year’s shortest day. There might still be a lot of winter left, but at least it’s staying lighter longer! Winters are good and bad for me. On the one hand, I like them for the extra time I get in my office editing images learning new techniques in Lightroom and Photoshop. I read a little more and catch up on movies I’ve wanted to see. Drink a lot of coffee; The downside is I’m not much of a fan of cold weather. I think the biggest reason I’m not a fan is I don”t have anything I like to do in the winter. Winter sports aren’t my thing. I don’t have much interest if it doesn’t have something to do with a horse or a trout.
Even though I’m not as active in the outdoors this time of year, the one thing I can still do is visit the Onaqui wild horses in Utah’s West Desert. 

It’s a beautiful place in the winter I’ve been out a couple of times this month. I went out on the 2nd and the 17th. When I went out on the 2nd, Northern Utah had gotten some consistent moisture for a couple of weeks before. I’ve been going out there for the last five or six years in the winter and have not ever seen that much snow. I think it topped out at 10 degrees for a high. The horses were hard to find, I never did see the north herd. And it took me most of the day to find a little band of bachelors on the south end of the herd management area. As cold as the day was I had a good time. I love being in the middle of nowhere all by myself. 

When I went out on the 17th it was still cold but it managed to get up into the 30’s and low 40’s. I was surprised that ninety percent of the snow that was out there two weeks before had melted. I was lucky enough to find the main herd early enough in the day I was able to spend a lot of time with them. They are still doing well. All the moisture the range got last summer and fall has sure helped them stay in good flesh this winter. 

My goal this year is to go to some new herd management areas across the west. There is a significant advantage to sticking to photographing the Onaqui’s. I know where to look for them, know their tendencies, and know the horses as individuals better. And they will always be my go-to’s and the horses I photograph the most. But I want to explore and see as much of the American west as I can, chasing and photographing wild horses. I always want to see what’s around the next bend or over the next ridge. Hunting for cool-looking horses gets my blood pumping! I also plan to tell the stories from those adventures for content for these newsletters/emails. 

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