Woody Galloway, Photographer, Santa Fe, New Mexico

I had read about the wild Spanish mustangs that run free in Northern New Mexico. I knew the general area was north of El Rito, New Mexico. I made it a point to talk to some horse people in the area, so I knew where I might find a wild bunch. They said there were between 20 and 30 horses. A few of the horsemen said they had gotten close to them sometimes.

It had been snowing for a day or so and I decided to try and find those wild horses. I drove to the area early one morning. There was snow on the dirt road I turned on and it was hard to find my way. After about a half an hour of driving on the road which had become a trail, I could see in the distance something running. I thought at first it was a group of cattle. I got my binoculars and I could see they were horses.

I drove further to this open meadow. The horses came toward me. I don’t know if they thought I was going to feed them, or they were just very curious, as horses are. I was hoping to get close to them. I walked carefully with my head down, carrying with me my tripod, my camera and a large lense. They let me get within 50 yards of them. They were stamping the ground and circling nervously. I counted them. There were 26 - all colors in the morning snow.

All of a sudden the wind started blowing. I did what I shouldn’t have done. I threw up my arms and yelled, “Show me your hearts!” They took off with such speed and excitement. I watched them go.

My camera was now mounted on the tripod with a $7,000 Nikon lense. To my surprise, they turned and ran directly back towards me. Twenty six horses, 104 legs, and 36,000 pounds coming my way. No more “Show me your heart.” I waited behind the camera and lense, focusing on the oncoming horses. The ground was shaking, the camera was shaking, I was shaking. This is the one photo I got before I ran.
Galloway Images, Santa Fe, New Mexico
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