Arizona’s Wild Horses – Photographs of the Salt River Mustangs, Part 2

There’s something about horses and water I feel very drawn to, so the hope I held as the day approached to photograph the Salt River Wild Horses was that I would be able to capture them in the Salt River.

After spending time in the forest next to the river, Susan and I agreed it would be best to head to the river so we would be ready when and if the horses headed down for a drink.

Once at the river, Susan waded into the water in her shoes and socks. Though I knew this would mean a sloshy walk back to the car, I threw caution to the wind and joined her! The water felt cool and was as clear as day. Before too long, the first horse arrived. A beautiful grey stallion. I would have been happy if he had been the only one. But little did I know the treat that awaited us!

Susan said it was like elevator doors opened, and suddenly herd after herd poured out into the river! They were there to drink and spent most of their time quenching their thirst. Their shiny coats against the clear blue sky made my heart so happy I thought it might burst!

We estimate there were around 50 horses in the river at one point, Susan said this is a very rare occurrence, so I made sure to not spend the entire time with a camera smashed to my face but also just take time to appreciate the amazing sight of horses on every side!

Photographer’s note: My friend Joe recommended the Canon EF 28-300 lens a few years ago. It’s an EF lens, and at the time, I didn’t think I would buy any more EF gear because all my camera bodies are now mirrorless. But I could imagine quite a few situations where this lens with such a wide zoom range could come in handy. It was basically the perfect lens for a situation like this! I could zoom out to capture the sheer number of horses in the river, then quickly zoom in to capture close ups and moments between the horses.

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