Today’s post is about the wild horses of the Gila herd.

It began in 1996, when ISPMB was notified about a proposed removal of approximately 75 wild horses that were located near Gila Bend, Arizona. These wild horses were not protected by the 1971 Wild Horse and Burro Act and therefore were going to be gathered and sold at auction. In simple terms, this means being sold to the highest bidder for meat consumption in Europe. Now protected, the Gila herd lives on!

The Gila herd was probably the best herd we worked with during our recent photo visit … lots of beautiful horses, many new foals, and some interesting experiences with them. Here are a few images of our visit to their pastures:


 (James A. Braswell)



One of my fond memories of the Gila herd was this next young foal. On 2 separate occasions, this little foal was so curious of me that he would take a couple of steps towards me, then stop and look me over. Lying still and photographing him, he would then take a couple more steps towards me:


Gila foal approaches me



Every few steps forward, he would attempt to “whinny” as he approached … not very loud, but a great memory!


Gila foal whinnies as it approaches me



My experiences with this little foal were something I will likely never forget!  In my next post of the wild horses, I will share both an exciting and yet a disturbing experience we had with the Gila herd.

If you missed my earlier posts on the wild horses of South Dakota, you can view them here:


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