When two mustangs meet, they hold their faces together.
That gives each animal a chance to breathe air into the nose of the other. The breath of the new acquaintance is recorded as a memory. Horses come to know and remember one another by the smell of the air that leaves their bodies.
We can assume their thoughts and memories are different than ours, but we also share some similarities. For example, mustangs value freedom and they love their families. In the era when the wild horses of the West numbered in the millions, Mexican caballeros were hired to round them up for sale as stock in the Southwest. Then, as now, the act of taking mustangs from their homes and families presented challenges. Horses injured themselves in the fight. In the process of being taken into custody, some died as a result of broken legs or necks. In some cases, however, the men hired to round up mustangs described stallions dying, not of physical injuries, but of broken hearts. The old Mexican cowboys called it sentimiento. The stallions became distraught because they missed their mares. What was it that killed them, then? A yearning for the smell of a lover? The thought of a future where they couldn’t share the same breath anymore?
A passage from Still Life with Wild Horses
By Chad Hanson, PhD
December 2019/January 2020 Education Issue [Page 94-112] #wildhorses #wildhorsepc #wildmustangsforever #keepwildhorseswild #freewildhorses #wyoming #wyomingphotographer #wyomingwriter #writersofwyoming #wildlife #writersofinstagram #writer #author #wyomingwildlife @wyomingwildlifeadvocates @visitwyoming @wyomingwilderness @wildexcellencefilms #thatswy #wyoproud @oilcitywyo #prairie #thewest #stoptheroundups #passthesafeact #emptythepens #adoptawildhorse @adoptawildhorse #betheirvoice #becausehorses