Divide Basin Bachelors

January 22, 2011

It seemed like we were driving forever before we finally spotted some horses. I got out of the Jeep and peered through my lens. Looked like a group of bachelor stallions. What a sight they were against the mountains in all their wildness.

I walked towards them. As with most bachelor bands I’ve run across, they’re the most curious and these guys were no exception. They started towards me as well.

The big bay is trying to catch my scent.

I admit it - I have a thing for the palominos. This boy just shimmered in the sunlight. What a gorgeous animal.


As I was admiring the boys, something spooked them. Look at those quick, cutting horse moves to get out of harm's way. Amazing.

They bunched up and took off. I never figured out what set them off.

Taking another look

You are a beautiful, beautiful horse!

Putting on a show for me by running back and forth as I stand still and watch

Before I made them too uncomfortable, I decided to back away and leave them alone. As soon as I did, they quit moving and stood for this parting photo.

Always such a privilege to spend time with the wild ones…
(September, 2010)

Though we had trouble finding horses in this area (only 4 bands after a full day of searching), there is a roundup scheduled for this herd management area next year:

(Click on the images for a larger/sharper views)

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29 Responses to “Divide Basin Bachelors”

  1. sandra longley Says:

    LOL these are better looking wild horses than registered stock in someones pasture..these are the ‘chippendale’ boys..

  2. pnickoles Says:

    They were really nice horses Sandra. Healthy and handsome.

  3. Terry Says:

    Stunning photos, as always, Pam! The Palomino couldn’t take his eyes off of you either. Even in the ‘Buddies’ photo; he’s making sure that you’re looking.

  4. Gerri Kier Says:

    WOW…beautiful photos Pam. You are one very gifted photographer. Thank you for constantly keeping on top of the health and conditions of our wild horses.

  5. Sue Says:

    Great looking horses, especially the sorrel with the strangest blaze I have ever seen.
    Yeah, they really look like the need to be rounded up all starving and everything……what jerks the BLM is!

  6. WOW..that palomino is GORGEOUS
    more great shots pam !
    best to you…Mary Ann

  7. deborah hurley Says:

    the forage looks good also, they look amazing. great photos Pam!

  8. Patricia dedmon Says:

    these are the most beautiful horses I have seen. Yes they look better than regesterd horses. thank you for sharing.

  9. Roxy Says:

    What a “sleek” bunch – just beautiful.

  10. Roxy Says:

    Like wild running jewels sparkling in the sun – what a sight! I thought that just as I hit send on the other post – could not stop my finger fast enough.

  11. Katrine Pett Says:

    Thankyou for these wonderfull photos Pam these horses look brilliant!


    They are absolutely gorgeous! That is where my boy lived..so nice to see such healty horses. I just don’t get why they are rounding up! Send in your letters everyone! It has to stop..we can’t give up!!

    Thanks Pam..brings me to tears..such beauty!!

  13. Ronnie Says:

    Absolutely beautiful. Majestic! And so robust! Obviously, no lack of forage as is seen in all photos of all HMA’s. I pray someday, I will be able to be there to see the wild horses in the WILD. An experience I so desire. To honor. Spiritual. xo

  14. Linda Horn Says:

    Thanks, Pam! These are such fine looking and moving horses it’s no wonder “producers” feel threatened by them. The palomino is a certainly a gorgeous boy, but I’m for the big, alert bay with the star. I’m a sucker for bays with black points!

  15. Karen McLain Says:

    That palomino is just stunning Pam. What a treat to see this small bachelor band, and thanks for sharing it with us!

  16. Maggie Frazier Says:

    Well, unless there are some drastic changes before the roundup next year – I certainly cant see ANY reasons to take these horses out of this HMA. If the bachelors look this good, can only imagine the mare bands look just as good, right?
    Pam, these pictures are so great – almost (almost!) as good as being there.
    Wish I could be

  17. arlene orlando Says:

    Thank You Pam I so envy you here for sure, They are spectacular Stallions, Like Sandra said they are the Chippendale Stallions….. Their curiosity and their innocence takes my Breathe Away…. i almost felt like i could reach out and touch them………….. I photo Thoroughbreds in the Summer months at the Race Track here in Ohio…. I thank You cause during the Winter they are gone , how I miss them….. I love being among them the photos are just a bonus to revisit them on my computer……… all winter long… But now near the end of Winter is when i miss them the most…………

  18. Roxy Says:

    There seem to be at least two pairs of buddies. Is this common in bachelor bands?

  19. pnickoles Says:

    Terry – I always pay attention when a horse makes constant eye contact with me like the palomino did. I think he knew how awesome I thought he was. 🙂

    Thanks for stopping by and sharing your kind comments Gerri!

    That blaze really is something on that boy Sue. The wild ones have so many interesting colors, patterns and behaviors. 🙂

  20. pnickoles Says:

    Thanks Mary Ann – hope you’re doing well.

    Deborah – these photos were taken in September and the forage was good where I found these guys. I mean, the way they look says it all.

    Patricia – I’d be proud to have any of these guys in my paddock, but I certainly prefer to see them right where they are. Good looking horses!

    I love that Roxy, “running jewels sparkling in the sun.” And they were!

  21. pnickoles Says:

    Hi Katrine – thanks for your comments. Love to share the wild ones with you all. 🙂

    Hi Kelly – that was my first trip to the Divide Basin HMA. It’s huge, but we just didn’t find many horses. The ones we did find were all in great shape!

    Ronnie – I hope you’ll be able to to see the wild horses for yourself some day too. It’s a life changing experience.

    Hi Linda – I’ve had 5 horses in my life. Three palominos and 2 bays. I can understand your choice of the big bay. 🙂

  22. pnickoles Says:

    Hi Karen – it was a treat to see these guys. 🙂 I hope they’ll get to remain free.

    Maggie – we did find 2 bands with mares (and foals) and they looked just as good. We only found 4 bands in total, but all of them were comprised of very healthy looking horses.

    Arlene – I can certainly sympathize with you. I am so anxious to get out for winter photography in the ranges, but the weather just won’t cooperate.

  23. Chris Harker Says:

    Beautiful pictures. I am also partial to palominos. I don’t ride anymore, but my horse was a palomino quarterhorse. That was over 30 years ago but I still think they are the most beautiful.

  24. Puller Lanigan Says:

    Hi Pam, thanks so much for keeping these guys in the forefront of everyone’s mind. I don’t know if I should laugh or be nervous, but when I saw the Pal, I had to look at a photo I printed of ‘the cutting horse’ to see if it was the same guy (from September). It was and I was excited, and then looked up his friend. It wasn’t until I got to the bottom that I saw this was a rerun. But always a pleasure to stroll down ‘memory lane’. I just hope these guys remain on their turf and don’t become memories.

    Thanks again!

  25. Beautiful picture story… they look healthy and well “fed”….

    Petra Christensen
    Parelli 2Star Junior Instructor
    Parelli Central

  26. […] is a link to a previous Blog post about a group of Great Divide Basin bachelor stallions: https://nickolesphotography.wordpress.com/2011/01/22/divide-basin-bachelors/ Divide Basin […]

  27. Patricia Says:

    Those are some good looking boys with some good looking mives

  28. Arlene Says:

    Dear Pam , know why you are so successful with the Wild Mustangs just like their counter parts the domestic Horse once they pick up your scent they analyze it , once they figure out who and what you really are they apply accordingly, they really know you from your scent, I also know all the people I know and are close to me from their scent , I could be blind folded in a room and have all my friends there and I can tell you who is who by just the scent , I also know who they are and where their heart is each one of them…………….The Thoroughbreds i know at the Track here in my area….. I swear they pose for me when I take their photo, horse of all kinds and breds have this ability !!!!! The Mustangs determine from your scent that you are not a threat to them, thats why they welcome you with the Folly , they are saying to you , you are interesting to them and they fear not of you, so they show to you what they would never reveal to anyone else, It is an Honor they bestow to you !!! How lucky you are Pam !!!!!! Every Horse I meet I always after studying them for who and what they are , I breathe into the Nose so there is no mistake of who I am to them !!!!!

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