East Douglas Wild Horses

November 20, 2012

This September was my first experience in the East Douglas portion of the Piceance Creek/East Douglas HMA in Colorado. I’ve spent a lot of time in the Piceance Creek area, but this was all new territory and horses. It’s always so much fun to explore unfamiliar areas.

On this trip, we were pretty much winging it since we had a general idea of where we should be, but no directions. We were driving along a main road when I looked down a side road and caught a glimpse of something. I had Tom turn around to make sure of what I saw, and then we headed down that side road.

Can you see it? A poop pile there in the curve of the road! A good sign. It means horses!

Click on the photos for larger/sharper views

We continued down the road, not knowing anything about what lay ahead. There was a very deep arroyo that followed the road to our left and the road got pretty narrow in places.

Wow – we did good! Found a water source right off the bat. Always a good place to look for horses (and other wildlife). And, it was full which is also important.

The road was starting to get kind of “iffy” and since we didn’t have any idea where it went or how much rougher it would get, we parked the Jeep and I got out to hike a bit before subjecting our vehicle to anything more extreme. Along the way, I saw these prints.

I think I was only gone for about 10 minutes, but when I got back, Tom had some pretty exciting news to share with me.

He said he was just standing at the water hole when he heard some crashing in the trees behind him and then he saw 3 horses come running to the water. I think they were as shocked as Tom was since they just stood staring at him for a moment and then took off again. No, he didn’t have a camera and I couldn’t believe I missed them! In any case, Tom described the horses to me (a bay, a gray and a black) and it was satisfying just to see how much he obviously enjoyed the encounter.

We hung out in the area for about an hour to see if anything else would come along, but nothing did and as we watched storm clouds building, we decided we’d better head out before the rain started.

As we were driving out, I was watching the canyon walls for “rock art” (pictographs or petroglyphs) which we’d been looking at all day during our Canyon Pintado tour that had brought us out this direction to begin with. As I was scanning, I noticed some movement and spots of color below the walls. Horses! Hmmm…a black and a gray. Tom took a look and announced those were “his” horses! I was going to get to see them afterall.

And then the bay came into view.

And they were off!

It was a somewhat narrow canyon, so we just drove beside them. They’re a fair distance away though, until the canyon starts to tighten down even more.

I think we were too close for comfort for them (we were across 2 arroyos, but I get the feeling these horses don’t see as many people) and they turned back and started up the slope.

Looks like something got the bay’s tail. It’s pretty short!

The black and the bay are both mares. The gray is the stallion.

They move so easily across the rocks and steep terrain. Is it any wonder I want a Mustang for trail riding?!

Heading straight up.

They stopped briefly to take in our position.

They climb so effortlessly as they continue to the top of the hill.

Almost there.

It didn’t take long at all to put us behind them. They were the only horses we saw, but we went back the next day and began the search all over again. We were not disappointed either.

Photos are for viewing purposes only. Most images available for purchase at: http://www.NickolesPhotography.com. Images by Pam Nickoles Photography, along with all site content are copyright protected and owned solely by Pam Nickoles Photography. Photos and/or text may not be used, downloaded or reproduced in any form without express written permission from Pam Nickoles Photography. Feel free to share, but please respect my copyright.

9 Responses to “East Douglas Wild Horses”



  2. Puller Says:

    All three are gorgeous! I can’t get over how ‘blue’ the grey is. The black is also a blue black and looks younger than the other two. Wonder if that is progeny of the two?

  3. Barbara Joseph Says:

    So gorgeous! The black looks like a Midnight blue, my favorit color because of a Midnight Blue Mustang stallion that came to me in many a dream.
    so glad you got to see them & get pics. to share

  4. Barbara Joseph Says:

    Forgot to ask, how are your wild babies in Az. doing?

  5. Nancy Roberts Says:

    always enjoy reading your blog.

  6. katrine pett Says:

    Wonderful experience Pam-thankyou for sharing!

  7. Lyn McCormicK Says:

    Wow ! Pam, what a great day ! Beautiful horses, beautiful country. Would love to join you on one of your trips sometime.

  8. Maggie Frazier Says:

    Super to see these horses away from the harassing of the BLM.
    Hope they stay free. They are so beautiful

  9. Great shots! What beautiful colors they have.

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