Meet "Jet Stream", member of the west herd of the McCullough Peaks Herd Management Area (HMA) in Wyoming.
The McCullough Peaks HMA consists of two herds - east and west. Most of the west herd horses are of solid colors with a few exceptions, whereas the east herd displays a large number of pintos. Although the east herd mustangs are definitely more "popular" due to a larger number of horses and their striking colors, the west herd has a lot to show - gorgeous, rugged looking horses with incredible manes and big attitudes. Bays in Wyoming are definitely not boring.
There I met "Jet Stream" a couple years ago.
Solid black, full mane and long forelocks covering a face only shown when the wind blows, this mustang is much more than a knock out wild stallion. Like "The Old Man" of Onaqui in Utah, he is a poster child for wild horses.
Day after day, "Jet Stream" is faced with an autoimmune condition (according to the local Bureau of Land Management -BLM) that causes the swelling of his fetlocks. Watching him move around is painful, especially when he’s getting up from a nap - stiff and slow.
But this sweet boy is also a fighter - when faced with adversity, he does not back down despite of his condition. Total resilience. Total confidence. If you didn't know better, you would think there is absolutely nothing physically wrong with him.
His spirit and attitude make him an inspiration to us humans.
An equestrian for most of her life, Maria combines her passion for horses with her art and the desire to bring public awareness to the American wild horses. Maria Marriott Photography is a proud supporter of several non-profit organizations that tirelessly work to ensure the well-being of the American mustangs.