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Wild Horse Photography: Wanderlust And Desert Dust

two wild horses measure each other

Two wild gray stallions of the Great Basin Desert of Utah size each other up, a normal ritual

before what can turn into a serious battle to establish dominance.

AWARD WINNER: IPA - International Photography Awards

Dusty two-track roads criss-cross hundreds of square miles of mountainous terrain 80 miles southwest of Salt Lake City, Utah. In this vast remote wilderness, bisected by the historic Pony Express Trail, and incredible background for great wild horse photography, roams a well-known herd of hundreds of wild horses

Encountering these living symbols of the Old West in this windswept, dust-covered desert environment is magical - especially as they gallop towards a watering hole at sunset or disappear just as quickly into the hills. I've spent several years observing and photographing this iconic wild horse herd - an incredible journey of dust, light and shadows.

Several of the resulting photos became the basis for my Onaqui Wild series.

black wild stallion standing within the fog

A beautiful wild stallion appears from within the fog in the Onaqui Mountains of Utah.

AWARD WINNER: PX3 - Prix de la Photographie, Paris

wild horse photograph of two wild mares standing together

FAIRIES High in the Onaqui Mountains of Utah, above the desert plain, there is a hidden meadow surrounded by imposing rocks. From this windswept “fairytale” land, these two inseparable gray mares peacefully overlook the surrounding desert. AWARD WINNER : IPA - International Photography Awards


Horses roam over approximately 240,000 acres of Federal, State,

and privately-owned land in the Onaqui HMA.

There is a wide variety of coloration in this herds, notably grays, roans,

and some remarkable pintos.

The historic Pony Express Trail runs through the range, with periodic markers

along the route.

wild horse black and white photograph of a wild stallion standing on a mountain

BEYOND THE MOUNTAINS A wild stallion from the Onaqui Mountains of the Great Basin Desert of Utah gazes intently over the vast desert plain and beyond the mountains. AWARD WINNER: IPA - International Photography Awards

close up of a wild horse

ONAQUI WILD In his eyes, wisdom. His body, a testimony of survival. He is legendary. Estimated to be in his late twenties in this image and the oldest recorded stallion in the Great Basin Desert of Utah, “Gandalf”, aka “The Old Man”, survived the harsh environment, countless battles,

and several round up attempts. AWARD WINNER: IPA - International Photography Awards

wild horse photo of a stallion drinking water in the desert

A lone stallion makes his way down the mountainside to drink alone. Solitude is the salve for a lifetime of battle wounds, serenity the reward for lessons learned and wisdom gained.

AWARD WINNER: 16th Black & White Spider Awards


a picture of two wild horses hanging on a gray wall


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wild horse photographer Maria Marriott displays a large canvas of one of her photographhs

An equestrian for most of her life, award winning photographer Maria Marriott combines her passion for horses with her art and the desire to bring public awareness to the American mustangs and the healing power of horses. Maria Marriott Photography is a proud supporter of non-profit organizations that tirelessly work to ensure the well-being of the American wild horses and promote healing through equine therapy.



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