Liv's experience with wild horses
As soon as I accepted a job in the state with the majority of wild horse ranges I knew I had to visit some for myself. Having visited HMAs before, I knew the challenges of exploring unfamiliar terrain. I also knew the benefit of having experienced locals provide direction and wisdom before visiting.
Despite my eagerness to see the horses I selected the herd that had the strongest social media presence, and contacted them to see if conditions were safe enough for me to visit the range for the first time. Not only did they give me accurate information to keep me visiting in safe conditions, they watched out to make sure I had the right driving directions.
Due to the masterfully worded stories and photos on facebook I was beginning to recognize the range, and horses. The young stallion Zorro was the first horse I saw, and had a reputation for being inexperienced. Yet, the band I saw was a close family, and clearly looked out for each other.
That first view of Nevada's wild horses provided foreshadowing to the next six months living in Nevada, and the time beyond staying in contact with the locals that value the Fish Springs horses despite having moved states away. As I continued to explore the Fish Springs herd, I saw horses that only surpassed the bonds they have for each other.
Mustangs have a lot to teach us. They tell us stories of survival, endurance, and strength. Love, kindness, and a fondness for family. Even if those family members are not related by blood. Those values and more are reflected in personalities of the mustangs I met living in in Nevada, and the communities of people that love and support the mustangs that I have become aquatinted with along the way.
Seeing the mustangs in the Fish Springs herd piqued my interested about other nearby herds. Possibly the best known herd in Nevada are the Virginia Range Horses. Since they are spread out between many communities, there is a lot of general information about the horses, but specific information is limited.
Always eager for adventure, the challenge did not daunt me. Taking a detour before a weekly visit to the Fish Springs herd, I decided to look for the Virginia Range horses. Finding some along a busy highway, I stopped to get some quick pictures. Knowing parking along the road was not safe for the horses or me, I continued to the Fish Springs herd.
Although the Fish Springs herd had my interest at the time, I continued to research the Virginia Range horses. By chance, a coworker gave me directions to see mustangs in Reno. Seeing horses so close to roads and residential streets was different than any other experience, but no less magical.
The Virginia Range horses have their own set of challenges, but like all mustangs are adapted to their environment. Somehow simultaneously holding the epitome of historic west, while adapting to the modern world.