|In Autumn the leaves of the high mountain aspen trees are afire with beautiful oranges, golds and reds. Carved into their trunks are centuries old calling cards, the monograms of Basque shepherds. The wild Appaloosa horses have taken shelter in the grove, their painted coats providing the perfect camouflage. They move effortlessly between the trees, phantoms in the autumn haze.|
The wild horse of North America, the Mustang, is descended from thirty Spanish Mustangs brought to the continent by Christopher Columbus in 1493. Escaped, stollen or released, horses began to breed, establish herds and spread across the West, where today they range in tens of thousands. To keep the wild herds healthy, mustangs are caught and trained as part of prison rehabilitation programs and are known to be excellent working and ranch horses. Considered a "living symbol of the West", mustang herds are protected and managed by the Bureau of Land Management and can still be observed roaming free throughout Nevada, Montana, Wyoming and Oregon.