Click this Flickr link to view all photos: Wild Horses~Canyons Of The Ancients
Spring season is a good time to keep an eye out for wild horses in the wide open spaces, especially in the Four Corners region. In the local Colorado quadrant near this famous landmark there are two national monuments where wild horses can be seen on just about any given day. Hovenweep and the Canyons Of The Ancients are the parks to look for and one glance at a map will likely leave a willing visitor totally confused. The reason why is because there really is no direct pathway to either of these native heritage parks. The local back roads meander through the narrow canyon passes and maintaining one's own bearing can be a challenging task. Hovenweep and Canyons Of The Ancients are also surrounded by agricultural areas, ranches and tribal lands, which are like a buffer zone between the wilderness areas. All that can be said is patience will be needed when seeking the park access points, but the majestic scenery will guarantee a pleasurable journey. All along the way there are places where wild horses gather, so be sure to keep a camera handy when passing through.
I used to live in this area and I have traveled through the Colorado sector of Four Corners many times. Based upon observation, the behavioral pattern of the local wild horses changes with the seasons and there are unique nuances this time of year that are good to know. During winter, the wild horses are basically in survival mode and they tend to be scattered in small groups of two or three. Late spring through mid summer, larger herds of wild horses gather in open areas with little regard for the human presence. The narrow window between early to late spring is the most difficult time to spot wild horses around Hovenweep and the Canyons Of The Ancients National Monuments, because this is the wild horse foaling season.
During the spring foaling season, groups of mares and maybe a few alpha males will hide in the canyons till the newborn foals are strong enough to keep up with the pack. For this reason, stopping along the roads to have a good look into the many canyons will reveal a few surprises, so be sure to take it slow while passing through. A powerful lens will enhance the viewing, because the wild horses definitely fear the human presence when the young ones are in tow. Catching a glimpse of a newborn wild horse foal is guaranteed to be a memorable experience, so be sure to check it out when touring this neck of the woods!
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