December 9, 2022

Capturing wild horses is no effortless feat, but a single photographer has invested seven many years perfecting her craft, capturing wonderful images of the majestic creatures.

Susan Goudge dodges rattlesnakes and promotions with the intense Arizona warmth to capture wild horses jogging, combating, and loving.

“Being a wild horse photographer offers me a cause to get outside the house and delight in character while executing something I love,” she tells PetaPixel.

“Being with the horses and viewing their interaction with just one one more is magical, and I understand anything new each individual time I’m out with them.”

horses

three horses

Goudge grew to become interested in wild horses right after relocating to Arizona exactly where she uncovered they lived alongside the Salt River.

“I was intrigued, and began studying all I could about them, and how and in which to see them,” she states.

“Along the way, I met other wild horse photographers, who shared their know-how with me, and I quickly became hooked.”

horse spar

Goudge states that respect for the horses is a must and so is providing them lots of area, producing a long lens important.

“One of the initially items of suggestions I was offered was to stay driving a tree if possible, in particular if the horses are sparring, and it’s been excellent guidance,” she describes.

“I just want to observe and photograph them without the need of disrupting them, as any ethical wildlife photographer does with the animals she’s capturing I can shell out hours just observing and photographing them, and it is intriguing.”

Getting a Good Shot

Goudge takes advantage of a Sony A1 or A9 with either a 100-400mm or a 200-600mm to seize her photos but she attempts to travel gentle.

“Since I am normally hiking 3 to 5 miles during a photograph shoot, I only have a person human body and 1 lens, thanks to the excess weight,” she says.

gallop

band of horses

Goudge has to climb up rocky hillsides, duck below trees, walk as a result of cobwebs, wade as a result of rivers, and steer clear of rattlesnakes to get a very good shot.

“It’s beneficial to have a high clearance, 4-wheel generate auto due to the fact you generally have to look for for the horses on two-tracks,” she clarifies.

“Binoculars are also a should, since the horses can speedily journey good distances, and it may possibly need a little bit of searching to uncover them.”

This summertime, Goudge was bitten by a snake although photographing the horses. The good news is, it was a “dry” chunk but she has worn snake guards at any time considering that.

horses drinking water

horses running

Just like their tame family members, some wild horses are alright with people today about whilst many others are not.

“Finding the horses, and then getting shut plenty of to photograph them without disturbing them, is element of the obstacle of photographing wild horses,” describes Goudge.

“Understanding their actions will also enable you put together for a shot.” Goudge gives an instance of a band of horses heading toward a water resource.

“You have to hope you have guessed the ideal water hole to go to to get the remarkable shot of hundreds of horses working for water, enveloped in clouds of dust,” she claims.

“Some days you guess properly, other times you sit ready for them to crest a hill only to come across they’ve gone in a further way.”

Goudge suggests that she hopes her shots help people fully grasp the sophisticated social networks that wild horses have.

“The large action moments, these types of as horses sparring or working, undoubtedly get your adrenaline pumping although photographing them, but it is the tender times, this sort of as a mare loving her foal, or two stallions who are previous close friends greeting 1 yet another, that remain with you and pull at your heartstrings,” she provides.

Much more of Goudge’s operate can be found on her Instagram.


Impression credits: All images by Susan Goudge.