The free ranging wild horses of Patagonia are called criollos. They were brought to Argentina in 1535 by Spanish settlers and were bred from Andalusians. Hundreds now roam wild on the Patagonian Steppe and are considered native to Argentina.
My husband and I were out exploring one day deep into the steppe on a dirt road when we faced a herd of oncoming traffic moving at great speed.
We stopped the car and I got out as the criollos streamed around us and I got these shots. It was a thrilling sight!
The criollos have the best long distance endurance of any breed next to the Arabians.
They are hardy and able to live in harsh conditions and withstand the severe Patagonian winters.
By nature they are said to be tractable, intelligent and sensible.
We saw herds of them all over the steppe, sometimes at great distances. It was wonderful to see such beautiful horses wild and free!
Cheers to you from the horsey Holler!
201 thoughts on “The Astounding Free Range Horses of Patagonia~”
They are beautiful horses,who owns them Cindy?
In Argentina there are vast estancias or ranches, huge many thousand acre estates. It is possible that some horses are owned by the estancias and managed by the gauchos or ranch hands. But much of the steppe is wild and free as are many of the horses. Hope that answers my friend~
I love the picture of the horses running toward you. That is an awesome picture. Holler is a photographer heaven!
It was definitely a thrilling moment to watch them split and stream around us! Beautiful creatures!
These horses are so beautiful. I love horses…..thank you for sharing.
Thank you for loving them!
of freedom 🙂
Interesting about the origins of your horses. There is a breed of pure-bred wild horses of Spanish origin dating from c1500 on Abaco, Bahamas. 20 years ago 35 remained. 2 or 3 years ago there were 2 stallions and 3 mares. Now, sadly, there is one mare left in the world… RH
Oh man that is heartbreaking. I had no idea there were wild horses on Abaco. I guess the past tense is required. How sad~
That is truly sad.
They are amazingly beautiful, Cindy, and so are your shots.
You are very kind and I am so glad you enjoyed!
gorgeous horses — love the painting-like effect of your photos! 🙂
That was my prior camera…..it didn’t have quite the zoom of my current one but I still loved it! Thank you~
So beautiful! That must have been an incredible thing to see. 😀
Yes. It was a complete thrill. Everyday in Patagonia was a complete thrill. It is that sort of pinch me I’m here, place!
Very beautiful and very special! 🙂
We are in accordance about horses! Thank you~
Interesting info and great photos! Blessings, Natalie 🙂
Cheers to you Natalie~
Wonderful. All things should be free! And no one is until everyone is.
I agree! Don’t ask for whom the bell tolls…..It is marvelous to see horses free!
Wow! The horses are gorgeous and the scenery is breathtaking!
So happy you are back to blogging and very happy you like the horses! Cheers to you and can’t wait for your trip posts~
Beautiful! they are so majestic aren’t they?
Yes that is exactly the right word!
They are handsome, intelligent, sensible, majestic…! These are incredible captures, especially the thrilling sight!
Aren’t they beautiful! Beautiful wild horses in a beautiful wild place! Cheers to you Amy~
You do a great job at outdoing yourself! 😉
Laughing….the horses did it for me!!!
These pictures take my breath away. I get to see this on a daily basis from my back door. I love it!!!
You lucky duck! I would love it too!!
It is truly uplifting to see animals wild and free. The first time I saw two parrots flying overhead in the wild, my heart jumped for them – no cages, no artificial food, free as nature had intended them to be.
Oh yes!!! I had exactly the same joyous feeling in Australia and the Amazon. Parrot species I had only seen in cages, costing 1000’s of dollars, were flying, flocking and walking around!! I was speechless! So wonderful~
Aren’t they gorgeous. Wish all animals could roam freely. Food for the heart. Lovely photos.
Cheers to you and hope your shelter wins the grant! You certainly deserve it!
Magnificent animals .Civilization ‘s acknowledges their services to the humans. Great post.jalal
Yes we owe them a remarkable debt! Magnificent creatures. Thank you Jalal~
Cindy, what is your policy about using your pictures?
Beautiful shots of the horses!
My policy is I am honored if you use them! Thank you!
Gorgeous! what a breathtaking view …
I have only seen them in photos, I would love to
see them in their natural state of being
Thank you for sharing….Beautiful photographs…
Take Care…You Matter…
Wasn’t it remarkable! They enhanced the already amazing scenery. You comments are very kind~
What beautiful work….yet again…Cindy. So inspiring on many fronts.
Ahhh, so nice, thank you Gary!
Oh, how fabulous. As all wild things are, so free and stirring. I bet your heart was racing, and still you managed to get great photos. Well done.
Yes it was a fantastic adrenalin moment! Thank you Brenda~
Absolutely beautiful! Horses are such magnificent animals. It must be really awesome to see them running free like that. Thank you for sharing these photos 🙂
I am just very glad you enjoyed it! Cheers to you~
Amazing shot of the horses kicking up dust coming towards you! And the pictures with the mountains in the background soaring high, are breathtaking!
Patagonia is simply breathtaking everywhere you look! I hope you visit someday Halim~
It’s hard to imagine such large numbers of horses running wild and free. It stirs the heart, Cindy. Lovely shots of these magnificent creatures.
So glad it stirred your heart too Don! It certainly did mine~
Stunning photos, Cindy. What a special experience. Patagonia is on my bucket list and now I am even more keen to go. All the best.
You will be SO grateful you went. It is a magical place that is not to be missed! Cheers to you and thanks too~
Wow! I’d whistle the marlboro theme if I know how to whistle. Great shots ma’am
The horses seem to be in very good condition. So perhaps someone keeps an eye on them and makes sure they are in good health.
Patagonia is unbelieveably rich and verdant….similar to NZ in this way, so they have plenty to eat in the summer months. The winter is what surprises me! Hundreds of them roam wild but many also are in corrals, so it’s a little of both I guess. I never saw a horse that looked unhealthy though~
And speaking of New Zealand, did you see our wild horses when you were here? http://www.rarebreeds.co.nz/kaimanawa.html If not, you definitely have to return to take photos 😉
NOOOO! I missed them! That settles it. I HAVE to go back! Gorgeous~
Cindy, what beautiful horses! It must have been a wonderful experience seeing them roaming around free. Great pictures. Thank you for sharing. Hugs! Veraiconica
Hugz back to you and I am so happy you enjoyed the wild horses!
Absolutely wonderful Cindy! I love horses! Like you – when I was a teenager, I chosed my little pony before boys and party on saturday nights! Thank you for those lovely pictures!
Smart girl! The pony would never let you down!
What beautiful horses and beautiful photos of them… love this post Cindy…
Makes posting worthwhile! Thank you & cheers too~
Wow. Beautiful photos and a wonderful story to accompany them!
Very happy you think so! Merci beaucoup~
Wunderschön wünsche ein schönes week-end liebe Grüße Gislinde
Danke freundlich! 🙂
Reblogged this on Anything and Everything Possible 4 U and commented:
I love the free spirit that horses have and wish they would quit slaughtering them.
Oh how lovely of you and how very appreciated! Slaughtering wild horses has to be at the top of my list of stupid a** things people do! Thank you for drawing attention to this~
Cindy, I forgot to tell you this in your previous post.
Some Chinese people consider it a very lucky thing if one manages to capture eight horses in one photo. 😀
I thought that you might want to try to capture such a scene if you encounter it. 😀
Okay!! I consider this a new goal! I will errrr….focus on it!!
If you see a Chinese-ink horse painting, count the horses. There is a huge chance that there are 8 horses in it. 😀
(“8 horses” is one of the several popular themes in Chinese art)
I am on the lookout for this now! Thank you Hari~
My kind of horses FREE!!!!
Me three Eunice!
Lucky you to get so close to those magnificent horses. Fantastic photos Cindy
I knew you would love it!
Great Photo’s Cindy. I remember seeing wild horses when I lived in Arizona. It is an awesome site to see up close.
Yes!! I have seen them in Az & Nev but at some distance…..still it is always a big thrill!
Dang, I didn’t think to look for the Marlboro Man!! I bet he retired to Patagonia~
Beautiful photography of the horses Cindy. Really enjoyed seeing in their natural setting.
Wonderful isn’t it! No bridles or saddles!
I can hear the thunderous sound of swiftly moving horses, echoing around the World !!!
Oh what marvelous imagery and YES it was quite a thunder!
So majestic. So amazing. Sigh!
We have free range cows a the Holler. I am amazed at how social and intelligent they are. I guess we don’t want to think of cows this way since we tend to eat them……gives one pause~
Their eyes are HAUNTINGLY sweet. (and Chloe is not paying me to say that)!
Where is the “Holler?” I am in Napa. I love rattlesnakes!
The rattlesnakes were photographed quite close to Napa actually but the Holler is in rural SoCal north east of San Diego~
Beautiful photographs, Cindy — and what a wonderful stroke of luck that you came across a stampeding herd and snapped some fantastic photos of them!
It was a pretty amazing kodak moment I admit! LOL. But what is really wonderful is hearing from you!! Hope all is well with you~
It is, and I must say that your winter is looking fabulous if your pictures are any indication! Lol, and I am going to make every effort to get back into the swing of blogging — there’s so much to miss when you get behind!
Well I missed you and I am glad you are back!
Your fantastic posts never cease to amaze me, Cindy! What beautiful creatures these are.
Divine aren’t they! So many living things on this planet are! Cheers to you~
Even the pictures take my breath away. I can imagine how you must have felt seeing the herds roaming free. They are such gorgeous animals.
You and I are in complete accordance. There is nothing better than seeing healthy, happy animals roaming free! Cheers to you Dor~
You know my feelings about horses, Cuz. There aren’t enough words to describe how beautifull, how magnificent these wild horses are. Your pics captured those images much better than any words. Wish I could have been there to see them too. Hugs!
I wish you were too cuz! Cheers to you~
Cindy, your photographs always leave us in awe of the beauty this world has to offer! Magnificent animals, which live life as God intended for them. Free & wild~ This glorious look into their world is unbelievable. What an adventurer you are! You truly do live & breathe your art & it shows in your beautiful pictures. Thank you again for sharing this with all of us & for taking us on these adventures at every corner of the world & back!
People like you are what makes blogging so rewarding and worthwhile. Thank you for your incredibly kind and moving comments. They are so appreciated!
Reblogged this on Mungai and the Goa Constrictor.
Oh, this is so kind of your and so very appreciated! Thank you and cheers~
My pleasure, Cindy. I can never fail to be drawn to horses running wild. Thank you for your wonderful images 🙂
They are absolutely beautiful, Cindy. Wonderful action shots 🙂
I thought it quite nice of the horses to set up these shots for me!!! LOL~
Ah, Cindy, my homeland caballo criollo!. They are beautiful!. You have captured them so lovingly, la Patagonia is a land of wonder!. Thank you!
Patagonia is like heaven! So indescribably beautiful. To have grown up here would be such a privelege. We have been twice and all it does it make us want to go more!! I am so happy you think I did justice to the incredible criollos! Muchas gracias mi amiga y mucho gusto tan bien~
De nada, querida amiga! 🙂
Hello! Beautiful photos, beautiful blog! Warm Greetings from cold and snowy Poland.
My grandmother was Polish and I have never been and must visit! Her last name was Piontek! Cheers to you and thank you my friend~
Thank you! Wonderful photos. How lucky you were!
And you ARE, as you are still nearby! Safe and wonderful travels my friend~
Thanks. Where are you off to next?
Funny you should ask…..we leave Wednesday for Puerto Rico, St Croix and Tortola. We’re going to park in each place and spend some chunks of time on each island~
Sounds heavenly, swoon 🙂 Have a great time!
What beautiful creatures! And those mountains–breathtaking!
The incomparable Patagonian Andes! Thank you so much~
I just have to make it to Patagonia,Cindy. Beautiful horses and beautiful scenery. Have you read “In Patagonia” by Bruce Chatwin? –Curt
Yes!! Loved it! As I love Patagonia. It is impossible not to love it. You MUST go and take photos.I want to see them! We have been twice and want to go again!
How can I resist. 🙂 –Curt
what a beautiful post, I just love horses, beautiful photos like always!
So kind and so appreciated! Cheers to you Doris~
They are magnificent aren’t they! So happy you agree~
Reblogged this on Going To The Dogs and commented:
I simply can’t come up with one sound reason why humans would want to slaughter anything so glorious.
This comment never posted! I just found it on my dashboard! Thank you so much for this honor and for your defense of the horses!
ok I wanna go there!!!!
I hope you do!! You will just want to go back though……but it is well worth it!
It was cool. It was lucky for you to encounter such beautiful creatures.
Yes very lucky indeed and I am so glad you enjoyed them! Cheers to you~
beautiful animals so strong and free.
I am so glad you appreciated them and I agree with you!!! Cheers~
Willkommen auf meiner Seite.Danke,freut mich,dass du mir folgst.
Da sind ja tolle Aufnahmen.Mein Hobby ist die Naturfotografie.
lg aus der Suedsteiermark Alois.
Danke! Ihre Fotos sind schon und ich liebe deinen Blog!
Are you and The Holler safe from those fires?
Temporarily yes, but we are in extreme fire risk and most of the orchards around us are dying….thousands of trees are dead. The worst drought in recorded history. Not good at all. Thank you for thinking of us~
You know of course prayers are in the air on the way?
You are a gift on this earth Sachem~
Absolutely wonderful, both photos and the story!! I’ve only met a couple Criollos in real life, they both were excellent riding horses.
Oh how lucky you are! What a treat~
It’s a beautiful sight, seeing horses running free…must be rare these days. 🙂
It certainly was a rare and wonderful sight for me! So happy you enjoyed it & cheers to you~
Cindy–I’m with you, the free range is such a delightful anomaly–where it should be the norm. You capture the beauty and feel of the animals and place–the rushing freedom…a world class photographer, you should work for 60 minutes or something. One of the big ones.
Also–can you see that I have clicked the LIKE widget? i am having the **** time with my widgets and visits and oh my I am sick of it. I do like this, even if WP misses that mark…:)
Oh yes about 25% of the likes I post on people’s blogs get erased and I am sure it goes both ways. VERY frustrating! The wild and free horses of Patagonia were miraculous. Sad that it is so rare these days isn’t it? Thank you so much for your kind words. They mean a lot to me. Hugz to you~
What a magical experience this must have been, wow!
Magical is a good descriptor for Patagonia! Cheers & thank you too!
We will be visiting Patagonia in January 2015; thank you for a stunning preview!
The best month to go and you will be in paradise! I can’t wait to hear about it!
You never cease to amaze me with your talents.
Visa versa 2 U X 2!
Beautiful horses….would love to have been there!
I wish you were!!!!
Very handsome horses.
The animated film “Spirit” comes to mind. Great shots. 🙂
I will have to google it but thanks much until I can! (In Puerto Rico right now with poor internet!)
I know the feeling of coping up with slow internet connection.
Beautiful shots of these gorgeous, wild creatures, Cindy! Such a moment to have them all come thundering toward you!
For this and many other reasons, Patagonia is definitely on my bucket list…preferably by motorcycle.
Patagonia by motorcylce would be incredible and there are bloggers who blog about them. Check em out and I hope you not only GO, but blog about it!
These are absolutely beautiful ! Wonderful post!
You and very kind and most appreciated! Thank you~
woooww oh wooow, this is my dream come true!! You are sooo lucky Cindy!
But we are as well because you are sharing it with us 🙂
Thanks so much! xox
Awwww you are so nice, thank you! I hope you get there very soon and I look forward to traveling along with you too!!
How beautiful !
It is a beautiful part of our world! Thank you~
How lucky !
Hope you come soon!
Pingback: Cometh the hour, cometh the horse…. | silkannthreades
Truly outstanding shots, Cindy. Thank you for sharing them with us.
So appreciative of your kind words! Thank you!
Reblogged this on Voices and Visions.
Oh so very kind and so very appreciated! Thank you much and cheers to you from Tortola, island of outdoor wifi!
you slammed this one out of the ballpark! wow, the images are stunning! this is one of my favorites!
with slow internet i’ve missed so many great posts, but i am so glad that new zealand gallivanta spotlighted your post!
WOW!!! Thanks so much! I am out on the patio in Tortola fending off the bugs to try and connect to wifi and I have no idea what you are talking about but I will try and find out…..if the iffy wifi holds on! Thanks again! Very kind~
I love horses. These are beautiful photos! They are incredible creatures! Thank you for sharing!
So happy you enjoyed and welcome!
Beautiful beautiful photos! 😀
Patagonia is just a beautiful place filled with gorgeous horses! Thank you~
Reblogged this on Sound as a Crystal and commented:
Patagonia is beyond beautiful and you are beyond kind to reblog! Your kindness is so appreciated! Cheers & all the best to you~
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Yes! That is so annoying and I have done the same thing before! Go to ‘manage your blog’, ‘blogs I follow,” find my blog and untick the box that says notify me of any comments and you will stop receiving these!! Hope it works~