The Astounding Free Range Horses of Patagonia~

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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.
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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.
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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.
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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!
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Cheers to you from the horsey Holler!

201 thoughts on “The Astounding Free Range Horses of Patagonia~

    1. 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~

  1. 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

  2. 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.

    1. 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~

  3. 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.

  4. 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 πŸ™‚

  5. Amazing shot of the horses kicking up dust coming towards you! And the pictures with the mountains in the background soaring high, are breathtaking!

  6. 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.

    1. 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~

  7. 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!

    1. 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~

  8. 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. πŸ˜€
    I thought that you might want to try to capture such a scene if you encounter it. πŸ˜€

      1. πŸ˜€
        If you see a Chinese-ink horse painting, count the horses. There is a huge chance that there are 8 horses in it. πŸ˜€
        (“8 horses” is one of the several popular themes in Chinese art)

    1. 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~

      1. 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!

  9. 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!

  10. 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!

    1. 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~

    1. 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~

  11. 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…:)

    1. 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~

  12. 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.

  13. Pingback: Cometh the hour, cometh the horse…. | silkannthreades

    1. 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~

  14. When I initially commented I clicked the “Notify me when new comments are added” checkbox and now each time a comment is
    added I get four emails with the same comment. Is there any way you can remove people from that service?
    Thanks a lot!

    1. 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~

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