Tuesday, December 8, 2015

Horses & Wind - Mustangs In The Tehachapi Mountains

Mustangs & Wind Farm - Tehachapi, California
There is a herd of about 100 wild horses that live in the hills southeast of Tehachapi, California. Located in the Oak Creek Pass, and often seen near the Tehachapi-Willow Springs road, the horses live under the wind turbines.

Little is known about these horses. Some believe that they are descendants of escaped Morgan horses from a breeder that used to reside in the area over 100 years ago. Other people think that they are descendants of horses that escaped from Spanish explorers or native american tribes.

What's unusual about these mustangs is that they're all black or very dark reddish-brown. Usually mustang herds are multi-color, not a single color.
A Mustang In The Tehachapi Mountains - Tehachapi, California
Interestingly enough, you can adopt one of these wild horses for a reasonable $100. The powers at be are concerned that the population might grow too large--there's not much vegetation, especially in the winter months. Obviously you would have to tame the horse if you bought it.

It's not often that the horses allow you to get close enough for photography. I've seen them many times too far away for pictures. Occasionally I have seen them close to the road (they live on private property that's fenced), but usually as soon as you get out of the car and start heading near them they back away, making photography impractical. Recently, however, the mustangs allowed me to get pretty close and I was able to capture some images (using a Sony RX100 II).

If you ever find yourself in the Tehachapi Mountains and you're driving on the Tehachapi-Willow Springs Road, keep a close eye out for horses grazing on the grassy Tehachapi Mountain hills. Sometimes, if you are lucky, you'll see a large group of them near the road. Maybe they'll even let you get close--just maybe.
Up Close With A Mustang - Tehachapi, California
Two Mustangs & Wind Turbines - Tehachapi, California
Mustang - Tehachapi, California

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