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Patagonia’s Last Wild Horses

Since 1540, horses have adapted to the raw and arid lands of Patagonia, an extensive and empty region increasingly affected by human intervention. Now, there are few locations sufficiently ‘wild’ for these horses.

To find them, on horse or on foot, is a challenging task, but to see them — to observe the behaviour of a horse as a wild animal — is an incredible experience, completely different to visiting horses in a ranch or on a farm.

Characteristic of Patagonia is rough weather conditions: strong winds and very low temperatures. Despite this, the horses are able to survive with scarce food and water. One can see how the stallion protects the herd, and how the matriarch drives and guides the others.

Published September 6, 2016 | Featured in

Country: Argentina

Country: Chile

Tags: ,

Photos by Eliseo Miciu Nicolaevic

A group of wild horses running in a storm looking for shelter in Patagonia
The horses search for a shelter to protect them from a strong storm.
Close up of a Patagonian horse's face
The horse’s mane flutters, a sign of the strong Patagonian winds.
Two wild horses standing amongst the rough bushes of Patagonia
Food is not plentiful: sometimes tough bushes are the only option.
A panorama of several wild horses standing side by side on the Patagonian plain
Once a year, a native community comes out to gather the wild herds, using some of them for meat.
Herding horses alongside a river and against the backdrop of a snowy Patagonian mountain range
Patagonian gaucho trying to drive a herd of wild horses to the ranch, El Calafate, Santa Cruz province, Argentina.
Two startled horses run on the Patagonian plains in opposite directions.
In possibly one of his earliest interactions with a human, the stallion sends the mares back to safety, and approaches to assess the risk.
Shadowy silhouettes of Patagonian horses against a starry night sky
To understand the lives of the horses, it is necessary to follow them for days, even at night.
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