While riding all alone across the high plains yesterday, me and my horse found this abandoned, starving and thirsty, wild-horse foal in the desert… (he must have fallen asleep when his herd left – by the state he was in, I was guessing 1-2 days ago).

Baby Mustang. Photo: Ivana Crone
Baby Mustang. Photo: Ivana Crone

I decided to attempt to deliver him back to his herd.

First, me and my horse had to befriend him, so he would follow us… – that was easy enough, since he was so lost and lonely. I got back on my horse and tracked the hoof-prints of the long-gone herd in the sand-dunes, with the baby-mustang trailing behind me. Until there they were – 50 wild horses in a distance. When they saw me they took off at a mad dash.

I knew I had to get VERY close for the delivery (the foal was so attached to my horse by now, he would have to leave him and join one of them instead). So I stretched my horse to a full gallop after them, the baby miraculously keeping up. And we stampeded away for awhile through the clouds of dust, me alongside the 50 wild horses… I was running so fast, managing little by little to close the distance to them… Until they noticed the foal!

The lead stallion pranced over to me, rearing and pawing with my horse, until he sniffed me and the baby, and then took off full-speed with the colt behind him. I saw him taking him to one of his grey mares, who let the baby feed immediately…

Ivana Crone is a climber and photographer contributing to Rockgrrl.com she spends part of her year on a cattle drive in California.