Woody Galloway, Photographer, Santa Fe, New Mexico
Wild pinto horse in New Mexico Mountains snow

He was a wild horse running free for a long time. He roamed Northern New Mexico near the Colorado border, close to Chama. I heard about him many times when I visited the High County Restaurant in Chama. The old men told of his beauty, as he ran from those who tried to catch him.

The horse had a price on his head–thousands of dollars–to the one who could catch him. He would be an excellent breeding stallion, making his owner much money. I decided to make it a goal to find him and capture him myself, with my camera. One of the old-timers told me where I might be able to find him. I went there on a cold and windy day. There was about a foot of new snow on the gorund, and it was blowing in every direction.

I found an area high up near the Brazos Peaks. The river there was frozen over, but I could hear a trickle of water running below the ice. I walked along the river in the morning light, with the wind blowing through my heart, my hands cold, and my fingers seemed frozen. For two hours or more I followed the river, and then, near some red willows, I saw the tracks of the wild one. He was close by, watching me, I thought.

Those who were trying to cach him had imported the finest sweet oats, and spread them along the river and canyon. I saw some of the oats they had left in feeding toughs. It was then that he came running along the river’s edge. I got one photograph of him, and I asked him a simple question as I released the shutter.
“Why do you pass up the sweet oats that are left here for you?” He just looked at me as he ran, and said in reply, “Is the baited hook worth your freedom in the ocean?”

Galloway Images, Santa Fe, New Mexico
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