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Utah woman wild about wild horses, and they seem to like her too

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Posted at 10:35 PM, Jul 06, 2014
and last updated 2014-07-07 00:35:27-04

Kelly Jay is a photographer like no other. You'll see that in her photos, and in the video accompanying this story you'll get a glimpse of how she does what she does. But then again, it's just a glimpse.

I was fortunate enough to be her tag-a-long on just one of many days she's spent journeying into the desert. It started out with a ride in her Jeep. She blasted something called "Texas Country" through the speakers as we made our way south and west from Tooele, for many, many miles.

Kelly says she first learned of the wild horses from her boss at Dugway Proving Ground, a U.S. Army installation, where she works as a paramedic. She says she was "dumbfounded" the first time she saw them, nine years ago. A claim I'm quick to believe since she was still in awe the day I rode along, and frankly, I was too. I've seen a thousands of horses on hundreds of farms, but this was my first close encounter with wild horses. They're so unlike domesticated horses. Not better or worse, but they seem somehow like entirely different creatures.

It's worth mentioning that Kelly keeps track of the movement of the herd, and even the movements of individual horses, the entire time she's on foot in their vicinity. I forgot to do this at times, as the horses can become seemingly mellow. But another battle is always brewing and the last place a mere human wants to be standing is in the middle of two stallions ready to charge.

Wild horse encounters certainly aren't for everyone. In addition to the horses themselves, there's the triple digit heat, the rattlesnakes, and the badgers, all of which Kelly contends with in the region where the horses roam. For these reasons, the exact location of the story isn't shared in the video, or in this article. Anyone seriously interested can do their homework elsewhere, and put in the time it takes to build some small level of familiarity with wild animals (It may take nine years or so). Or you can skip all that and see and read about the magic moments Kelly has captured, on her Facebook page which is updated regularly.