• Petra Vandecasteele

The Wild Ones

Strictly speaking there are no truly wild horses left in the world today, except for the Przewalski's horses of the vast open spaces of Mongolia which were, until recently, at the brink of extinction.

Photo @ Bruce Boyd

Most of the horses we think of as "wild" are in fact domesticated horses gone feral. The wild horses of the Camargue in France, the American mustangs, and the Australian brumbies immediately come to mind. You may even have heard of the wild horses of the Namib, Namibia, but chances are slim you know about the wild horses of Rooisand near Kleinmond, South Africa. Yip, we have our very own wild [AKA feral] horses here in South Africa! And this, less than an hour’s drive from my doorstep.

While these feral horses are not truly wild in biological terms, they certainly are wild in attitude. And for many of us, they embody the essence of freedom.

Commercial photographer Bruce Boyd from Cape Town has spent hours in the marshlands of the Rooisand Nature Reserve near Kleinmond where these magnificent wild creatures roam freely. His photography is phenomenal and certainly leaves the viewer in awe of 'The Wild Ones'. He hopes that his photography and Facebook page will create more awareness about these exquisite beings and the vital role they play in their environment, so that they remain protected and cherished.

Photo @ Bruce Boyd

"They are rumoured to be descendants of horses hidden in the marsh when the English were advancing during the Anglo Boer War in the 1890's. Free from human intervention, these magnificent creatures have braved the elements for many decades. They fight often and fiercely and are covered in scars, appearing sometimes heroic and sometimes battle worn. No-one looks after them, and most people are totally unaware of them.

They play a very important role in the wetlands by keeping the waterways open ensuring that all the rivers flow freely and there are no stagnant pools. They have uniquely adapted to life in the marshy areas. Their hooves are double the size of 'normal' hooved horses. They devour the grasses that grow in the shallow waters ensuring the estuary does not clog up.

They have fearsome succession fights. You always find at least one fresh bloody hoofprint somewhere on a younger male. Apart from their wounds and scars, they look super healthy and shiny and are absolute pleasure to photograph.

Photo @ Bruce Boyd

By photographing them I hope to build awareness of them so that they and the area they roam in can be looked after and treated as valuable assets to the Overstrand area." – Bruce Boyd

Visit www.bruceboyd.co.za and buy his sublime photography to grace your walls.

Or follow The Wild Ones on Facebook

+27 (0)83 230 1881

Cape Town, South Africa

©2019 by Kids of Nature.