Uncover the mystery behind the wild horses of Southern Alberta, Canada

About Wild Horses

Magnificent and proud, with highly arched necks and strong, teacup-shaped hooves, the wild horses living in the Ghost Forest are a far cry from their domestic counterparts.

That’s what struck wildlife artist and conservationist Maureen Enns, who has spent years studying wild horses, often on the back of her domestic mare.

Maureen_on horseback“My horse, if left in the wild, would sink up to its belly (in the marshland) and die….but these horses have been running free, in this pocket of land since the early 1900s. Because of that, they’ve survived generation after generation – they’re as wild as any ungulate running wild out there.”

There’s also a marked different in their behaviour, says Enns, noting the wild horses tend to carry themselves differently, almost with a sense of pride.

“Additionally, a domestic herd doesn’t operate on the degree of politeness and protocol that completely exists in the wild herd. From the day they’re born, they’re taught to focus on certain things for protection, and if they don’t focus, I’ve seen an older horse reach over and bite the rump of a younger horse to get them in line.”

It’s no surprise these characteristics have been so tightly ingrained, given they’ve been living this kind of existence in the Ghost Forest for close to 100 years, which Enns believes is unique on the planet.

“I continually wrestle with the fact it’s not a domestic, nor is it a free-roaming feral; they’re wilder than most deer who wander through my yard. It’s a tough bridge in your mind to cross. But once you start to cross it, you’re entering another world, and it’s a world that takes you back in time.”