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by Halley Sanford January 23, 2022 3 min read 2 Comments

Gracious and knowledgeable, Houston-native-turned-Nevadan Marty Wright made us feel right at home among her beloved wild horses.

Well, they’re not hers, per se – as she says, “these horses belong to no one, but they belong to everyone”. But when you hear the passion and familiarity with which she speaks of them, you can’t help but feel like they’re her babies in a way; she is certainly imbued with a sense of responsibility for them.

Marty, a wild horse photographer/guide in and around Dayton, Nevada, is also a director for the Wild Horse Preservation League, a non-profit organization dedicated to the protection and care for the wild horses that roam the “open-range” land of one of the most publicly owned states in the country. The organization provides veterinary care for injured horses (particularly those who fall victim to car collisions crossing the recently-widened Highway 50), prudently administered birth control, and perhaps the most interesting, tracking and monitoring the movement and genealogy of the family bands in the region.

“That was what fascinated us most over the few days we were out there photographing,” Cheryl said. “Watching them interact, or often not interact, with the other bands, and how they all deferred to the alpha, who was very protective and even when he got curious and ventured over to check us out, he always had one eye on his band and would bolt so fast that he’d just disappear into a cloud of dust. It was jarring and majestic and just, captivating.”

Marty, who devotes her time pretty selflessly to these awe-inspiring creatures and can tell you the name and lineage of almost every horse on the range, hasn’t always made her home in wide open spaces. In fact, less than a decade ago, she was a city mouse, crushing it in the real estate game in the ever-expanding city of Houston, until a series of chance circumstances on a random road trip ignited a magnetism in her soul that soon landed her in Nevada.

A bold and drastic move so far from home had many of Marty’s friends and family assuming that she had fallen in love. And, well, in a way, she had.

“Everyone asked me, ‘Did you meet a man there or something?’ and I would say, ‘A male, yes, and he’s a real stud!’” Marty laughed. “His name is Bodie; he’s a big, dark bay stallion. We were up at this spring high up in the mountains, this was in the Virginia Range, and as he was pushing his band down the mountain, he just turned and looked at me, as if to say, ‘Well? Are you coming?’ And I believe I actually said out loud, ‘Yeah. I think I am.’”

She told her friend that very day she was going to move out there, but not wanting to do anything too rash, Marty returned to her home in Texas and really mulled it over for about a year. When that cosmic pull was still drawing her toward the Sierra Nevada, she sold her townhome, her car, and even most of her furniture, and she bought a Jeep, packed her cat, and headed west. That was six years ago.

“I’ve been back, but I’ve never looked back,” Marty said. “I just felt like I belonged here.”

Turns out, wild horses can carry you away.

You will find some of Marty’s images featured in ourWild Horses catalog, and we encourage you to view more of Marty’s photography in albums on Wild Horses Carry Me Away.


2 Responses

JUlie Harris
JUlie Harris

January 23, 2022

Love It…

Carlos Fernandez
Carlos Fernandez

January 23, 2022

I’ve taken some “wild horse tours” with Marty she’s the best

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