Deepening shadows signal the close of a long day for a cowboy working for the Bureau of Land Managment at a Nevada corral. Peering over a maze of fencing, he and his young daughter view mustangs that are being loaded from pens into trucks. After being gathered and processed, the wild horses may be be adopted or taken to refuges in several states.
An estimated 35,000 wild horses roam western lands and many are descendants of Spanish horses brought to the New World in the 1500s. In the 1800s, the Spanish stock began to mix with European horses favored by settlers, trappers, and miners, that had escaped or were turned out by their owners.