I’ve HEARD about wild horses in the continental United States.  I always thought of wild horses as a.) the subject of a Rolling Stones Song or as some semi-mythical beasts that live in Montana or South Dakota, like a Sasquatch.

Courtesy: El Paso Zoo
Courtesy: El Paso Zoo

I found out this weekend that there are LOTS of wild horses in the mountains of southern New Mexico, only 100 miles from El Paso.

I went up to Cloudcroft for a little R&R. I stayed in a little cabin just a couple blocks off of the main street of town. At about 11 pm, I hear the whinny of a horse nearby. Fine, I thought. Somebody next door has a horse, a big whup. Then I heard the whinny of the horse AGAIN but coming from the other direction. There sure are a lot of horses in this neighborhood.

A minute later I hear the clip-clop of horse hoofs RIGHT OUTSIDE my FRONT DOOR! I had to investigate.  Walking at a leisurely pace was a full-grown blackish-brown horse. Just walking down the street!

Preakness Stakes Previews
Getty Images

I would have been willing to assume it was somebody’s horse that somehow got loose…except for what happened the very next night. I’m driving that two-lane backroad between Cloudcroft and Ruidoso. It’s a winding road and it was very dark, so it’s a good thing I was going under the speed limit. Otherwise, I might have plowed right into a herd (if that’s the correct word) of 6 or 7 horses. They were just walking down the highway like they owned it.

I brought it up to a local later that night: “Do you all have wild horses up here around Cloudcroft?”, I asked. “We sure do, sug!” (That’s how waitresses in small towns talk.)

KLAQ El Paso logo
Enter your number to get our free mobile app

“They’re all around these parts, but I haven’t seen them at all this winter”, the friendly Cloudcroftian said.  I suppose I got lucky; first for having seen them at all and second, for not crashing my car into a family of them.

I wish I had taken some pics or videos. Luckily, plenty of people already have. Check out these close encounters of the equine-kind in the nearby mountains of Southern New Mexico.

ABC News even had a story about it a couple of years ago:

That video is from closer to Ruidoso so I guess that means there’s a substantial population up there that has a fairly wide range.

One of our MoSho callers told us that the horses are the descendants of the devastating Little Bear forest fire of 2012. According to the caller, people realized the fire was going to consume their property so the last thing some of them did was to turn their livestock out so they’d at least have a CHANCE of surviving. Plenty of them did. You might even catch a glimpse of them on your next trip to Cloudcroft, Ruidoso or Mayhill. Even if you don’t, who knows? Maybe you’ll see a family of Bigfoots like in this recently released nature footage:

KEEP READING: Get answers to 51 of the most frequently asked weather questions...

More From KLAQ El Paso