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Scott A. Woodward / Ulaanbaatar / Mongolia

Photographer Scott A. Woodward captured this scene of wild-eyed horses in Ulaanbatar, Mongolia.

Published on Aug 3, 2017

Traversing the vast, enigmatic Land of the Nomad—from the dusty streets of Ulaanbaatar across the Great Steppe to the edge of the Gobi Desert and back again—was truly one of the most exhilarating and memorable photographic adventures of my life. Each day brought a fantastic new experience to document: I witnessed soaring Golden Eagles, explored centuries-old architecture, observed a camel train crossing mountainous sand dunes, camped under an endless star-filled sky, met traditional artisans, skateboarded with Ulaanbaatar teenagers, and stepped backstage at a traveling Mongolian circus. But one of the most memorable photographs I made was of a nomadic horseman herding and breaking wild horses on the grasslands outside the capital city; the sheer strength of both the man and the beasts was palpable. In a nation where horses outnumber people, it is famously said that, “a Mongol without a horse is like a bird without the wings.”


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