Abandoned car in a Horse Spring gully


     Yeah, Horse Springs. Isn't it great?  With everything you'd expect: a gulch, wooden fences, old mailboxes on posts, broken cars, even a resplendent white church so you don't start thinking that where you come from is so much more superior. So get out of the car. And stand there. And look around. And after a moment, say "Wow."


  • COUNTY:  Catron
  • LOCATION:  On NM 12, 28 miles west of Datil
  • POST OFFICE:  1879-1882
  • NAME ORIGIN:  Named for a horse lost in the area by soldiers

      The personality of New Mexico takes many forms. Santa Fe style. Egghead chic in Los Alamos. Tenebrous Trinity Site. But style is too often concerned with the high-brow, without proper credit given to the appeal of pure, stark honesty. Horse Gulch has that kind of style. Like the chain-smoking cousin you can't help but like because he tells it like it is, Horse Springs isn't hiding anything or pretending to be something else. There's no ooh-la-la here. Horse Springs is a WYSIWYG kind of place.

      It works. Notice the abandoned cars in the gully east of town. Nobody thought to sweep them under the rug before the visitors came. But it's a nice touch, a bit of honesty. Or the faded lettering on what was once probably the only commercial building for miles around. No potted plant will cover that up. No need to. The building wouldn't seem complete without it. Sometimes when the cracks show, the wall seems that much more important.

      This is no first date. No clumsy attempts to impress, no sucking in the gut just before the photograph is taken. This is Horse Springs, raw. Drive there. Enjoy it for what it isn't as much as what it is. And mind the gulch.

      Horse Springs. Wow.


(click on the thumbnail image to see a larger picture)

The view upon arrival into
Horse Springs.

The road past Old Horse Springs,
two miles east of Horse Springs.