Evoking images of a powerful rush of flying manes and stomping hooves, wild and estray horses have embodied the independent spirit of the Wild West.
However, some groups worry it may all become an illusion.
The Bureau of Land Management estimates 32,290 wild horses currently roam on public lands across the western United States. More than half of them - 17,679 - are in Nevada.
About 6,000 horses are captured every year and roughly the same number are adopted. Yet about 14,000 formerly wild horses are now kept in federal preserves.
While captivated populations are replaced by an 18-25 percent …