A retired high school teacher has captured amazing shots of two wild horses toughing it out over a mare.
Susan Goudge, a former English teacher from Arizona, was hiking in Tonto National Forest when she saw the violent confrontation.
Two stallions - known to be half-brothers - had decided to challenge each other.
Goudge first spotted her favourite horse, Gaston - a dappled grey - along the Salt River.
'Whenever he appears, there is always some action, she said.
A retired high school teacher has captured amazing shots of two wild horses toughing it out over a mare in the Tonto National Forest in Arizona
Susan Goudge, a former English teacher from Arizona, was hiking in Tonto National Forest when she saw the violent confrontation
Two stallions - known to be half-brothers - had decided to challenge each other over a mare with a scuffle that became violent
Goudge added that she had seen Gaston towards the end of October accompanied by a 'beautiful young filly.'
She pointed out that it's not unusual for a stallion to be challenged when they've recently paired up with a mare and it seems that that was just what was happening.
Dramatic photos show the two stallions rearing up on their hind legs, butting heads and bearing their teeth.
In some pictures, the white horse's mouth appears to be bloodied
Goudge spotted her favourite horse, Gaston - a dappled grey - along the Salt River, locked in battle with a white horse she believes challenged him
Gaston was recently spotted with a mare and it is not unusual for horses to challenge each other when one acquires a new mate
In some of the pictures of the dramatic clash, the white horse's mouth appears to be bloodied from the impact of Gaston's blows
'It seemed like the battle went on forever, but it actually lasted under three minutes,' Goudge said.
She added that Gaston eventually saw the white stallion off and moved away from him.
'It was an epic fight between them, and I was fortunate enough to witness and photograph it!'
Goudge, who took the photos, said the two horses' fight seemed to last forever but was likely all over in under three minutes in reality
The image of the sparring stallions on their hind legs is reflected in the water of the Salt River in this dramatic photo by former high school English teacher Susan Goudge
Gaston and the white-coated challenger are seen bearing their large teeth menacingly during the violent confrontation
Goudge described the horses' fight as 'epic', saying she felt lucky to have seen it and to have been able to capture it with her camera
Tonto National Forest, where the clash took place, is the largest in Arizona at more than 2.9 million acres.
Wild horses have lived along the Salt River since well before the National Forest was created in 1902.
According to the Salt River Horse Management Group, an NGO that monitors the horses, the horses that can be seen along the river today are believed to have descended from Spanish horses brought to Arizona by Spanish missionary Father Eusebio Kino in the 1600s.
Gaston appears to nip his opponent's flank with his teeth while the other challenger horse tries to flee the Salt River fight
The wild horses that live along the Salt River are believed to be descended from Spanish horses brought by a missionary in the 1600s
Eventually the white horse breaks into a gallop to flee the scene and Gaston emerges victorious, presumably to return to his mare