Zena, Daughter of Zeus

free range horse photography portrait of a weanling filly
The white eye feelers and white whiskers on one side are a unique look.

 

Zeus was the king of the ancient Greek gods, and the god of the sky, weather, law and order, destiny and fate.

This filly does not have a name, but I call her Zena because she may be the last daughter of a great stallion. Also, Zena means “born of Zeus, welcoming; hospitable; friendly, but with the severe burn of lightening. So far she matches that description. Long may she reign.

 

 

Lil Whippersnappers

free range horse photography of newly weaned foals on a hilltop
A few of the youngest That Herd weanlings find excitement at a higher elevation.
whip·per·snap·per
/ˈ(h)wipərˌsnapər/
noun
1. a young and inexperienced person weanling considered to be presumptuous or overconfident.

Enough of Everything

free range horse photography of a fuzzy filly in spring grass
A fuzzy coat and a green meadow are reminders of spring.

Time well spent leads to a life well lived.

Bravado and Caution

free range horse photography of three fillies looking innocent by a failing oak tree
Three fillies looking innocent by a failing oak tree.

Older foals never cease to entertain me with their mix of bravado and caution. These foals are old enough now to be fully independent; their explorations of me are constant and surprisingly intense.

 

Winning the Day

free range horse photography of two frisky weanlings
That Herd weanlings kick up their heels after a heavy rain.

That face you make when second place wins the day.

Protection

free range horse photography of a foal in tall stalks
For some foals, curiosity is best managed with a barrier, no matter how thin.

“Is there any instinct more deeply implanted in the heart of man than the pride of protection, a protection which is constantly exerted for a fragile and defenseless creature?” – Honere de Balzac

Good Conscience, Bad Conscience

This image reminds me of the old Looney Toons characters that sat on shoulders as good and bad conscience “angels”. One foal is quite mild and reasonable, while the other is always wild-eyed and suspicious, lurking over the shoulder of the other.

free range horse photography of two older foals
The 2018 foals have become quite independent.

Autumnal Sunshine

“I cannot endure to waste anything so precious as autumnal sunshine … ”

–Nathaniel Hawthorne, The American Notebooks

Summer passes into autumn but our new season simply blends into an extended summer, warm and dry. The spring and summer foals are growing into gangly youths ready to be independent of their mothers.

free range horse photography of a flashy colt
October light illuminates a growing colt.

Water Baby

A full water trough, after sucking water out of a mud hole swarming with wasps, is a pleasure indeed. This filly played and played, soaking all her herd mates in the process.

free range horse photography of a filly playing in water
A full water trough is a great boredom buster.

 

Good Judgement

“Much of human behavior can be explained by watching the wild beasts around us. They are constantly teaching us things about ourselves and the way of the universe, but most people are too blind to watch and listen.”

– Suzy Kassem, Rise Up and Salute the Sun: The Writings of Suzy Kassem

free range horse photography of wandering young colts
Young horses learn daily, guided by instinct and common sense. They learn from their mistakes and thrive when good judgement prevails.

Kill The Dragon

“Fairy tales do not tell children the dragons exist. Children already know that dragons exist. Fairy tales tell children the dragons can be killed.”

–G.K. Chesterton

Following months of personal and national ups and downs, I/we can find comfort in the everlasting reality that all will be well. This yearling colt is running with several older horses in remote countryside. The lessons he is learning every day will fortify his life in the most productive ways.

wild horse photography of a yearling colt in scenery
Tagging along with the older horses, this yearling colt runs in some rugged country.

 

 

 

 

Happy Winter

Happy Winter. Left to their own devices, horses manage cold weather quite well. Just because That Herd has long summer weather seasons doesn’t mean they don’t experience periods of freezing weather and uncomfortable winter conditions. This is a filly I like decked out in her winter coat.

wild horse photography of a winter filly
Bear-like in her winter coat, this filly is unfazed by the cold that has begun.

Hiding in Plain Sight

This group of yearlings keep their curiosity about people under tight control. After some searching under a blanket of low clouds and still air, suspicious pointy shapes (ear tips) in the distance turned out to be nine elusive yearlings.

wild horse photography of wary yearlings
A rough band of yearlings keeps their distance.

The World Before Me

“Afoot and lighthearted I take to the open road, healthy, free, the world before me.” –Walt Whitman

wild horse photography of a band of horses on a hilltop
A band of young horses, from yearlings to a few years old, amble out from under the shelter of a hilltop oak tree.

The One That Stands In The Open

“The strongest oak of the forest is not the one that is protected from the storm and hidden from the sun. It’s the one that stands in the open where it is compelled to struggle for its existence against the wind and rains and scorching sun.”

– Napoleon Hill

wild horse photography of a paint filly
A two-year old filly, at home on the range.

Still Sporting the Wild Look

About eight months has passed between these images of a riotous filly. As you can see, she still sports the wild eye and wild hairdo. She is as wary as they come, always the first to move away and prepare for flight.

wild horse photography comparing weanling and yearling filly
A filly, little older, a little taller, but still having a wild eye and wild hairdo.

 

Finding the Balance

“I know what you are thinking. You are wondering, ‘How is it that he is so strong?’. The man smiled and tapped his finger against his temple. The reason I am so strong is because I think I am.”   –Author unremembered

(Remind me if you know what book that quote came from).

In this case, the He would be She. The yearling is a filly.
An almost-yearling holds her own between a bossy two-year-old and a domineering older herd-mate.

Attitude and prudence is always a balancing act.

wild horse photography of three horses of various ages
A yearling, two-year-old and mature horse rally for positions.

Serious Play

These two weanling colts were persistent in their games of mock battle, coming together, then running away, several times on this bright morning. Alternating as the aggressor, each colt annoyed and/or attacked the other, each without intent to harm. You can see that the other horses mostly ignored their frequent rough collisions.

wild horse photography of two colts playing
Two colts engage in mock battle.

wild horse photography of a colt jumping on another colt
Over and over, these two colts jumped on each other.

wild horse photography of colts play-biting
Weanling colts never seem to tire of pestering each other.

wild horse photography of two colts play biting
Play bites to the face occur frequently with young colts and fillies.

wild horse photography of two colts in mock battle
Leg biting during mock battle gets rough with the weanling colts.

wild horse photography of two colts rearing while playing
The colts and fillies engage in rough play often.

Riotous Parade

The sun was well behind the mountain, the terrain was steep all around, and the horses were reveling in their youth and freedom. I was glad I was there to see it.

wild horse photography of young horses playing at dusk
As night sets in, these young horses leap and buck and disappear into the brush.

 

That Hairdo

Funny thing about this filly, one moment she looks sleek and composed, and then in a instant she is all wild mane, wide-eyed and leaving.

wild horse photography of a weanling filly with a wild mane
This weanling filly is a little wide-eyed and sporting a memorable hairdo.