Dreaming of Horses

“That night he dreamt of horses in a field on a high plain where the spring rains had brought up the grass and the wildflowers out of the ground and the flowers ran all blue and yellow far as the eye could see and in the dream he was among the horses running and in the dream he himself could run with the horses and they coursed the young mares and fillies over the plain where their rich bay and their rich chestnut colors shone in the sun and the young colts ran with their dams and trampled down the flowers in a haze of pollen that hung in the sun like powdered gold …”

– Cormac McCarthy, All the Pretty Horses

wild horse photography of a mare and new foal running in a meadow
They ran past for the sheer joy of running. It was a moment when nature can only be praised.

Are You My Mother?

When a filly wakes from a nap and cannot immediately find her mother, she makes several mistakes while soliciting each mare she comes upon for comfort. It was comical to see the foals much more upset by this than the mares. The images are explained in the captions.

The River

wild horse photography of a herd at a river bank
Horses traveling along a river bank. In times of scarce water the horses adapt, sometimes traveling long distances and sometimes not drinking every day.

Excellent Browsers

wild horse photography of a horse grazing between rocks
Horses are excellent browsers. When left to their own devices, they find suitable feed all year long.

Life is Good

wild horse photography of a mare and new foal in grass
This mare and her new foal look content on a late spring afternoon. Those birds are often seen on the backs of grazing horses, I’ve seen a dozen at a time on some.

Sharing the Love

wild horse photography of two colts face biting
The colts are in a constant state of provoking, testing, and tolerating each other. The also bond with each other and have a hierarchy of status among their herd-mates.

Accommodating the Interested Ladies

wild horse photography of a stallion with mares
This stallion was often surrounded by interested mares.

The Warning

During the first few days of life the mares are very vigilant with other herd members about keeping their distance from the newborns. As a whole, though, the mares and the stallion are very tolerant and accepting of each other.

wild horse photography a new mother warns another mare to stay away from her newborn
A curious mare receives a strong warning to keep her distance from a newborn foal.

Looking a Mess

wild horse photography portrait of a young horse covered in grime and burrs
I admit when I saw this band of horses, faces and legs covered in greasy dirt and stickers I was disappointed by their lack of majestic presentation. However, this horse, his face sticky with residue from native drought resistant flora and grimy with dust, topped with a crown of burrs, looks bright and quite proud of himself.

For As Far As The Eye Can See

wild horse photography of mare and newborn in oat pasture
Finding this mare in a field of oats gave me a real opportunity to see her new foal. Only a couple of days old in this picture, I had been trying to get a glimpse of this filly; her mother was always in a hurry to move away when I showed up and kept herself between me and the foal until she was out of sight. She is an elusive mare with a newborn so I started calling her Nemisis.

 

Frosty Morning

wild horse photography of a horse in a frosty meadow
A beautiful individual ambles through a frost covered meadow.

Portrait of a Natural Existence

” … we lost our ancient proximity to animals, and the clouds past [passed] swiftly by without us.”  -William Kittredge

wild horse photography of a stallion, mare and foal
Something has caught the attention of the herd stallion and a favored mare and her colt.