Perhaps some of the greatest enjoyment in observing the newborn foals is the sense of no past nor future. Newborns live utterly in the present; this, of course, forced by their lack of lifetime and only the promise of potential. There is, I think, a great distraction and lesson in this sense of now. This filly is one day old and watching her (like the others) is a rare joy. Every day responsibilities fall away in the wake of the new foal’s discoveries and reactions. They earn your undivided attention. They inspire empathy and and all time is lost in wonder at their real-time strategies.
Announcing the arrival of the first foal for That Herd this year. This colt’s already proving to be a rock star; what with being born, and traveling and long and challenging distance in the same day. Good work, mother, and welcome to your new colt.
There are no foals yet, but evidence of spring in abundant. Marching through a sea of insects, these young fillies are nearly slick with their summer coats, and filled with vitality after winter rains brought lots of new grass.
Hello friends, I’ve been away from my computer for a couple of weeks. Springtime means new foals, so I expect to be posting on a more regular schedule now.
This horse might easily be underestimated due to his quiet, standoffish manner. I expect there is quite a lot going on in his mind though. He is observant and absorbs every nuance of his surroundings. He likes to be left alone, so I like this image of him, looking handsome and solitary. He does mingle and cooperate with his herd group so his alone-time is his preference.
Two young (castrated) colts, completely full of themselves, mock battle and exaggerate with each other each time they come together.
Horses are naturally curious. Investigations are alert and often poised for flight. In a free range environment, there are so many opportunities for investigation the horses become relaxed and steady when exposed to new stimulus (most of the time).
Several rainy storms have passed through this winter, creating lots of mud and green grass after many years of drought. For a time, paradise is being celebrated by all of the That Herd horses. This three-year-old colt is an example; any excuse to run and buck is exploited.
“The sun, the hero of every day, the impersonal old man that beams as brightly on death as on birth, came up every morning and raced across the blue dome and dipped into the sea of fire every evening.”
–Zora Neale Hurston, The Gilded Six-Bits
At first light, several horses walk softly along a path in a wooded area while patches of light illuminate a hillside in the distance.
I can take a hundred photos of the same horse, but only very rarely do I feel like I captured a picture of the horse I see in in that moment. The differences in the images are slight, and without anything to compare it to, you, as a viewer would not find fault with the horse’s portrayal. For example, this image spoke to me while several other images that are very similar, did not. This is a complex young mare, who often disappears in a crowd. She is plain looking and quietly lives among her herd mates. These observations contrast the very real fact that she is an amazing individual with intelligence and fortitude. The less obvious qualities of a horse, when captured in an image, are priceless.
Free roaming horses have a mind of their own. They often strike out on their own temporary journeys without the inclusion of their herd mates. The horses mix and remix into smaller then larger groups, and sometimes prefer to explore independent of any company, like this intrepid mare and her new foal.
“Fairy tales do not tell children the dragons exist. Children already know that dragons exist. Fairy tales tell children the dragons can be killed.”
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.
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.
There is an air of fortitude and depth to this individual that is often unseen due to his obvious good looks, like a handsome man who is only judged for his visual appeal, his character and intellect deemed inconsequential.
The world is vast, it’s huge. What a gift it is to have a bad-ass-mom to lead you through your lessons while young. I cannot think you a single mare, as a mother in That Herd’s free range environment, that was not resourceful, vigilant and very long on patience.
” … She holds her breath. As if to stop any more time from passing, to stop the future happening. The peacefulness of the morning is almost heartbreaking in its fragility.” –Glenn Haybittle, The Way Back To Florence
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.
“Afoot and lighthearted I take to the open road, healthy, free, the world before me.” –Walt Whitman
“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
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.