A Horse That Will Not Tire

“Those dreams are tied to a horse that will not tire.” – Sting, Desert Rose

wild horse photography of stallion in full gallop
A motivated stallion in a full gallop over uneven terrain.

The Wanderer

A sweeter moment cannot be captured. Completely at ease, a colt ambles past. Young enough to still be a baby but old enough to be independent of his mother, this soon-to-be-weaned colt gave me one of those rare moments of natural perfection, and one of my favorite things; a horse being a horse, in the most beautiful way.

wild horse photography of a sweet-faced colt
All the innocence and curiosity of youth is captured in this colt’s face.

Lighthearted Romp

Green spring grass and a new colt launched in an exploratory flight pattern, for your enjoyment. The vibrancy of this moment is contagious.

wild horse photography of a new colt galloping
A springtime shot of a new colt showing off his awesomeness.

Allegiance

Minus the moments of exasperation with older foals, the mares that have a foal, year after year, (bless their hearts), are able to remain steadfast and committed to the bond with their baby even as their dependence on their mother decreases with age. These two still maintain a strong allegiance though the colt is self sufficient now.

wild horse photography of a mare and colt approaching
An intrepid entrance by a dominant mare and her colt.

Oak Halo

A beautiful and serene image of a foal foraging among the fallen branches in a mature tree. It is a sadness that so many trees have fallen during our prolonged drought, but nature rolls through cycles of good times and hard times.

wild horse photography of a colt grazing beneath a fallen oak
A grazing colt weaves in and out of the branches of a fallen oak limb.

Quiet Repose

I see lovely imagery of horses daily; often they are stout steeds with thick manes and tails billowing, flashy markings, arched necks, and animated limbs creating instant dreamy joy for any horse lover, myself included. The same effect can be achieved by a common horse in quiet repose in a familiar local setting. Horses are amazing.

wild horse photography of a filly in the woods
An early morning meeting with an curious filly.

Then and Now

Both ages, so far, show this colt to still be aloof and flashy. It’s always fun to see a then-and-now picture of the horses that have been long term herd members.

wild horse photography showing the same colt four years apart
This is the same colt about four years apart.

Restorative Hour

Watching the horses mosey about in the last light of day has great calming benefits; often the golden hour becomes the restorative hour. Grazing peacefully in the late-day sunlight, this mare and foal take advantage of a harvested oat hay hillside. Active wildfire and drought have currently tightened up the roaming territories for That Herd.

wild horse photography of a mare and foal grazing lin the late-day sun
One of the youngest members of That Herd grazes peacefully with his mother.

Nature Remains Unchanged

“The nature of the horse remains unchanged, whether it carries the saddle of the prince, or whether it draws the cart of the wagoner. The noble ones accept the yoke, they serve, but will never be slaves, for to themselves they can never be traitors.”

–H.H. Isenbart, The Kingdom of the Horse

Coming across this image the other day I was struck by two things. One, the green grass that is too short lived here, and two, the body language of the foal, which matches the Olympic athletes currently competing in Rio. The unfocused eye, the head tilt, the challenger-ear position, the balance and propulsion, all speak to the innate ability of a horse’s grace and quality of courage and energy, just like the Olympic athletes when in their “zone”. (Accept, of course, humans don’t display the challenger-ear position, a phrase I totally made up, by the way.)

wild horse photography of a new colt galloping with attitude
Even in his first week of life, this colt shows an attitude of presence and confidence.

Twilight’s Rosy Blush

The open, interested expressions on these horse’s faces end my day with validation. It is a boost, indeed, when these independent souls greet my presence with curiosity, and initiate inspection. The horses will gather near and around me, but cannot be touched. Our interaction is voluntary and the horses are often amiable and interested. They take turns inspecting and interpreting me, according to pecking order, and strength of disposition. One by one, if they are inspired, they will approach and sniff and stand near. Some are more willing and accepting of a person than others.

wild horse photography of curious horses at twilight
Twilight’s rosy blush touches a band of horses, eager and curious about my appearance.

Gold

” … This is the age you are broken

Or turned into gold.

This is the age you are broken or turned into gold.”

–Antonia Michaelis, The Storyteller

wild horse photography of an inquiring filly
“The child’s naive dream of life is the only one worth having.” – Marty Rubin

Companion Nostalgia

Long-time buddy mares have produced two long-time buddy colts.

These two images were taken almost exactly four years apart. As you can see, the colts still spend time together.

wild horse photography of two colorful colts
A couple of colorful lads in the last light of day.
wild horse photography of two buddy mares and their foals
Inseparable mares and their foals meander through a meadow.

Acceptance Works Both Ways

I can think of moments spent observing horse behavior that have been revelatory and memorable, it is, however, moments as simple as this that ground me. To be observed with such amiable interest, to become a temporary figure of interest to another creature, instills harmony and respect that you carry forward with you as you move through your days.

wild horse photography of three horses gazing with interest
Sometimes the horses pass the time observing me.

See Far Enough

“The health of the eye seems to demand a horizon. We are never tired, so long as we can see far enough.”

–Ralph Waldo Emerson, Nature

wild horse photography of a paint mare exploring the view
A painted mare casts her gaze over an improbable view.


The Virtues of Leisure

Free roaming horses graze a lot. I am aware that for the purposes of sharing horse photography online the mundane procurement of nutrients is not electrifying, so I keep those images to a minimum. Grazing horses do not fit into today’s digital insanity and media over-stimulation, but I like the value in good ol’ leisurely munching and browsing. Daily, whether we like it or not, we are subjected to news in 140 characters, six second high speed videos, chatting that occurs in snaps, and likely lots of scrolling through a plethora of advertisement-laden personal imagery and personal attacks and affirmations. This site is all about taking a deep breath and considering the virtues of a life lived outside and the benefits of observation and wonder, so to this cause, I give you horses calmly browsing in the morning sunlight upon a hilltop.

wild horse photography of three horses browsing on a hilltop
An interesting trio of That Herd members graze in unison up and over a hilltop.

Imagine and Remember

” … It still offers us this ability to imagine–and remember.”  –Arthur Middleton, Ecologist

The “it” being the remarkableness of all things untamed.

This statement strikes me as appropriate for my attraction to That Herd.

wild horse photography of a skeptical black horse
A foundation member of That Herd assesses my presence.

Dry, Drier, Driest

The horses adapt. This is the dry phase of early summer. Coming soon, the drier and driest months.

” … (summer) is motionless, and hot. It is curiously silent, too, with blank white dawns and glaring noons, and sunsets smeared with too much color.”
―Natalie Babbitt, Tuck Everlasting

wild horse photography of a stallion in a parched landscape
Summer has just arrived but the evidence of early heat is clear.

Coming Together

This is an unhurried meeting between two horses that like each other. They pressed foreheads, stood eye to eye, and touched cheeks without anxiety, snorting or squealing, all common antagonistic behaviors. They graze amicably, often not more than a couple feet apart even though there are a few years difference between their ages.

wild horse photography portrait of two young horses greeting on another
These two horses have formed a friendship.

The Burn of the Sun

Summer has set in with it’s usual severity. The burn of the sun and the wind have forced a slower pace to the longer days.

wild horse photography of two mares eduring early summer heat
Saying goodbye to the sun after a very hot day.

Clever Mare

Disrupt, interfere, impede. This is what she does.

wild horse photography portrait of an intelligent mare
This mare shows signs of intelligence beyond the norm for a horse.

“The fact that the lower animals are excited by the same emotions as ourselves is so well established, that it will not be necessary to weary the reader by many details. Terror acts in the same manner on them as on us, causing the muscles to tremble, the heart to palpitate, the sphincters to be relaxed, and the hair to stand on end. Suspicion, the offspring of fear, is eminently characteristic of most wild animals. Courage and timidity are extremely variable qualities in the individuals of the same species, as is plainly seen in our dogs. Some dogs and horses are ill-tempered, and easily turn sulky; others are good-tempered; and these qualities are certainly inherited … ” – Charles Darwin, On the Origin of the Species