Grazing Game

A new mother and her foal make a game of browsing together on spent oat tops. The afternoon light is steeped in the warming hue caused by smokey air from a nearby wildfire.

wild horse photography of a mare and foal grazing on oats
A new mother and her foal browse on oat tops together.


When you select individual blog posts by clicking on them, a selection of thumbnail links to previous posts can be accessed.

Solstice Sync

A lone colt wanders through a late day meadow turned glittery and golden on this, the longest day of the year. Summer solstice is not rare and a full moon is even less rare, but the two together, on the same day, happens once in a lifetime. This very day, we not only get the Summer Solstice, but a full moon as well. This has not happened in about 70 years. The longest day of the year will transition into a night sky illuminated by a full moon crossing low in the sky.The Strawberry Moon, as it’s called, marks the ultimate strawberry harvest time; also called the Golden Moon for the amber tint caused by the thick, low atmosphere it is viewed through.

wild horse photography of a colt in the last light of the longest day
A That Herd colt wanders late into the long Solstice day.


Kids will be kids, even horse-kids. This little guy romped about merrily; he was caught up in his own little game and giving it his all. It is always a highlight to watch the foals test their skills and courage. The green grass has long since disappeared and the spring foals are burly and rough now so it’s nice the see a cute “baby picture”.

wild horse photography of a new colt in a happy gallop
An afternoon romp-o-rama.

Flaunt Worthy

Strolling in stride, mother and newborn present a pretty picture. One of his ears is a bit smashed from his former womb position but that will straighten out quickly.

wild horse photography of an attractive newborn colt
This new colt is going to be a handsome horse.

Little Prince

Four white stockings, a crooked blaze, refined head, and bright eyes make this newborn colt a handsome addition to That Herd. Along with his good looks, he also has the distinction of being the final foal born for the current year.

wild horse photography of a handsome newborn colt
Lots of white, a deep bay color, and a pretty head make this newborn colt a handsome fellow.

Often They Thrive

I often see horses as I move about my every day life. Horses standing in paddocks, horses wandering through a dusty corral, horses in all sorts of artificial cultures; horses confined. My entire life has been connected to horses and their care and training. The life of a domestic horse includes any number of restrictive situations and habitats. For the most part, I have experienced horses that are well cared for, content, wanting for nothing basic, loved even. They lead a perfectly acceptable life under the care of competent handlers. Within the limitations of civilized life, this is the norm. When I met That Herd, I began to understand the very real power of freedom and instinct. Living truly free, under the rules of nature, can be unforgiving. Living in a free range environment, like That Herd, with little management or intervention is freedom with some added insurance. Compared to the myriad of horses I have known, That Herd horses are more in tune with their evolutionary values. They are instinctive more often than responsive. They face hardships, retain knowledge, solve problems, and gain spatial aptitude. They adapt to inconsistent quantities and qualities of feed and water. They have social lives and constant mental stimulation. It is  wondrous to observe the very real ability of domestic horses living, for the most part, and behaving as nature intended.

“Surviving is important, thriving is elegant.”  – Maya Angelou

wild horse photography of a galloping foal
Large, expressive doe-like eyes, a white muzzle, and a can-do attitude mark this little filly as a favorite.

Floating in Blooms

The day’s last light touches a mare who pauses in a field of springtime mustard growth.

wild horse photography of a mare in chest high mustard plants
Bringing up the rear of the herd a mare pauses chest high in wild mustard.

Fleeting Moment

“Oh, grassy glades! on, ever vernal endless landscapes in the soul; in ye, – though long parched by the dead drought of the earthly life, – in ye, men yet may roll, like young horses in new morning clover, and for some few fleeting moments, feel the cool dew of the life immortal on them. Would to God these blessed calms would last. But the mingles, mingling threads of life are woven by warp and woof: calms crossed by storms, a storm for every calm. There is no steady unretracing progress in this life … ”

–Herman Melville

wild horse photography of horses galloping by through brush
In a fleeting moment, horses thunder past through the brush below me then disappear.

So often I miss moments that show something significant, whether it be personally to me or of remarkable equine behavior. This was one of those moments where I was in the wrong place at the wrong time to capture an amazing visual of a band of horses rushing by through springtime brush. This was the one shot I managed to take.

Sometimes a Tri-Color

A recent visitor to this blog asked if tri-colored paint foals are ever born in That Herd. Yes, sometimes there are tri-colored foals. An example of one attractive horse is shown in these two images.

wild horse photography of two horses in a layered landscape
A band of several horses meandered on a flat in my company on a winter afternoon. We shared companionable investigation of each other.
wild horse photography of several horses running through a mountain meadow
Young and strong. Life is good.

Be the Storm

Fate whispers to the warrior

“You cannot withstand the storm”

and the warrior whispers back

“I am the storm”

An imperfect beginning for this newborn will lead to a horse fated to be worthy of greatness.

wild horse photography of an old mare and newborn foal
A new foal for an old mare.

Little Rascal

What a little rascal he is. This precocious colt routinely tries to nurse off of a mare that is not his mother. I have not witnessed him having success but my visits are limited. He knows no boundaries with the other mares, foals, or stallion. Charming and clueless, he is tolerated even in his cheekiest moments.

wild horse photography of a colt attempting to steal milk
This cheeky colt explores the possibility of nursing from a mare that is not his mother.


Horses often have favorite companions. Sometimes alike dispositions align and sometimes opposite dispositions associate. Horses buddy-up in pairs or small groups and spend a lot of time together moving throughout the day. These relationships have longevity if given the opportunity to live together, long term. Even after long absences, horses that like each other come together again. It is also just as common for horses that live together to simply coexist among fluctuating partners according to need or mood and pecking order. Some horses do, however, seem to make real friendships.

These mares (and now the addition of a foal), are long time companions who have grown up together and prefer each others company. Included in their chosen group are one or two other individuals who seem to be somewhat less attached constantly to the group.

wild horse photography of three mares and a foal
These mares have grown up together and roam together quite a bit.

The Dry Sea

A glorious sea of dry mustard stalks surround a lone colt creating an image that evokes a longing to explore and curiosity about the unknown.

wild horse photography of a young colt in a field of dry stalks
A young colt moves through a sea of mustard stalks.




Although his approach was friendly enough, her response seems rather negative.

wild horse photography of a skeptical greeting
A friendly colt’s approach meets a skeptical response.

Considerate, For a Horse

I realize I have pointed this out before on this blog, but it continues to intrigue me. Stallions, for all of their demanding herding behaviors, know when to let soon-to-foal mares and just-foaled mares alone. The rules change for new mothers for a couple days. The eminently expectant and new mothers are not included in the herding routines set by the stallion. I’m not saying that they would be left behind, but they are allowed to move about on the far fringes of the herd, and at a more leisurely speed. This considerate behavior seems beyond the scope of an equine intellect, but it does occur. In this image, the stallion is moving the herd of mares and foals to another location for water but he walks past the mare that just foaled and she follows in her own time.

wild horse photography of a stallion respecting the needs of a new mother
Stallions, despite their demanding herding behaviors, recognize the needs of foaling and mares with newborns.

The Perks of Being Born

Pleasure comes in the form of belly-scratching brush. As a newborn, one would have to imagine that a foal has never experienced a good belly rub. Just look at that face, pure happiness!

wild horse photography of a new foal scratching it's belly with brush
A new foal discovers the joys of belly scratching with brush.

Messy Conversation

Believe it or not, both of these images are of a positive conversation between a mare and stallion. These interactions are brief and seemingly random but there is likely more to it than that. Stallions constantly check in with the mares in his harem, interested mares, pregnant mares, old mares, all the mares. Sometimes the conversation is entirely gentle and sometimes it’s almost violent. No one is upset in a negative way, even in the first image that looks aggressive.

wild horse photography of a mare and stallion interacting
Communication between this stallion and mare are complicated.
wild horse photography of a greeting between a mare and stallion
A moment of communication between a stallion and mare.


For those of you who read my previous post, here is a glimpse at the special features included on that particular foal.

Sporting teddy bear ear fluff and a rather unorganized star splash of hair on the forehead that dribbles into a defined zigging and zagging face squiggle, this new colt is an irresistible addition to That Herd.

wild horse photography of a newborn with endearing features
Teddy bear ears and an intricate face squiggle make this colt adorable.

A Particular Way of Posing

I like this picture because the mare and her new foal are matching in their muzzle lip tension, ear, and eye positions. This is a very new foal with profound ear fuzz (hidden in this picture) and a squiggly strip attached to his star marking. Early morning sunshine brought two mares down from the woods with newborn foals, this is one of the two. Prolific mustard flowers dot the image foreground and a pollen dusting covers the foal’s back.

wild horse photography of a mare and newborn foal in matching pose
A veteran mare and her newborn foal, only hours old, strike a matching pose.

Meeting Baby

Bonding with her newborn, this mare shows a softness in her expression that is readable. Responding to cues and encouragement from her mother as well as taking in a lot of new information and learning the ways of a terrestrial, this baby has a lot to take in. You can see the umbilical cord stump and tell-tale wrinkly ear hair of a newborn foal.

wild horse photography of a mare and newborn foal bonding
A bonding moment between a mare and her newborn filly.