Side Eye

Foals are born with their disposition already developed. This week-old foal makes is clear he will not be intimidated. Several mares and foals were moving about under the shade of a large tree, and any horse that tried to push through this guy’s space got a side-eye-wrinkle-face with the standard head bob and pinned ear warning. This behavior is both a marvel of instinct and giggle-worthy at the shear absurdness of it.

free range horse photography of a new foal issuing a warning
A new foal stands up for himself with a strong attitude and a sour face.

Nap to Gallop In No Time Flat

(Thank you Go Daddy Support for helping me bring my site back to life).

Her mother has kept her secluded for over a week, so: wary mare equals wary foal. The filly’s getaway is so quick you can see the foxtails flying through the air around her.

free range horse photography of a wary new foal
Mother has kept this new foal secluded for several days so she is jumpy about my approach.

What a Wonderful World

Even though That Herd horses are accustomed to my appearances, sometimes they don’t want anything to do with me. I don’t take it personally when mares keep their distance with a newborn foal. I can respect the enormous responsibility they face. In a free range environment, one cannot be too careful. In this case, her distance makes for quite a wonderful scene. It’s a filly, by the way.

free range horse photography of a mare and newborn filly
A mare keeps her distance with her one-day-old filly.

Quiet Misty Mornings

Shrouded in mist, our feet wet with dewy grass, we couldn’t be happier.

free range horse photography of misty morning mares
Misty mornings and wet grass quietly start the day.

Crabby Pants

A new colt, first seen at about a week old, is doted on by his mother. She is not keen on my getting close, and moves away often. The colt amused me by making a mad face at all the horses, foals or mares, who ventured too close to him. He looks innocent enough in this image though.

free range horse photography of a mare and new colt
A new colt gets special attention from his mother.

Promise Fulfilled

The promise of a healthy foal is fulfilled. Eleven months of wondering and hoping, and then the arrival of a new foal exceeds expectations. Well done, mare. Well done.

free range horse photography of a painted mare and new foal
A beautiful mare and her beautiful new foal.

No Cape, But Super Just the Same

I’m adding another picture to honor this valiant mare for giving birth to such a sturdy foal. Large joints and pointy shoulders were no match for the grit of this Super Mare. Not to mention, it was probably raining at the time too.

free range horse photography of a mare and newborn filly
Congratulations to a valiant mare for giving birth the such a sturdy foal.

Fuzzy Wuzzy

A fuzzy-wuzzy newborn in true black, for your enjoyment.

free range horse photography of a black newborn filly
A true black newborn filly arrives in That Herd.

Babe in the Woods

A rushed evening check on the mare herd reveals a new foal! This leggy bay colt is probably a couple of days old. Night was arriving so I did not have a chance to spend any time observing the new foal. I will reveal, however, that he was not the only new foal.

free range horse photography of a new foal
An early evening check on the mares reveals a new foal.

 

In the Shade of a Great Pine

Pockets of tall pine trees dot the territory where That Herd horses roam. These colts, temporarily separated from their herd mates, browse in a beautiful pocket of young and mature pines, sycamores and valley oak trees.

free range horse photography of colts browsing in the woods
Growing up agile and strong, these young colts browse in a wooded area.

Horseplay

Horses that have the freedom to roam in large territories have active social lives. Male horses, both young and old, spar with each other quite a bit. Size is not a deterrent; horses that are diminutive in size openly challenge herd mates that out-class them in weight and experience. These two blokes are rather evenly matched and only halfhearted in their effort.

free range horse photography of male horses spar
Constant sparring occurs between male horses when they have the freedom to roam.

The Quietest Parade Ever

“If the sight of the blue skies fills you with joy, if a blade of grass springing up in the fields has power to move you, if the simple things of nature have a message that you understand, rejoice, for your soul is alive.”

– Eleonora Duse

free range horse photography of horses and deer
Young That Herd spectators observe a wildlife parade.

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.

Summer Stroll

Finally, an overcast morning with cooler temperatures. Two attractive horses amble stride for stride through dry grasses. In the distance, charred hills, evidence from a recent wildfire that burned for more than a week into and around That Herd’s range.

free range horse photography of two attractive horses
Two horses amble through a dry field, in the distance are hills charred in a recent wildfire.

If Wishes Were Horses

… dreamers would have a vast herd of noble steeds, like this one.

A beautiful image captured of a horse I admire.

free range horse photography of a young stallion portrait
A young stallion patrols the perimeter of his herd.

Rare Cooperation

This mare can be rather odd, but having a new foal seems to distract her in a good way. She seems to enjoy her new foal; it’s the second one she has had. I have her rare cooperation here as she paused just long enough for me to get a nice picture of her and her one-day-old foal.

wild horse photography of a dark mare and her new foal
This mare and her one-day-old foal strike a matching pose.

A First Foal

In honor of nothing particular, here is an image of an April arrival.

wild horse photography of an April foal and his mother
A proud mare parades her April arrival.

But Admire It, We Will

“It was a sort of ferocious, quiet beauty, the sort that wouldn’t let you admire it.”

–Maggie Stievfvater, The Dream Thieves

wild horse photography portrait of a beautiful filly
This filly has a beautiful expressive face.

Dust Rising

Glaring afternoons surrender to relief degree by degree during the long, hot days of August. Dust rising from the mare and foal pairs as they amble back to a shady grove highlights the stillness of the retreating daylight hours. September is not likely to bring relief from the heat. Feed and water is scant and the patience of the mares often runs thin with the growing rowdiness and demands of the foals, some now nearing six months of age.

wild horse photography of mares and foals in the heat and dust
The mares and foals make the trek back down to the shade on a still, hot day.

Big and Bigger

The size of this large mare, in comparison to a large stallion, is apparent. True, some element of spatial distortion (like holding a fish out toward the camera to make it appear larger) contributes a little, but really it’s a big horse next to a bigger horse. The intensive gaze of these two illustrates how these free roaming horses are in a state of constant awareness of their surroundings. The problem solving that inevitably comes with that makes for some clever horses.

wild horse photography portrait of a mare and stallion
This large mare makes a large stallion seem diminished.