Affable and Keen

Two brothers hangin’ in the ‘hood.

wild horse photography of two colts interacting
These half brothers are only a couple of weeks apart in age but already there is a noticeable difference in size. The big blaze faced colt is unassuming, an affable big brother, and the bay colt is earnest and keen.

Taken by Surprise

In search of the mares one spring morning, the fog just burning off, I finally had some luck. These three mares and their new foals were the first to be seen; we surprised each other on this hilltop. I was marching up one side and they were cresting the hill from the other. The sky freshly revealed, all of us caught off guard and a brand new foal made for an unusual and spontaneous shot. The mares were on a mission and proceeded to jog straight past me and the rest of the mares and foals followed directly behind them. This brief encounter left me a little astonished. They were found and gone all in a matter of seconds.

wild horse photography of three mares and their new foals cresting a hilltop
On this spring morning I had to search quite a bit to find the mares. After marching across a field and up a second hill, I suddenly met the mares coming up from the other side. This surprised all of us. These three were in the lead. You can see the attentive concern the dark mare on the right has for her new colt, the bold new filly in the lead and a brand new paint colt, only hours old, pressing to his mother for guidance.

A Glimpse

“Any glimpse into the life of an animal quickens our own and makes it so much the larger and better in every way.” – John Muir

wild horse photography portrait of a bay horse with an expressive face
This young member of That Herd has an openness to his face, a subdued curiosity.

Introductions

The stallion presents himself to a mare and foal.

wild horse photography of a stallion greeting a mare and foal
Stallion and mare responding to each other with matching postures while the young filly displays submissive gnashing in the presence of the stallion.

Mellow

The expression on a horse’s face is an indicator of their mindset. This beautiful young mare is in a happy place inside and out.

wild horse photography portrait of a beautiful young mare
Beautiful expression on this young mare.

Glacial Blue Eyes

Try to tear your gaze away from the mesmerizing eyes on this young horse.

wild horse photography portrait of unusually bright blue eyes on a dark colt
It is impossible to ignore the unsettling gaze from this two year old. I’ve seen him many times but each time I marvel anew at the shocking brightness of his eyes in contrast to his dark coat.

Misty Meeting

The face of acceptance; the softness in her face shows no anxiety about my being there.

wild horse photography portrait of an old mare
This old girl met me on a hilltop. The entire area was shrouded in fog; she and some other mares and foals were filing up and over the hill and she stopped and considered my presence then ambled off.

Ground Thunder

Passing in close proximity, even a small thundering herd evokes primal thrill.

wild horse photography of several young horses running
I can only imagine what it feels like to have a great herd of animals stampede past because just several horses thundering by at close range is awe inspiring.

Not To Worry

A favorite That Herd member is found after a long period of no sightings.

wild horse photography portrait of a weanling in the rain
I once did not see this colt for months. I always look for this one because he is my favorite That Herd member. Was I worried? No, not really, it is not uncommon to not find members of That Herd every time you look for them. When I did find him, he was happy, unharmed, and completely unaware that his absence had tugged at my piece of mind for many weeks.

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.

Accommodating the Interested Ladies

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