Celebrated Status

Stallions are often the literary and cinematic subject of fiery metaphors and masculine bravado; they are seen in bold graphics with strong postures and majestic demeanor. In the professional equine world, stallions are the rock stars, promoted, managed, and celebrated. Only the loveliest imagery of their arched necks, flared nostrils, flowing manes, and studly postures are circulated. They often look dramatic or wise. Without a doubt, all of these images are testament to the stallion’s real beauty and strengths. However, in an unmanaged natural setting, stallions have lots of down time–that is, time spent in ways other than in the pursuit of breedable mares–where they amble about, explore, and even playfully interact with other herd members, young and old. This stallion is free from competition from other free roaming stallions, so he avoids the drama connected to proving himself with other males. Throughout his time with the mares, he seems to have some favorites and some less favored members within his herd. I have observed him to be mild and inquisitive but, on some occasions, also aggressive and unreasonable. As the leader of the mares and foals, stallions carry a lot of responsibility within the herd. This horse, a venerable leader, fulfills his stud duties, moves the herd into and out of different habitats suitable to the weather and time of day, and is quick to defend–with a cool head–any threat to the members in his care. He appears quite relaxed in this image, strolling without intent or pressure. I think he looks just as dramatic in his state of contentment as in any dramatic pose. After all, any stallion is, at a moment’s notice, a second away from the very animal that inspires all those spirited metaphors, and I can still plainly see that here.

wild horse photography of a stallion relaxed and content
At ease, a herd stallion strolls along a meadow path.

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