No big deal. Just a horse picture, you say? Well, I say you have not looked close enough. I see a horse who is at ease but alert, well fed but not fat, hair coat thick but not rough. His hooves hard and round but never shod or trimmed, he holds reserves of stamina even after traveling with purpose all day, knows where and where not to put his feet, he knows when to run and when to walk, when to drink and when to pass by. He is clever, he is healthy, he is adaptable in social groups, he is able to leap tall buildings in a single bound. Okay, I went too far on the last one but, really, a horse with the freedom to do what horses do best is a wonder to behold. He survives successfully, actually thrives, without management, diet supplements or fabricated shelter. Behold, observers (!) a horse, just being a horse!
It’s not personal. Acceptable space boundaries change when a newborn foal arrives.
The stallion is feeling a greater sense of urgency in this image exhibited by the exaggerated low driving posture.
About to be introduced to the rest of the herd for the first time, this mare reassures her new foal.
It’s not every year that the oats grow so abundantly, but it’s glorious when it happens.
The infamous “whisker foal” at a couple of days old and about 18 months later. He has matured out of his mop of whiskers.
Two brothers hangin’ in the ‘hood.
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.
“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
The stallion presents himself to a mare and foal.
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.
Try to tear your gaze away from the mesmerizing eyes on this young horse.
The face of acceptance; the softness in her face shows no anxiety about my being there.
Passing in close proximity, even a small thundering herd evokes primal thrill.
One of those quiet moments that soothe the soul.
A favorite That Herd member is found after a long period of no sightings.
“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