Peace-of-Mind Checklist

On any given morning or afternoon I have a mental checklist I run through upon locating the horses. Once I find the mares and foals, I do a  quick scan to check for a few things. First, during the spring and summer, I study the mares that have looked close to foaling, checking for new babies. In this scene, I can see a new foal with the bay mare on the far right. I am surprised by, and make a mental note of, the light color of the baby. Second, I track down the location of the stallion. It’s always wise to know where the herd stallion is at all times. I try to never be between him and his mares. Next, I attempt a count of all the foals, to verify their safety, then I check for each of the other herd members. I also watch for any signs of discomfort, physically or behaviorally, in all the horses. Last, I make some decisions about photography related needs based on the light conditions. All of this happens, without much conscious effort, and it only takes a few seconds. It’s my immediate peace-of-mind-checklist.

wild horse photography of an early morning glimpse at the herd
This is an example of a first glimpse I may get upon discovering the location of the mare and foal herd. Many summer mornings begin with a light fog which relieves the parched grasses of their crunchiness for a while.

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