Glorious Purpose

This stallion meets each moment with intelligence and interest.

wild horse photography of a big bay stallion
Filled with glorious purpose, this stallion strides toward his band of mares.

Friendly Face Bite

Both horse have pleasant, if not impish expressions, they are just horsing around.

wild horse photography of two horses engaged in friendly face biting
Two herd mates engaged in friendly face biting.

Spring in Her Step

Early morning put a spring in their step.

wild horse photography of a beautiful mare moving through the brush
Early morning browsing is interrupted by the appearance of some separated horses. A greeting party ensued.

Privileges of Youth

frolic |ˈfrälik|
verb
(of an animal or person) play and move about cheerfully, excitedly, or energetically

wild horse photography of colts frolicking
Play is the highest form of research.

Elegance

There is a poise and composure to this horse that is just beautiful.

wild horse photography portrait of a horse's beautifully expressive face
You can see something definable yet undefinable in this horse’s face. An expression of gentle wisdom perhaps or serene resilience. Or, it’s something else. I just know that it is a beautiful face on an untroubled soul.

Just a Horse

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!

wild horse photography of a strong horse standing in contrast to his layered terrain
A winter day visit with high clouds made for a nice shot of a strong pale colored horse standing in contrast by the layers of his daily terrain.

Protective

It’s not personal. Acceptable space boundaries change when a newborn foal arrives.

wild horse photography of a mare protective over her newborn
It’s not personal. The mares mainly live in harmony but when a newborn arrives personal space rules are strictly enforced.

Herding or Driving Behavior

The stallion is feeling a greater sense of urgency in this image exhibited by the exaggerated low driving posture.

wild horse photography of a stallion demonstrating herding behavior
In this image the stallion is exhibiting herding or driving behavior. The posture is one of lowered head, stretched neck, ears pinned and sometimes a snake-like back and forth head movement. There is more intensity here demonstrated by the exaggerated low posture and fast gait; the stallion was feeling some sense of urgency to redirect the mares.

Introduction

About to be introduced to the rest of the herd for the first time, this mare reassures her new foal.

wild horse photography of a mare approaching with her newborn
Early in the morning, the fog just lifting, a mare cautiously rejoins the others after the birth of her foal earlier that morning. The foal’s ear was still a little lopsided from time spent pressed in the womb, which was endearing. I like this picture because the foal is making a scrunchy face as the mare constantly reassures him as they approach. The foal was intrepid and the one I later dubbed Zig Zag.

Floating on a Sea of Oats

It’s not every year that the oats grow so abundantly, but it’s glorious when it happens.

wild horse photography of a mare and young foal in an oat field
When the oats are in abundance, it is common to find the mares and foals grazing there each morning.

 

Before and Later

The infamous “whisker foal” at a couple of days old and about 18 months later. He has matured out of his mop of whiskers.

wild horse photography comparing a foal and yearling picture of the same horse
These images show the “whisker foal” at a few days old and about 18 months later.

 

 

Bright New Day

Peace.

wild horse photography of mares and foals under oak trees in the early morning
A group of mares and foals take a break from grazing in the early morning hours.

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.