Tag Archive for Ranch Life

In Love With a Ninja

free range horse photography of two foals meeting nose to nose

A delicate meeting between herd mate foals.

free range horse photography of two foals meeting tenderly

The colt closes his eyes to heighten his sensory meeting with a new filly.

free range horse photography of two foals coming to an understanding

Several weeks his inferior, this filly is a force to be reckoned with for this sturdy colt.

With lightening speed, she rises up to administer a (mock) fatal jab. He never saw it coming.

Understandably Peeved

free range horse photography of an angry foal circling it's mother that stole a newborn foal

A well-meaning mare steals a newborn from another mare and her own foal is (understandably) quite irritated.

(Another picture of the sassy filly shown defending the dirt pile a couple posts back.) In this image she is circling her mother with confusion and irritation over the attention given to another foal. Her beloved mother has stolen another mare’s newborn foal and everything got really weird after that. This event required intervention and I’m happy to report that the confused newborn was reunited with her mother and they were separated from the herd for a while to bond. All is well for all the horses and the brief disruption to the sassy filly’s esteem is corrected.

Spring Color

wild horse photography of horses in a springtime bloom area

Dusk falls on That Herd members grazing in a blooming field.

While this is not a dramatic California Super Bloom example, it is a springtime bloom landscape with horses in it, which makes it better.

Defending the Dirt Pile

free range horse photography of a foal rearing in mock battle

She’s a scrappy little filly.

In defense of her dirt pile, this filly shows her “I mean business” side. Her quick temper has been displayed with old or young herd mates, and her tireless and doting mother for many weeks.,

Told You So

free range horse photography of a new colt with many qualities and extra long legs

Just a couple of days ago, this colt’s long legs were folded up inside his long suffering mother.

Since I mentioned it was hard to see just how long legged he is, I have proof. He’s just a few days old in this image.

Bonus Points

free range horse photography of a long legged newborn colt and his good natured mother

This brave mare welcomes a large and long legged newborn foal.

free range horse photography of a proud mare and her newborn colt

A good natured mare and her surprisingly large newborn colt.

This mare has hidden her new colt away from the rest of the herd. She favors the cover of trees, and the shadows each time I have approached. The colt, an obvious grey, has impossibly long legs which are not as obvious in the tall grass. I give him bonus points for having white around his nostrils. (My whole life, horses with white muzzles have stood out as extra attractive, like a movie horse). Not always a team player, this mare affectionately known as Iris, continues to stubbornly avoid rejoining the rest of the mares and foals. The colt will be in for quite a surprise when he finally experiences other horses. These images were taken the day he was born, so he’s only several hours old.

Earned Fatigue

free range horse photography of a tired mother of a newborn foal

A veteran mother and her earned fatigue shows the day her foal is born.

free range horse photography of a wistful mare and newborn

A mare with a newborn filly appears wistful as the others move off to a new location.

A veteran mother maintains a protective zone around her newborn filly. She stays quietly within the herd, but she minimizes her wandering for the foal’s sake and undoubtedly, her own sake as well. She is recuperating from the birth of a large foal. The foal is not much more than twenty four hours old in these images.

New Kid on the Block

free range horse photography of a new filly on parade
A filly on parade at a couple of days old.

Strolling through the neighborhood.

Bountiful Day

free range horse photography of green grass and running water
Ahhh, running water and green grass, it’s been so long since you were here.

“I will tell you where there is power: where the dew lies upon the hills, and the rain has moistened the roots of the various plant; where the sunshine pours steadily; where the brook runs babbling along, there is a beneficent power.

–Edwin Hubbel Chapin

Reluctant Introduction

free range horse photography of a black mare and black newborn filly
A new mother reluctantly presents her newborn foal.

Looking a bit disheveled and weary, this new mother skirts the perimeters of the herd with her newborn filly. The foal is a day old and still has the wrinkly, albeit dry, wavy patterns in her black hair-coat.

Happy Girls are the Prettiest Girls

free range horse photography of a smoke colored newborn filly
A flashy smoke-grey filly has arrived.

Hey look! She’s the same color as the oak tree bark! At one day old this filly is a joy to observe. Bouncy and independent, her mother follows her carefree explorations instead of the normal foal-follows-mare arrangement.

An Unexpected Arrival

free range horse photography of a week-old filly
A week old and sporting a fuzzy-wuzzy coat for the weather.

She is unusual in many ways. She has an unusual face marking (not entirely visible in this pic), she is unusually stout for a new foal for a maiden mother, she is unusually fuzzy (but the hair-coat is welcome for the wet weather we have been experiencing), and she is unusual because she is completely unexpected, and the sire is a mystery. Despite the foal’s size, it was not obvious her mother was pregnant until the final weeks before birth. Life on the range has a few twists and turns.

Launching a Friendship

free range horse photography of two foals meeting
A younger foal braves the first introduction to a reluctant herd mate.

These two foals are not more than a few days apart, but the bigger foal is shy about introductions. The delicate filly is willing to frisk about with her herd mate, but first she must win him (and his mother) over. She’s a charmer, so I’m sure she succeeded.

Making an Introduction

free range horse photography of a mare and new foal
A new foal has grown her hair coat in mere days, adapting to the many cold rainstorms since her birth.

My first visit with a new foal on a sunny day. When I first observed her during a persistent rainstorm, she appeared brown. Of course she was soaked at that time. Now I can see she is clearly bay.

Sun God Greetings

free range horse photography of a new foal after rain
A new That Herd member welcomes a bit of sunshine after a long rainy night.

A new filly greets the brief sunshine during a long string of winter rainstorms. By human standards, animals endure lots of uncomfortable weather. By animal standards, at least in this climate, they are quick to respond to ever-changing weather conditions with ease.

Acceptance

free range horse photography of a new foal in a rainy downpour
A new foal is forced to accept some really miserable weather.

A new foal, only a day or two old, accepts some harsh realities about life outside the womb. Rain and wind have been a constant for her so far. At least I think it’s a filly; not acceptable weather for camera gear either.

Think Happy Thoughts

free range horse photography of a new foal and his mother in a park-like setting
Life is good in this lush setting for a new foal and his wary mother.

A January colt and his mother stroll through a glorious location. After a few rainy days, then a few sunny days, this is their beautiful home.

Brimming With Confidence

free range horse photography of a new January foal
Only a day or two old, this filly is brimming with confidence.

A new foal for a first time mother, this filly benefits from a second protective mare who adopted her and her mom. She is a beautiful dark color with a delicate face. Not afraid to boldly lead the way for one so new, she will only grow in confidence.

Protection

free range horse photography of a foal in tall stalks
For some foals, curiosity is best managed with a barrier, no matter how thin.

“Is there any instinct more deeply implanted in the heart of man than the pride of protection, a protection which is constantly exerted for a fragile and defenseless creature?” – Honere de Balzac

The Architect

free range horse photography of an impressive black horse
A founding member of That Herd, big, and black, and wise.

A lovely portrait of a beloved member of That Herd.

As the end of the year bears down on me, I am forced to reflect on the past twelve months. 2018 has been fraught with unexpected challenges, both in my personal life, and in my life with That Herd. I have, for many reasons, not spent the time I crave with the horses. There have been some losses, both in my personal life, and in That Herd, that have set me back, made it difficult to be creative. I have experienced a loss of vocabulary related to the horses that has frustrated me and kept me from sharing. My website has been hacked, shut down, recovered, internet inaccessible, images purged, and surpassed my ability to keep up with routine maintenance and improvements. I have many images to share but no words to narrate my feeling about the moments captured. Therefore, I must recommit myself to site maintenance and regular content uploads, for the good of a worthy archive of this community of free range horses who have a story to tell.