A Study in Soulful

 

free range horse photography of a June rainy day newborn
On a rare rainy day in June a newborn arrives fuzzy and extra cute.

 

free range horse photography of a young mare with expressive dark eyes
A standout since birth, this filly has beautiful deep, dark eyes.

From Day-One who could resist the dark, expressive eyes on this beautiful filly? Even now, a few years later, she retains the most beautiful soulful eyes. She’s a little older, a little wiser, but still brightly curious and gentle in disposition.

Among Friends

free range horse photography of a handsome grey horse
Looking handsome, a favorite That Herd personality is growing up to be an eye-catching individual.

Horses form close relationships that become subgroups within a herd setting. While it may be anthropomorphic to say horses have friends, they definitely form bonds and make choices within the herd about spending time with favored herd mates. This colt, as a foal, was often entertaining in his interactions with other horses. His personality was inquisitive and social toward not only the other foals but also the adult mares and stallion. Certainly, individual dispositions play a role in this subgroup/friend dynamic. Also, it has been said that horses of a lighter color are often less accepted in herds. There are a couple of theories about why that could be true, but I don’t see that happening as a rule within That Herd.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Enough of Everything

free range horse photography of a fuzzy filly in spring grass
A fuzzy coat and a green meadow are reminders of spring.

Time well spent leads to a life well lived.

Bravado and Caution

free range horse photography of three fillies looking innocent by a failing oak tree
Three fillies looking innocent by a failing oak tree.

Older foals never cease to entertain me with their mix of bravado and caution. These foals are old enough now to be fully independent; their explorations of me are constant and surprisingly intense.

 

Fresh and Fearless

free range horse photography of a black filly lying in a dainty pose.
The dainty pose of this filly is irresistible.

Don’t let that dainty pose fool you; she is brimming with mischief.

Is’s a Bird! It’s a Plane! It’s Super Colt!

free range horse photography of a young colt leaping out of a wooded location
A young foal bursts from the woods in an inspired leap.

Conjuring visions of unicorns in mystical forests, this colt displays wondrous confidence and agility for one so young. He was not startled or fleeing, he was simply filled with the joy of life, and acted out with impulsive, light-hearted energy. He was only five days old on this April morning.

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.

Good Conscience, Bad Conscience

This image reminds me of the old Looney Toons characters that sat on shoulders as good and bad conscience “angels”. One foal is quite mild and reasonable, while the other is always wild-eyed and suspicious, lurking over the shoulder of the other.

free range horse photography of two older foals
The 2018 foals have become quite independent.

Number Six

There have been only seven foals born this year. This is a charming moment spent with Number Six. I like the ease with which this new colt accepts whatever he encounters. His disposition shows both a softness and an edge, which makes a fine horse.

free range horse photography of a new colt
A colorful colt at about ten days old.

Good Judgement

“Much of human behavior can be explained by watching the wild beasts around us. They are constantly teaching us things about ourselves and the way of the universe, but most people are too blind to watch and listen.”

– Suzy Kassem, Rise Up and Salute the Sun: The Writings of Suzy Kassem

free range horse photography of wandering young colts
Young horses learn daily, guided by instinct and common sense. They learn from their mistakes and thrive when good judgement prevails.

A Oak-Bark Coat

This young filly has changed so much, I barely recognized her after not seeing her for many weeks. Her coloration has deepened into a perfect match for the woody areas where she roams. With herd dark woody brown coat and splotchy white markings, she has perfect camouflage in the trees when the sunlight filters in.

free range horse photography of a filly in the woods
A young filly browses in a dry woody area.

Confidence

“Once we believe in ourselves, we can risk curiosity, wonder, spontaneous delight, or any experience that reveals the human spirit.”  – E.E. Cummings

 

A fresh face in That Herd. He has loads of vigor and high spirit.

free range horse photography of a spirited colt
A three year old colt with loads of confidence.

 

 

 

Sorting Things Out

Legs crossed and mouth exploring, this three day old colt creates an endearing sight.

free range horse photography of a funny new colt
Only three days old; this colt is not quite sorted out.

Attitude Is Everything

An underdog in age and size, this new colt is all powerful when perched on this dirt mound. Hilariously, all of the foals spent time exploring the power of elevated position on a couple of mounds of dirt one morning. They strode confidently around the pinnacle of the mound, defending their position from curious herd mates.

wild horse photography of a rearing foal
Attitude is everything for this young foal.

Mud and Green Grass

Several rainy storms have passed through this winter, creating lots of mud and green grass after many years of drought. For a time, paradise is being celebrated by all of the That Herd horses. This three-year-old colt is an example; any excuse to run and buck is exploited.

wild horse photography of a three year old colt
A young colt celebrates days of rain and mud and green grass.

Kill The Dragon

“Fairy tales do not tell children the dragons exist. Children already know that dragons exist. Fairy tales tell children the dragons can be killed.”

–G.K. Chesterton

Following months of personal and national ups and downs, I/we can find comfort in the everlasting reality that all will be well. This yearling colt is running with several older horses in remote countryside. The lessons he is learning every day will fortify his life in the most productive ways.

wild horse photography of a yearling colt in scenery
Tagging along with the older horses, this yearling colt runs in some rugged country.

 

 

 

 

Hiding in Plain Sight

This group of yearlings keep their curiosity about people under tight control. After some searching under a blanket of low clouds and still air, suspicious pointy shapes (ear tips) in the distance turned out to be nine elusive yearlings.

wild horse photography of wary yearlings
A rough band of yearlings keeps their distance.

The One That Stands In The Open

“The strongest oak of the forest is not the one that is protected from the storm and hidden from the sun. It’s the one that stands in the open where it is compelled to struggle for its existence against the wind and rains and scorching sun.”

– Napoleon Hill

wild horse photography of a paint filly
A two-year old filly, at home on the range.

Still Sporting the Wild Look

About eight months has passed between these images of a riotous filly. As you can see, she still sports the wild eye and wild hairdo. She is as wary as they come, always the first to move away and prepare for flight.

wild horse photography comparing weanling and yearling filly
A filly, little older, a little taller, but still having a wild eye and wild hairdo.

 

The Wanderer

A sweeter moment cannot be captured. Completely at ease, a colt ambles past. Young enough to still be a baby but old enough to be independent of his mother, this soon-to-be-weaned colt gave me one of those rare moments of natural perfection, and one of my favorite things; a horse being a horse, in the most beautiful way.

wild horse photography of a sweet-faced colt
All the innocence and curiosity of youth is captured in this colt’s face.