In wildness is the preservation of the world. Henry David Thoreau
What we are doing to the forests is but a mirror reflection of what we are doing to ourselves and to one another. Mahatma Gandi
Drinking from the well of life...Time at the watering hole is just as sacred for me as it is for them. As the bands come in for water, stallions will challenge for first rights, as the challenge goes on sometimes the lead mare takes the band in to drink. This stallion and his bachelor stallion came in to water aftermaking sure they established their right to be first. While watching them drink you could feel the essence of life being sustained, the horses not only drink the water but will eat the surrounding dirt and mud to absorb the rich minerals and nutrients the earth has provided them. Horses are literallywoven into the fabric of the natural world, they are intended to be there, an integral part of our eco-system, an important part of the environment around them. We must nurture our integrity and ethics for them before its too late.
We all need someone to lean on. This gorgeous snow white mare very heavy in foal takes a nap on her handsome prince charming in the afternoons harsh wind and sun. She had been resting there sometime, and when challenging stallions approached, he needed to ward them off, literally returning to her side so she may yet again rest her tired head upon him.in 2011 1,132 horses were gathered by helicopter, chased for miles from their home territory. Only 139 were returned back to this vast landscape of 779 thousand acres in southern Wyoming. The continuing inequality of horse to land ratio saga grows, while tax payers dollars are spent at 100k per day forstock piling these now removed majestic icons.
This was an intense battle that lasted quite long, many times the battles are short lived. These two came in towards water with the largest cloud of dust I have ever seen. You could hear and see the drama of their fight a long ways off. The family band, belonging to the older of the two was not far behind, but the mares were keeping the young ones at a safe distance. These two stallions fought hard, you can't see the wounds on the opposite side but they are deep, he also had a large head gash, that was bleeding steadily. It lasted about 3o minutes from the moment they were spotted until they vanished into back into the desert dirt. The interesting thing about them, was the impact of their fight, they fought so brutally, then pause for a minute or two, stand next to each other, catch their breath, drink water, then resume. By far one of the most dangerous fights I have witnessed. The idea that maybe they were father and son crossed my mind, the beauty in that is - I will never know.
While their world, their future, their land may be uncertain...certainly one thing that is not, is their bond. For me, the harmony they represent is something of immense beauty.
He was cautious, he wasn't afraid so much, but his curiosity matched with his strength made him wise beyond the others.
Literally appearing over this ridge as I was photographing a small bachelor band to the right, this handsome Grullo stallion arrived, standing proud, patient and regal. The hair on my neck rose and the feelings that came over me were astounding, in my heart I could feel that this may be my newlyadopted mustang's father. He embodies the exact likeness in look and feel, the exact. He is a stallion of age that should have a family band but instead had a band of bachelors due to the askew numbers of females to males in the area post 2011 round up. He stayed in this very spot for a good long moment, watching his bachelors play and allowing me the time to observe and the days's remaining light to shine upon him. el Regalo is what I named my young mustang and translated it means "the Gift".
When you feel something in your bones in this day we are living in...you go with it. This stallion, embodied everything my mustang does...and now that I know my boy even deeper, I feel that much stronger that he is related to this grand powerful horse.
Returning to the area after the 2011 round up, one never knows what to expect. I'm grateful that the horses I saw were healthy and vibrant. I was also elated to see some familiar faces...one older mare, that I really did not think would escape capture was still alive and kicking with a healthy feisty youngcolt at her side. What a significant gift to witness. The sex ratios were very much askew; I have never seen so many older bachelor bands in all the years I have been venturing out. EVER. Due to this there were also an extraordinary amount of injuries from the challenging stallions. Injuries are part of life in the wild; I'm no stranger to that; however this trip I saw more than the comfortable amount. I felt so much pride being back here for the 3rd time, and just weeks after adopting a beautiful young gelding from this area. This vast beautiful American landscape was his home and the horses there hisfamily.
Two beautiful mares and a foal who literally picked up from a quiet graze and raced past me as I was quietly grazing myself. This was an afternoon of bliss, stumbling down a dirt road that I thought would lead to nowhere and finding a large herd for Wyoming, is a serene valley.
If you have never seen the movie...do yourself a favor.
A beautiful band of bachelors, that while a couple of them should have most certainly had mares of their own, thankfully, they had each other. They had a purpose to teach the younger ones the rules of the wild, all while trying to attain a family of their own. Sadly, man skewed the numbers for them, and in this area finding a mare has proven more challenging each and every year.
“All that is gold does not glitter,
Not all those who wander are lost;
The old that is strong does not wither,
Deep roots are not reached by the frost.
From the ashes a fire shall be woken,
A light from the shadows shall spring;
Renewed shall be blade that was broken,
The crownless again shall be king.”
Baby, I'm just gonna shake, shake, shake, shake, shake
I shake it off, I shake it off
I never miss a beat, I'm lightning on my feet. Taylor Swift
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