He Can Hold His Own
December 10, 2011
On the final day of our vacation this past September, Mom, Tom and I made a quick (and I mean just about 2 hours worth) trip into the Salt Wells HMA on our way home. I hadn’t been out there since the roundup, so I was worried about what I might not see out there. Luckily, we did find some horses. The last group of horses I went out to photograph even included a happy surprise.
In July of 2010 on another trip to Salt Wells, I came across a large band of bachelor stallions with one stallion that stood out from the rest.
Oh my I thought. How did he manage to get around (and look so good) with that crippled leg? I stayed with this bunch for quite a while. I wanted to see how they interacted with each other since one member of this band couldn’t be as mobile as the rest.
They did scatter when a coyote appeared, but they didn’t go far. The crippled boy was able to keep up and the band even seemed to “wait” for him when he wasn’t right with them. Still, I knew there was an impending roundup and I couldn’t imagine how he’d be able to run for miles with a helicopter in pursuit. Other than that leg, he looked wonderful. He had adapted and was doing just fine. I hoped he’d get through the roundup somehow.
Back to this year – I could see that this was a large group of horses and I couldn’t wait to get over the ridge so I could get a good look at them.
And then I saw a familiar face and he began walking in my direction. I had goosebumps and I couldn’t help myself – as we got closer to each other, I just kept telling him how good it was to see him.
Fourteen months later and post roundup, he looks great! Still a bachelor, but not alone.
And then there was a ruckus. I turned my camera towards the source. Something had set off a band stallion.
And then there in the corner, I realized that he was after the crippled stallion who had apparently passed too close to his band as he had walked towards me. Oh no I thought.
Surely not his first dance with another stallion. He is obviously able to hold his own in the wild. Once again I was shown just how strong and resilient the wild horses are and reminded that their adaptability should never be underestimated. What an absolutely perfect way to end our time away.
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