Photo Of The Week – 12/2/2009

December 2, 2009

The Stallion and the Foal

This is a photo of the then bachelor stallion Chaco and an abandoned filly, Little Medicine from the McCullough Peaks HMA. This image was taken in April, 2008. The full story and series of dramatic pictures from this unusual association can be found on my website:

There is also a YouTube video which is a clip from my “Our Wild Horses II” DVD. (The clip is not representative of the quality of the actual DVD).

(Photos are for viewing purposes only. Images are copyright protected and owned solely by Pam Nickoles Photography. No reproduction permitted. Feel free to share the link, not the images.)

10 Responses to “Photo Of The Week – 12/2/2009”

  1. Mackenzie Says:

    Wow, what beautiful photographs. I hadn’t seen this story or these images on your site before… each shot is incredible, but the narrative behind them even more so. That’s just incredible, what Chaco did, and even more so that you were there to capture it.

  2. pnickoles Says:

    Hi Mackenzie – thank you for your comments. Yes, this was one of those once in a lifetime events and I’m just fortunate to have been at the right place at the right time to document it. 🙂

  3. Oh my goodness….How precious is that. I will have to head over and read about that!

  4. Rene Says:

    I have read and viewed the photos around this encounter multiple times since you originally posted it on your website. It is just as powerful now to me as it was the first time.

  5. Pam, I was amazed the first time I saw the clip of this encounter and delighted to read that Little Medicine made it back to her mother. I have posted the you tube clip twice at my blog and know that people have loved it. I love it. You were so fortunate to witness this. Few can compare with this story. It should be a book for children as it had a happy ending. We so need happy endings these days for our wild ones. Thank you. Mar

  6. Margaret Says:

    I immediately thought it was Cloud! Holy wow–do they look alike! I wonder what Cloud would think if he saw her–other than wanting to breed (lol)!

  7. Margaret Says:

    OMG! I just saw that short clip with the musci from Snowy River. I saw that horse rearing and thought of Cloud and all the horses in our country who are losing their precious freedom because of a few Washingtonians. It is so POWERFUL! Debt and all! I’m heading to the checkout counter right now to buy both dvd’s!

    Pam if a foal is in trouble–why shouldn’t we help or try to get the attention of someone in the BLM? They have this situation going on Vermont right now with a moose–who was nursed back to health and now Fish and Game want to put the moose down 1 1/2 years later because they are afraid of Chronic Wasting Disease.

    I don’t mean to be confrontational–just asking. If a foal looks like he won’t make it–wouldn’t it be kinder to put it down? Or does that interfer with the whole mother nature–mountain lion won’t feed on it because they didn’t kill it?

    That stallion gets my vote for Stallion of the Year!

  8. pnickoles Says:

    Hi Rene – thanks for letting me know the images still tell a wonderful story for you. 🙂

    Marilyn – Thanks for sharing the video. I caught a very brief glimpse of Little Medicine while at McCullough Peaks in September. She’s a yearling now, wasn’t taken off during the roundup and is still doing well…thanks to Chaco.

  9. pnickoles Says:

    Margaret – I thought the same thing when I first saw her. She looked just like Cloud as a foal.

    I’m so glad you enjoyed the clip from my DVD. The Snowy River music is perfect for showcasing the beauty of the wild horses.

    As far as leaving a wild foal alone, I did contact BLM right away (and would tell anyone to do that), but it was almost dark already AND, had we tried to get the foal away from Chaco (not a good idea since the photos are pretty indicative of how protective he felt towards her), she would never had been reunited with her dam and grown up to be just fine. Wild horses know when offspring isn’t “right” and generally, that’s the reason a foal is abandoned. I fully suspect that Little Medicine and her dam were separated by other circumstances (the fence), but we’ll never know for sure. Had anyone intervened, the outcome may have been very different for all of the horses involved. That’s why I was told and witnessed first hand, that it’s probably better (not always easier) to let nature take its course.

  10. Margaret Says:

    Pam thank you for your thoughtful insightful reply to my questionl. I think it would be horrible to let that foal go unattended but as you so thoughtfully pointed out–Chaco had things under control. What a truly thoughtful wonderful horse he is. If only others could see this story (like Ken Salazar) and realize that our horses are living breathing animals that have more common sense than a lot of people–ME INCLUDED!

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