Mouthful of Mane

August 27, 2013

This series of photos is from a couple of years ago. I came across them as I was doing a photo backup and thought they might make a fun post.

It was a cloudy/chilly day in the McCullough Peaks HMA in Wyoming when Tom and I stopped to photograph some stallion action. We spotted the pinto stallion Medicine Boy making his way towards a sorrel band stallion and his mares. Medicine Boy was hoping to steal one of the girls.

Click on the images for larger/sharper views
DSC_5343-s

The sorrel stallion doesn't waste any time answering the challenge.

The sorrel stallion doesn’t waste any time answering the challenge.

DSC_5347-s

DSC_5352-s

DSC_5354-s

Here the sorrel stallion grabs a mouthful of Medicine Boy's mane.

Here the sorrel stallion grabs a mouthful of Medicine Boy’s mane.

And rips it out.

And rips it out.

DSC_5357-s

DSC_5358-s

Floating in the air...

Floating in the air…

DSC_5360-s

With a little chunk of mane left behind, Medicine Boy takes off as fast as he approached.

With a little chunk of mane left behind, Medicine Boy takes off as fast as he approached.

DSC_5370-s

Stallion battles can be tough, but this one only resulted in a bit of hair loss. 🙂

Photos are for viewing purposes only. Most images are available online at: http://www.NickolesPhotography.com. Images by Pam Nickoles Photography, along with all site content are copyright protected and owned solely by Pam Nickoles Photography. Photos and/or text may not be used, downloaded or reproduced in any form without express written permission from Pam Nickoles Photography. Feel free to share, but please respect my copyright.

I call this image, “Quiet Moments of Freedom.” It was taken in March of 2007 at the McCullough Peaks HMA. It’s one of my personal favorites. Two bachelor stallions enjoying a beautifully, peaceful morning overlooking their home range.

(Photos are for viewing purposes only. Images are copyright protected and owned solely by Pam Nickoles Photography. No reproduction or downloading permitted. Feel free to share the link, not the images. To share, click on the blog entry title. The permanent link will be displayed in your browser’s address bar. Copy this address to share.)

After the adoption, Tom and I drove out to the Dry Creek area of the McCullough Peaks HMA. At a water hole, we observed a lone stallion standing underneath a tree. We watched him for a minute and then I decided to try walking out to him. He was not a horse I recognized and he let it be known right away that he wanted no part of me. Off he went.

Bachelor stallions are typically more curious. I had heard the horses had been moved around quite a bit and I wondered if this was a stallion from an area that saw fewer people. In any case, he stopped only briefly to make sure of my location and then trotted off until he was out of sight.

We drove on a little ways until we spotted two horses. More bachelor stallions. Maybe we’d have better luck with these guys. I grabbed my camera and started towards them. Another pinto boy (lots of color in the “Peaks” horses). He watched my approach, but didn’t seem overly concerned.

His buddy did the same, but again, he didn’t seem too worried. I hadn’t been with them very long when I noticed both of them perk up and look off in the same direction.

Out of the corner of my eye, I saw another horse approaching. Yet another stallion. He came upon the other two horses without incident, so I assumed he was a part of this bachelor band that may have been off trying his luck at acquiring a mare somewhere and was back having had no success.

He kept his eye on me as he made his way back to his buddies. Since they didn’t seem alarmed at my presence, I imagined that gave him the confidence to continue making his way towards us, but his eyes remained fixed in my direction.

I always try to stay conscious of my body language (calm and non-threatening) while at the same time, “speaking” to them with reassuring thoughts that I’m only there to observe and take pictures. These horses are smart and they’ll have you sized up pretty quickly. I do my best to make a good impression. 🙂

I took many pictures of this group before packing up my gear as they slowly moved off. I turned around to take one last look and smiled when I saw they were doing the same. Stay safe boys and may you each find the families you long for.

(Photos are for viewing purposes only. Images are copyright protected and owned solely by Pam Nickoles Photography. No reproduction or downloading permitted. Feel free to share the link, not the images. To share, click on the blog entry title. The permanent link will be displayed in your browser’s address bar. Copy this address to share.)

It’s quickly becoming the busy time of year with the nicer weather and more outdoor activities, so I’m going to break up my posts and upload as time allows. I still have a lot of photos to share from our recent visit to McCullough Peaks that I’m working on (though there just aren’t enough hours in a day to work on them as much as I’d like). The following isn’t in date order, but it’s a start…

It's early morning at the Peaks. There are antelope everywhere, but these guys had a really nice backdrop.

It was a chilly morning in Wyoming – the wind was blowing (pretty normal for Wyoming) and it was only in the 30’s. We’d gotten to the range early for the wonderful morning light, but it looked like it was going to be a pretty gray day regardless of our good intentions. It wasn’t long before I spied a herd off in the distance. We got as close as we could and then I hiked out to them. They were a little further away than I had anticipated, but despite the wind chill factor, it was worth the effort.

As I got closer, I noticed the black stallion was looking off into the distance. I had to top a hill before I could see what had his attention. It was the bachelor stallion Kenya and the black band stallion was headed in his direction.

There was a little “posturing” and some squeeling, but then it was over. And that’s when I saw a little filly from the band run up the hill towards Kenya. The black stallion let her go to him without interfering. It was if he had just given Kenya his permission to enjoy some play time with one of his band members.

And their play date began.

These two just stood and watched the horses playing together

They romped and chased each around for about 15 minutes while I watched. Such obvious, carefree fun – they made me smile. I would have stayed longer, but the wind had taken a toll on my fingers (even wearing gloves) and I still had quite a hike back to the Jeep ahead of me. Both horses paused as I started back down the hill. I looked over and thanked them for allowing me to photograph and share a part of their play date. 🙂

(Photos are for viewing purposes only. Images are copyright protected and owned solely by Pam Nickoles Photography. No reproduction or downloading permitted. Feel free to share the link, not the images. To share, click on the blog entry title. The permanent link will be displayed in your browser’s address bar. Copy this address to share.)

Something a little different (and a bit late) for the Photo Of The Week. The McCullough Peaks adoption is this weekend and I know of at least two horses that were gathered and will be available. So, in honor of Crispy Cream and White Lightning (a Perlino and a Maximum Sabino – really hard to tell them apart), I’m featuring this little collection of photos of them pestering and playing with the much younger pinto colt Art (I don’t know yet whether he was rounded up or not).

Crispy Cream and White Lightning were always into something. Such characters. I will miss seeing them on the range, but I hope they both find good, caring homes. I hope that for all of the available horses.

I will be watching the event – quietly saying my goodbyes to some of the horses I’d come to know over the years…

While Art tries to nap, something nibbles on his leg

And then that something yanks his tail!

White Lightning just wanted someone to play with

Take that!

Little Art is pretty fired up, but it's all in fun...

The McCullough Peaks Wild Horse Adoption flyer: http://www.nickolesphotography.com/HTML/McCulloughpeaks.flyer2.2.10.pdf


Be sure to sign up for automatic alerts to new posts by clicking on the Email Subscription link on the right.

(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.)

Happy Birthday to my dear childhood friend Maggi today!

%d bloggers like this: