This time of year the foals are the show stealers for sure but the stallions always command my attention. The herd stallions have a presence that is captivating and for photographers trying to get close they must be watched carefully. You could put yourself in real danger if you did not pay close attention to what they are doing, their body language and their mood. Sometimes they graze quietly not at all alarmed as you come close, at other times they are in a definitely protective mode and then you had better watch out if they are showing you that they consider you a threat.
Each band of horses has a social structure that includes a stallion, a lead mare, a few mares with foals and half-grown offspring of varying ages that have not left the band yet or been driven off by the Stallion. These bands come fairly close to one another at times and that is when the fighting between the stallions breaks out. They seem to have a tolerance level of about 50 to a hundred yards. Within that zone one of the stallions will feel threatened and charges out to challenge. Sometimes nothing happens, the other stallion will round-up his band and move off, at other times a battle will ensue with roaring and squealing, biting and kicking. These types of photos are exciting to capture but the photographer has to be extremely careful to stay well out-of-the-way. I have been watching some of these stallions for years now and while they are familiar to me I don’t take it for granted that they are truly a wild animal.
Horses seem to me to be special in the animal world in that they know they are beautiful. If ordinary horses know that they are beautiful, then wild stallions know this tenfold. I have included some photos here of herd stallions and one young appaloosa stallion that I saw for the first time a couple of days ago hanging out with his bachelor friend. He is the first appaloosa I have seen in the wild bands. I hope to see him gather some mares in the next few years and pass on his genes. He certainly knows he is beautiful and he is.

47 thoughts on “Stallions

  1. Your photos of these beautiful wild horses are great ! I so envy you ! And thanks for the informative text, i learn a lot from you about these horses.
    The Appaloosa , is he the one with four white socks and a white back ? // Maria

  2. These are really awesome photos – you’ve definitely inspired me to do a post focusing purely on the Mongolian stallions I have encountered. They’re just so photogenic, particularly in the way they engage with the presence of the photographer/researcher.

    1. Hey thanks for stopping in, commenting and following my blog Robin. I am really glad I found yours. You are doing some fascinating work in a place I have always been interested in. Looking forward to you posts. πŸ™‚

  3. Utterly magnificent. Such amazing captures…. Here’s to their protection, with what’s happening to them in the U.S., now.

  4. WOW. They’re so insanely beautiful! #1 might be the most beautiful horse I’ve ever seen. πŸ™‚ GREAT pictures, Alison!! And thanks for sharing, it’s a real treat to follow your blog!

  5. Once again I am in awe of your photos! How raw and wild the horses are, and I understand what you mean by they know they are beautiful. They seem very proud and confident. I especially love the pic of the horse with the wild mane. Has he been around a while? Is his mane grey?

    1. Thank you PK. πŸ™‚ Yes that stallion with the long mane with some grey has been around as long as have been taking photos of these particular bands. He is a favorite of mine. Always has quite a few mares with him and is somewhat tolerant of me.

  6. Their expressions are incredible, so much presence and power, real personalities πŸ™‚ Great shots, bravo! I feel so lucky to have found your pics, they have made my day xox

  7. I would have as much business on a horse as trying to navigate the space shuttle or nuclear sub. On the other hand I am comfortable at the 3 race tracks near me. Usually bet the jockeys and disregard the racing form.

  8. Wow, I have just come across your blog at this post – so beautiful. I also think there is something wild and dangerous and beautiful about stallions – I’m glad there are still some in the wilderness.

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