One of my absolute favorite things to do, that keeps me grounded, and sane, is to watch horses be horses. I particularly enjoy observing wild mustangs. There’s a few bands of horses in my neighboring state Nevada, that I try to check in on a couple times a year. Naturally I don’t always find them, horses move around a lot, up to 50 miles a day.
Some bands (family group of horses,) live closer to civilization and are easier to find. (As much as I enjoy seeing them, I wish that they were further away, but that’s a story for another day.) The pinto stallion in the two photos above live very close to the city of Reno. Sometimes he’s a little higher up in the hills, but sometimes he wander very close to the houses in the suburbs of Reno. I took the photos above yesterday.
I’ve been following this stallions adventure for five years. The first time I saw him, I was with some friends in a vehicle, he was prancing around with another young stallion in the middle of the road. As he grew older he learned to stay away from the roads, (at least I hope so.)
This photo is from December 2014. I did see him last year as well, but he was injured then, and seem to be agitated. I always stay on a respectful distance, and only take pictures with a telephoto lens. However, last year, I choose to not even do that.
Of course he noticed me before I noticed him yesterday. When I did see him, he was looking straight at me. His eyes were soft, and I swear he recognizes me by now. This is a very intelligent horse. He is a master of building friendships with other horses, not something stallions are known for. The horse in the first photos is another stallion, and they have been friends for years. When their friendship started the pinto stallion was the protector. When the pinto stallion got injured last year, the chestnut stallion never left his side. I saw them several times during this period, and he was never more than a few feet away from his friends. Horses are very loyal.
I took this photo 4 years ago. I have it as a canvas on my wall. Here he was a young, rather hostile, insecure, but very good looking stallion. Dangerous to even be within a few hundred feet of. Can you see the tense wrinkles in the corner of his mouth? Seeing this beautiful horse grow from a young stallion, to a mature horse, still wild and free, is something that gives me extreme pleasure.
Watching wild horses is one of the most intense experiences in mindfulness one can have. Your mind have to be completely still. I want to have room in my life for this kind of experiences. It means something to me. I hope you enjoyed the experience as well.
The essential joy of being with horses is that it brings us in contact
with the rare elements of grace, beauty, spirit and freedom.
~ Sharon Ralls Lemon
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