(winter) March

15 01 2011

From the colder of the two days last week:

The sun was very near the horizon, and it was getting noticeably colder. Especially with dark Mahogany (back left) and Aspen (to her left), you could see the steam of their breath against their bodies and against the shadowed ridge behind them. Sundance is just out of the frame behind Mahogany, his usual position. Mouse was marching them back to the rest of Steeldust’s band, grazing in the opposite direction, in glittering silver sunlight.

Earlier:

Kootenai standing sentinel, watching Corona and Kreacher graze.

When C and I first stopped on the road, Raven seemed nervous and kept looking behind us (the direction we had come from). I thought she must be looking at cattle, though the only ones we had seen were down by the trapsite pond. But as we started walking the road, I realized what must have happened when we passed what looked to me like a narrow, shallow arroyo – and what was causing her nervousness: Corona, Kootenai and Kreacher were on the other side of the arroyo, and I think instead of crossing it, Raven had grazed her way along it up to the road and around the head of it and down the other side. It was juuust wide enough maybe she didn’t feel comfortable crossing it? Although they know that area well enough I’d have thought she’d know a place … but maybe the road was the crossing. I usually like to stop well ahead of the horses and walk out around them, but in this case, we went back to the Jeep and drove slowly out around them – past the arroyo and Corona, Kootenai and Kreach – and although those horses never seemed worried, Raven was immediately and noticeably still, though she made no attempt to cross the arroyo to be with the other horses. And they didn’t move except to graze. We watched from the road. Raven apparently never came back across the arroyo. When we saw them again, on our way out, they were all together up at the base of Filly Peak – across the road.

Raven, still watching something we couldn’t see. Never were sure what she was looking at or for. Also farther left was the road and Filly Peak. We’re around the curve here, toward the catchment.

Kootenai, Corona and Kreacher. Raven was not too far behind and to the left.

C wanted to look through my camera and lens – and took some pix! Here’s Corona rolling practically under Kootenai’s hooves – she wasn’t impressed and took a few steps away.

C commented on Kreacher’s dapples and shades of grey – and that he grazed with his eyes closed!

Like Corona. 🙂

Don’t you love the warmth of her color in the snow-white landscape?

Marching toward spring. I do love the turn of seasons here. More than any other place I’ve lived, the seasons are spectacular, defined, all beautiful, like the wild creatures who live here.


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6 responses

15 01 2011
Karen Schmiedet

Beautiful pictures, as always TJ. Are the horses in your area the same size as the Pryor horses, 14 to 15 hands? Or is their size a result of their ancestry? Just wondering.

15 01 2011
TJ

I do think our horses are about 14 to 15-ish hands (some are pretty tall for mustangs), height-wise, but they have a noticeably different build than the Pryor horses, less stocky and broad. That’s probably due in large part to the Morgan- and Thoroughbred-type influence our horses have been tested as having. Their (known) history involves settlers’ horses, Ute and Navajo horses, outlaw horses (Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid are known to have passed through the area, hence names of two of our current boys – Butch and Sundance) even stolen cavalry horses from Montana!

16 01 2011
Linda Horn

I love to see horses in their winter “fuzzies”! Not like horses kept indoors or heavily blanketed, but as nature intended them to be. Beautiful!

16 01 2011
TJ

Agreed!

17 01 2011
Linda

How cool to see them doing their thing. Beautiful is always on the watch around here. She sees things before the others do. I watch her all the time and then try to figure it out–sometimes I see it, sometimes not. Usually it’s deer.

17 01 2011
TJ

I do the same thing – always look where they’re looking if they appear suddenly interested in something. An observation I’ve made that may be (probably is) open to interpretation: I think sometimes they do that as a distraction – like a mother bird doing the “broken wing” routine. I’ll look in the direction they or one of the horses is looking, and when I look back, they’ve gone in the opposite direction or are back to grazing calmly. “Hey, look, what’s that over there?!” Ha. I’ve also noticed that if *I* look somewhere – in the direction of a ridge on the other side of which I know there are horses but don’t know whether the horses I’m with know yet – the horses I’m with will mimic my interest. Their powers of sight and perception are just amazing – necessarily so. I love it!

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