Wild horse stallions tend to get most of the attention from photographers. They do from me too, they are incredible animals to photograph. So I was excited to get this image of a band of mares that to me conveys the essence of the role that the lead mare plays. In wild horses there is usually a dominant stallion, a lead mare and a satellite stallion or two who are allowed to be part of the band. I think the stallion is the boss but the lead mare makes the rules.
In this image all the horses were on their way to water when the big grey, who is the lead mare, stopped and started calling out for a member of their band that had not caught up with them yet. The other mares huddled around her looking for comfort and guidance as they waited for the other horse to catch up.
There are so many ways in which I find horse behavior parallel's human behavior. Men don't usually look to their friends for comfort and emotional support like women do. Women are bonded together on a level most men will never achieve. Men can not talk to a best friend for six months and it not be a big deal, and when they do its like they never missed a beat. And if its like me and my friends they might talk about fishing for an hour and never have one thought about emotion or the intimate details of their life come into the conversation. I have noticed that women in general like to talk often and in the first five minutes of a conversation will know about every detail of each others lives and spend the rest of the conversation talking about those details. They are also the glue that holds families together.
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