Because I’m putting together this ID booklet for BLM for the roundup, I’m more conscious of the kinds of photos I need. Early in my documentation project, I worried less about “pretty” pictures and more about photos that showed – from the side as much as possible – the full horse, including legs. Even among the sparse vegetation of the basin, it’s sometimes difficult to show some of the lower leg markings.
As time went on, my focus has shifted to wanting to show the relationships between the horses – their behaviors.
Now that I’m thinking about “conformation” shots again, I’ve realized how difficult it is! I was joking to Chipeta and Puzzle (I talk to them – habit): “All right, step forward, please, into the open, careful the background, and turn just so …” You’ll be just as stunned as I was that I was not obeyed upon the instant.
At least in some cases I have no trouble whatsoever getting four pairs of ears at attention!
David at left, his yearling son, Wind, then mama Shadow and baby Coal.
You can plainly see Wind’s left hind sock – you can’t see his right hind pastern. You may or may not see Coal’s teeny star – it could be mistaken for a bit of glare on his shiny handsome face. And how many legs of David’s have white? Not only does he have the right hind sock, he has a left front fetlock and left hind pastern.
I walked back down and over to visit them after I left Ty’s (they were not that close and not within sight of each other). Mama Shadow was first to see me, but she went back to grazing. I got within an arroyo of them and sat down on the long “hump” (not tall enough to be called a ridge, it’s just where the land humps up between arroyos or “washes” that have eroded down from a much bigger ridge that actually marks the edge of a long sloping hill). They continued grazing for a little while, then some unseen/unheard signal called everybody to mama – they stood like that for a few moments, then turned and walked over the next “hump.” I like to be the one to walk away and leave them alone, but sometimes, they’ve had enough of me before I’ve had enough of them.