The fall weather was long lasting and kind to our Alberta wild horses, but winter has now arrived. The snow has started to accumulate throughout the wild horse range but snow depth varies greatly depending on where you are. Going into this time of year, all the horses we have been following are in very good condition. Even the snow is here, it is easy to paw through to find forage.
Underneath the pine trees the grasses are still exposed. This young mare obviously has been under the trees in search of something to eat. Just look at my lovely white scarf! One thing about horses, whether wild or domestic, the cold does not bother them that much as long as they are healthy. With snow, it also doesn’t affect them unless it becomes very deep or crusted over. Right now even the youngsters are not having any difficulties.
Look closely and you can see these horses enjoying the solitude and quiet of an open clearcut. Winter is actually a wonderful time of the year to visit the wild horses because everything is so pristine and beautiful. Taking pictures of horses and other wildlife in winter conditions can yield some fantastic images.
This is an example of the different birds and wildlife you are able to see in the winter months. This little Northern Hawk Owl keeps a close eye on us as we walked out to photograph some horses.
Even at this time of year with the sun so low on the horizon, this boy takes advantage of a nap while standing in the sunshine. At ease and relaxed, the sun does warm him up and provides some energy.
This young foal was with his small herd feeding in this winter sunshine. It got to be too much for him and shut went his eyes and he snoozed under the watchful gaze of his mare and stallion.
Dad stares us down. His facial colouring is unique – he has white eyelashes on his left eye. He moved around to ensure his mares and his foal were safe but was not too concerned with us admiring his beauty.
What a stunningly beautiful this mare is! Dappled grey with a silver mane and tail. But on her muzzle you can see some brown, roan colouring too.
This mare was part of the same herd. Absolutely beautiful to see and watch.
In the area where we found these two boys, the snow wasn’t that deep yet. As is typical with young studs, they were having a discussion of who was the leader.
A day later in another location, this magnificent roan stallion was with his good sized herd on an exposed power line. The chinook wind was howling and he put his butt to the wind as he dozed off in the sun. He such a powerful, mature stallion and his genes can tell a story of what makes our Alberta wild horses unique in the world.
As we ended our travels for the day, we were fortunate to be bid farewell by this stunning young stallion and his friend. One thing about the wild horses is that they can sense from a distance whether or not you mean any harm. We were allowed to get close without disturbing them because we believe they can sense our admiration and love for them.
No matter what the temperature, we will be out there again, because what better way to spend a day than with nature and the wild horses.
Our calendars are sold out and we want to thank everyone for supporting WHOAS and our work to save and protect these wonderful horses for future generations.