Tuesday, July 19, 2016

Perpendicular Approach -Stallion Interaction #2

The Weekly Post
Week of July 17, 2016
Series: Stallions Interactions #2-Perpendicular Approach
© Equus ferus- Wild Horse Photography 
© Karen McLain Studio

In last week's post on stallions, I discussed the behaviour of stallions. In this post in the continuing series The Interaction between Stallions we examine the “approach”. Generally stallions meet and size one another up before getting within striking distance. Of note, is when stallions approach one another, often one horse will pivot so that they are perpendicular to one another. This behaviour is similar to animals who puff themselves up to appear larger and more formidable to predators or other males.

Additionally, when two stallions approach one another, there is often a lot of posturing consisting of arched necks, raised tails, pawing the ground, squealing, and the action of their legs is high. The trot and canter become big, extended, and powerful. When they approach more closely, they turn to face one another and press nostrils close with necks arched- this may be accompanied by squealing or striking out with a foreleg. Sometimes they fight, and sometimes they go in different directions. In the photos presented in this album, we can clearly see the perpendicular stance of two stallions approaching one another.

The last photo is of Cowboy (paint) and Snowman (grey). Both of these stallions grew up in a bachelor band together. They have been 'sharing' the duties of a band stallion for Mayday (colt) and Heidi (mare). They know each other well especially with regards to fighting capabilities and frequently spar with one another. At the time of this photo, Cowboy was leading the small band, and Snowman was the 'satellite' or lieutenant stallion. However, Cowboy was usurped by Snowman within a month of this photograph. The father of the colt in this band, Mayday, is unknown because his mother Heidi gave birth to him while still in her natal band.

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