"In every walk with nature one receives far more than he seeks." ~John Muir
Like weather in the high desert, things change fast among wild horse bands. Like human society, there are those bonds that last life long and there are those that are fleeting, and many others in-between.
In wild horse society, there are intense pressures to win a family, as there are to keep them. This stallion is known by some as McCloud (far right). His band has since completely dispersed. The grulla filly in the back (two yr old) is now with a former bachelor stallion (Shaman) and has a new foal. The palomino mare is surprisingly with the yellow stallion (the one in my October album that followed Red Vogue's little band and remained on the outskirts), along with her two identical sorrel offspring, and now also has a third new foal that looks just like them.
As we know, stallions fight to keep their harem, but for the mares to be dispersed like that, makes me think it was a severe fight that may have left the stallion injured, and two opportunistic stallions swiped each mare. McCloud is an aging stallion, from my personal interpretation, and I've seen he and another very savvy and strong stallion, aka Shaman, fight relentlessly in the past, and with the grulla mare now with Shaman (a tri colored medicine hat with two ice blue eyes), I think was the driving source of the major change in band structure, dividing it into two bands. One stallion fought and conquered, and another nearby stallion was in the right place at the right time and swiped the other mare. Mind you, this is not certain, but merely a hypothesis of mine.
While I personally haven't seen McCloud since, I've been told he has been seen by others, so we know he wasn't mortally injured, but apparently severe enough that he could no longer defend his mares.
Such is the wild.
As sad as it may seem to human hearts, it's a remarkable way of nature also assuring that in wild horse society, only the strongest will have offspring.
With a healthy level of opportunistic bachelors, and bands headed up by new and the best stallions, assures rich and fresh genetic health and diversity among wild horses.