Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Red Desert White Band Stallion Mustang A Day Painting #5

Red Desert Band Stallion
Painting by Linda L Martin
8 by 10 inches
Acrylic on Canvas Pannel

This Band Stallion photo was used by permission by Horse and Western Heritage Photographer Tamara Gooch.  Tamara says she has followed this stallion and photographed him quite a bit. As of September he had a band of 4 mares all with foals.” He certainly is the tough guy on the block” Says Tamara, “ always wanting to test another stallion even when mating season is long over.”
Tamara goes on to say that  this HMA( Horse Management Area) is one  that is scheduled for a round up in the spring of 2011.  It is possible that  round ups or gathers as they are often called might directly affect this stallion.
The Bureau of Land Management schedules the round ups as part of their herd management strategy. Unfortunately  many times family groups are separated during the round ups  and sometimes the normal herd activity is so disrupted that a vigorous stallion like this might be removed from the gene pool simply because population estimates are over management quotas.
Were the Stallions and their harems not interfered with by the round ups a stallion like this would naturally stay with his mares, protecting them and taking them to the best grazing  help his foals grow strong, until another stallion could fight him for control of the mares or steal one from him. In this way only the strongest and the wisest stallions produce foals.

Detail of  original Refrence
Photogrpah by
Tamara Gooch

Unfortunately, sometimes a stallion might loose his entire family and have to build it back up from scratch. Other times a stallion will be removed and all of his off spring and only the mares will be returned to the range. Sometimes only whole families will be removed and separated. Wise management in the HMA areas will make sure that viable family groups are returned to their ranges together after mares are treated with birth control to slow down the birth rate. However, consideration of herd behavior and natural selection varies from HMA to HMA. One of the challenges of  wild mustang  horse management is to maintain population levels on multiple use lands with out interfering with natural herd behavior.  It requires hours of field work and observation to distinguish and make determinations as to which horses should be removed from the range and which should stay.  
A group of herd watchers local to each HMA helps in this as do wildlife photographers like Tamara. They can document family groups, herd behavior and  herd migration patterns within the public and private lands of the Horse Management Areas.
If you are local to a herd management area and would like to donate photography and stories of the hores you document or watch please email me at llmartisticservices@yahoo.com
You can see more of Tamara's Work  at:  http://www.tamaragoochphoto.com./           
You can also find her on Facebook at: Tamara Gooch Photography
A Spcial Thanks to Tamara Gooch for her contribution to this painting.


  1. I really like the expression and detail in the jowl /jaw on this one.
    Great challenge. How is it going????

  2. Its challenging of course. But really great. Some really awesome herd watchers are providing the photography and the stories. Im so amazed at the love and the passion everyone has connected to this. Right now the biggest challenge is to know which horses to piant. I am trying to get a band stallion of each color and hopefully representative of a number of Horse Management Areas. Still collecting photography of course. There will be about 260 paintings all together when I finish this phase of the project. Im glad you are enjoying it.

  3. This one is REALLY great Linda!!!!!

  4. Thank you Sheri. Tamara allowed me to use this great photo. It really makes a difference. Since I cant get out to take the shots myself the generosity of herd watch photographers is paramount. Im sincerly grateful for their contributions to make this happen.