Wednesday, May 18, 2011

The Fighting Stallions of Sand Wash Basin challenge painting #112

Bear of Sand Wash Basin HMA Colorado

Bear Of SandWash Basin
5 by 7 inch Oil on Canvas Board
by LindaLMartinArtist
Reference Photo by Nancy Roberts

When the first images of Bear started showing up among the photographers everyone thought he must have been a wise old knarly stallion with a lot of years of scrapping and fighting in his past. He had one mare and her yearling filly in 2010.
But then we began to notice that Bear has a brand. He was obviously captured at some point and branded with the idea of removing him from the range. However, evidently someone changed their mind and released him back into the Sand Wash Basin.
Bear's Brand
Photo by Sally Wright
Photographer Sally Write was the first to photograph his brand so it could be read. Many of the horse watchers of The Sand Wash Basin Wild Horses club were surprised that Bear was actually only an 8 year old. In 2011 he is now 9. Sometime over the winter his Mare, Ellie and her filly, Flirt had been claimed by another, prominent band stallion, named Brave. And so far this year Bear has not been sighted.
Fighting Stallions:
The best way to show the Challenges that Stallions go through on a daily basis is to show this photo series by Nancy Roberts.  A dominant stallion like Corona will not tolerate a mature stallion too close to his band and frequently the band stallion will go after the offender never letting them come too close. Corona’s ability to keep his family together for over 6 years through 2 roundups is proof that allowing any challenger too close is to invite disaster and upheaval.
This may be one of the reasons that Bear lost his mares. He allowed a tag or satellite stallion, Cimarron, to tag his band for most of 2010. It appears that Cimarron wasn’t strong enough to actually steal the mares, however, he also may also have been the stallion that had the mares first and was so attached that he couldn’t leave them. (Because of the color of Cimarron, silver chestnut, I wouldn’t be surprised  if he was Flirt’s father.)
 Having Cimarron so close, tagging the band might have been a sign to the other stallions that Bear was a weak band stallion. A Strong opportunistic stallion Like Brave may have seen this as an opening to take the mares because Cimarron was still aloud to hang around.
There is one other things that has been reported  regarding satellite stallions. A Satellite stallion should not be confused with a lieutenant stallion. A Band stallion with a large number of mares my allow a satellite stallion to be his subordinate in protection of the herd. This lieutenant stallion will help the dominant band stallion defend the herd. On occasion this lieutenant stallion is a younger stallion under the age of 4. But in herds where there may be 10 to 20 mares,  the lieutenant  will be a mature stallion who has earned the right to a place in the herd but is still subordinate to the stallion. He rarely if ever breeds one of the harem mares.
In the Sand Wash Basin HMA herds of mares that large are mostly unheard of because of management and population control.
You can read more about the horses of the Sand Wash Basin on Facebook by liking the Sand Wash Basin Wild Horses Club. And by following the horses on the Sand Wash Basin Wild Horses Blog

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