Honor Band Stallion of the Steens in Oregon:
Honor of the Steens
5 by 5 inch Watercolor
This snaking behavior can also infrequently be seen in dominant mares in domestic or wild herds. Lead mares are the mares who are in the front of the herd leading the way. They also are more dominant and as such they reach food first and drink first and their foals tend to be more favored .
Generally the lead mare will lead the band to their next location often choosing when and what to east, while the stallion takes up the rear, fighting off challengers if they appear. He also is ready to nip at the heals of the slow, reluctant and rebellious. While the band stallion protects the herd front he back, the lead mare keeps the band moving forward. A good lead mare can make or break a stallion trying to attain breeding rights to more mares, as she will lead the band to the stallion if they are separated and she will help him in defending the young.
|Honor Snaking by Maggie J|
Used by permission
While the dominant mare is leading the band, the stallion will also use the snaking motion to run around the outside of the band and keep them tightly together. This behavior reminds the mares and young that he is the boss and is to be obeyed. It also prevents a mare from lagging or being separated from the group and thus an easy target for another stallion to steal.
To see more of Maggie's Photography please check out her page Oregon's Wild Side on Facebook
There are more photo's of Honor there and many of the other horses of the Steens.