Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Challenge Painting #234 Favorite Horses of Sand Wash Basin: Apache

Apache of Sand Wash Basin HMA.

8 by 8 inches Watercolor
by LindaLMartinArtist
Apache is a sorrel or chestnut pinto bachelor stallion that has really endeared himself to me this year. A lot of artist like to paint him because of his flashy red and white color. But this year he is paying his dues in a big way.

He is a game little stallion. Although I’m not sure who his parents are, to my surprise when I was doing the research for this painting, I came across a photo of him showing his profile. He has a definite bump in his nose much like Picasso, although not as large as that of our premier Sand Wash Basin band stallion.

Apache has a brave heart and isn’t afraid to tangle with the biggest and the best of the band stallions. And here is where the most interesting thing about him starts. Almost the entire summer of 2011 he has been tagging the Band Stallion Brave. And I highly suspect from the photography I’ve seen that he is after a certain 2 year old filly, named Flirt. Flirt and her mother were stolen from Band Stallion Bear. Bear hasn’t been seen all year. I have to say that Bear didn’t seem to be the type to give up a mare without a fight. And if one ensued, I can only imagine it was furious.

When you see Brave and Apache together you can see that Brave has a few hundred pounds of muscle more than Apache. Brave is at least a good 2 hands higher than Apache. Yet, Apache is relentless in his attempts. The tenacious little Apache refuses to stop his pursuit. Apache inches in closer and closer until Brave is so angered that he flattens his ears and charges with teeth bared and eyes blazing.
Photographer John Wagner has captured just such a pursuit in his visits to the range. Each time Apache engages just enough, then scampers away before he is defeated entirely.

A portion of the sale price for this
painting will go to Sally Wright, for her
continued documentation of the
Wild Horses of Sand Wash Basin HMA
It’s a learning process. Apache has spent a good portion of his year learning the weaknesses of the stallions who possess mares. And as he goes, Apache has had his share of injuries and battle scars too. He is growing wiser and stronger. This is the way of the wild stallion. He will continue probably until he wins a mare or two or even three. Then there will be the never ending battle to keep his mares and make sure they have all they need to raise healthy foals.

I don’t think anyone actually knows Apache’s age at this point. I believe, I was told earlier last year that all of the young horses 2 years or younger were removed in the 2008 management round up by the BLM. So at the time of the round ups Apache was probably at least 4, if he was allowed to remain free. So that would make him about  7 or 8 years old.
Some wild horse behaviorists say that a stallion usually wins his first mares about the age of 8 or 9, so this sounds about right. Once a band stallion, he  will probably keep his mare or mares until he is well into his 20s, providing he stays healthy  and sound or is not interfered with by  a round up or  other interference.

If you would like to read more about the Wild Horses of Sand Wash Basin HMA you can follow by liking The Sand Wash Basin Wild Horses page on Facebook

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