Thursday, February 28, 2013

Part 6: Alberta Canada Wild Horses Challenge Painting #385

 The Lonely Stallion
"The Lonely Stallion"
Alberta Wild Horse of Canada
5 by 7 inches  Watercolor
by Linda L Martin Artist

~ On July 29, in a clear cut on the coal road heading, west to Sunset Outfitting on the Panther River, was this beautiful Stallion
~ He was the most sad, dejected creature of all
~ His scars attest to the life that he lived
~ Most remarkable - surviving the cougar attack that left his back end scarred and deformed. The muscle and blood loss from the attack should have been enough to kill him
~ But he obviously was a fighter
~ The bite scars on his neck speak to battles defending his own band. Battles he won
~ But now he has given up
~ Why has he lost his will to live
~ Has his band been taken over by a younger stronger stallion

The Stallion has recovered
From Multiple claw wounds.
Click the image to see it larger.
~ Or were they captured and slaughtered in the 2011/2012 cull
~ 218 wild horses died that winter, most in the Panther River area
~ Perhaps this lone stallion survived
~ Perhaps he spent the spring and early summer searching for others of his kind
~ And now, perhaps, finding none, he has chosen to spend his final days, defenseless, in wide open clear cut, waiting for mother nature to send a predator to end his misery
~ Life as a solitary creature is to much to bear
~ So he waits, unafraid, over whelmed by sadness, devastated, so very alone


The above are the thoughts and observations of Laura Smith when she happened upon this lone stallion and photographed him in July 2012. She has graciously allowed me to share her photos and use them as a reference for tonight’s painting.
A large wound  scar on
his rump interferes
slightly with his gait.
Click the image to see larger.

Unlike most of the wild horse herds in the USA, the wild horses of Alberta Provence in Canada are under continuous attack of predatory animals. These predators include black and grizzly bears, and timber wolves  and cougar. The number of predators in Alberta should be enough to keep the wild horse populations in check so they do not over run the habitat.   Yet up until this season trapping of wild horses continued and has devastated the populations throughout the region.   A lone horse, no matter its strength and vigor, will not survive for long without its band under these conditions. Horses by nature are gregarious  in normal circumstances.  A lone stallion would eventually meet up with other stallions for safety and protection against predators as part of the herd dynamic is to look out for each other.  A weakened, injured or depressed horse might not be able to keep up.

Something that stands out to me from Laura’s photos is that the stallion must be wise from all his life experiences and  seems to know better than to stand  under the trees bordering the clear cut area. These would be areas that a predator could easily surprise a lone or weakened horse. Probably he learned  this lesson he was attacked. 
The Lonely Stallion stands in the middle of the clear cut
lodge pole pine forest. He is amid the little left behind by
loggers. He, along with the remaining wild horses of Alberta,
is History Worth Preserving.

This is the second wild horse I’ve painted with puma scars since starting the  Mustang A Day challenge. The Lonely Stallion is a mighty fine animal and an amazing inspiration to all of us who fight and work to preserving all wild horses in North America.

Special thanks to Cac Betts, Ken Mcleod, Kimball Foord, and Laura Smith for contributing information and photos for this first part of my 2013 series of the Canadian Wild Horses.  I will be doing more on these horses  soon .  Please share these stories with your friends about the Mustang A Day Series, especially with those in Canada who can help in National Protection of the Wild Horses of Canada.

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