It was late afternoon when I just popped quickly over to check out the plain, sniffing about for last light photography opportunities, I am not sure what I heard first, his squealing territorial whinny announcing his arrival with that underlying tone, stating he knows full well there is an intruder about, or the thunder of hooves behind me. Either way as I turned about, I caught a glimpse of a truly magnificent creature galloping full pelt, charging towards my car......
To say that I was a bit taken back is an understatement ! I mean what type of Brumby does that? Sure I have had them posture at me, especially whilst they are figuring out whether I'm friend or foe, many have warned me, when they feel, I am stepping inside their comfort zone and rest assured the Brumbies do have a nature blended of suspicion and curiosity, but charging a car at full gallop? That is something new!!
Now this Stallion had no idea that I was hidden in the trees he was totally focused on the car, after he was done checking it out, he headed on over to greet a couple of Bachelor boys. I took the this particular moment to regain my head, but within minutes, he caught wind that something still wasn't quite right - So he came looking.....
Now as a horsewoman as well as a photographer mixed feelings were mingling about, here is a very magnificent wild stallion that is showing behaviour one needs to be very cautious about, then you have the photographer in oneself that strives to get that all glorious photo, driven to document something that you know is truly unique. Now I do need to add here that I was safe at all times, I am a risk taker yes, but not at the safety of myself or anyone else, as you can see I am in a wooded area that was used to my benefit, along with being armed with the knowledge and past experience to understand what is unfolding before me, At no time did he posture in an aggressive manner, and at no time did I feel threatened.
My experience is that the Australian Brumbies are true thinking animals, they are as honest as the day is long and I for one just delight in watching the process, give them time, be honest with your intent and they will reward you ten fold. This Stallion was no different, just with ten times the confidence and arrogance of the average boy.
His only agenda was to figure out what was not quite right within his landscape, and once he gained a sense of where I was, the exploration continued in earnest, he strutted, he pranced, he posed and he assessed:
Time stood still whilst I was just in awe of this Stallion, his confidence, his arrogance, his charisma was something that we, as little girls, just dream about being in the presence of within. Then with as much drama as it all began, he seemed to make a decision that I was a friend and indeed no threat, he took a moment to soak me in, headed off out of the trees, to rest for a minute, in what seemed to be spending time to process what actually just went down.
Then with as much drama as it all began, he was off!!
Of course he had to have the last say, as he galloped into the completely opposite direction that he came, he confidently kept announcing his freedom in the way only a Stallion like him could.
This boy is just surrounded by mystery, where were his mares? A self assured Stallion like this in his prime would surely have a mob of mares that one could only be proud of, right? Where did he come from? And of course where was he heading? Maybe one day, just maybe I will be honoured with finding the answers, until then, Dearest Black, not only have you been honoured with the looks, markings and confidence of The Colt from Old Regret, you, in my mind have been stamped with the exact same spirit! Thank You for the encounter and until we meet again stay safe dear boy xx
The Man From Snowy River by A.B "Banjo" Paterson
There was movement at the station, for the word had passed around
That the colt from old Regret had got away,
And had joined the wild bush horses - he was worth a thousand pound,
So all the cracks had gathered to the fray.
All the tried and noted riders from the stations near and far
Had mustered at the homestead overnight,
For the bushmen love hard riding where the wild bush horses are,
And the stockhorse snuffs the battle with delight.
And that is just a gentle reminder of the poem that started the legend of the Colt from Old Regret, for those that are unfamiliar with this famous legend of a horse, you can read the full poem here: http://www.poetrylibrary.edu.au/poets/paterson-a-b-banjo/the-man-from-snowy-river-0001004