The Black Stallion - Part 2

See part 1 for the first half of the story

           On a hill, about 100 to 150 yards in front of us, a herd of wild horses came into view as they slowly walked over the top of the hill and proceeded down the near side toward us. As they closed the distance a little more, they saw our horses. They immediately stopped and were all eyes and ears. Our horses were the same. It was a staring match for maybe ten to twenty seconds. Then at the top of the hill where the horses had first appeared, came into our view, you guessed it, a black wild stallion. Pure black, except maybe for a small white blaze on its forehead. He stood, motionless on the crest of the hill, looking directly at our horses. We were sitting in their shadow, in the grass and sage, and we thought that the stallion probably could not see us, or hoped he couldn’t any way.

           Time passed, it was still a staring match. The mares and the colts were motionless, they were trying to get wind of us or determine who these strange horses were with things on their backs (saddles). We sat very still, hoping they would continue coming our way, so that maybe we’d get really close to them. The stallion was not motionless, now he was pacing back and forth on the hill top-his eyes always on our horses, his nostrils working hard to get our scent. The mares seemed to know not to advance until the stallion knew what was up. It was a true thrill just to sit there in the middle of nowhere and watch that noble horse, his black mane and long tail blowing as he trotted back and forth in an attempt to get wind of us. Definite suspense.

            Finally the breeze shifted and our scent went his way. Suddenly he was all action. He trotted quickly down the hill to his band of mares, and snorting and throwing his beautiful black head up and down signaled the mares. It was exit time, post haste. He came around the south side of the herd, pushing them north, and with high pitched whinnies’ and grunts tossing his head with almost violent very authoritative action, commanded them into an instant full speed retreat.  The thunder of hooves and numerous puffs and yellow clouds of dry Idaho dust and little rocks appeared instantly in the air as the herd seemed to almost vanish from our view just as quickly.  Off the edge of the plateau they flew, we stood up and when we caught site of them again, they were small to the view, almost a half mile away, racing at full speed across the sage brush flat, toward distant hills. The trail of dust they made moved so fast, it was like watching a race car on a dry dusty track. We just stood there in silence, trying to drink it all in. There’s something about seeing wild horses in full gallop. It sends a chill up your back, and there’s nothing quite like seeing a real wild black stallion in action, running free with his band of mares and colts through the big empty of the Idaho rangeland.  I’m glad I got to see one for myself, even if it was only once. 

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