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D.B. Young | all galleries >> Wild Horses of the High Desert > Stand up and fight.JPG
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Stand up and fight.JPG
15-JUN-2008

Stand up and fight.JPG

Wild horse stallions must constantly fend off other males that are compelled to challenge and overtake the position of dominant herd leaders. Usually, a confrontation is low-key, with the challenger facing off with the herd stallion, then turning away casually or sprinting away from the bared teeth of the more aggressive leader at his rear end. Only rarely does the challenger stand up to the powerful herd stallion and assert himself. As the stallions rise up on their hind legs, each tries to strike the other with thrusting front hooves. Although most of the blows are ducked and even blocked, a hoof strike that lands on the face of a fighting horse emits a loud crack; it's got to hurt.

Keeping watch for an entire day with a long lens at the ready is difficult, but worth the wait when the battles escalate to the point demonstrated in this frame.

Pentax K20D ,Sigma 50-500mm
Images were shot using a long lens. The mustangs were not disrupted from their normal activities. full exif

other sizes: small medium original
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Keith O'Brien18-Jan-2010 12:54
Fantastic capture, love the way the other horses in the background carry on grazing regardless of the action. V
carol j. phipps23-Nov-2008 23:36
Terrific action! I'm amazed at how straight and tall they stand!
Susanne v. Schroeder21-Sep-2008 10:48
Incredible! Worth the long wait!
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