Fickle is as Fickle Does

I’m sorry to say it, but Niobrara is just not that into Hamlet. I guess tall, dark and handsome isn’t really her type. Throughout my time in the Pryors this year, I witnessed Niobrara run off from Hamlet’s band several times, and Hamlet chase fairly good-naturedly after her. It may seem odd to us as observers, after all Hamlet is a calm and kind band stallion, but mares do have their own individual preferences. And Niobrara is making it quite clear that Hamlet’s band isn’t where she wants to stay.

Hamlet band cr
“Here we go again, I kinda wanna be more than friends….” Side note, Audubon is so over these shenanigans.

 

Niobrara runs 2 cr
Niobrara decides she’s heading off.

Niobrara runs cr

Hamlet run cr
Hamlet. He really is a handsome stallion

IMG_9878
Niobrara is happy to graze next to Hamlet.
IMG_9819
Hamlet is very gentle with Niobrara.

IMG_9815

IMG_9814

IMG_9818
Niobrara’s main form of dissent is walking away.

What’s especially interesting is that Niobrara has no problem grazing next to Hamlet or even mutually grooming with him (she’s a bit of a tease, actually). She’s certainly not intimidated by him. But she is very unwilling to let him breed her. At first I assumed this was more due to her youth rather than any kind of individual preference. However, one morning Niobrara repeatedly rebuffed Hamlet (after grooming with him for several minutes) and the poor guy went off to play with a group of bachelors. While everyone’s attention was on Hamlet mucking about with the younger boys, I suddenly caught sight of Jupiter breeding Niobrara, and Niobrara standing very calmly. Eventually Hamlet noticed as well, and came charging over. While he did chase Jupiter off, there was only a small scuffle before Jupiter returned to his band, unscathed and rather pleased with himself. As for Hamlet, he decided to try his luck at wooing Niobrara again. The young mare wasn’t thrilled but around 15 minutes later did reluctantly breed with Hamlet.

IMG_9790
Niobrara is generally comfortable with Hamlet.

It seems clear to me that, for whatever reason, Niobrara is not content in Hamlet’s band. Hamlet seems to be realising that, too. He did not make much of a go for Jupiter, and he is getting less and less determined when chasing after his wayward filly. For what it’s worth, Niobrara doesn’t seem particularly stressed when running away from her band, so I wouldn’t worry about her.

IMG_9859
Jupiter isn’t even sorry.

8 thoughts on “Fickle is as Fickle Does

  1. This sort of thing is why it is so “iffy” to declare the sire of many of the wild horses. You can make a good guess, but there’s no guarantee. It will be very interesting to see how this saga plays out. Maybe she will make her way back to being with some of her band mates from when she was in Jackson’s band. She is definitely a beauty. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. She is so beautiful! 🙂 I think she might like to rejoin some of her former band mates, they were a really close band.
      I think the paternity of foals from young mares is much harder to guarantee. They just aren’t settled the way a well-established mare in the band is. I certainly wouldn’t wager on the sire of a potential 2017 Niobrara foal 😛

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I was up on the mountain in June this year and saw Hamlet, Niobrara, Audubon, and Penn. Niobrara seemed to fit into the band fine. I wish she would like Hamlet. I think they look good together. But looks aren’t everything!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. What I find really interesting is that Niobrara does fit in well with the band and yet it seems it’s not where she really wants to be. At first I wondered if Audobon was giving her some grief, but I didn’t see any evidence of that. She likes Penn and feels comfortable mutual grooming, laying down etc. in the band. I really don’t know why she keeps running off!

    Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s