Finally! Inspiration! Earlier today I had the opportunity to meet one of my favorite authors, Hilari Bell. I like her stories so well that I cannot bring myself to be even a little ashamed of openly admitting how much I love Young Adult novels. Hey, I can’t spend all my time reading nothing but America’s Last Wild Horses or The Wild Horse Conspiracy, people! I would end up in a perpetual cycle of crying, drowning my sadness in ice cream, gaining 100 pounds, feeling really guilty and trying a fad diet that would work for a while but ultimately fail, and repeat. Actually, I think I would be okay with all that but it might make it harder for me to have enough energy to spend as much time with the wild ones.
Anyway, after a lovely conversation, I finally felt like I got my groove back to write something other than a quick Breeze & Whatever-the-heck-I’m-Gonna-Name-Him update. Let’s hope I can get through this before giving up and digging into a book.
Wait. What was I going to talk about? Oh yeah. Bachelors.
Everyone loves bachelor stallions. What is it about bachelors that is so fantastic? It’s pretty simple: they are just too darn fun to hang out with. It’s like being in a frat house. Everytime is party time.
Not all bachelors are created equal, however. Most wild horse boys are kicked out at a young age by their fathers. That way they will not have a chance to become a threat; presumably, a mare would be more willing to take off with a younger horse they have known for years than with an immature goofball that is itching for a fight.
The initial transition has to reallly suck. You have a family, a mom, someone else calling the shots and helping keep you safe when suddenly WHAM! You’re father is treating you like dirt and threatening to kick the snot out of you if you come back. Suddenly, the poor youngster is all alone trying to figure out what the heck to do on his own.
Thankfully, horses are very social creatures. Unlike me, they don’t have to be conned into reading nonsense like How to Win Friends and Influence People.(Hint: learn how to use the internet & get into wild horses) Very quickly they create bands of their own. These basically amount to a bunch of teenagers roaming the wilderness with no authority figures to hold them back. How could that possibly go wrong?
They aren’t completely on their own, mind you. Many dramatic photos come out of band stallions chasing encroaching bachelors away from their mares. So many, in fact, that I went into wild horse herds assuming that would always be the case. Not quite. Sometimes I see band stallions grooming or playing with bachelors who do not pose a threat. It is a bit like coming home from college and going out for a beer with Dad.
Mostly they get into trouble.
Bachelors are the true symbol of what a person imagines a wild horse to be. They don’t have any responsibility so they can just have fun; go where they want when they want & to heck with the consequences. How wonderful it must be!
But they are still boys. Which is to say that they like the ladies. Or perhaps it would be more accurate to say that their hormones and natural instincts lead them to the conclusion that they are willing to put up with a lady if it means they can get a little something-something out of the bargain.
The bachelor gets older and with that age comes bigger muscles, stronger bodies, and, ahem, a drive to succeed. It starts out innocently enough. They start calling the shots amongst their fellow bachelors in a band. When they come across other band stallions, they aim to maim.
At some point, a stallion will leave his fellow bachelors to strike out on his own. Some stallions keep to themself for a bit to bulk up. Others will go straight to stalking another band, waiting for the right moment to take the competition out.
If only they knew that they were probably better off sticking to bachelorhood. Poor sods.
Skipping over years of polygamous bliss: if a stallion is lucky and very good then they survive long enough to grow old. With age comes experience. You would think that the ladies would like that. But no. Eventually a stallion is weak enough that he does not have the strength and agility to keep the mares he spent his life working for. It’s back to bachelorhood.
Old bachelors are my second favorite category of wild horse (first being cranky mares). This is mostly because they are absolutely adorable. The stallion gets to play Grandpa and babysitter for the youngsters. If a younger bachelor is smart, then they will learn from an older stallion’s experience.
If Gramps is smart, he gets the heck away from the youngsters and finds some other geriatrics. Kids these days are crazy! Bachelors had much better manners back in the day. It’s just further proof that the country is going to hell in a handbasket, I tell ya!