So Nebraska lost to Georgia in the Capital One Bowl. What does that do with horses? Absolutely nothing. But this blog does not believe in starting any posts on topic. Ever. It’s practically a rule at this point.
Husker football, or rather, the emotions it evokes in its fans is tough to explain to non-Nebraskans. Lots of teams have “super fans”. Husker Nation has an entire state and then some full of wack jobs like me. As euphoric as a win is, a loss can cause a typical Nebraska fan to go into a week of mourning. It’s going to be a long wait for spring training, cupcakes.
Let’s relieve my frustration and sadness, shall we?
I could spend the rest of my life studying wild horses. I hope that I can. There is one thing in particular that I fear I may never understand: the art of war.
Listening to Pat Benetar whilst reading this blog is not mandatory, but it is highly recommended.
So here’s what I’ve got. Mustangs are territorial. Wild stallions like to keep bands full of full of buxom mares. A stallion will fight, sometimes to the death (though that’s rare) over said mares.
The basic answer: It depends on the situation. Sometimes it seems obvious – a stallion clearly defeats another stallion and gains a whole band or a mare intentionally wanders off to be with some else.
I see it as something of a chess match. Think of a stallion as a general. His strategies and the troops (mares) he assembles will decide whether he will win the battle we call life.
First a stallion has to prove his value as a leader and protector. The only way to do that is to take out the competition. It isn’t just a ‘to the victor goes the spoils’ scenario. The stallion is also showing the mares that he has the ability to protect a band from external threats to her and her offspring.
It’s like when I watch Jeremy Renner flexing his muscles, killing aliens or the CIA or who the heck cares what he kills so long as he takes his shirt off? Proper admiration of a nice beefcake is universal.
After a stallion woos a mare, he’s gotta keep them. That means fighting off a never-ending stream of crazy town banana pants home wreckers. I’m sure stallions do more than eat, breed, and fight. I just haven’t seen it yet. Keeping your mares together is a full time job to be sure.
Selecting the right mares is important too. What makes a stallion choose the mares he does? Why will a bachelor stalk the same band for months on end just for one lady? Is it her personality? Her brains? Her looks? I’ll leave it to the guys to answer that one. Feel free to be honest guys – I have anonymous commenting turned on. You’re safe here.
This is where the mares come in. If a mare doesn’t like a stallion then there is no way he is going to “keep her”. At best, he can hope she’ll stick around and wait until something better comes along. The dynamics among mares are also important. If a stallion brings home a new lady and the other mares hate her, then it becomes a lot harder to fight off suitors that are hot to trot for that disgruntled mare.
And with mares being mares, the bigger a band is, the more likely it will eventually fall into cattiness and back biting. Okay, fine, that may be a bit anthropomorphic, but I’m still pretty sure that I’m right.
But as if dealing with women wasn’t enough, a stallion also has to handle maintaining his turf and the overall standing of his band. Some mares may be willing to wait for water and put up with the wimps (God bless you Felicity & Winnemucca) but other mares are gold diggers. For many stallions, keeping your ladies happy also means making sure you keep on the up and up with the neighbors. A mare who has access to better grazing and water holes will probably be more inclined to stay put when another stallion comes calling.
Don’t get me wrong, there’s also love and faithfulness involved in pairings. But this post is about Nebraska losing, my generally cynical attitude towards romance, and the fighting. A good natured stallion will be more inclined to have doting mares, even if he is lower in the pecking order. An older stallion may be able to keep mares longer than his strength and ability should allow because they are fond of him.
But to get to that point, it all starts with a little fight.