Ain’t No Giant Space Depression Wide Enough

I have a website!  It is a real website and everything! I’m not going to pretend it is anything fancy, but feel free to check it out if you have a free moment sometime. Now with that out of the way, on to the important stuff!

chasma orion 05-2014 ii
Chasma & Orion

Some days I just want to share a whole bunch of photos and not bother with the writing thing. Call me lazy, but March Madness is upon us and these blog posts take forever.

Such is the case with Chasma, the 2012 son of Nova.  Somehow, a few words got through anyway.  I will say that if you are newer to my blog, you may want to check out an older post – Strike Out – first to learn a little bit more about Chasma’ family since I am not going too in-depth with the introductions this time around.

Chasma was the only foal born into Dragon’s band in 2012.  Logic would make you think that he must have been doted on by the 4 mares in the group. Unfortunately, the band had its share of problems to distract them from spoiling their little bundle of joy rotten.

Lil' baby Chasma
Lil’ baby Chasma

In addition to the band stallion Dragon the band had a satellite stallion in Vimes.   A good satellite stallion will fight off other stallions and provide extra protection from threats.  They get to spend time with the mares, but still respect to the head stallion’s authoritah.

Vimes was not such a stallion.  You see, one of these mares was a member of Vimes’ band before the 2011 roundup.  Vimes was loyal to the mares but not necessarily to Dragon.  It was a difficult position for Dragon to find himself in.  Dragon was getting a little worn in the tooth and the 2011 roundup had left him in need of another stallion to help keep the band together.  But was Vimes the best choice?

Vimes & Dragon duking it out

Apparently not, since Vimes took over the following year.  Dragon permanently injured his right front knee.  Who knows?  Maybe Vimes was the one who caused the damage in the end. By the time that was all settled, Striker was born, and Chasma wasn’t the baby of the group anymore.  He was growing into a lovely youngster, but never really stood out in the band.  To be honest, it was easy to forget about him which is not such a good thing when you are trying to keep up to date photos documenting a herd.

Chasma also hides behind his mom and aunties a lot which doesn’t help

It wasn’t until Chasma was a two year old that I started recognizing a few things.  Chasma was looking suspiciously similar to Vimes. Reviee of my 2011 photos confirmed that Mama Nova was with Vimes before the roundup.

So Vimes had a big reason to “play satellite” to Dragon.  It would also explain why the band handled the transition so easily, and even added a new member after Dragon was defeated.


The second thing I noticed was that Chasma was not a quiet horse at all.  He was just quiet with his family.  He never played with his younger siblings (there have been three in the past two years) or with Vimes.  For that matter, he ignored the new satellite stallion, Bink too.  When Bink tried to play, Chasma would clack his teeth & shy away instead!

Chasma and bro
“Play with me!!!” Not gonna happen little fellow

bink and chasma

Chasma does have a best friend, though. A big, burly, full-grown bestie that always makes time for him.

Orion standing proud
All of these photos come from two particular days, because this post is a lazy post and editing photos from other days seemed like it would require effort.

Orion has had some challenges of his own.  His band went from five, to seven, to four, and finally down to three – one mare and her two daughters.  The change was natural, but so heavy handed & sudden that it is no wonder that Orion has been high-strung and paranoid lately.

Orion’s band was the only intact band to escape the 2011 roundup that I have found to date.  It originally consisted of two primary mares and three youngsters – Splash, June, and Koryn.  The sassy fillies grew up to become beautiful mares in their own right, and left to join up with stallions of their own, taking older mare Nauti with them.

Orion's band circa 2012
Orion’s mares circa 2012
Orion's band in May of 2014.  (the bay mare in the middle defected to Curly a month later)
Orion’s band in May of 2014. (the bay mare in the middle defected to Curly a month later)

Orion has sired a pack full of fillies, but in recent years he has only sired one son.  That son, Nemo, was barely a yearling when he and his mother Nauti joined a new band.  Orion did not have the opportunity to show Nemo “the ropes” nor even follow the tradition of kicking Nemo out of the band and into bachelorhood as he came of age. Without his own son to annoy, Orion took a shine to Chasma

. chasma orion 05-2014

chasma orion 05-2014 iv

chasma orino 05-2014 vii

orion and bink
Bink crashed the party on this particular morning. Spoil sport!

Lots of band stallions will play with 1-3 year olds from other bands.  It’s a really common sight.  The kids aren’t a threat, and it is an easy way to take a little break from the responsibilities of being a mighty, grown up band stallion.

orion and chasma iii

Still, the relationship between Orion and Chasma seems special.  Orion is not a playful stallion.  Normally he is quite serious.  I have seen other 2 & 3 year old colts around his band (Orion likes to stay in the thick of things), but I’ve only ever seen Orion play with Chasma.

chasma bites

Chasma is hardly gregarious, and sticks himself in the middle of the mares most days.  He won’t leave the safety of the band for other stallions, even stallions who are closer to his age.  On one occasion, Vimes’ band was right next to a band with fellow two-year-old Maclaurian.  Mac went out and played with some younger bachelors in the area, all of whom were within spitting distance of Chasma.  Chasma ignored them.


Half an hour later, he left to say hi to Orion.

Why Orion? Why do these two specifically seek each other out?  Why does Chasma act so differently with Orion versus his own band stallion?

orion profile

If I had to guess, and I guess by nature of writing this blog I sort of do,  I would say that Chasma and Orion are dude bros.  Because let’s fact it, there is no escaping dude bros, not even in other species.

Was that enough words to justify this?
Was that enough words to justify this post?

orion running

orion and chasma v
Most of these photos came from one of two days in 2014. This is because I have a gazillion photos from those days and was too lazy to find photos from other days when I already had so many. Have I mentioned this is a lazy photodump post yet?
chasma and orion vii
So, so lazy.  Unlike these two nerds. (Note:  nerds is a term of affection, not an insult 😉 )

orion and chasma rear orion and chasma vi orion and chasma orion and chasma iv

Published by Rachel Reeves

I am a photographer who currently lives in the great state of Colorado. I love going out and photographing wild horses in their natural habitat, and look forward to being able to share a glimpse their world with you.

6 thoughts on “Ain’t No Giant Space Depression Wide Enough

  1. Awww, I’m so glad Chasma has someone to be special with. He probably hid in the mares because as a youngster with Dragon and Vimes sparring…it scared him. Doubt either one of those guys had any real interest in the little fellow. Orion, it seems, did and Chasma didn’t find him threatening. Great story.

  2. This is such a cute story! I love how it showcases the softer side of a stallion’s nature 🙂 and that first picture is beautiful!

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