Sunday, 17 October 2010

Wild Horses

I was back on Winfrith Heath today, to finish my most recent painting.

The heath has a population of wild horses, which are very shy of human contact.

As I was hidden in the long heath grass I looked up to see a group of horses grazing very nearby. The horses saw me at the same time - and were as surprised as I was.

The lead stallion approached me nervously, and quite aggressively. I had to make a decision about whether to try to scare it away, or to stay still and not react. I chose the latter.

The stand-off continued for what seemed like a long time, with the stallion close enough to rear up and cause me some damage if it had chosen to. It champed and stamped quite threateningly, making it quite clear who was the boss.

It eventually decided I was no threat, returned to the herd, and continued to graze.

Shortly after this I packed up and left, gingerly.

I've had many encounters with animals over the years whilst painting in the landscape. This was certainly one of the most alarming.


Brian Sloan said...

I can imagine the air was electric, what a story. Great work, all the best.

Harriet Barber said...

Thanks Brian,
I'm going back out to paint the Heath today, so I hope I don't come back with more Horse stories!
I'm sure they will learn to ignore me in time

Gina said...

Marvelous work.

Liz B said...

Beautiful again Harriet - I can almost feel the fresh breeze on my face as I look at this painting!