Lisa Cueman's Butterfly Kisses, Sepia Fine Art Horse Photography

Butterfly Kisses – 2018

Competition between stallions often gets the most attention when watching the herd dynamics of wild horses, but a form of education also occurs between older males and young colts. Taught through intimate, playful exchanges, a colt develops important skills that will be useful when it comes time to challenge for mares for his own. On this particular day in the Outer Banks, I instantly recognized these two, having seen them as yearlings and watched them grow up over my yearly visits. The stallion on the left is the senior, while the youngster on the right (who I have secretly dubbed “Valentine” for his heart shaped facial markings) still has much to learn. Under a late afternoon sun, I enjoyed spectating their play fighting maneuvers that took the form of  vigorous nipping to every vulnerable body part – legs, tails, necks, and faces. The charming and instructional playfulness offers expressions of closeness and gentleness between young stallions that will certainly vanish over time with maturity.