A Scary Day for Skipper

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A Scary Day for Skipper

Hello everyone! Most days in the Park are peaceful and relaxing. Sunday started out that way but quickly changed. I set out to find the horses and as luck would have it, they actually ended up coming to me. I was in an area where the horses have access to water and photographing several bands, one of which was Maverick’s. I was photographing Skipper and some of the other mares while they were getting a drink from a wash that had frozen over. Copper’s mares were also nearby so I looked away for a moment to photograph them. All of the sudden, I heard a loud crash followed by a huge splash. I look over and see Skipper in water up to her neck. She had fallen through the ice! She was attempting to get out on the side closest to the horses but the mud was keeping her from getting enough traction to get out. After what felt like an eternity but was more like 30 seconds, she finally got the strength to pull herself up and onto the bank. She then took off running and her band quickly followed. She seemed alright physically but was covered in mud and visibly shaken by the experience. Her band immediately surrounded her once she stopped and I could see they were frightened as well. Some people think these horses do not care for one another. I would beg to differ. They were just as concerned as I was and did their best to confirm she was safe. While I will never unsee what happened and forget the feeling of helplessness I felt, I am so grateful she got out of that water and is doing fine. This herd is full of amazing, beautiful horses like Skipper who deserve more recognition for what they live through day to day in this Park. It is not easy and takes a special type of horse to survive in the conditions they are presented with each year. Below are a few photos after Skipper escaped from the water. I will write under each photo to further tell the story. I don’t normally share when I see things like this in the Park but I really wanted to show you their strength and just how devoted these horses are to one another. It truly is a beautiful sight to see.

Once she was free from the water she took off running. You can see her buddy Copper Penny and stallion Maverick run after her to make sure she was alright.

The band then surrounds her on all points. I am sure they do not understand what happened exactly but I believe their instinct is to protect her the best way they know-how.

I was in a low spot when she stopped so this picture doesn’t show the horses well but you can see Skipper in the middle while the others surround her. If this doesn’t show their love and concern for their family member I do not know what does.

She was wet and covered in mud but she is now safe and sound with her colt Arey. Copper Penny is also close by. Luckily she could dry in the warm sun and leave the area with her family. I checked on her again about an hour later before leaving for the day and she was grazing peacefully with her band.