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New Wild Horse Artwork: Uprising

I always look forward to releasing new wild horse artwork and even more so to tell the story behind it. Last spring we travelled to Northern Wyoming with two purposes: to photograph the McCullough Peaks wild horses and to visit Yellowstone National Park. 

Spending two weeks near Cody, Wyoming gave us ample time to find and follow the mustangs over several days and the weather cooperated enough to give us some great light and clouds - ideal conditions for wild horse photography! “Living” with the mustangs for long periods allows us to observe the most interesting behaviors. 

My newest release is inspired by a fascinating behavior we often observe playing out multiple times in the wild and definitely one that offers incredible opportunities for wild horse photography.

In a band (family) of wild horses, there can only be one lead stallion. Although this stallion sometimes retains a “lieutenant” to help him protect the band from predators and other aggressive stallions, this dominant stallion typically retains all breeding rights for the mares in the band. 

What this means is that once a young stallion is old enough to fend for himself, especially when the hormones really kick in, the lead stallion will put the youngster of the band. Rather than remain alone, these young stallions form groups of their own: “bachelor bands.” We often see bands of two or more “bachelors” moving along with the herd, but staying distinctively separated.

Being part of a  bachelor band allows stallions to practice essential survival skills - such as learning to fight. Young stallions will also gain allies in their quest to build bands of their own; in fact, several bachelors may team up to take down a lead stallion in order to “steal” mares.

This is a fascinating storyline to watch as it plays out - sometimes over several days, weeks or months. A bachelor will stalk a band for extended periods of times, looking forward to an opportunity to separate a mare from the rest. 

silhouette of two wild horses rearing up


McCullough Peaks, WY

Silhouettes Collection

These skirmishes, eventually, wear down the lead stallion - bachelors have a chance to rest, but a lead stallion must keep constant watch. Finally, when the bachelor notices that the stallion is vulnerable, he will separate a mare, or even the entire group, from the lead stallion and attempt to make off with her. This will force the stallion to concede or fight. 

"Uprising" is the newest release in my Silhouettes series of wild horse art, joining other best sellers, such as Blue’s Band.

Archival Quality

All images are printed in-house on 100% plant based museum quality paper carefully selected by Maria to enhance the tonality of her images. Each print is cautiously inspected, hand signed and numbered by Maria before shipped.

About The Artist

horse photographer maria marriott signing one of her prints

Maria's work has been recognized for its emotional impact and intimate portrayal of wild horses. She works closely with several non-profit organizations focused on the benefits of equine therapy and preservation of the mustangs on our Western lands.


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