Sibling Rivalry in a Wild Horse Family in the Red Desert of Wyoming

Carol WalkerWild Horse Tales

Wild Horse Sibling Rivalry in the Red Desert of Wyoming                                by Carol J. Walker

Helios, Hera and Apollo

One of my very favorite wild horse families in the Red Desert of Wyoming is the wild stallion Apollo’s family. He is a stunning mature palomino pinto stallion with a huge family. His lead mare is a gentle cremello named Hera, and last fall I when I encountered them, I was delighted to see that Hera had a sturdy cremello colt that I named Hyperion.

Hera and Hyperion last fall

This spring I found the family again, and now Hera has a little cremello pinto colt who is named Helios.

A gentle nudge

Here Hera tries nosing Helios to wake him up from his nap.

A little pawing

Then I saw her paw at him gently, which I have never seen a mother do – usually it is mischievous siblings who use this method. It worked, and he finally got up.

Ok ok Mom I am up!

Foals are always thirsty for milk when they get up from a nap, so Helios starts to nurse. But big brother wants to nurse too!

Hyperion wants some milk too

Usually a mare no longer lets her yearling nurse once she has a new foal, but clearly Hyperion does not agree that this is a good plan. He keeps trying to nurse which irritates the patient Hera.

Hera tries to warn Hyperion away

She is trying to nap, Helios is trying to nurse but big brother keeps interfering.

Big brother won’t let Helios nurse

Finally Apollo has had enough of these shenanigans and drives them all away.

Apollo saying cut it out

He does not stay mad for long however.


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