Nine Shades of Grey: Australian Snowy Mountains, Wild Horses of the World
9th August 2018, Herd 4
After leaving our sunrise herd behind, we head off in search of more brumbies. Up near Kiandra, where the greys are prolific, we spot 10 horses dozing on the hillside above Racecourse Creek.
Again it's a long hike out and we relentlessly battle deep powder, winding creek beds and steep inclines to reach them. Several times we have to pause to catch our breaths; the journey made difficult by thick scrub obscured beneath the snow.
Finally we crest the hill and to our relief we see the horses are still resting in the sun, not having taken flight from our stumbling approach. Three are even laying down, enjoying the calm after the storm.
Nine of the 10 brumbies are grey; their coats, which are in varying shades of black, grey and white, seem to blend into the landscape. It seems impossible that they will all fade to white in the coming years, but for now their colour hints at their ages; the younger they are, the darker their coats.
Setting down we watch from a distance and observe the herd dynamics. Two stallions are within the mob, the smaller white one, who stands at about 12.2hh, is obviously in charge. The lieutenant stallion, which is a bigger, thicker set steel grey, challenges him a few times but with just a flick of the head the lead stallion puts him in his place.
For over an hour we remain with the herd, before they turn and canter up the hill, snow flying as fade from sight.
This is the fourth in a series of 12 blogs about the Snowy Brumbies; to read more visit www.kellywilson.nz/blog (keyword: Wild Horses of the World)