I visited Hustai National Park in 2013 (where there are almost 300 takhi/Przewalski’s horses) and was photographing horses on a hillside that dropped below eye level to a streambed, when one horse, then two, then three, then more and more, suddenly started to come up over the edge on my side. I sat down on right the spot and had the extraordinary experience of watching a large harem of takhi walk right past me, about 30 yards away, snapping photos of them as they went by. This drawing is one of the mares who had a foal with her. She kept an eye on me as she and her baby went by.
It’s been awhile since I’ve done some finished graphite drawings and that’s what I’ve been doing this week. I’ve always loved to draw, so it was fun to just sit with a pencil (a General’s Draughting Pencil) and paper (Strathmore 300 vellum bristol) and work from some of the takhi photos I’ve shot during my trips to Mongolia.
A French equid researcher I know told me that this body position is known as “snaking”. It’s purpose is to get the stallion’s harem moving quickly. His low body position is suggestive of a stalking predator and triggers the response he wants from his mares. I’ll probably be doing a painting of the whole scene at some point, so this is a useful study.
All of these horses were photographed at Hustai National Park, which is an easy two-hour drive west of Ulaanbaatar.