Wild in the Pryors

A Blog about the Pryor Mountain Wild Horses


Sandy and her horse Oreo at Morrell Falls, Montana

Sandy in a August sunset on top of the mountain.  Photo by Amber Bushnell

Sandy in an August sunset on top of the Pryor Mountain. Photo by Amber Bushnell

Sandy with her Pryor Mountain Filly, Valerosa

Sandy with Bill and her daughter Amber.

Sandy with Lakota’s son, Kootenai on day 10 after getting to his new home. September 20, 2012

Lakota’s offspring, Kiowa and Kootenai with Sandy, September 2012

About Sandy,

With the encouragement of family and friends, Sandy started this blog in February 2012.

Born and raised in Michigan, Sandy has lived in Montana since 1992 and now lives, with her husband Bill, in Potomac, Montana.

She became passionately involved with the Pryor Horses starting in 2009.  She attended the roundup in September of that year and 3 weeks later adopted her beautiful grulla filly Valerosa.  She just recently adopted two more Pryor horses, both Lakota‘s offspring.  Kiowa and Kootenai.
Sandy learned the horses histories, bloodlines, the offspring they have had, their ages, what challenges they have confronted, and the magnificent courage they have shown in a beautiful but unforgiving land.
With each shot Sandy took, she fell more in love with each horse and forged deep connections. Her photos show the love she feels for them behind the camera.

Each year Sandy spends several weeks in the Pryors, camping at the very top of the 8,500 foot mountain when weather permits.  This past year (2013), the number of days on the mountain equaled almost 9 weeks.

Not only does Sandy take photos, but she also is a videographer.  Her current entry  is a video project with Singer/songwriter Sharon Anderson.  Together along with Randy Nagel and Chas Williams they produced  a beautiful music video; “Wild Caballo”, to honor the wild horses.  This video was selected as a finalist in the International Wildlife Film Festival.  She has donated several DVD’s of this to the Pryor Mountain Wild Mustang Center.

Sandy’s goal for her photography and video work is to share her experiences and allow as many people as possible to get a glimpse into the lives of these beautiful animals and also to reach out and communicate with all sides involved with them.

Her blog “Wild in the Pryors” allows you to follow her many trips to the Pryors.  She shares stories, photos and information about this herd of special wild horses.

When Sandy is not camping in the Pryors she can be found playing with her own horses (3 of which are Pryor Mountain Horses) or riding in the mountains on the miles of trails surrounding her home.

In the summer of 2013, Sandy began giving guided day and camping tour trips on the Pryor Mountain Wild Horse Range.  She has acquired all necessary permits from the BLM and The Bighorn Canyon Recreational Area in order to do this.  Please click on CAMPING to find out more about her 2014 tour schedule and to read some reviews from her 2013 guests.

Thank you to all that read this blog and become interested in these beautiful horses.  Together we can make a difference.

All photos are available for purchase.    Email her for details and prices.

For Pryor Mountain Wild Horse Tour information or photos  you can call Sandy: 406-244-0015 or email her at: wildinthepryors@aol.com

“I’m in love with Montana. For other states I have admiration, respect, recognition, even some affection. But with Montana it is love. And it’s difficult to analyze love when you’re in it.”  John Steinbeck

Logo designed by Amber Bushnell

Guest Reporter and Friend Lori Graham!

Out on the Range, March , 2012.  Lori and Jimmy.

Lori with two newly adopted Pryor Horses, Liesl and Kaibab, September 2012

I was blessed and consider myself very fortunate to grow up in a very small town in Northwest New Jersey. Our home was a renovated summer cottage that sat right on the edge of Lake Hopatcong. In fact it was the Native Americans who were called the “Lenni Lenape” who inhabited this area before the Europeans came to settle there. This is why I suggested the name “Lenape” for one of the Pryor horses who was recently adopted in September.

I have always loved animals and nature, and I must have driven my parents crazy with all of the critters that I brought home for one reason or another. But, my greatest love since I can remember has always been horses. In fact, my girlfriend and I would pretend that we were horses. We would gallop and prance around the fields whinnying acting like we were a couple of horses.

My Grandfather had a huge impact on that aspect of my life. He passed on his love of horses to me and every year would take my brother and I to the Branchville Horse Fair. My Grandmother would take my brother around and let him go on the fair rides, while my Grandfather and I would sit and watch all of the horse shows. From jumping, to pulling weights we watched it all, and I loved and cherished every memory I have from that time in my life. I would never be able to have my own horse until my husband and I moved to Wyoming.

Later, when I moved to Florida I got involved with the Treasure Coast Wildlife Hospital. The hospital cared for and rescued every kind of sick, injured, and orphaned wildlife. I started by volunteering my time while taking a correspondence class in Animal Science. A year later I was hired as the animal specialist and I got my permit to be a wildlife rehabilitator. My duties were many and involved training volunteers, preparing diets for all kinds of wildlife, triage on incoming patients, raising hundreds of orphaned song birds, squirrels, bobcats, water birds, raptors, and many more. Most times our dedication and hard work was successful and we would release those animals back into the wild, but there were some that we could not save no matter how much we tried and would have to euthanize them. Mostly all of the animals that we treated, and rehabilitated were due to human interference and contact. I learned that human interference with nature was not pretty, and that progress and human population growth was not good for wildlife.

I strongly believe that “Mother Nature” knows best and that the more that we (humans) interfere with the natural balance of things, the more we are losing our wildlife. That, to me is very sad.

I was blessed again when my husband and I moved to Wyoming in 2003 to be closer to my father. We had 2 happy years with him before he passed away.

I would visit the Pryor Mountain Wild horse range often and fell in love with these wild horses. I felt that they needed to be protected. That led me to the Pryor Mountain Wild Mustang Center. After serving on the board for 2 years the previous Director took another job and the position for Director became available. I was hired as Director and loved my position. However, I spent most of my time at the Center and not enough time doing the things that I loved the most. After a year and a half I resigned as Director.

This leads me to the present, where I can pursue and fulfill my passion which is the love that I have for these wild horses and my dedication to protect them.

I am honored that Sandy has allowed me to be a part of her “Wild in the Pryor’s” blog. I strongly believe that the public needs to be able to follow this herd by photos and documentation while being updated on the facts of their management by the government. Sandy’s blog also gives everyone a chance to voice their opinions and to discuss the horses and their plight for freedom.

Thank you Sandy and thank you to all who get involved with these Pryor Wild Horses.


Logo designed by Amber Bushnell

27 Responses to “About”

  1. asignoflife

    Hello Sandy.
    I’ve been following your blog for a while (I think since February) and I wanted to congratulate you on your stellar photos. I’m a city girl who was supposed to be in the country, and I live vicariously through your pictures. Hope you don’t mind. :)
    I wanted to ask if I could use a picture of Santa Fe for a post of mine about what it feels like to ride a horse. I would credit you, of course. I only have one picture of my ex-racer who passed on a couple years ago, and it isn’t one of him in motion.
    Anyway, keep up the great work! I love hearing about each of the horses, and your connection to Lakota is more than inspiring.

  2. Dixie Wilson

    I met you in the Pryors in July. I am the photographer from Billings. You can check out some of my images on my Facebook page, freespiritimages.

  3. Bella Remy Photography

    Hi Sandy ! thanks for stopping by my blog. For some reason WP dropped my follow on your blog. Not the first one this has happened on. Of course it would have to happen on some of my favorites. :-) The horses available for adoption this year are just drop dead gorgeous. Wish I could bring one home with me.
    I discovered a five-day horse drive up in the Pryor Mountains that one can go to on vacation. I’m actually thinking of doing that, and perhaps visiting your herd in the mountains.
    Thank you so much for caring and documenting this wonderful herd of horses. I’m so happy that they have a voice with you.
    Emily aka Bella Remy

    • wildinthepryors

      Glad you are back Emily! Can you send me a link to the horse drive you are referring to? The Pryors consist of a lot of land, besides the part that the Horse Range is on. I can tell you that you will not be going through the range on that trip, it must consist of another part of the Pryors. Thanks again!

  4. Anh Nguyen

    Sandy, I really enjoy your story and photos. Thank you for sharing. It is very nice that Lori has joined you to write on your blog.
    Lori, I love your story. Thank you for caring for the wild animals and the Pryor Mountain horses. I am looking forward to read the stories and to see photos of all the horses.
    Dear Sandy and Lori, I am appreciated all of your work to help us connecting with Pryor Mountain the magical place and with the horses.

  5. T

    Have you seen our boy Fools Crow? He is such a loner. He had a harem and lost them. I have been following him for years and want to keep up. Matt told me that he is probably the only offspring of Corona and he is so special to me that I really want to know where he is where and what he is doing.

    • wildinthepryors

      Hi T! I have not seen Fools Crow for a while, but my friend Linda D saw him this week in the Dryhead with several other bachelors. Fools Crow’s father is Cortez, not Corona. Waif is Fools Crows half sister (both have Cortez as their sire). I really like him too. I saw Hidalgo in April up Sykes and he had taken Fools Crow’s band. I really hope Fools Crow gets some mares back. I would love to see some of his offspring on the range! Thanks for commenting!


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