Wild in the Pryors

A Blog about the Pryor Mountain Wild Horses

2017 Wild In The Pryors Calendar

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Below is a snapshot of my 2017 Calendar.  You can order now, and be sure to have it before the beginning of the year.  They are printed on premium satin card stock, not the light weight calendar paper that is usually used.  It would be possible to even place them in a frame after the year is done!  The calendars are $24.00 and includes domestic shipping costs.   I have sent many calendars to other countries, contact me for an additional quote on that shipping price.

Sandy

text or email to place your order:  406-360-8959 or wildinthepryors@aol.com

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2017 Wild In The Pryors Camping!

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Galaxy and his 2016 filly, Quillian.

Below are the tour dates for my 2017 summer.  I will only be doing two trips open to the public in the summer of 2017.

June 19-22, 2017.  This is one of the best times to be on the mountain!!  A lot of action between stallions and bands, clear beautiful skies and LONG days.  The sun rises around 5:15 a.m. and doesn’t set until after 10 p.m.

July 15-18, 2017.  These dates are still an excellent time to be on the mountain!!   Wildflowers should be in full bloom.

Cost of trip:  $1750.00  20% discount if booked and deposit paid by January 1, 2017.

These trips will be 4 days/3 nights on the mountain top.   This trip includes: transportation up and down the mountain, all food, snacks, tents, and expert personal guiding. (last night dinner is on your own once we return to Cody).  Pick up at the Cody Airport can be arrange with for a small fee.

There are many great hotels in Cody, you will be responsible for making your own arrangements before and after the trip.  AirBnb is also a great source to find some lodging.  I can pick you up at your hotel the morning of our first day, or you can meet me at my house in Cody.

All payments are considered non-refundable. Refunds may be made when cancellations can be filled.  THERE WILL BE NO EXCEPTIONS, so please consider purchasing travel insurance on your own!!  Here is a link to travel insurance purchase.  This insurance is not through Wild In The Pryors.  Please explore this or another travel insurance company for your trip.   TRIP INSURANCE

Camping trips will be limited to 4 guests.  Sandy will have an assistant with her who will do the camp cooking and help you with any camping needs.  Sandy will personally be doing all of the guiding.

For reservations:  Contact Sandy

Phone: 406-360-8959 

email:  wildinthepryors@aol.com

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“The Brothers”  Blue Moon and Custer, July 2016

All trips leave from Cody, Wyoming (unless other arrangements are made).  Airports nearby: Billings, Montana.  Cody, Wyoming.  Arrangements can be made for pick-up at the Cody Airport.

A 50% down payment is required upon booking with the remainder due 6 weeks prior to your trip.

All payments are considered non-refundable. Refunds may be made when cancellations can be filled.

 Anyone interested in a trip will be asked to complete a Pre-Screening Health Questionnaire, and those who book a trip will be required to sign an Acknowledgement of Responsiblity and Assumption of Risk document, as per Montana State Law.

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Wild in the Pryors is permitted by the Bureau of Land Management to conduct small group tours within the Pryor Mountain Wild Horse Range from January to December. Wild in the Pryors is one of a handful of businesses that have the federal permits necessary to guide clients onto this federal property.

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Sandy has been camping in the Pryors Range for several years, spending weeks at a time  with the horses.

Whether you bring a professional camera, or just a cell phone to take photos, Sandy goes out of her way to make sure you leave the mountain with cherished memories of your once in a life-time camping trip.

The stories she and her assistant share about the horses and the range, make this trip more than just a chance to view them, she makes this a trip more about knowing the horses, giving you a brief glance into the life of the Pryor Mountain Wild Horses.

Experience living with the horses 24 hours a day and in doing so, this can give you a better understanding of what it is like to live wild on the range!

All tours may include light to moderate hiking.

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A Review from a guest from last year:

Fields of Dreams
If you are searching for an adventure, if you’d love to see and photograph some of the oldest descendants in the founding of America, if you love horses, nature and the out of doors, consider a trip with Sandy Palen and “Wild In The Pryors”.
The road up to the mountain top is a bit rough, however, once you get up there it will take your breath away.  Your first spotting of the horses will cause your heart to skip a beat.  And it just gets better from there.  
Sandy knows these horses like the back of her hands.  She knows the details of the stallions, their bands, their mares and their foals.  She knows their history.  She has a sense of where they will be in the mornings and where they might be in the afternoons.  And she loves them!  
Along with being a great photographer, Sandy is an expert at camping and has everything so organized it makes camping easy.  All someone has to do is show up.  I had never camped nor slept in a tent and it was the most amazing thing.  I wish I had that view from my tent every morning when I wake up.   Sandy cooked delicious meals on top of that mountain; and a sandwich for lunch never tasted better than on that mountain.  The views of the country side, the Bighorn Mountains and the Bighorn Canyon were unbelievable.  You can see miles and miles of both Montana and Wyoming from up there.
The horses in the Pryor Mountains are descendants of the horses brought over to America in the 1600s.  They came with the original explorers who came to America.  It is beyond words to be a part of these incredible animals and to be able to bring home memorable photographs of them.  Advocating for and helping to save the mustangs running free becomes very real to you.  
I had attempted to make this trip for several years, however, was unable to.  So when I was finally able to go this summer I left all my expectations at home.  What I found up there was beyond my wildest dreams and more than anything I could have hoped for.  We saw a foal only a few hours after she was born.  We had almost every horse on the mountain walk or run by our camp sight two evenings in a row.  I had the privilege of seeing the oldest horse on the mountain, a mare, still loving her band. Photographing the horses against the sunset two nights in a row is still a vision in my memory.  I hope some day to return and hope these horses are still running free.
If you love horses and you are looking for the trip of a lifetime which includes them, you have found it!
Robin T.
Texas
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View from our campsite.

Please feel free to call or text me to book a trip or with any questions!

 

Sandy

406-360-8959

Judge Rules in Favor of Pryor Mountain Wild Horses

I had not heard of this and finally glad that someone has begun to use a judge in Montana who knows who these horses are, instead of a judge in Washington DC, who could care less. However, I do want to add that the BLM in Montana has been fair and humane with these horses during their removals, and 2015 was no exception to this. This office is willing to listen and answer questions, and when I need assistance while on the mountain, they are fast to respond to me.

I have been pretty low-key on a lot of issues, no speaking up and commenting on all the comments that go on,  but I also want to add that these “Groups” who file lawsuits, better have their knowledge of these horses to back it up.  Sometimes filing a lawsuit causes more harm then good for the horses. From what I saw of the range in the several weeks that I was on the range, it is not in great shape this year, and I personally am concerned for the horses welfare this winter when they move down the mountain.

Sandy

Straight from the Horse's Heart

CLAIR JOHNSON For the Independent Record

“By operating with an outdated AML when it made its 2015 decision, BLM’s excess animal determination was based, at least in part, on pure guesswork,”

A federal judge in Billings MT has ruled that the Bureau of Land Management used outdated information when it decided to remove wild horses last year as part of a population management plan at the Pryor Mountain Wild Horse Range.

Pryor Mountain Stallions ~ photo by Terry Fitch of Wild Horse Freedom Federation Pryor Mountain Stallions ~ photo by Terry Fitch of Wild Horse Freedom Federation

U.S. District Judge Susan Watters in a July 29 ruling said BLM’s reliance on the outdated management plan in making a decision that the range had excess horses that needed removal was “arbitrary and capricious.” Her order set aside the agency’s decision.

Watters’ ruling favored the Friends of Animals, a Connecticut-based advocacy group. The organization sued BLM last year after the agency said it would gather…

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Lighting Strike On the Mountain

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Doc rushing in to prevent Aztec and Jasmine leaving for Cappuccino’s band.

One of the first things I noticed this year when I arrived on the range, was how very dry it was up here. I could hear the grass “crunch” under my feet as I walked. It made me afraid that this could be a very high fire danger season. As I looked at the forecast for the next 10 days, there seemed to be no rain in sight, but every afternoon, it seemed as though that might change. Yesterday it did, and it rained for 3 hours, the horses running past us, seeking shelter from the storm. Knowing by the horses reaction, I knew that this would be a severe storm, and the horses were right, with the rain came a sufficient amount of thunder and lightning.

Whenever a storm with lightning strikes occur on the mountain, I gather my guests and we climb in the truck. I feel that is the safest place to be during a storm, especially with lightning striking around us. I then pull away from any near by trees. And that is where we sat for 3 hours yesterday, waiting out the storm and being thankful for the much-needed rain to the range. As I type this , the rain is again pouring down. So thankful for this moisture. Today is different, however, the horses are still visible, so I will take that as a sign that this storm will not be as bad as yesterday’s.

At about hour 2 1/2 of this storm, the sky seemed to be clearing, and I started to work my way back up the very muddy road to our campsite. It was then that we all witnessed a lightning strike hit a tree up near the Skyline Meadow, also known as Bigfoot’s Meadow.  This area was about 1/2 mile from us. The lightning strike caused the tree to turn instantly bright red and as fast as the red dimmed, the smoke began.

My guests ( Barb and Dick) my assistant (Abbie) and myself decided we should let as many people know about this fire so we could as to get a quick response from someone..anyone. I immediately got on my phone and was relieved that I had enough service to make a call. The first call was to Jeff, the BLM law enforcement agent. After leaving a voice mail, I then dialed 911. And at the last-minute, I thought I should let Jim Sparks know, and left a voicemail for him as well. It was a bit unnerving to think what could occur if the fire was big enough and the wind strong enough. I tried to push that from my mind and focus on where we had seen this strike.

The rain was still coming down hard, and that in itself was comforting, knowing that it was hopefully putting the fire out. But by now we could not see the area of the strike, the fog had settled in, it was difficult to tell if it was smoke or fog. We all continued to watch the area of the strike as we waited for a response from our calls.

It was not long, probably just a few minutes ( but it seemed much longer) that I heard from Jeff. I spoke briefly with him, and he confirmed that the 911 dispatcher had already reached him. He indicated that they would send up a helicopter to try to spot the location, but they needed to wait for the fog to lift.

Once the fog lifted, much to our relief, we could not see any smoke. I called Jeff and let him know. (I was not looking forward to a helicopter, knowing how the horses would react, but we all agreed, a helicopter would be better than a range engulfed in flames). He said a ground crew of firefighters would be up to check on the fire. For those of you that have not been on the range, that would mean that it would take about 3 hours or more with a fire truck, to get to the top.

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The Firefighters spent the night so they could continue to check on the strike.

Once the firefighters reached the top, I directed then to the area of the strike.  They were able to hike to the area and locate the tree.  The lightening had traveled all the way down the tree and into the ground where there was a small area of smoldering matter.  The firefighters  worked on the area last night, then sat up camp so they could continue to work on it in the morning.  This morning they were up working on the area for several hours.  They informed us that a small smothering area can turn into a big fire in no time if the conditions are right, and told me that it was good that we had called it in.  Abbie and I had just hiked that area a few days ago, so I know how thick and dense that area is with dead and downed trees.  A fire that started here, would be eagerly fed with the food of this forest.   We were grateful for their quick response.

I am writing this post so that others that travel up on the range can know that you can call 911 when on the range.  After talking to my guests, I realized that many people to not think that there is reception on the range, but you can locate it in some areas.  If you do call 911 you should know a few things.  When on the top of the mountain, you are in Carbon County, also try to pin point the direction and area that you see a strike and smoke.   So please call to report a fire.  The horses depend on your fast response.

My guests and I would like to thank the BLM for their fast response and hard work.  Thank you Jeff, LeRoy and the rest of the firefighting crew for your efforts.  We very much appreciate it!

When we woke this morning, we were greeted by a glorious sunny sky and a very green range with lots of muddy puddles for silly horseplay!

Sandy

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Knight and Nimbus drinking from a puddle. 7-3-16


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Mescalero playing in the mud. 7-3-16


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Pride and Mescalero, 7-3-16

 

Bolder’s Band


I’ve been on the mountain for a few days now, and have watched very little go on with this band. Bolder’s 6 year old son, Killian and his 5 year old son, Lobo, are still in this band. 

For those that don’t know, I’ll give you a real quick education on what usually happens with bands. The band stallion usually kicks the colts out around 2 years old. For whatever reason, Bolder has not done that. Their are many opinions on why, but the bottom line is, he should have done it years ago. 

I consider this band the most disfuntional on the mountain.  Neither of these “kids” have joined bachelor bands. These bands made up of young and older stallions ( who have lost their bands) are important for the proper development of the young colt. While in these bands, they learn the way of the mountain, and learn to be independent but also what it takes to be good leaders and to one day become good band stallions. 

While Lobo seems to be a bit stronger and more independent then Killian, he still remains with the family band. I read a few times this spring that they were kicked out , but it appears it has not worked. 
Last night, I heard screaming and fighting outside my tent. I thought it might be this band, and was delighted when in the morning,  I saw that Killian and Lobo were not with the band.  The mare Sapo had either gone willingly or was driven to go. I can’t quit decide. She seems content, but has lost a lot of weight. 


Bolder, too has lost a considerable amount of weight. But it should be noted that he has very few scars, and Killians face and chin are covered in them. 

This mornings separation did not last long. Lobo kept calling, and Bolder, who was about a football field length away came running over to drive them off.  But Lobo went one way and Killian with Sapo went another, the other two mares, Celt and Baily’s, followed close behind and in a matter of minutes, they were one band again. With Bolder looking tired and frustrated. 

From what I have observed, I think that Bolders mare Baily’s would probably stay with Bolder. Celt on the other hand would most likely stay with her son Killian.  

My hope is Bolder figures that out soon. As my assistant Sarah said this morning. “Bolder is young enough to gain another mare on this own”. I tend to agree with that. He needs to take his loses and move on. Lobo will probably join the bachelors, and Killian will be left to fight his battles with his mother by his side. 

I will keep you posted. 

Sandy 

the full moon rising this week on the mountain

2016 Pryor Foal # 7

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Ireland and Galaxy’s new foal! Photo by: Colleen Kilbane Heart Four Bar Photography

Ireland and Galaxy have a new foal.  Discovered yesterday.  I had a feeling by the photos I had been seeing, and what I had witnessed last summer, that Ireland was very close.  I had witnessed Galaxy breeding her about a week after she had little Pegasus last year.

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Galaxy, June 29, 2015

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Ireland and Pegasus, June 29, 2015

Ireland is the 1997 daughter of Isabella and Raven.  Galaxy is the 2006 son of Quelle Colour and Lakota.

This little one looks to be a filly.  No word on a name yet.  Pegasus love having a playmate!

Thank you Jack Sterling and Colleen Kilbane for allowing me to use your photos!  I’ll be getting some of my own in just a few days!

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Ireland and her new foal, June 11, 2016 Photo by Colleen Kilbane Heart Four Bar Photography

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Ireland’s new foal. Photo by Jack Sterling

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Photo by Colleen Kilbane Heart Four Bar Photography

2016 Pryor Foal # 6

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Pride and his half-sister, Quintana.  Photo by 45 degrees North

The sixth 2016 Pryor Foal was born to Feldspar and Mescalero!  It is a filly, and her name is to be Quintana.

Feldspar is the 2005 daughter of Rosarita and Starman.  Mescalero is the 1996 son of Sitka and Shaman.

Thank you Kevin for allowing me to use your photo for this post!   It is very much appreciated.  Kevin and his girlfriend Trisha were on the mountain this past weekend.  You can check out some of Kevin’s beautiful photos by clicking on 45 degrees.  Trish is also an amazing artist, check out her work by clicking on TRISH.

I’ll be up on the mountain soon, and I am looking forward to seeing these little ones myself.

I’ve had a couple of cancellations for my camping trips.  Contact me by text or call at: 406-360-8959 if you are interested.

 

Sandy

2016 Pryor Foal # 5. Deceased

Another 2016 Pryor foal has been discovered!

I just received word from Ryan at the BLM field office this morning that Hatallii, who is currently in Morning Stars band has foaled.

Here is a link on the BigHorn Canyon Facebook page telling about this new little one.  Click on Foal, to go there.  Thank you for sharing the news!

Hataalii is the 2007 daughter of Sapo and Shaman.  Morning Star is the 1996 son of Washakie and Plenty Coups. 

Quest, named by Abbie, was not seen with his band this week. (5-20-16). Rest in peace little one. 

Sandy

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Hatalli and her new foal. Photo by Bill Pickett/ NPS

2016, Pryor Foals # 3 and 4.

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Garcia’s band with the new foal.

Foal number 3 was discovered by Dennis McCollough from Billings, MT.  Thank you Dennis for allowing me to use your photos!

Foal number 3, yet unnamed, was born to Garcia’s band, he or she is the offspring of Greta and Garcia.  Greta is the 2006 daughter of Belle Starr and Chino, Garcia is the 2006 son of Topper and Tony.

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Dukes band with their new foal.

The 4th 2016 foal was also discovered by Dennis.  This foal was born to Duke’s band.  No name has been chosen yet.  He or she is the offspring of Helenium and Duke.   Helenium is the 2007 daughter of Rosebud and Sandman.  Duke is the 1996 son of Flicka and Bigfoot.

I will update this post as the names and sex of the foals are announced.

Sandy

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Helemium and her new foal.

2016 Pryor Foal # 2

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Quanah with his mom Halcyon.

The second known Pryor foal born in 2016 was discovered by Dawn Ness and Danielle on April 9, 2016.  Thank you Dawn for allowing me to use your beautiful photos!

The foal is a colt, and has been named Quanah.  Quanah was a Comanche Chief.  Quanah was born to the stallion Blue Moon and the mare Halcyon.  Blue Moon is the 2001 son of Sitka and Shaman.  Halcyon is the 2007 daughter of Coronado and Blue Sioux.  They make beautiful foals, that seem to end up very identical!  Welcome to the Pryors little one!

Sandy

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Quanah, April 9, 2016. 

Below is Halcyon last born offspring, Olivia.  I am pretty sure Quanah will have the same coloring when he matures, just like his brother Miocene and sister Nirvana.

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Halcyon and Olivia

 

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