Wild in the Pryors

A Blog about the Pryor Mountain Wild Horses

Who Will Have Foals in 2017?

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Most of Jasper’s Band, July 2015, right to left: Jasper, Okiotak, Milicent, Ketchikan and Oklahoma, (Lariat is out of the frame).

Mares within the Pryor Wild Horse Herd, are given PZP (birth control) every year.  Each year there is a group of mares that are in the “window” of possibly being able to foal, meaning that they have not been given PZP.    And every  year, there will be some surprises from some, despite being vaccinated, and even though the below horses have not been vaccinated, it is not a guarantee that they will foal.  Some have never conceived.

We must be careful with this special herd, in 2016, there were 10 deaths, and 11 births, leaving only a population increase of 1 horses.  You can click on the post I did in October 2016, ( The Horses that have Passed) if you would like to learn more about that.  Since I wrote that post, the death of Quivira (Moenkopi foal) increased the deaths to 10.   Keeping a close watch on the population gain and adjusting the PZP accordingly, will make this herd healthy and viable to carry on into the future.  We must carefully watch which mares are vaccinated and what horses are removed and make sure that we keep an equal balance of representation for all of the horses on the range, regardless of color, or favorites.

I anticipate that 2017 will be a low birth year.  Below are the mares who may foal.

Dry Head Horses

 

  1.  Halo, 2007  daughter of Waif and Corona, currently in Fools Crow band.

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2.  Jewel, 2009 daughter of Waif and Corona, currently in Fools Crow band.

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2.  Kitalpha, 2010 daughter of Buffalo Girl and Durango, currently on her own, with her two daughters, but was with Hickok.

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Kitalpha, photo by Laura Curtis

 

Mountain Top Horses

  1.  Hataali, 2007 daughter of Sapo and Shaman, currently in Morning Star’s Band.

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2.  Hailstorm,  2007 daughter of Aztec and Cloud, currently in Morning Star’s band.  She has never foaled.

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3.  Hera, 2007 daughter of Audubon and Morning Star, currently in Galaxy’s band.

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4.  Heritage, 2007 daughter of Warbonnet and Lakota.  Her only living offspring was removed in 2012, she has not foaled since.  She is currently in Doc’s band.

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5.  Isadora, 2008 daughter of Rosarita and Starman, she has not foaled since 2011. (the foal is deceased).  She is currently in Morning Star’s band.

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Isadora with her 2001 foal and her mother Rosarita.

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Isadora and Morning Star, July 2016, photo by Abbie Branchflower

6.  Jacinta, 2009 daughter of Rosebud and most likely Tecumseh, she is currently in Garay’s band.

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Patriot and Jacinta, July 2015

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Jacinta and Patriot, July 2016

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Garay’s Band, July 2016

7.  Jasmine, 2009 daughter of Aztec and Cloud, has never foaled, currently in Doc’s band, but moves around frequently.

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8.  Juniper, 2009 daughter of Sapo and Bolder, currently in Horizon’s band.  She has never foaled.

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9.  Ketchikan, 2010 daughter of Gold Rush and Two Boots, currently in Jasper’s band.

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10.  Kohl, 2010 daughter of Quelle Colour and Lakota, she is currently in Garay’s band.

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As with every year, I will keep you posted on the new births as soon as I learn about them.

Sandy

 

2017, Name Game, The “R” Year

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Fools Gold and Pele (Penny)

It’s time for the Fifth Annual Wild In The Pryors, “Name Game”!  This is the post where any of you can suggest names for the 2017 foals born in the Pryors.  Of course, like on all the previous years, I can not guarantee that they will be used, but it will be fun to list them, and I do know that every time I discovered a foal, I came to this post to look at all of the suggestions.  And if you can, please include the meaning for the name, it would be very helpful to know that when deciding which name should go with whatever mare/band had the foal.

In 2000, the BLM started using a letter for each year of foals, starting with A.  This year is the R year.  So please feel free to list your ideas in the comment section of this post.  To read more about this system and why we use names, please refer to my Name Game post that I did last in 2013.  Click on Name Game to go there.

I am looking forward to reading all of your suggestions!  If someone else has already posted your name idea, please list it again anyway.  It will be fun to see what the most popular name suggestions are!  Thank you!

Sandy

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Ireland and Pegasus, July 4, 2015

 

The Opening Of A Closed Area

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Jasper and Grijala, February 2014.  They were running along the fence connected to the pasture that has been now been open.

In February of 2013, I made a post in regards to some land, known as the Administrative Pastures.

Click on PASTURE, to read it.

Within the above post, there is also a link to a post that Matt Dillion from the Pryor Mountain Mustang Center did on this land back in 2009.  I encourage you to read both of these posts.

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And so, finally, part of the pasture is open to the horses.  While the forage is not great (it a sparse desert area ), it still adds more forage for the horses to use, especially in the winter months when every little piece of forage counts.  The remainder of the pasture will be open soon.  Thank you Jim Sparks  and all others involved for making this happen.  Here is the official information that I received from Jim Sparks, BLM Billings:

“Adding the admin pastures back into the herd management area was one
of the decisions in the 2015 Resource Management Plan. Although part
of the herd area, those pastures were not part of the herd management
area. They were used when we used to gather horses at Britton Springs
and for other extra reasons which I am not entirely sure of. At any
rate there was no reason to not include them in the HMA so we did.

Right now, the horses can only access the area from Britton Springs to
the northwest. After we ensure that nothing can get out on the
southeast side we will open the area from Britton Springs to the
southeast.

About 2 miles of fence has been removed, and that nwest of BS area is about a section (600 or so acres) that was opened up.  The southeast of BS area will open about 2000 acres up.

There is not much forage in the pastures, surely not enough to consider increasing herd size.

Ryan, Blair and Jerad Werning did most of the work from BLM, but had a lot of assistance from Montana Conservation Corps and our BLM veteran firefighting hand crew. The old materials were carried by hand to central spots that could be accessed by UTV.  It took a long time.”

 

Wild in the Pryors

Sunset on Burnt Timber Road, February 2014 

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Grijala, February, 2014.   Near the Area that is now open.  This will give you an idea of what the forage is like.

This is great news for the horses, and also a great example of how those involved with the horses can make good things happen.  I am very grateful for the Billings, Montana Blm, and their willingness to work with all of us. Thank you again.

Sandy

Lakota’s Gift 2017

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Lakota, July, 2011

This year will be the 4th year of “Lakota’s Gift”.  For the past 4 seasons, I have awarded a four day camping  trip to an inspiring Pryor Mountain Wild Horse follower in honor of my favorite horse, Lakota.  This person needs to be passionate about this special herd of horses and have some basic knowledge about them.

To be considered for this award, please submit an essay telling  why you should be awarded this gift.  Please include some information about yourself,  what you know about the horses and what you hope to give back to the horses by being selected for this award.  All essays must be submitted by February 1, 2017.

All trips start and end in Cody, Wyoming.

Past recipients of this award have been: Jonathan Stander, Brianna Harvey, Abbie Branchflower and Lexi.

You can submit your essay to this email: wildinthepryors@aol.com

Sandy

Below is a slideshow of some of the many photos that I have taken of Lakota.  Please give it sometime to upload before trying to view.

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Merry Christmas!

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As this year comes to an end, I wanted to take a moment to thank all of you for following my blog.  To my guests, past and future, I thank you for joining me on what may be one of the best adventures with wild horses there is.  While there are other wonderful wild herds to be seen, the beauty that surrounds these Pryor horses on the mountain top, is hard to explain until you can experience it yourself.  And for those of you who may never get that chance, I hope that the photos and video’s I post, will give you a glimpse of what it is like.

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Merry Christmas and Happy New Year from Wild in the Pryors!

Thank you all for your support,

Sandy

Icelandic Horses

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Me talking with one of Thora’s horses.

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In July of 2014, I had a guest on one of my camping trips that was from Iceland.  One of the reasons she wanted to visit the Pryors was because they reminder her of the Icelandic Horses.   So when we had the opportunity to go to Iceland in November of this year, I contacted Thora and asked if she would be willing to take us out to see her horses.  We spent a very cold and windy day with her, visiting not only her horses, but also her Uncle Anton’s horses as well.  It was definitely the highlight of our trip for me.  The backdrop of the country and the horses was just magical, and I look forward to going back when the weather is warmer!

Thora first took us to see her horses.  The snow was blowing sideways, and the horses were covered in thick snow.  Just like the Pryor Horses, these horses are very adapted to their land and know how to survive the harsh winter.  In the below photos, you can easily spot which horses are Thora’s, as they are covered in snow.  Just a short 20 minute drive, and we were in a different weather system, still cold, but the horses were not covered in the snow.

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This face, coloring and ears really remind me of a Pryor Horse. This is Thora’s horse Tibra.

The Icelandic horse is a breed of horse developed in Iceland. Although the horses are small, at times pony-sized, most registries for the Icelandic refer to it as a horse. Icelandic horses are long-lived and hardy. In their native country they have few diseases; Icelandic law prevents horses from being imported into the country and exported animals are not allowed to return. The Icelandic displays two gaits in addition to the typical walk, trot, and canter/gallop commonly displayed by other breeds. The only breed of horse in Iceland, they are also popular internationally, and sizable populations exist in Europe and North America. The breed is still used for traditional sheepherding work in its native country, as well as for leisure, showing, and racing.*

The ancestors of the Icelandic horse were probably taken to Iceland by Viking Age Scandinavians between 860 and 935 AD. The Norse settlers were followed by immigrants from Norse colonies in Ireland, the Isle of Man and the Western Isles of Scotland.[2] These later settlers arrived with the ancestors of what would elsewhere become Shetland, Highland, and Connemara ponies, which were crossed with the previously imported animals.[7] There may also have been a connection with the Yakut pony,[14] and the breed has physical similarities to the Nordlandshest of Norway.[15] Other breeds with similar characteristics include the Faroe pony of the Faeroe Islands[16] and the Norwegian Fjord horse.[17] Genetic analyses have revealed links between the Mongolian horse and the Icelandic horse.[18][19][20] Mongolian horses are believed to have been originally imported from Russia by Swedish traders; this imported Mongol stock subsequently contributed to the Fjord, Exmoor, Scottish Highland, Shetland and Connemara breeds, all of which have been found to be genetically linked to the Icelandic horse. *

* Used from Wikepedia on the internet.

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Unlike the Pryor Horses, the Icelandic Horses come in an array of colors and patterns.  They are a friendly and curious horse, and we could easily walk amongst them comfortably.  The biggest problem I had, was that they chose to come a bit to close to me with my large 100-400 lens.  It was a challenge to get good photos, but with  John using a wide-angle lens, we were able to capture some great memories together.

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John and a curious young one.

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John and I were able to see the Northern Lights one night, another thing that Iceland is famous for.  Iceland is a beautiful country.  Clean pure air and water, friendly people, good food and amazing horses.  I look forward to spending more time there, soon.

Sandy

PS:  I only have 3 more spots available for camping next summer.  Text me if you are interested in joining me on the mountain.  (406-360-8959) https://wildinthepryors.com/2016/08/23/2017-wild-in-the-pryors-camping/

 

 

A Visit To The Dryhead

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The Dryhead horses can be very elusive, especially in the summer months.  The summer is very hot, and if you are not there in the morning just as the sun rises, as I have found out many times,  you may not see a single horse.  But in the fall, they begin to be a bit more visible, but can still be difficult to find.  My friend Laura Curtis always seems to have a way of spotting the horses, and she takes beautiful photos of them.

Laura and her husband John just returned from a trip, and she shared a report and photos of what she saw in September and October of this year.   Thank you so much Laura, it is great to see all of these horses!

Below are her words and photos.

Sandy

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Autumn in the Pryor Dryhead

John and I went to the Dryhead for a couple of days this Fall in September and again in October.

In September, the first band we saw was the “Greeter” band. Hickok and Kitalpha with their foal Quasar, Seneca, Nova and Prima. The early morning mist at Crooked Creek made Kitalpha’s photos look like paintings.

I miss the awesome mare Hightail, so much.  She was the very first Pryor wild horse I saw as she was leading the Greeters at the State Line. I loved her and also her son Chino. Hightail is the granddam of Jesse James. The above photo May 28, 2015, is my last time with her and her great spirit still burned brightly as she walked through the spring wildflowers.

Note from Sandy:  Hightail was the first horse I ever saw, walking down the middle of the road, she lead me to Admiral and the rest of his band, at Crook Creek Bay. 

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Hickok

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Kitalpha

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Quasar

Next we saw Fiero and Strawberry grazing beside the Devil’s Overlook Road. Near them these sweet bighorn lambs were sunning by the road.

Then we saw Hawk with his band, Fresia, Oak, Parry, Morgana and Oglala on a high ridge across from the entry to Devil’s Overlook Road. I hiked up to see Hawk snaking the three boys trying to keep the band tight together as Fresia and Morgana moved away. This band has been together since June.

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At Mustang Flats we were surprised by a bobcat near the road that quickly ran away. As we left the Flats we saw Chief Joseph high on a western hill grazing alone.

Note from Sandy:  I saw a Bobcat on one of my trips up Burnt Timber this past summer.  They must be making a comeback.

On the October trip, at early morning Fool’s Crow was on Mustang Flats with the two beautiful full sisters, Halo and Jewel.

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About 9 am we saw Hawk, Fresia with her sons Oak and Parry, Morgana with Oglala near the road south of the Montana/Wyoming state line. We watched Oglala nursing Morgana so guess that settles whether she or Icara is his mom. Oak and Parry are two stunning full brothers from Fresia and Hidalgo. Parry is really a mischief maker. He constantly nipped at the manes and legs of Oak and Oglala. There was a lot of play-fighting, practice to be big boys. Later Parry decided to be a baby again and began to nurse– and then lay down making a precious picture as the sun highlighted his two-tone mane and tail.

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Oglala, Oak and Morgana

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Oak and Perry

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Oak and Perry

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Oak

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Oak

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Parry

Before you get to the tipi rings, Fiero, Strawberry and Sacajawea were grazing behind the knoll. All three looked good. I was especially happy to see Sacajawea had gained more weight. As they moved on down the ridge, Sacajawea didn’t seem to have any problem keeping up. They watered at Layout Creek, then continued to graze along the two-track.

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Sacajawea

We saw Johnston, Icara and Phantom by the road as we headed back to the Pryor Mustang Center.

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Icara

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Phantom

Late afternoon I was excited to ride up Sykes Ridge Road with Nancy Cerroni. We saw Hawk and his band on Lower Sykes which was surprising as I had seen them earlier in the day on Hwy 37 near the state line. It is amazing the distance they can travel quickly in this extremely rugged terrain.

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On Sunday we stopped by the Pryor Mountain Wild Mustang Center to see Mercuria, who was adopted with her foal Paquita by the Pryor Mustang Center in the 2015 removal, now at her new home in the Center pasture. Stiles is happy to have a friend again since the September death of Besa (a 1999 daughter of Hightail).

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As we drove out of the Dryhead early on our last day, Hickok was near the highway at Crooked Creek. How I hate those cockleburrs that seem to always be in his hair in the Fall! Yesterday we saw Kitalpha and Quasar on the ridge by the Creek.

I am already looking forward to Spring in the Dryhead and our summer trip to the mountain with you.

Thanks for everything!!

Laura

 

A Tribute To The Horses That Have Passed in 2016

 

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As we enter the last months of 2016, I felt I needed to do a post on those horses who have passed this year.  It has been a very hard year for those of us who follow the horses.  We have lost some very significant members of the Pryor Mountain Wild Horse Herd.  They are and will continue to be missed by all of us.  I found myself looking through more than 30,000 photos that I have taken over the years, trying to find the best photos of each of these horses, something that would give us all a great memory when we hear their name mentioned in the future.

This year there were 11 foals born, 3 of those have died, leaving a total of 8 foals.  Six adult horses have died with a total of horses lost this year of 9, leaving a population growth within the herd of only 2 for 2016. (Although the BLM did not include Chino in last years population loss (I did in my 2015 post on the horses that passed), so with that taken into account, the population growth for the herd for this year would be 1, not 2.)

Below are the photos of those that are no longer with us, listed in alphabetical order.

1. Cloud, born in 1995, son of Raven and Phoenix. Last seen in November of 2015.  What can I say about Cloud?  Wow, this has left a giant hole on the mountain for all of us.  I found myself still expecting him to walk out of the trees by my camp, something he did often, especially in the evenings.  I have had many guest sit and enjoy his presence in the light of the sunset.

It was heartbreaking to witness him loss his band and watch from a distance, clearly in emotional pain of his loss.  He was not one of those stallions who excepted his second bachelorhood with grace.  His family was his life, and the pain of it slowly took his away.

I will miss him, and I don’t believe there will be a single trip that I make to the mountain, that I won’t think of him and all the joy he brought to so many.  He will continue to live on with his offspring and his memory.

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2.  Coronado, born in 1996, son of Raven and Isabella.  Last seen in November 2015 with Cloud.   He was also known as Red Raven by many, Coronado was an amazing and caring stallion.  He lost his band in July of 2014 to the stallion Irial.  He was another stallion who did not take kindly to a second bachelorhood.  For days after he lost his band ( I was there to witness it), he stood alone, barely eating or drinking.  He finally tried to move on, often seen with Cloud in the summer of 2015, but in the end, he too disappeared without a trace.

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3.  Durango, born in 1995, son of Guinvere and Lancelot.  I believe the last time he was seen was in the fall of 2015.   Born in the Dryhead portion of the range, I was fortunate to be able to see him many times.  His coat was an apricot, dun, roan, and his missing half-ear and white ring on his neck (in later years), made him easy to identify.  I am sorry I did not get to spend more time with him, but feel lucky have known him.

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4.  Merlin, born in 1997, son of Guinvere and Lancelot.  He was a beautiful Grullo stallion, living in the Dryhead, and produced some of the finest examples of the Pryor Herd known.  I was particular fond of him because he is the sire of my Valerosa, who I adopted in 2009.  (Valerosa is now living with my good friend Jeanne). 

Merlin survived many wounds, and turned up a few times when some of us thought he may be gone.  A couple of these photos are from Laura Curtis.  Laura really loved Merlin, and I felt she took some of the best photos of him I have seen.  Thank you Laura for letting me use these.

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5.  Sitting Bull, born in 1996 to Guinvere and Lancelot. I believe he was last seen in the spring of 2016.  Sitting Bull was once discribed to me as one of the wildest stallions in the Pryors, and he most certainly lived up to that discription.   He lived in the Dryhead and kept out of sight for most of his life.  He prefered to live with his band, in the lower Sykes area, away from most people and other horses.  Every time I saw him, I considered it a rare gift, and felt very privileged with each sighting.

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6.  Quest, born in the spring of 2016, son of Hataali and Morning Star, he did not live very long.  Cause of death was never known.  The photo below was taken by NPS Bill Picket.

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7.  Quietstorm, daughter of Firestorm and Doc.  Born in the early morning of July 14, 2016, right near my campsite.  This little one was discovered by my friend Liz, shortly after I left to head down the mountain.  She was a beautiful little filly and very much loved by her band, especially her brother Okomi.  She disapeared in late September, cause of death is unknown.   The beautiful photos below were taken by Anh, I thought they captured her personality beautifully.

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8.  Quicksilver, son of Audubon and Hamlet, born in mid September, 2016, he disappeared in late September, early October 2016.  Cause of death is unknown.  The below photo was taken by Jack Sterling.

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9.  Winnemucca, born in 1987, daughter of Black Star and Konik.  Winnemucca lived to the age of 29, and with that, became the oldest every known Pryor Horse to survive on the range.  She died the end mid-end of September, 2016.  You can read more about her in the post I did on her this past spring.  Click on Winnemucca to read it.  She was an amazing mare, and will be very missed.

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There is one last horse that I am going to list here.  It is a bit early to really make a call on him, but I am publishing these photos in hopes that it will bring attention to him, and perhaps someone will go up  on the mountain and see him and let us all know.  He was last seen in early-mid September.  Fiesta, born in 2005, son of Phoenix and Teton.  He has been with the stallion Horizon for years.  Early on as two bachelors, and then in the past several years, he has acted as a very devoted Sattelite Stallion.

He was the big protector, the one who would step up and fight to protect his little band from whatever and whom ever he saw as a threat.  It is very unusual and odd that he is not with them, and I am worried.  I hope and pray he shows up soon and gives us all some peace.  I love this horse,  I can’t imagine the mountain without him.  Fiesta has made me smile and laugh so many times, I can’t begin to count them.  If anyone spots him, please let me know.

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This year has been a year of loss.  I believe this is the largest loss of horses since the winter of 2010-2011, when 15 horses died.  Next year we will have new life once again to the mountain, the birth of the new foals will help ease the pain of the ones that will no longer be there.  But these horses and the others that have pasted before them, will not be forgot,  their spirits will continue to live on in one of the most beautiful places on earth.  Rest in Peace dear wild ones, I am sure you are looking down and protecting the ones that you love.

Sandy

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Cloud and his son Mica, summer of 2015.

 

 

 

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.

Horses in Photos:

January:  Irial and Lobo

February: Nimbus

March: Jasper

April: Blanca

May: Custer and Winnemucca

June: Ireland and Quillian

July:  Blue Moon and Custer

August:  Doc

September:  Doc’s Band, Tecumseh, and Mescalero’s band

October: Knight and Nimbus

November: Jackson

December: Irial

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.  I will still be on the mountain in between those dates, hosting a very special 3 week trip.

June 19-22, 2017.  FULL   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. 3 Spaces Left  Mid-July is a great time to be on the mountain.  The wildflowers should be in full bloom, and the new foals will be running, playing and napping in them!

Cost of trip:  $1750.00

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.

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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 few of my guests 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.

 

I spent three nights on the mountain with Sandy and her assistant Abby Branchflower in early July 2016. The entire trip was well planned and organized. The food was excellent, starting with morning coffee with the horses. Tent accommodations were also excellent – we had some serious mountain weather and my tent didn’t leak! Most impressive was Sandy and Abby’s extraordinary depth of knowledge of the Pryor Mustangs as well as their passion for their preservation.

I highly recommend this experience for anyone wishing an “up close and personal” experience with this spectacular country and its Mustang inhabitants.

Dick Evans
Eagle River, Alaska

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Prospera and Winnemucca, July 2015

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

 

Sandy

406-360-8959

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