I am doing this post to do two things. One is to give everyone a little better look at the top of the mountain. The other is to talk about an upper meadow that is not being used by the horses.
You can see the meadow I am talking about on the map below. This meadow is in the location that I have marked “waterguzzler”. I just did some Goggle Earth measurements and it is approximately 3/4 of a mile long and about 1/3 mile wide. This is just the actual open area. Below is a particle map of the range, via Google Earth. I placed markers on it so everyone can see where I am talking about and also posted some photos of those marked areas so you can visualize the places. You can click on the photos to make them larger.
The water guzzler works like this… It is installed on a slope. The rain or snow melts in the fenced field above the holding tanks. Then drains down to the holding tanks through pipes. When I was there in August and again in September there was still plenty of water in the holding tank.
Why the horses are not using this meadow is a real mystery. Both times that I hiked up to this meadow, once the end of August and once in mid-September, there were no horses. I hiked all around the meadow and saw very little horse sign. Some dried manure, a few old stallion piles. One or two sets of prints in the mud around the water tank.
There is a lot of forage for them to eat up there and it would be really great if the horses would start utilizing this meadow.
I did some measures via goggle earth and from the Mystic Pond area (which is highly used by the horses) to the Empty Meadow, it is just about 1 mile. Not a far walk for a horse.
Below is a view from just above the water guzzler, on the cliff. You can see my marker on the map above, labeled “view”.
Here is another look at some of the meadow. You can see how tall the forage is. This was taken in mid-September, so the grasses have started to dry out.
I am hoping that this year will be the year the horses decide to use this meadow. I will be anxious to hike up there and see if they are and I will be sure to post what I find.
Thank you to Lori Graham of the Pryor Mountain Wild Mustang Center in Lovell, Wyoming for her photos of Penn’s.