I love horses. I especially love the Pryor Horses. I wish I lived closer, I would be there every day, or at least every other day. I love learning about each of their personalities and how they interact with each other. It has really captivated me and touched my soul.
When I am not there, I spend several hours a week studying their photos. So then when I do go, I can recognize them quickly. I found on my last trip that I was able to identify all of the horses I saw right away. It was like I was seeing old friends that I instantly recognized. It felt good.
The most challenging part of my last trip to the Pryors was the “how to get up the mountain” part.
The roads are bad in the summer without snow, but the roads with snow would be even more challenging. So I decided that for this trip I would take our ATV. I am a person who likes the quiet of “non-motorized” travel, so I had never taken our ATV off of our property before this trip. When I leave our property to enjoy the outdoors, it is always on horseback. The ATV is simply a tool at our place and not something we would use otherwise.
So deciding to take it was something I thought about for a while.
We do not have a trailer for the ATV, so it would have to ride in the back of the truck.
The getting-it-off (and then back on) of the truck part was what I was worried about. But, for the love of the horses I decided it needed to be done.
Yes, trust me it is as scary as it looks! Luckily it does not take very long to do. But there is one part that always takes my breath away no matter how many times I do it.
I had the help of my friend Brigitte. She made sure the ramps were lined up with the tires. Thankfully she has very good eyesight!
Once I was down, we packed up the ATV with our camera gear, scope, binoculars, water and lunches. Then took off down the road in search of horses.
The roads can be a bit intimidating, but I actually felt better navigating them in the ATV then in my big truck. The roads are one lane (if that) and turning around a big truck or any vehicle is a challenge. As you read in the sign above, my truck would not be able to travel this road safely, it is just too big.
I have driven up Burnt Timber in my truck once before, but I will not do it again. My way to the top in the summer is Crooked Creek Road or Pryor Mountain Road (from the Montana side). I quickly realized that the ATV was the best mode of transportation for the winter.
I feel a sense of urgency to head back to the Pryors again, soon. I realized as I was studying the horses today, that if the BLM goes ahead with their plan to remove half of the 1-3 year olds, that I won’t be seeing some of the horses that I have gotten to know over the last few years. Alex and I talked today and tried to compile a list of who we think may be removed. I don’t like the results.
For the love of the horses, I will pack up the ATV and back it up and down the ramp as many times as I can before that happens. Then after that I will still keep going, keeping record of those that remain free.
As I was looking through my photos today I came across several that I thought I would share with you. Some of them are ones I passed by when I first looked at them. Today, they just seemed to jump out at me.