The first time I saw Doc was in August 2010. It was that crazy unsettled day that anyone who has followed the Pryor Horses know what I am taking about. For those of you who are new to these horses, I will explain. That was the day that there was a lot of interchange of bands, right before our eyes. I was camped out for the day at Krueger Pond. There were a few others besides myself there. It was a typical hot August day and within a 9 hour period, I was able to see most of the bands on the mountain top come to the pond at least once. That was the day that Blue Moon (Flint) lost his band to Ferdinand, after Blue Moon left his band to steal Ferdinand’s mare and foal (Genevieve and Knight). You get the idea, the whole day was filled with action. I had my video camera along with my little “point and shoot” camera.
At that time Doc had the mare Sequoyah and her foal, Kane (Uno). I had seen Sequoyah with Kane’s father ( Two Boots) in July when I was here, so I knew this was a recent change. According to Alex, Doc had just lost his mare Gold Rush (who he would regain again soon) to Baja. In fact I actually had taken video footage of this happening when I was there that day. I have posted the video below for you to watch and you can also read more on this in my post “Moving On.”
I will tell you more about my meetings with Doc later in the post. Now my blog partner Alex is going to share his thoughts on Doc and tell us a bit about his history.
Doc is one of my favorite stallions. He is a beautiful seal bay stallion with a long wavy mane.
He is a “D” boy, born in 2003. He is the only son of Winnamucca (at the age of 25, she is the oldest horse on the range). Doc’s father was the late Little Foot (Mateo), a seal bay stallion.
The thing that is great about wild horse families is that they never stay the same. you never know which interchanges you might see when you go visit the range.
These changes occur in the summer and very often in the winter as well. Contrary to what many people think, the interchange of mares and the victory and losses of stallions are key for the survival of the herd. The fact that a mare’s offspring are not all out of the same sire means that they still carry her genes, but if the cross-breed as adults, the chances of inbreeding is much lower than if the horses were full siblings.
Doc, along with his mother Winnamucca, were stolen by the bay stallion Santa Fe when Doc was just a yearling. That was the year that Little Foot (Mateo) lost his entire band.
Santa Fe tolerated Doc until his was 3. Then in 2006 Doc became a bachelor.
He won his first band of mares in March, 2009, stolen from the powerful coyote dun stallion Jackson! His new family consisted of the sorrel sabino mare Flicka, the grulla mare Fiasco (Felicity) and her yearling daughter Innocentes (Ingrid).
This new band of horses was not captured in the 2009 roundup. But in April of 2010, his mare Flicka died. That same spring he would lose the rest of his band to the grullo stallion Ferdinand.
He would not be alone long though. Later that spring he stole Cabaret’s full sister Gold Rush and her yearling Juneu from the stallion Two Boots. The following spring (2010) Doc would raise his first foal, Ketchikan (who is the daughter of Two Boots).
Ferdinand lost Fiasco in the summer of 2010 to the stallion Custer. In late July Fiasco would give birth to Doc’s first foal, a grullo colt with a big white star named Kaibob (Last). Also in Custer’s band at this time was Doc’s mother, Winnemucca, and Fiasco’s daughter, Innocentes.
In the spring of 2011, Doc had his second foal. He is the beautiful bay colt London. Alex
Doc and I have crossed paths many times over the last few years. After I saw him in August 2010 I saw him again in September. I guess I would have to say he is also one of my favorites.
My husband Bill and I had planned a camping trip to the Pryors in September 2010. It would be Bill’s first trip to the Pryors. The first horses that we saw when we arrived on top just before dark that September day was Doc and his little band. He still had the mare Sequoyah with him along with her colt, Kane. We shared dinner with them that night and watched the setting sun with them in background.
I saw Doc briefly when I was back in October, 2010. He was a lone then. Blue Moon (Flint) had taken Sequoyah and Kane.
My next trip would not be until July, 2011. I was on a search for Cabaret and Lakota, but Doc seemed to always be there. Sometimes in my search for the other stallions and their bands, I did not see Doc and his new band. They were in my photos though. Doc’s band now consisted of Gold Rush, Ketchikan and his new son, London.
Isn’t it odd how sometimes life can pass before your eyes and you are too busy thinking of something else, or in my case 2 horses (Lakota and Cabaret). I did not think I had seen Doc and his new son until August, 2011,(read my post “Moving On”) but as I looked through my photos these past few weeks, here they were. Not once, but several times, crossing through my life without me noticing. It was a little troubling for me to see this. It made me realize that life is about each moment and that I need to enjoy each one and soak in the beauty of it, not worry about who I don’t see, but appreciate who I do. Thank you Doc for making me realize this.
Early that first morning in July, as I watched Lakota fight for his band (read my post Lakota), Doc and his band passed quietly by me once again. Unnoticed until I saw them in my photos.
It was before sunrise, around 5:30, so the photos are a bit grainy, but somehow magical, so I decided to include them.
I would see Doc again in August, taking the time to enjoy each moment. (read my post “Moving On“)
In September Bill and I returned to camp for several days. This would be Bill’s second trip to the Pryors. It was a cold, bitter several days. On the last day that we were there the sun came out and warmed the mountain. We sat for several hours watching several bands come to drink at Mystic Pond (a puddle by now) and fight off the group of bachelors that were there. (Read my post Boys of Summer for more on this).
I immediately recognized Doc and his little band coming down the hill towards the puddle. London was growing! I admired how Doc paid special attention to his little family. There were several bachelors nearby waiting to cause trouble and Doc was making sure that none of them came near his family.
Below is a series of photos I took. Watch how Doc runs to cause interference while his band heads down to drink. He then comes to join them, clearly still agitated (by the look of his ears) from his encounter with the young bachelor Horizon (He Who).
That was the last time I saw Doc. When I returned in October, I did not see him. Just a few weeks ago I was back. I saw 4 horses on a distance hill that I did not recognize. After about a week at home we figured out who they were. (read “Mystery Solved, Mountain Update“). It was part of Docs band. His mare Gold Rush and his son London are now with the grullo stallion Garay and the young bachelor Jasper (Jack). Gold Rush’s daughter Ketchikan is reported to be with Chance.
Alex and I were very concerned for Doc and were relieved to hear that he was OK. In fact he may have lost his band somehow, but in the process gained an even bigger band. As Alex says: “Yes, Doc has changed mares once again! ” In fact they are the mares that belonged to his “step father” Santa Fe! They are the beautiful 1993 mare Broken Bow, her 2003 daughter Demure, Demure’s daughter Kindra and Jenny, the beautiful grulla, one of my favorites. Remember Jenny was the one that was with Lakota’s band in July. ( you can read about that in my post “Lakota“)
Doc looks good, healthy, no signs of a fight. I wonder how it all happened. Perhaps soon, Doc will have a new foal to help raise (Santa Fe’s), while Garay raises his. I wonder when I return to the mountain if Doc and I will cross paths again. I hope so, he reminds me to slow down and appreciate what life sends my way.
Thank you Shawn Ivy for the use of your photos! Shawn has also set up a data base for the Pryor Horses. Here is the link. This will be very helpful for those of you that would like to learn who the horses are. Thanks Shawn! Just click on the link below: