I let you know what I saw at the end of the day on Sunday up Burnt Timber ( New Foal), so I thought I would fill you in on the rest of that day.
We started each day up the Dryhead, starting at 7:00 am. I will let you know what I saw in the Dryhead on another post. After spending some time there, we headed for Burnt Timber and were heading up Burnt Timber Road on Sunday by 10:00. I was surprised at the lack of snow. There was none. On my last trip in March we encountered several feet on the road and could only go a few miles up the road. (See my post: Burnt Timber March 3 and 4, 2012). We traveled up the road about 7 or more miles before we saw any, and then it was just patches in the trees. I hope the mountains get some late spring snow fall.
We were almost to the area where we had to turn around in March (because of the deep snow), when we saw Jackson’s band. Most of the band was starting to go up a very bushy draw. Firestorm and Brumby were down the road a little ways from the rest of the band.
They were heading up the draw pretty quickly, so I did not have a lot of time to snap these shots.
I have had a few people (who have never been on the range) ask me why I did not follow them to get more photos. Well, it goes back to my post about Camping in the Pryors. Please read this if you have not. It is about respecting the horses. It simply was not worth disrespecting them for a few more photo opportunities. These people also felt I should have walked out and taken more photos of the new foal. Again there are two things here. If you have never been to the Pryors you don’t realize the lay out of the land. If I had chosen to hike closer, they could have been gone in a draw or ravine and I would not have seen them. If they had been there, they most likely would not have liked me being there with such a young foal. But, again, it goes back to respecting the horses. I feel lucky that I am allowed to spend time with them and I take whatever they choose to give me at the time. Sometimes they give me a lot and I need to move away from them, sometimes they want to move away from me. I have horses, I think over the years I have learned how to read their body language. I transfer what my horses have taught me with how I act around these horses. You learn to read their body language and follow that the best you can.
I did not see Jackson or Kaycee. Kalahari was there, but I realized that my ATV was parked in such a way to make Brumby and Firestorm uncomfortable and unable to get to the rest of their band easily. So while I was backing up the ATV out of their way, I missed getting a photo of Kalahari.
We continued up Burnt Timber to the first water guzzler. This opened up to a big meadow. The sun was shining and it was protected from the wind. It was a perfect place to be on a cold and windy day. We saw Cloud and his band there. I parked and we hiked in towards them. I had someone ask me today if I felt the horses learn to know me. I think the answer is yes. I do feel that as much as I go they do remember me and know I am OK. This was the case of this band. Once they realized who I was and we would cause them no harm, they settled in to just being horses and enjoying the day. We spent over two hours with them. While most of the adults napped in the shade of the bushes, the young horses enjoyed some play time.
The first horses I saw were Damsel (Dancer) and Innocentes (Ingrid).
I thought Innocentes look better than the last time I saw.
The next horse I saw was Feldspar. She never stopped eating while I was there. She looks very pregnant.
While the adults grazed or napped, the younger members played. Young Lynx was the first to try to get Kierra to play with him. Watching him, he reminded me of a pesky younger brother. When I first saw him that day I wondered why he was missing so much hair on his butt. After watching his behavior, I quickly realized why!
Kierra decided to take a break and investigate something on the ground.
While she did that, Lynx decided it was time to bug Jasmine.
Then suddenly Kierra picked up something on the ground and flung it up in the air!
It surprised all three of them and they stopped and just stared!
Then Kierra decided to pick on Lynx. This is how he was losing his hair!
Then it was on to investigate a bush and then to the water guzzler to hear the cool sounds it made when a hoof hit it.
While these 3 played, Feldspar and her daughter Krystal grazed.
After the 3 youngsters drank from the water guzzler, they headed over to nap with the adults.
Then suddenly, for some reason only known to her, Krystal decided to run full speed from where she was towards the sleeping group. That caused everyone to run for their lives. I just happened to have my camera pointed in the right direction at the time and was able to capture the moment.
Cloud was the only one that did not run and looked for what might have scared her.
Not finding anything, everyone settled down. They were all awake now, so they started grazing and moving on to another area.
As they moved further away, we decided we would continue up Burnt Timber. We had not gone up the road far, when around a bend in the road we found Doc and his band.
Broken Bow kept a very close eye on us while we were there. Doc barely lifted his head from eating. At first I thought he had several wounds that were healing on him. But after looking closer it appears that it is mostly dried mud on his side and neck.
We continued up the road several miles before we saw more horses. They were pretty far away. It was Custer and his band. Everyone was there.
We continued further up the road. There were patches of snow under some of the trees. We would have liked to gone all the way to the top, but there was a storm coming in pretty fast. So we headed back down the mountain.
As it turned out, it was a good thing we did. That was when we saw the new foal. If you missed that post you can click here: New Foal.
It was a good day. But it was not over yet. We were out of the range and heading down the dirt road. As I came around a bend in the road there was a little baby calf. He had somehow gotten through the fence away from the others and was trying to get back in. I don’t know how he got out. The barbed wire fence was really tight. I did not know how he would get back in on his own. So we stopped. I thought about going to the house to let them know, but in order to do that it would have involved a few miles to go around the roads to get there. I was afraid that this little guy would panic and hurt himself on the fence. I have worked with cows several times on horseback, but never with a truck. I took what I knew from that to help herd this little guy to safety. I thought I saw a gate up the road a short way, so I drove up there. I had Brigitte get out and open the gate, staying there so no more got out. Then turned around and went back to the baby. Cows have a “bubble” around them. Some are more sensitive than others. I wanted him to go slowly towards the gate, not panic and run the opposite way. So I went slowly and watched his moves. He did just as I hoped and headed towards the gate. He went down in a ditch along the road once, so I had to get out of the truck and go over towards him and move him back up on the road. It really went easier than I thought it would. I motioned Brigitte to go to the other side of the road, away from the gate. I was pretty sure this guy would not go in with her standing right by the gate. I inched the truck forward. Just as planned he scooted right in the gate and back to his mom! Boy was he happy! Boy were we happy!
It was a good day.
More updates on the Dryhead, Sykes and another time up Burnt Timber soon!
Remember you can click on the photos to make them larger!