Mountain Update, Dryhead, April 14, 2012

When I first started writing this post, I thought that I would include all three days in one post.  But as I wrote, I realized that each day held a new story .  Each one of the horses I saw was special.  I felt that by lumping it all together in one post it would take away from each of their stories.  So this is day one in the Dryhead.

We arrived in Lovell at 1:30 pm on Saturday.  The drive from Missoula had been sunny most of the way.  But as we got closer to Lovell, the clouds took over the sky and it was raining and windy.  We decided the best thing to do was to head up the Dryhead.  The Dryhead is on paved road.

On my last several trips up the Dryhead, I have not seen very many horses.  The last time I was here in March, I only saw Fiero.  This trip would be different.

The first horses that we saw were Hidatsa and Joseph.  We had just pulled over by the Mustang Flats sign to see if we could see anyone.  We turned our heads to the left and there they were, right by the road.  I was really happy to see Hidatsa.  I had never seen him this close before.  He is the full brother of my Pryor filly, Valerosa (Merlin and Sacajawea). I had never seen Joseph.  Joseph is the son of Bakken and Seattle.

We spent over an hour with them watching them graze.  Their heads rarely came up off the ground.

Joseph and Hidatsa, April 14, 2012
Hidatsa and Joseph
Joseph
Hidatsa
Joseph
Hidatsa
Joseph

We decided to leave Hidatsa and Joseph to their grazing and see who else we might see down the road.   The only other horse we saw was a lone Blizzard, far away.  We turned around and headed back the other direction.  We passed back by the two bachalors.  I was coming around a bend in the road (seems I see a lot of horses this way!), and there was Fiero and his band.  The last time I saw Fiero in March (read my post Fiero) he was alone.  I was glad that he had his band back again.  He had Strawberry and Kokopeli along with another mare, Bakken.

I pulled the truck over off the road and got out.  Bakken headed straight for me.  There was no anger or aggression in her moves, she was just very deliberately heading for me.  I had never seen Bakken before.  She is a beautiful grulla (Sacajawea and Cortez), half-sister to my Valerosa.

Bakken, April 14, 2012
Bakken
Bakken

After that last shot I put my camera down.  I was right next to the truck, so I really had nowhere to go.  There was plenty of room for her to move away from me.  I had pulled off the road and so she had the entire road and the other side of the road to walk on.  But she choose to come towards me.  At the very last second, she changed her direction and focus and walked right past me.

Bakken

The others from this band were still on the other side of the road and up from where my truck was.  I turned my camera on them next.  The next one to come down was Strawberry.

Strawberry, April 14, 2012
Strawberry

Next came little Kokopeli.  He was walking next to Fiero, but quickly broke off from him. He really did not like us being there and made a dash for Bakken and his mom, Strawberry who by this time were making their way down the road and over to the other side.

Fiero and Kokopeli
Kokopelli April 14, 2012
Kokopeli
Strawberry and Kokopeli
Strawberry, Bakken and Kokopeli

Fiero took his time joining them.  He clearly did not feel that we were any kind of threat to his family.

Fiero, April 14, 2012
Fiero
Fiero
Strawberry, Bakken, Kokopeli and Fiero, April 15, 2012

We made our way slowly down the road and out of the range.  The time had gone by quickly.  I was happy to have seen familiar horses and also to have met some I never had seen.  It was a good first day.

Sandy

photo editing by Alex!

7 thoughts on “Mountain Update, Dryhead, April 14, 2012

  1. I don’t know where to start… great to see pictures of Strawberry, haven’t seen many of her. And it’s amazing to see the differences between Jemez and Kokopelli as they have grown older. They once looked so similar and now Jemez is so much lighter in color. (thanks Shawn!) Your close-ups have captured all the fantastic stripes… Hidatsa is awesome! Thanks so much — so looking forward to the rest!

  2. The developments are all so very interesting…and most of the horses look very good. Kokopelli seems a bit thin, however. Handsome Hidatsa is looking very good, as always. I used a picture of him in my presentation to show the striping etc., of the old bloodline. He is a superb example. Joseph is the last horse I saw on my last visit to the Range last year. He was a long way off and he wasn’t a bit bothered by me walking slowly out to where he was to get some closeups in the bright early morning sun. I looked at him; he looked at me, and we both enjoyed the quiet beauty of Mustang Flats that morning. Those pics are some of my best. He had many scars showing on his summer coat. Glad to see they’ve filled in nicely. Looking forward to seeing the next post. Hope you got to see Fools Crow on your way “back in”.

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