Sunday morning April 15, was a cold, windy and rainy morning. We drove up the Dryhead at around 7:30 am.
The day before we saw several horses (click HERE, to read that post) and we were hoping to see more today.
As I headed down the road the first thing we saw were these Bighorn Sheep. I had heard that they did not do well, the winter of 2010-2011. It was good to see some. We saw more on our way out that morning.
We continued down the road to Mustang Flats. I saw 3 horses off in the distance. It was Seattle, Sacajawea and Sacajawea’s two-year old son (from Blizzard), Kemmer. We decided to continue down the road to see if we could see anyone else. Just a little further we saw Hidatsa and Joseph.
We watched them for a while. It was raining, so I did not spend a lot of time taking photos. I had gotten several good photos of them the day before. Click HERE, to read that post and see more photos of them.
The rain had stopped and the sun was trying to come out. We decided to go back to Mustang Flats. I wanted to hike out and get some photos of Seattle, Sacajawea and Kemmer. We parked by the Mustang Flats sign and looked out. I immediately saw two black horses. I was a little unsure of who they were. I could only see the star on one, the other was solid. I would learn later that they were Hawk and Issaquah. I could not see Hawk’s snip and thin stripe, so I did not think it was him. At first I thought maybe it was the forest service bachelors, Hamlet and Hernando. Their build is similar.
I have watched these wild horses enough to know that these bachelors were going to challenge Seattle. I was pretty sure of it. What looked like peaceful grazing was something quite different. Hawk and Issaquah were over 1/2 mile away from Seattle, but I could tell by their actions that they were slowly working their way towards them. Not in a direct line, but in a more casual way. I decided to hike out and watch closer. Hawk and Issaquah started to pick up speed.
Seattle was keeping a close eye on them.
I first saw Seattle in July 2010. He had just lost his entire band and had an injured knee. I felt bad for him. He remained alone for a while. Now he had Sacajawea (my filly Valerosa’s mother) and Kemmer. Kemmer seemed to really like Seattle. He tried to get Seattle to play with him, but Seattle was too busy watching the bachelors (who happen to be his sons) move up.
When Seattle would not play with him, he decided to go back over by his mom and nurse.
I turned and saw Hawk and Issaquah moving up fast. Hawk is the 2007 son of Seattle and Cascade. Issaquah is the 2008 son of Seattle and Bakken.
Seattle decided that they had gotten close enough and came out to meet them.
Kemmer, not really knowing what was going on, watched and called out for Seattle.
Seattle stopped and looked back at his band to make sure they were alright.
There was some pawing and screams, but nothing too bad. Then it started to get more serious.
Then Seattle and Hawk broke away from Issaquah and ran behind more bushes a little ways away.
We could not see them very well from where we were. But did not want to get any closer. I hoped Seattle was okay. At the age of 15 would he be any match for these younger boys?
It seems like it went on for a long time, but I am sure it was less than a minute. Then as suddenly as it began, Seattle appeared from the bush and started heading back to his band.
Seattle reaches his family and starts to snake them away. Kemmer, seeing Seattles’ actions, gave him the “I am just a baby, don’t hurt me” motion.
Seattle moved his band away a little more. Then they all went back to grazing. Seattle did continue to watch Hawk and Issaquah, who trotted out of sight. Everything went back to normal, for now. I hope that Seattle can continue to hang on to his little family.
I apologize for the quality of these photos. I was a little too far away to get really clear photos. But I decided the story was worth telling.
This is the last of my updates from my April trip. I’ll be going again in a few weeks.