Mountain Top, May 20, 2012

On May 20, when we reached the top of the mountain, it was warm and sunny.  Windy, but not bad. Since then the weather has changed up there.  I heard that they now have well over a foot of snow on top.  The storm came in on Thursday and continued Friday.  It will be good for the mountain to have more moisture.  Hopefully it will fill the water guzzlers too.  I am a bit worried about the really young foals.  But in just a few days the temperatures will be back up and the snow will probably melt quickly.

When we got to the top, just below Penns cabin and in the trees I saw Demure, Broken Bow and Demure’s new colt, Mandan.

Mandan, Demure and Broken Bow, May 20, 2012

They are part of Doc’s band now.  Jenny is the 5th member of that band.  She was napping in the sun close by.

Jenny, May 20, 2012

I could see Madonna through the trees just beyond Demure and Broken Bow.  I had learned from Shawn that Madonna was looking close to foaling.  I wondered if I would see a new foal with her.

I am waiting for official confirmation, but I learned yesterday that Madonna had her foal a couple days ago.  I am worried about her.  She will be 23 this year.  I hope she will be okay and able to survive the birth of another foal.

Madonna, May 20, 2012

Below are some photos I took of Doc’s and Dukes’s bands.  Duke’s band was pretty leery of us being there and quickly moved on.  Doc’s band stayed.  You can see more photos of these foals by reading my post about the last 4 foals born.  Click FOALS to read that post.

Mandan and Demure
Broken Bow with Custer in the background, May 20, 2012
Demure and Mandan
Doc’s band, May 20, 2012
Lancaster, May 20, 2012
Helenium, May 20, 2012
July and her colt, May 20, 2012
July and her foal, May 20, 2012
Part of Duke’s band
More of Duke’s band

The other band that we saw in this area was Custer.  I had seen Custer’s band from a distance when I was here in April.  It was good to see them up close.  Everyone looked good.  Kaibab still looked small.  Leo had really changed since I saw him close up in October, 2011.

Leo, October 2011
Leo, May 20, 2012

When I first saw them Winnemucca (who will be 25 this year!) and Leo were grooming each other.

Winnemucca and Leo

The band did not want to raise their heads up from grazing.  It was pretty hard to get a good photo of them.

Custer’s band, busy eating!
Leo and Winnemucca
Kaibab, Leo and Winnemucca, May 20, 2012

We decided to continue on.  We stopped at Penn’s Cabin to eat lunch.  While we were eating, I saw a lone horse moving down towards Mystic Pond.  I knew as soon as I saw the white blazed face who it was.  It was Starman!  I also saw two other horses on the other side of the pond.  It was Judith and Santa Fe.

Judith, May 20, 2012
Santa Fe, May 20. 2012
Judith and Santa Fe

Santa Fe’s former band, including his new son Mandan, (Demure, Broken Bow and Jenny) were just down over the next hill.  I wondered if Santa Fe knew they were there.  I was pretty sure he did.  How could he not?  Santa Fe will be 17 this year.

Mystic Pond looked cold and chilly that day.  The snow was deep on the side of the hill above it.

Mystic Pond, May 20, 2012
The hill above Mystic Pond. Santa Fe way up the hill.

Starman made his way down towards the pond.  I was not sure if he knew that Santa Fe and Judith were  close by.  He seemed to be just walking by, heading down past the pond and towards Penn’s.  He was just minding his own business and enjoying the day.  Starman is going to be 23 this year.  He is another one of my favorite horses.  I was so happy to see him.  I had not seen him since last July.  He looked like he was putting on a little  more weight since the last photo I saw of him.  He had a cut above his nose, but other wise looked good.

Starman, May 20, 2012

Starman turned and looked up the hill towards Judith and Santa Fe.  That was all Santa Fe needed.  He charged down the hill and headed towards Starman.  I was worried about Starman.  But, he held his own.

Santa Fe heads down the hill towards Starman.
Santa Fe, May 20, 2012
Santa Fe
Santa Fe and Starman
Santa Fe and Starman
Starman and Santa Fe, May 20, 2012

After a few minutes of sparing, Santa Fe headed back to Judith almost as fast has he headed towards Starman.

Santa Fe

That wasn’t so bad, I thought.  Starman seemed fine.  Just move on Starman..But Starman just stood and stared back at Judith and Santa Fe.


Then, Judith started running towards Starman, but veered off towards the pond.  Santa Fe ran for Starman, again.  This time he seemed more angry.

Judith runs towards Starman
Santa Fe
Santa Fe

Starman decided he had enough and started running away.  Santa Fe chased him out of sight, beyond Penn’s and then came charging back to find Judith.

Santa Fe chases Starman.
Santa Fe
Santa Fe
Santa Fe running down towards the pond to get Judith.

Santa Fe ran towards the pond and a second later, Judith popped up running full speed.

Judith, May 20, 2012

It seems like every time I hear about Judith and Santa Fe, it involves Judith running.  I think Santa Fe has his work cut out for him.  I also think that we will soon see him with some more mares.  I don’t think he ready to retire.  I think maybe Starman was rethinking his retirement that day as well.

Judith disappeared over a hill with Santa Fe close behind.  It was the last we would see of them that day.


We started to head down Burnt Timber.  I will share what I saw there in my next post.


19 thoughts on “Mountain Top, May 20, 2012

  • Wow! What a weekend you had — what great photos of Starman and Santa Fe. Do you think Judith is pregnant? Doesn’t seem like she is too happy with Santa Fe 🙂 Hopefully Madonna’s experience will help her through this. She does make beautiful foals… Thank you so much for sharing.

  • Love that photo of Judith with all four feet off the ground with her tail flipped up!! That’s pure inspiration for a sculpture! 🙂

    • Me too! What spirit! Anybody want to wager on whether she’ll eventually find a way to get back to Starman? I sure hope so…

  • Have you heard anything about what Madonna’s foal looks like. It would be nice if it was a sorrel like her. Since Fortunas went missing there haven’t been any young sorrels on the mountain. Those pictures of Santa Fe running are great! I agree with you, whenever I hear about him and Adelina/Judith it always involves her running away. And its great to see that Starman hasn’t given up on life out there like some former band stallions do. Maybe he’ll hook up with Two Boots or Lakota for some company. Has Bigfoot been sighted anytime recently? I haven’t heard of him in awhile.

      • I’m glad he lived and died in his Pryor home. He’ll be missed though. I always loved how he never gave up on trying to win mares even with his old age and arthritis in his knees. He was definitely a favorite of mine.

  • Oh what great pic’s, Sandy …….Such great action shots. Always amazing and so much fun to see…Action packed

  • Those photos of Santa Fe charging for Starman were hilarious. He looked really angry! Judith running all over is almost like a situation where two guys are fighting over a girl and the girl doesn’t know what to do! Phoenix looks like she might be carrying a foal.

    • I think that it was more of a case of Judith being a flirt. After the first time Santa Fe charged Starman, she was the one who ran towards Starman! I hear she is pretty famous for doing this type of thing! 🙂

  • Hello Sandy,

    Your blog, your pictures of the beautiful horses and the beautiful mountain top have helped me to stay connected with the wilderness of the Pryor mountain and the horses. I bought pictures of Bigfoot and Fortunas. In the memory of Bigfoot, I hanged his picture on the wall and Fortunas’ picture too. How old were they? I hope Fortunas shows up some day.
    I got these pictures from PMWMC and your DVD too. I love the video that you posted on U-Tube on July 23, 2010. Do you make DVD? I love to purchase a copy from you.
    I visited the wild horse range early June 2012 for the first time. Unfortunately, I did not have the right vehicle to get to the mountain top.
    We drove on Bunrt TimbleTilet Ridge. The road is so rough and very difficult. We had to stop and hike. We only got to see the horses on the other side (by the Penn’s cabin) very far away since we were on Burnt Timble Ridge side. I hope to visit the Pryor mountain and spend some time with the wonderful horses soon. Thank you for your great work.

    • Hello Anh,

      Thank you! Bigfoot was born in 1986, making him 25 when he died. Fortunatus was born in 2005. Yes, I hope he does turn up someday! That would be great.
      I am sorry you did not get to the top of the mountain. It is a very rough road to travel on.
      I would be happy to make a DVD of that for you. I have contacted you via your email address.
      Maybe I will see you on the mountain someday!


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