Healing Thoughts For Lakota

If you have followed my blog since I started writing it in February, you know that I have a very strong feeling for one horse, Lakota.  If you have not read my posts about him, just click on the title and it will take you to them.  Lakota.  The Gift.  Finding Lakota.   We seem to have a connection.

The first evening after arriving on the mountain top to camp, I received a message from Matt.   We talked for a while about the horses and what I had seen that evening.  The last thing Matt said to me was “Lakota is injured.”  He told me the area that he was in last when he had seen him the day before.  It was dark by now and so I would have to wait until the next morning to look for him.  I didn’t sleep.

Lakota is a strong and wise stallion.  He lost his band last summer and seemed to take the loss hard.  He recovered from that and when I saw him in May he had gained weight and looked really good.  I heard that for the last couple weeks he had been following his old band, whom the stallion Grijala had taken from him.  I was proud of him and hopeful he would be like the stallion Chino (who is 21 this year).  Chino lost his band a couple of years ago and got them back.  I wished the same for Lakota.  Lakota is 20 this year.

The next morning my friend Linda and I went to look for Lakota.  The first band I saw was Lakota’s old band with the stallion Grijalla.  They were down in a deep meadow below.  I went just a short ways and saw Lakota on a cliff above them.

Lakota, June 18, 2012

He was standing and so I was hopeful his injury was not too bad.  I could see that he had his right front leg bent.  

Lakota, June 18, 2012

Then he started to move.

Lakota, June 18, 2012

He put no weight on that leg.  It was painful to watch him try to walk, but he did.  He would pivot around on his back legs and hop with his front leg.  He moaned.

Lakota, May 18, 2012

At first I thought his leg might be broke.  But it appears to be a deep wound down low on his leg.

Lakota, May 18, 2012

I felt my tears start, it was so hard to see this strong stallion hurt.  I wondered if he would survive this.  I was not ready for him to leave this life.

He was about one mile from any water hole to drink from.  I doubted he would be able to make it that far.  I felt a bit better when I looked around and saw two large mud puddles with water in them that he could get to.  I was thankful for the recent rains.  He was in an area that had a lot of green forage, so if he was able to eat, he would have a chance.  He started to graze a little, but not much.  It wasn’t long before he decided to lie down.  Would he be able to get back up?

Lakota

It was really hitting me hard.  I know he is a wild horse.  They get injured, they die.  Life is not easy for them here on this roughed range.  But I had seen him recover from the loss of his band last year and I just wished for him to have a few years of contentment and peace before he died.  AND I wanted him to be here.  I did not want to think what it would be like if he was not here.  I watched him sleep for a while and hoped he could get back up.  It was difficult to listen to his moans.

I don’t know how this injury happened.  We can only guess.  My guess is it involved Grijala somehow.

As the tears continued to fall I kept whispering to him “You can do it Lakota, I know you can.”  I hoped somehow my words would help him heal.

Lakota

Then I watched him rise to his feet.  It is difficult enough for a horse with four strong legs to get up off the ground, but Lakota did it with only three.

Lakota, May 18, 2012

I stayed with him for a while more.   We would check on him several times a day while we were there.

The next day when we saw him he was lying down.  After a few minutes he got back up.  It seemed to be a bit easier than the day before.  He seemed to be eating with more intent today.  He seemed to be moving just a tiny bit better.  He put a very, very, very slight bit of weight on his injured leg.  He seemed to be healing.

That evening when I checked on him he had moved more than I had seen him move over the last few days.  I was hopeful.

Our last night in the Pryors brought a snow storm and strong winds.  It was 31 that morning with 20- 30 mile an hour winds.  For a brief few minutes the wind stopped and sun came out.  Then the wind started again.  I knew we should head down the mountain as soon as we could, while we could.  I wanted to check on Lakota one more time.

I was happy for the snow.  This meant that Lakota would have plenty of moisture for at least one day.  The puddles would fill up more.

I could see his tracks in the snow.  It was easy to tell it was him.  One of his hoofs would make a drag mark in the snow.  We followed his tracks for a while, but never found him.  His tracks would go in and out of trees and it was hard to determine which way he had gone.

It was really hard to leave not being able to find him.  But I knew we had too.  Staying up on the mountain any longer in this weather was not a wise thing to do.  Even though it was June, it could snow enough to keep us from being able to get down.  So we left.

I cried off and on for Lakota on my drive home.  I hoped I will hear soon that he is healing.

Lakota, June 19, 2012

I hope I see you soon Lakota.  Remember how great you are and try to stay strong.

37 thoughts on “Healing Thoughts For Lakota

  1. Oh NO, this is so heart breaking………………You must be beside yourself, I am so sad to see this, Sandy, I will pray that God take care of Lakota

  2. Thank you for sharing this emotional experience… I hope it gave you a little relief to get your thoughts out. This one really hit me hard — I can’t imagine what it must be like for you. And I’m glad you weren’t alone.

  3. My healing thoughts area with you and Lakota. I can only imagine your pain. This must be the most difficult part of your mission. I will stay tuned. Visit my blog today for a bit of cheer. Diane

  4. Oh Sandy … this brought tears to my eyes! It is so hard to watch these wild ones suffer and not interfere … Sending prayers skyward that Lakota heals and continues his peaceful life on the mountain. Hugs!

  5. Sandy,

    We saw Lakota after you and Linda left. He still wasn’t putting much weight if any on his injured leg, but he did seem to be getting around a little bit. We checked on him later in the day and he was eating and more out in the open. I was concerned about water as well, but there was quite a bit of snow for a while so I’m sure that helped. My thoughts will be with him that he heals quickly and stays safe.

    Terry Hawthorne

    1. So did you guys come back up after you went down in the morning? What time of the day did you see him? Did it clear up on the mountain? Still looked like it was storming up there after we got down.
      Nice meeting you. Have a safe trip back to NY.

      1. Hi Sandy,

        We stayed up there for most of the day …. till about 3. The snow was starting to melt just after you left. It was totally gone before noon and believe it or not there was sun and blue sky. I would say we first saw him late morning. He was very close to the road but hidden in some trees. We saw he had an injured foot, but I didn’t know it was Lakota until I read your post. I’m not as familiar with all of the horses names. We tried to keep track of him while looking for other horses and that’s when we saw him more out in the open and eating. It bummed me out….I was really worried for him. I took some pictures of him since it looked like a new injury and I didn’t know if anyone was aware of it. We told some forest service people that we met up there and they in turn told it to the BLM who were down the road. After that they just took off and didn’t talk to us. Either they already knew or were uninterested since there was nothing they could do. We knew that, but we just thought it best that someone was aware. You should have stayed…it really ended up being a pretty nice day, but we also new you had a long drive ahead of you. It must have looked a lot worse from the bottom than it actually was. It was nice meeting you as well. Next time we will plan for a longer visit. It had been 4 years since I had been on the mountain and this time didn’t disappoint (other than Lakota).
        He is a strong and resilient horse and I’m sure Matt will be checking on
        him as well.
        Take care,

        Terry

      2. Hi Sandy,

        We stayed up there for most of the day …. till about 3. The snow was starting to melt just after you left. It was totally gone before noon and believe it or not there was sun and blue sky. I would say we first saw him late morning. He was very close to the road but hidden in some trees. We saw he had an injured foot, but I didn’t know it was Lakota until I read your post. I’m not as familiar with all of the horses names. We tried to keep track of him while looking for other horses and that’s when we saw him more out in the open and eating. It bummed me out….I was really worried for him. I took some pictures of him since it looked like a new injury and I didn’t know if anyone was aware of it. We told some forest service people that we met up there and they in turn told it to the BLM who were down the road. After that they just took off and didn’t talk to us. Either they already knew or were uninterested since there was nothing they could do. We knew that, but we just thought it best that someone was aware. You should have stayed…it really ended up being a pretty nice day, but we also new you had a long drive ahead of you. It must have looked a lot worse from the bottom than it actually was. It was nice meeting you as well. Next time we will plan for a longer visit. It had been 4 years since I had been on the mountain and this time didn’t disappoint (other than Lakota).
        He is a strong and resilient horse and I’m sure Matt will be checking on
        him as well.
        Take care,

        Terry

  6. Oh Sandy, I feel your pain. We were able to visit the middle of May and I fell in love with Blizzard, he let me set and watch him for approx 10 min, take some incredible pics. If I were somewhere I could go often, I know I would seek him out. My prayers are for your beautiful friend, its hard to leave him, yet knowing he is where he belongs gives us strength. Know in your heart he is where he was meant to be. I’m sure he could feel your love.

    1. So I’m not the only one in love with Blizzard, huh? I saw him a few weeks ago. He is doing great, just so you know. He was with Issaquah, Hawk and Hidatsa.

      1. According to the pictures, I’m afraid you’re right. Any idea of the origin of Lakota’s wound ?

  7. I love your stories about these horses and feel for you over Lakota. I’m all choked up after reading. Sending you love and strength and healing thoughts to majestic Lakota!

  8. Sorry to hear about Lakota. I’ll be praying for a swift recovery. It’s always hard when any horse is injured, whether they be wild or domestic. I hope he gets better. I’m sure you’ll keep us informed.

  9. I’m so sorry to hear about this! I hope you will keep us all updated on the poor guy as soon as you hear something more.. It’s so heartbreaking to see this, and I can’t imagine what it must be like for you:/

  10. Thank you so much for sharing. Your story of Lakota early on is what lead me to your site. These animals are amazing and the history they tell remarkable. I am sorry to hear we lost such a great animal. He live a good long life and his legacy lives on. Thank you, Franny

  11. Part of his spirit will live on in you Sandy, he is at peace.
    Your sharing of your thoughts, feelings, stories and photos makes me feel that I had a chance to know him a little through your eyes and heart
    .
    Karen

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s