Remembering Lakota, July 24, 2012

This was a post I was really hoping that I would not have to write, at least not for a very long time.  But, I think I knew this deep down when I was there 3 weeks ago and could not find Lakota.  I really hated leaving the mountain that day without seeing him one last time.  But, I am sure maybe Lakota wanted it that way.

I just received a call this morning from Jared Bybee.  He told me he had to euthanize Lakota last night.  He said he was suffering badly, and that his leg was broken.  I was afraid Lakota was suffering.  He had endured this injury since the middle of June.  Click on Lakota to read about that and from that post you can read all my posts that I wrote about him and if you did not know this, Lakota was my favorite horse.

Lakota was born on the Pryor Mountain range in 1992 to the mare Tonopah (who still lives on the mountain) and the stallion Blacky.  Lakota died July 23, 2012 at the age of 20.  He was born wild and died wild.  He leaves a great legacy on the mountain.

The gift he gave me in May was something that I will always remember.  Thank you Lakota.  I will remember you always and I will remember how strong and great you were.

“Not life, but good life, is to be chiefly valued. ” ― Socrates   And Lakota had a good life.

Rest in Peace my dear friend.


Lakota, October, 2011
Lakota’s memorial, July 30, 2012

Thank you Jared for calling me and not letting Lakota suffer any more.

59 thoughts on “Remembering Lakota, July 24, 2012

  • Oh gee, I am so sorry to hear this ………born in the wild and died in the wild and glad they found him so he could rest peacefully now and not suffer any more………….

  • Oh, Sandy, I’m so sorry you had to write this. Peace, my friend, you had a strong connection. With tears.. 🙁

  • Oh Sandy, I am so sorry about Lakota, his spirit will always be with you and may your wonderful memories of him comfort you. May you find peace knowing he is running free of pain in the wild blue yonder. Take care my friend and know we are sharing your sadness.

  • Lakota is now the Pheonix. Glad that his suffering is over, and he will forever rest in the hearts of those who love him. Twenty years is a long time in the wild, and I hope that his offspring thrive for generations. Hugs to you Sandy. D.

  • RIP, Lakota. As we all know, the only good thing about this is that since the injury was a bad break, he was suffering badly, and the likelihood of recovery was slim, or none, at least he isn’t suffering anymore. And it’s good that he was still wild and free on his beloved homeland. I’m sure only a strong and majestic spirit like his would have endured this long. I wasn’t privileged to spend a lot of time in his company on my visits to the Range, but I remember the first time I saw him in ’07, very well. As I observed him going about the business of being a wild horse on Pryor Mountain, Matt was telling me that he was a very wise and mellow band stallion. I was struck by how light the hair in his ears was, and what a beautiful example of the “old bloodline” grullo color. I’m so glad he has left his legacy to carry on into the future. It touches me deeply that I was able to tell him, from a distance, what a great horse I felt that he was, Sandy, when I kept an eye on him while you went to meet Lori and Chris as agreed upon that day that we found him on the mountain. I had hoped to find him in ’09 and 11, but never did. I’m truly grateful that I was able to be in his presence for that little bit of time, even tho it was not under very pleasant circumstances. Sandy, you have my condolences, and a long distance hug.

  • Dear Sandy,

    As I am writting, I am also crying for lossing a wonderful friend Lakota. Lakota spirit will always be with you. Now he rested in peace.
    May you find comfort in the beautiful memories of him. Please, take care.

  • “His is a power enhanced by pride, a courage heightened by challenge. His is a swiftness intensified by strength, a majesty magnified by grace. His is a timeless beauty touched with gentleness, a spirit that calls our hearts to dream.” ~ Author Unknown

    I am so incredibly sorry, Sandy. I know the veil between this world and the next is thin and that Lakota will be ever watchful from paradise – it is just harder on those of us who are left to live without his presence on this earthly plane.

    Sharing tears and hugs with you,


  • Lakota’s Legacy on the range: Heritage, Galena, Galaxy, Kohl, Kiowa… all that I know of, apologies if I missed any.

  • I am so sorry. I back read the Lakota posts, what an amazing horse. I’m glad he lives on in your pictures and memories, not to mention his actual descendants. He was lucky to be euthanized and have such a peaceful end to a wild life. He is what people picture when they think mustang!

  • Oh man. Well at least he lived a long life. Lakota will be missed. I so sorry *HUGS* at least you have good memories of him and have shared them with all of us. I just got back from vacation yesterday.

  • I’m so sorry to hear this.. It was the post we all dreaded to see. But he had a long and good life in the wild, and now all of his suffering is gone.. It’s important not to dwell on the pain from these last weeks, but to remember all the good times and memories you and others have had with him. I feel so lucky to have gotten to know him so well through you. Thank you for the work to you, and please deliver my thanks to Jared as well. It’s good to know how much he cares about these horses as well..

  • I’m sorry to hear about Lakota. 🙁 It was evident you cared very much for this horse. I think we all liked reading about him too! But I didn’t know he was 20, wow! I’m assuming that’s a long life for a horse? It’s good to know he is no longer suffering and I’m glad he was never rounded up by the BLM.

  • A friend wrote me this email and I asked her if I could share it here. It really touched me and gave me some comfort, I hope it does the same for you. Thank you Liz!


    I just read your post re Lakota. A moment of silence in memory of Lakota. This is a truly sad day with the end of a legacy that I will always remember and cherish. Thank you for bringing Lakota to life for so many of us who admired him from afar. I believe there was a spirit about Lakota that one could see and feel was more evolved. Sure Cloud was stunning, but Lakota carried an air about him that was so much more encompassing. I would love to see you publish Lakota’s Legacy, as you can tell his story better than anyone out there. He is a crucial part of Pryor Mtn history and his legacy deserves to be never forgotten. But with so many souls lost on Pryor Mtn this last winter, and perhaps those yet to follow, a brave leader was needed on the other side. He will always be close by watching over you and his beloved Pryor Mountains . . .

    Hugs, Liz

  • Sandy, I’m so sorry. I know he was very special to you. His legacy will live out in the pryor mountains. He has raised stong offspring who continue to thrive and have strong foals of their own. And while Lakota’s journey is over Galaxy’s is just beginning. And as he learned from the best I know he will be one to watch. I hope you can take comfort in your memories of Lakota. Like you said he was born wild and died wild and I know he’s watching over his mountain top home.

  • Sandy, I am so sorry. I know how hard it is but he’s in a better place now. He lived wild and free as long as he could and Jared did the right thing by putting down Lakota because he couldn’t let that stallion suffer anymore. I wish I could’ve seen Lakota before he was put to sleep but I know he’s watching over us and his herd. Lakota, you were a proud and handsome grullo stallion. I hope you lived a good life and were a great father. Rest in peace Lakota

  • Sandy, I am so sorry.
    It was not an easy day for me or us at PMWMC as it was one year ago we lost Admiral and Kapitan to an irresponsible driver, and we lost a galliant stallion last night in Lakota.
    Double the pain of losing these three Pryor wild horses.
    It is not an easy thing to do…loving these wild and free spirits, only to lose them one day.

    But, it is the greatest gift in the world…this connection that bonds us to these magnificent, brave kindred spirits. Not all are chosen for this special bond.
    How blessed you are Sandy, to have known Lakota’s spirit, and that he let you!!!
    My heart is heavy for you and for us all!

    • Thank you Lori. It was a year to the day that we lost Admiral and Kapitan. I was on the mountain that day. Yes, all of us that have been able to know these horses either through words or in person are truly blessed.

  • So sorry! Sending you hugs through my tears. What a courageous horse, and how very much I have enjoyed reading about the “old man.” As my brother says, we are all heading to the same place. Lakota went before you. You will meet again.

  • Listen… listen…
    Do you hear familiar hoofbeats?
    Do you recognize the nicker
    From days gone by?

    Closer… closer…
    Noses to the breeze.
    Can you see him in the distance
    As he makes his journey home?

    Come… come…
    Let us go to greet him
    Let us show him to new pastures
    Lush and green, forever free.

    Beautiful… healthy…
    Shining in the sun.
    Quietly and softly
    He falls into line.

  • What a fine, strong spirit Lakota was! Thank God he was able to live & die free — as should all his kind! Thank you, Sandy, for your faithful, loving chronicle of these magnificent animals. To care deeply is to risk greatly. Thank you for daring to do both.

  • I have just spent the last hour and a half catching up on your stories of these beautiful horses. I was so sad to hear of Lakota’s troubles. You were/are so lucky to have this amazing experience. Thank you for sharing it with the rest of us.

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