The first night that Lori and I spent on the mountain was really quiet. No horses running around or whinnying.
Today, they would not be trapping the horses. Lori and I were looking forward to a quiet day.
The next morning, I headed down towards Krueger Pond. I saw several horses in the trees on my way. It is almost August now, and it seems the horses spend a lot of their days in the trees. They start to come out in the later afternoon.
I saw Chino, Topper One and Topper Too. I could almost see the Topper’s rolling their eyes. They looked at me in disgust as if to say “Great, a perfect morning, ruined”. Then turned their back ends towards me and stepped further in the woods. Chino stayed where he was, obviously used to their behavior. I looked to my right and saw Gringo and his band. They were out a little way from the trees eating. Grijala and his smaller group of Special K’s along with Quelle Colour were not too far away from them.
After a few minutes I returned to my camp site, sat and had a second cup of coffee and watched a bear run along the ridge, not too far from Lakota.
An hour later, Lori and I decided to head back down to the pond. We found Tecumseh in one of the pens, eating. Tecumseh looks a little rough. He seems to have some back-end/ hip problems. It is very apparent when he walks, especially going down a hill.
I looked past Tecumseh and saw Topper Too in a pen with Chino. This was as close as I had ever seen them before. She did not notice me right away. But when she did she quickly left the pen. I got the best photo of her ever. But as soon as she regained her composure she and Topper headed quickly down the hill to the pond. Chino continued to eat in the pen.
After a few minutes Chino ran to catch up with them. He is 21 this year, and looks amazing.
We only saw these 4 horses. I knew others were in the trees surrounding the pond. But I did not bother looking for them. I thought they deserved a quiet day too, and I did not want to disturb them. They would show themselves when they were ready.
On our way back down the road I saw Duke’s band tucked in the trees. Little Maverick was sleeping in the sun just out of the trees. We stopped and watched until he got up.
Lori headed back to camp and I continued on to spend some time with Lakota (bear spray in hand). I thought about how great Chino looked, one year older than Lakota was. I knew that if Lakota had not broken his leg, he would have looked just as great. But for whatever reason, it was Lakota’s time to go and I tried to accept it.
We ate lunch and headed back to the pond.
By now it was starting to get pretty active. We watched several bands coming down to drink and play in the pond.
Dove was lagging a bit behind the rest of the band. She looked huge, I thought she might be pregnant.
Several of the horses enjoyed a good roll in the dirt after playing in the pond.
Once they drank, they headed back into the trees.
Bolder’s band was hanging around the pens. Bolder was in one of them eating.
The next band to head down to the pond was Blue Moon’s and Mecalero’s.
Part of Bolder’s band got tired of waiting for him to get out of the pen and decided to head down for some water.
With Bolder no where to be seen, Mescalero decided to visit with the mares and Killian. Celt decided she would have none of that and quickly chased Mescalero off.
Bolder decided to finally head down to his mares and came running. They stopped half way to greet each other and then headed back to the pond.
By now Duke’s Band and Teton’s Band were coming down to the pond too. I got to get a closer look at Missoula. He sure is a beauty!
We saw Morning Star’s band and Doc’s band come down before it got quiet again.
I will miss Jenny, the next day she would be removed. It seemed like she was a bit of an outsider with this band for most of the spring and summer. Broken Bow was pretty hard on her, it seemed, and she always stood a bit off most of the time. In fact I got the feeling Jenny wanted to leave this band. The last time I was here in early July, Doc had to keep snaking her back into the band. But this day she seemed content and one of the band. I was happy for her.
We watched Tecumseh slowly make his way back up the hill from drinking.
As we headed up from the pond we saw White Cloud and his band come running in. In the three weeks since I had seen Mica, he had grown and changed so much. He ran next to his father, and then passed him.
Shortly before sunset that day Lori and I drove back down towards the pond. We saw 4 horses as we approached the fence. They were Two Boots, Jasper, Garay and Santa Fe.
I am happy that Jasper was not removed. He is the son of Galena and Jackson, Lakota’s grandson. He has been hanging out with Two Boots (his grandfather) for a few months now. I hope he continues to do so. Two Boots is 24 this year. He will be able to teach the three year old Jasper a lot.
Jasper was a “Tier Two A” removal. I am not sure why he was not removed. But if I was to take a guess, because Jasper was with Two Boots, I would bet that they never even saw them.
Jasper has a lot going for him, Jackson’s son, Lakota and Two Boot’s grandson, being shown the ropes by an old and wise stallion. I am looking forward to watching him grow old on the mountain.
That night Lori and I had a band of horses lie down right by our trucks. It was too dark to see who they were, but it was a comfort and a peace to have them there.