Please Stop. Thank you.

Dear Blm and National Park Service,

I am asking you to please stop the removals now.  Thank you.  I have supported the removal of the horses in the Pryors.  I did not like seeing them go, but I supported it and still do.  But now I ask you to please stop.  These are my concerns:

Any horses removed (you state up to 6 horses) will now have to have a separate adoption.

I understand that they need to have 3 weeks in between the prepping of the horses(gelding, vaccinations and freeze brand) before the adoption can take place.  The reason for the 3 weeks is so they can give them their second vaccination before traveling.  There also may be some issue with blood work, but I don’t know anything about that.

I was okay with them going back to the Dryhead to remove a few more horses a couple of weeks ago.  I hated to see any more go, but I was okay with it.  IF they could be in the upcoming adoption.  But now, that the day has passed (tomorrow will be 3 weeks before the adoption), I am not okay with any more removals.

I worry about the adoption success with just a handful (up to 6) horses.  I want them all to go to good homes. I want this removal to be a success in every way.

Please reconsider continuing this removal.  I feel it would be better to wait and see what the winter brings, and then if necessary go in next year and remove those 6 plus a few more and have another adoption.  I know that would probably involve a lot of paper work if it goes into next year.  But I am asking you to consider it.

How would that be different?

Well, there are probably going to be people from all over the country coming to this adoption on September 8.  I doubt any of them from a distance will want to turn around and come back in late September or October to adopt these few horses that you may trap in the Dryhead.

I know, because of the delays that were caused by lawsuits, this removal was held back, but I ask you to please not remove any more horses this year.

There are those that are breathing a sigh of relief for the removal ending on the mountain top.  I won’t breathe a sigh of relief until the entire removal is over.

Thank you.


Jalisco, April, 2012
Logo designed by Amber Bushnell

28 thoughts on “Please Stop. Thank you.

  • I think it is a sad thing that they removed any, instead they should have taken down the fences allowing them back to where they once grazed, those are my thoughts

    • Thanks Jeannie. I support your comment, however.. removing the fence is not going to give these horses any more winter range, that is something that needs to be consider very strongly. I do not like the fence, but simply removing it would not mean that they would no longer have to do any herd management.

  • I agree that the removal should end now. I know they didn’t get to as many dryhead horses as they planned but they got a few and did remove a large number of mountain top horses. And I agree with you that there should not have to be another adoption at this point. These six “extra” horses are not going to drastically effect the herd this winter. Like you said, if need be, they can reevaluate next year. Hopefully these horses will stay away from the traps as they have already so this won’t be an issue. I know I would LOVE to see Jewel have a Fool’s Crow foal next year! I would also love to see the fence come down too. Having that area to graze would help them put on weight after coming out of winter. Thanks again Sandy for keeping us updated on everything. Looking forward to your report when you go back without the bait trapping in progress!

  • Hey Sandy. I would have to agree also. If there needs to be 3 weeks leeway time for vaccinations and stuff, then it is too late for them for the next adoption. Time to throw in the towel this year, so to speak.

  • I think it sounds fair enough. I think leaving more females in the dryhead is a good thing; there seems to be more stallions than mares out there; and it seems to me that mares and whole bands keep going from stallion to stallion. Though some bands are pretty stable, of course.

    Something I’ve been wondering about for a long time is, in Hope Rhydens book ‘Wild Horses I Have Known’, she photographed two overo pintos, one a sorrel overo and the other a medicine hat overo. I am wonder if these two were once part of the Pryor herd; but she does say that most of the photos were taken in the Pryors, so maybe they were not Pryor horses. Would you, or anybody know?

    • I can’t locate my book right now, but in the 1971 National Geographic article, I believe she used the same photo… the caption says they are from Northern Wyoming.

  • Great letter Sandy, and the PMWMC totally agrees with you.
    However, I do beleive that the Big Horn National Park Service is the reason for wanting to remove any more horses from the Dry Head part of the range. If you want to send a copy of your letter to them, I beleive, it would be appropiate!!
    I will look in the records at the Center, but I don’t think there were ever any “paint” or “pinto” horses in the Pryor herd!
    Those photos that Hope took were from another herd. I beleive I am right about that, but I will look back in the records as far back as they go just to make sure.

    • Oh, man, Lori, that info about the Big Horn NPS is making my mind go in all different directions. If they would like less horses in the Dryhead, will they eventually be asking for the removal of all Dryhead horses?! I don’t like where this is headed… I know you don’t know the answer to that, I am just speculating — don’t want to do that but the thought is already there and it won’t go away.

    • Hi Lori G.! I looked at Hope’s book this morning; in the chapter about horse colors she says these are the colors she’s learned to recognize in the Pryors. The medicine hat is listed in this section but not the sorrel overo, it looks like the med. hat is standing on the mountain top. I thought I remember something about Ginger saying Hope was there when there were pintos on the mountain. But I could be TOTALLY wrong! either way!

      But it good to see familiar faces in this book, I see Raven, Phoenix, Isabella, Grumpy, Madonna, possibly one that looks like Hightail, and Starman.

      • Clarissa, I finally located my book and see the pinto you are talking about. Hope says she “used western color terminology to describe the mustangs I learned to recognize in the Pryor mountains”. I didn’t take that to mean she actually saw a pinto there. The book was done in 1999, pretty recent for someone not to remember seeing one there. Maybe you should ask her — I think she is still an honorary board member of TCF.

      • Perhaps Livi, But I think Joy is right. It was from another herd. I do not believe there were ever any pintos in the Pryor herd. But the Rock Springs Stallion, did have an effect on the Pryor Herd for sure. That was how the cream colored horses were introduced, if I am remembering right…

      • The second pinto photo, the one Clarissa refers to as a sorrel overo, was definitely the same photo as the one from the National Geographic article.

    • I really don’t like that the park service has decided to try to have an influence with the management of these horses. The horses in the dry head are legally allowed to be there. It is their land. Hopefully this doesn’t turn out to be an issue like the one with the Forrest service did.

      • Please take the time to click on the National Park Service. That will take you to a link of contact information. Please write them a letter. Thanks Sarah.

  • I am sorry Sandy, I see that you have addressed this letter to both..but for everyone else
    you can send you letters to the Park!!!

  • I just asked Matt about the history of the Pryor herd and he said as far as he knows there have never been any paint or pinto colored horses in the Pryor Herd.
    The records at the Center go back into the late 50’s early 60’s.
    You are right Sandy, the Rock Springs Stallion introduced the “cream” factor or “gene” into the herd.

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