Dryhead Update From My Last Two Trips

Amber and I came down to Lovell on Sunday evening, September 2.  The mountain top was pretty crowded with Labor Day people.  We felt like we wanted to leave all the people, come down to Lovell and go check on the Dryhead horses.

I was sad leaving the mountain, knowing that this would probably be my last time to camp on top until next summer.  I have spent some nights on the mountain in mid September over the last few years.  Both were very cold.  But I knew that I would not be back again this September and I knew that October would be much to cold to camp on top.  If all went well for the adoption, I would have one maybe two new horses that would need my attention for several weeks.  We know now, that it would be two new horses.  You can read about them by clicking on Kootenai and Kiowa.

Amber had only been up the Dryhead one other time.  We drove the length of the road, stopping to look through the binoculars.  The only horse we saw that evening was Hawk and Issaquah, napping along the road.  The glanced our way, but did not seem to care that we were watching them.  It was the quietest I had ever seen these two.  The hot temperatures that day probably helped lead to this behavior.

Hawk and Issaquah, September 2, 2012

We stayed in the Dryhead for a while before heading into town.

The next morning we got up early and headed up the Dryhead one last time before heading west.  Again, we drove the length of the road, stopping and searching along the way.  Nothing.

As we were almost about to leave the range we saw 3 heads in the deep grass to our right.  The Greeters!  There was one greeter missing, Hickok.  I had heard that this was not unusual. Hickok seems to come and go with this group.  Today the Greeters consisted of: Seneca, Hightail and Jesse James.

Sometimes Jesse James likes to show himself to me, sometimes he likes to stay hidden.  Today would be a hidden day.

The Hidden Jesses James, September 3, 2012
Seneca, September 3, 2012
Hightail, September 3, 2012

There were several of us that were hoping Seneca would have a foal this year.  We all hoped it would be in June or earlier so that it would be Admirals.  But it was not to be.  She looks good, they all do, but no foal was with them.

We left the range and headed for home.

The day before the adoption, I got up early and drove up the Dryhead.

Again I drove the length of the range.  Again, I saw no one.  I was headed back when I saw two horses walking down the road in front of me.  It did not take me long to realize it was Jemez and Medicine Bow.

I have never seen these two together.  It was good to see them both.  However it always seems that Medicine Bow will never look at me for a photo!  And if he does it is a brief look.  Jemez on the other hand, seems to like me and the camera, and  he always gives me a good shot.  What a pair these two were!

Jemez and Medicine Bow, September 7, 2012
Medicine Bow, September 7, 2012
Jemez, September 7, 2012
Jemez, September 7, 2012

I stayed and watched them for a while before I decided to leave.  I wanted to get to Britton Springs early so I could spend some quiet time with the horses there.

As I was about to leave the range, I once more saw the Greeters.  This time Hickok was back with them and this time it was Seneca who would not give me a good shot!  Things are never the same in the Pryors and that is part of what draws me here.

The Visible Jesse James, September 7, 2012
Hickok, September 7, 2012
Hightail, September 7, 2012
A blurry Seneca, September 7, 2012

As I left the range and worked my way towards Britton Springs, I thought about all my wonderful trips this year so far.  I feel very fortunate to be able to visit the range so often.

I am looking forward to my next trip.


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31 thoughts on “Dryhead Update From My Last Two Trips

  • Merlin sure has been keeping his family hidden these days. When someone finally gets an updated shot of Montana, he’s probably going to look really old! Thanks Sandy — I love the Dryhead. But they just need a few more mares for all those bachelors 🙂

  • I’m also glad you’ve been able to visit so many times this year and share your experiences with us. I love the picture of Jesse James peeking at you through the tall grass. I’m glad to see Jemez has buddied up with Medicine Bow. I felt so bad when Hidatsa took his anger out on and chased poor Medicine Bow all over the Dryhead earlier this summer. Maybe now he’ll have Jemez to help him stand his ground. He has survived so much, I just wish he could somehow manage to win a mare. I still hold out hope for him. Bristol overcame his issues to hold onto Greta for a few years and now has Kitalpha, so I’m still hoping MB will be able to do the same!

  • It’s great to get a glimpse of the ever interesting Dryhead horses. I love how Hawk and Issaquah are such buddies. It would be cool if Inniq would link up with them sometime thru the changing of the seasons to make a trio of handsome blacks. I imagine Chief Joseph will be with them periodically, but I think he’s going to be a loner more, like Hidatsa, because they’re getting a stronger urge to be band stallions ASAP. I’m glad the greeters are safe and sound—and Seneca looks even rounder than she did when I last saw her. If she’s not in a late pregnancy, she should fare very well thru winter with all that added weight. I don’t think JJ is as comfortable with “folks” and their contraptions as some of the others—like Jemez. I can’t help but think back to when I saw Jemez as a baby. He was very sturdy-built and very vivacious and seemingly unafraid, of people, or older horses. I was richly entertained by his antics, and believe he has retained those traits. You can almost see by his facial expression in your pics on here that he has a “horse’s sense of humor”. I’m glad he’s still on the range and that he has befriended Medicine Bow. I too, wish for a good things for Medicine Bow. He has overcome so much, and now he appears to have a swollen left knee, as well as having a problem with the left hind leg. But, in spite of all those challenges, he has the heart of a mustang and does not give in. Does he remind anyone else a bit of Bigfoot? And Hickok, in all his handsomeness, reminds me of Jackson. It’s cool that (I think) he knows he can count on JJ to look after the ladies if he needs to be off somewhere sometimes. As I’ve said before, I believe that JJ has a very protective personality, as demonstrated while I observed him when he was but a baby, and many times since. OK, I’m done rambling. I hope others enjoy my observations and recollections of the horses as much as I do. I love reminiscing about them when you do your posts. It’s almost like being there. Thanks Sandy, for sharing—as always.

    • Medicine Bow does remind me of Bigfoot! I remember you saying that every time Hidatsa chased him to the edge of the range he kept coming back every day. He does have the heart of a mustang! Has he always been a Dryhead horse? I was thinking about how he was attacked my a mountain lion when he was a yearling and I’ve never really thought about the big cats prowling the Dryhead. I guess they do, I just hadn’t really thought about it.

      • Sarah, I think Medicine Bow spent most of his younger days at least higher on Sykes Ridge. That’s pretty rugged country and the cats probably venture there, if it’s not where they live, when they’re hungry enough. I really don’t know much about his past. His dam is Twiggy, and so is Waif’s, who lives in the Dryhead, and also Madonna’s, who lives on the mountain. I don’t know what area Twiggy called “home”. I’ll bet Sandy knows. Their histories are so interesting. My first contact with him was in ’09, when I encountered he and Fools Crow with Halo and Hickok at a spring down at the bottom of Sykes (where there now is a guzzler). I had been observing Bristol and Greta until they left the area, and then spotted these guys coming down from somewhere high up on the ridge. I figured they were coming to the water, so I sort of met them there, from a distance. I was very excited to see the great coloring of Fools Crow and Medicine Bow, they are both so beautiful, and I remember that Hickok was a typically gangly yearling. I was very pleased to see quite a bit of him on my last trip, but felt bad for him getting the brunt of Hidatsa’s bad mood and seeing that he has some physical challenges as well. It was cool to see him sparring with Joseph, and then the two touched noses and commenced to grazing near one another. Horses are fascinating… 🙂

      • They are so fascinating, I could sit and watch them all day! Even if they’re “just eating” 🙂 Oops while rereading my earlier comment I think Medicine Bow was actually a few years old when he got attacked. I hadn’t realized he was related to Waif and Madonna. I agree, all of thier histories are so interesting. And Medicine Bow seems to have had an eventful history. It seems so strange he was attacked at an older age, and I wonder if anyone knows how he ended up with that injury to his back left leg/hip. I enjoyed seeing the pictures of him sparing with Joseph too. It’s nice to see him having some fun! I hope Jemez stays buddies with him, he hasn’t seemed to have a consistant friend since Fools Crow. Not that he’s seemed to let that bother him though!

  • Great pictures as always Sandy! I just love that one of Jesse James in hiding! He is a beautiful Stallion and seems to take care of the two mares.
    I will try to get out to the range this week and see if I can find Merlin, but I have not seen him for awhile either. I think he keeps his family hidden pretty good!
    Great update and I do love to read your stories!!!
    Thanks Sandy!!
    Some couple saw Medicine Bow with Innniq a couple of weeks ago, so Mr. Medicine Bow gets around!!! I had to look up who he was with as I have not seen Inniq very much at all. He is a beauty!

  • I’m sure Merlin’s trying to lay low after getting injured and losing his band to Hidatsa, losing Icara to Durango, and Kaelia and Malayna to the gather. Poor guy is probably paranoid about losing any more of his family members. Lori, have you heard if Dancer/Damsel has foaled yet? I’m sure she has by now but I haven’t heard anything.

    • I have not heard anything Sarah! I will let you know if I do hear of anyone who goes up there and if there are any new foals.
      I totally agree that Merlin is hiding out as there have been so many things happening that require him to protect his harem. He was seen a week or so ago with Fresia, Montana and Halo. I will be trying to get out to the range soon and let you know what and who I see.

  • Me too!! HA HA…I hope to go out either tomorrow morning, EARLY, or Friday. I will let you know.
    I just put some pictures of Me, Kaibab & Liesl on our “news”. They are so sweet and son’t care if my hair is a mess…ha ha!!

    • Love the new pictures! The two of them look so sweet and seem to really be comfortable around you! Liesl has the sweetest face. I am so happy to see her looking so good 🙂 Looking forward to your report too!

  • I had a report of Merlin around the Crooked Creek Bay area with Fresia and Montana. He is being dogged by the likes of Joseph, Inniq and Medicine Bow. He is still limping, but hopefully he can have time to heal instead of fighting..we wil see. I think that Crooked Creek Bay is one of the only water sources left since it is so dry out here. At least we know he is ok and so is Montana!
    I am going out Saturday…maybe tomorrow…as soon as I can get away…possibly this late afternoon! I will let you all know what I find out.

    • Glad that is he ok and Montana too. Hopefully he won’t get reinjured fighting. I wonder who has Halo now. Thanks Lori!

    • haha and since I’ve been asking you a ton of questions, i have one more! Do you know if a name has been chosen for Dove’s filly yet? I suggested one for the first time so I’ve been dying to know what’s been chosen for that pretty little girl!

    • Lori, thanks so much for the report. I can’t imagine CC Bay is much better — I couldn’t believe how low it was already last May! Was Halo not with them or was this just a general report? and I’m guessing the blacks were more likely Hawk and Issaquah, but it would be great if Inniq was becoming more visible.

    • Thanks Lori. I also got an email from a NPS person. It sounded like Merlin may have a new injury from those boys, which also included Jemez. It sounded like it was not too bad. Let me know if you see him and what you think! THANKS!!! 🙂 I am afraid these older stallions may be taking a hit. There are so many young ones “coming of age” right now and with the female population the way it is I think there may be more injured stallions to come. Let’s hope I am wrong about that.

      • Too many changes! but I guess it’s to be expected… Have there been any reports about Prince?

      • Prince was the only horse I did not see when I was there a few weeks ago with Amber. I know of no one that has been on the mountain top. I hope we find out about Damsel soon….

      • Well, it’s going to be an interesting winter, when all the others come down lower. There’s a camera at Horseshoe Bend, maybe we could ask them to put one at Crooked Creek Bay, too!

      • Hopefully Merlin will be able to fend them off and heal his injuries. I hoping Montana doesn’t get caught up in the chaos of so many fighting stallions, but I’m sure Fresia is keeping him close. I think some of the other older stallions are going to be feeling the pressure soon too from these younger boys. I think Seattle has an old injury to his leg/knee, right? Durango could be in trouble too I think, and Bristol, if they can find him. I’m surprised Hidatsa isn’t a part of that group. Hopefully the drama with Merlin and the boys gets settled soon (and hopefully without someone getting seriously hurt!) they don’t need to run themselves down going into winter. But, the boys will do what they want. I agree Joy that all of the horses being closer together will make things interesting especially with these very determined bachelors (dryhead and mountain top). Hopefully Prince is doing better, I had been wondering about him too.

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