Merlin Update

Lori and I have been worried about Merlin for about a week now.   We both received reports that he was injured and that there were several bachelors trying to get his band.  If you want to read about that click on Dryhead and it will take you to Lori’s report.  She last saw him with the Greeters.

Here is Lori’s report from yesterday:

I went out to the Dryhead hoping to find Merlin.

I did not find Merlin, but his harem is now with Hidalgo. Let’s hope that Merlin is laying low somewhere and healing from his injury.
The last time he was injured, which was not too long ago, Corona and Waif took care of his harem for a little while, then Merlin eased himself back into his harem. Also, Hidalgo has not been the one fighting with Merlin. It was Medicine Bow, and Chief Joseph I believe; at least that is what I have been hearing from others visiting the range.
I also saw Hidatsa and Johnston on Mustang Flats. Off in the distance was Hawk and Issaquah.
On my way back I saw Jemez, Medicine Bow, Johan and Chief Joseph. They were not near Hidalgo and “harem” at all..so I really don’t know when this came about, but it has been since I was last out there last week.
I searched for Merlin a bit stopping all of the time and looking through my binoculars, but no Merlin.
I heard that someone saw Seattle, Sacajawea and Kemmerer today, and also Fiero, Strawberry and Bakken.
that is good news as I have not seen them for quite some time.
Lori
Hidalgo, September 24, 2012. Photo by Lori Graham
Halo, Fresia and Montana, September 24, 2012. Photo by Lori Graham
Hidalgo with Merlin’s band, September 24, 2012. Photo by Lori Graham
Montana, September 24, 2012. Photo by Lori Graham
Montana, Fresia and Halo, September 24, 2012. Photo by Lori Graham

Thank you so much Lori for keeping us up to date on Merlin and spending the time to try and find him!

I have tried to stay calm, hoping for the best.  Merlin is only 15 after all and should have many more years ahead of him.

I have a special feeling for Merlin.  He is the father of my filly, Valerosa, who I adopted in 2009.  Every time I go up the Dryhead I hoped to see him.  I have seen him off in the distance with his band several times, but never up close until last May.

Bill and I felt very lucky to spend some time with this amazing stallion then.  It was raining that day, but we covered our cameras and watched them.  Merlin was every bit the stallion I imaged him to be.  He was a good band stallion, watching closely over little Montana, and keeping his mares together.

I am holding on to hope that it will be a repeat of last spring when he was injured.  He went off by himself for a while to heal and then returned to claim his band.  Please Merlin, let’s see that happen again.

Merlin, May 2012
Merlin, Fresia and Montana, May 2012
Merlin, May 2012

Sandy

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27 thoughts on “Merlin Update

  1. Thanks for not only the update, Lori, but also the great photos. The time you have taken to do this is greatly appreciated. I am very surprised to see that Halo seems to have taken the lead mare role. When I saw them, Fresia was very much in charge. Perhaps she (Fresia) is just not happy with what has transpired. Montana’s coloring is fantastic.

  2. Fingers crossed that he’s only resting again. They have big areas to hide in. How old is he now? There’s always new horses I need to learn about.. I’ve seen pictures and all, but they all have such a story behind them. Thank you for sharing a little more of this wonderful stallion’s. Hopefully he’ll come prancing out, claiming his herd back soon:) There are a lot of bachelors in the Dryhead though, so life can’t be easy for the band stallions. So happy that Medicine Bow still has company:)

  3. Thanks for the pics and info, Sandy and Lori. And I’m glad to see the post by spiritofthearrowheadmountains. It gives me hope that Merlin is indeed just healing. There ARE a lot of “coming of age” bachelors in the Dryhead for the band stallions to fend off, and some of them are VERY determined. Such is the struggle in the life of mustangs. I love them all, and wish nothing negative would ever happen to any of them. I have been “taken” with Hidalgo, since first seeing him. He is looking very good, altho it does look as tho he has some sort of injury to his left front leg below the knee. Looks like blood coming down onto the white to me, but maybe it’s his coloring. I’ll have to check my older pics for sure—I didn’t get to see him last time I was there. And Montana is just gorgeous! Not the mirror image of Merlin like Fiero is, (except for the right and left hind socks thing), but GORGEOUS! It’s going to be fun watching that little beauty grow up.

  4. Thanks for posting this Sandy! thank you to everyone for the good thoughts about Merlin!
    Yes…Linda, Great observation! I did notice that bit of blood on his front leg and he had a slight limp, but he was really ok. When I zoomed way in on it, I noticed that it did not look too bad…but he must have been fighting with someone!
    I will go out again soon.

  5. I’m sure Merlin will reapear when he’s ready. Hopefully he will heal quickly! I’m also glad that with all the drama and with so many eager bachelors willing to take Merlin’s band that little Montana has made it through ok. I was worried that with all those stallions fighting each other he could get caught in the middle. I’m happy for Hidalgo that he has regained a family but at the same time I’m hoping Merlin will reclaim them! We’ll have to wait and see. Thanks Lori and Sandy!

  6. Hi All! I have some Great news to report…Merlin is alive! Patti from the NPS called me this morning and told me that he was seen by some of the Park staff right at the State line. He was eating. He is thin and pretty beat up, but he is alive. Maybe now he will just let Hidalgo have his harem while he heals and rests up a bit. I sure hope so. He is a great stallion and lets just hope that he can heal up before he try’s to get his harem back.
    I will try to get out to the range real soon to try to find him and get some photos!
    Thank the horse Gods!!!
    I hope that I can get some photos to Sandy soon!!
    Thank you everyone for all of the good thoughts for Merlin! YAY!!!!!

    1. Yay! is right!! Since you didn’t mention it, the staff probably didn’t notice, but is he limping? And it sounds like he is going back to Mustang Flats. What a strong and determined guy. Heal up first, Merlin! Thanks so much, Lori 🙂

    2. So glad to hear he’s ok! Hopefully he will let himself heal before he tries to win his band back. At least Fresia, Halo, and Montana are all with one stallion. Merlin doesn’t seem like the stallion to easily give up but I’m hoping he doesn’t continue to fight with Hidalgo while he’s injured. Looking forward to you next report and photos Lori!

  7. Oh yes…he is limping, and Patti seemed to think that he will stay in the area of Crooked Creek since there is water there and he does not have to travel too far.
    His harem is in the same area and I believe they will stay down low near the water too.
    Most of the horses that I have seen are in the lower area. I am not sure if it is because of the water, the forage, or both.
    I will try to get out there real soon and see what I can see.

  8. Glad to know Merlin is still there, but it’s a little scary to know he’s gotten thin and is limping, so close to winter coming on. But, at the same time, it’s GOOD that he’s eating and is close to the water source down there. Hopefully, Hickok won’t give him too much trouble if their paths cross. Thanks for sharing the info, Lori.

    1. This road is the road that goes through the National Park (Bighorn Canyon). It is a direct route and sometimes easier route for these horses to get to different places on this part of the range. The speed limit is 45 and 35 in part of it. I think it should be much lower. There are many that go much faster than that. I think need to patrol that road more.

  9. I totally agree with all of the above. I wouldn’t mind speed bumps either…but I doubt the NPS will go for that. I think the speed limit should be 25 or 30 throughout the entire horse range!!!
    I do like the 10MPH or walk though!!!!

    1. Speed bumps were my thought, too, Lori — especially before the hills or curves in the road when you don’t know what might be on the other side. I was so nervous about what might be in the road when we were there, I’m sure we were only going 10 mph. Plus the slower speed makes it easier to look for the horses in the distance. 🙂

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