I have been wanting to do a post on Starman for a long time now.  But with the new foals, all of my trips and the removal updates, I have not had a chance.  Now that things have slowed down a bit I thought it would be a good time to do it.

I think this is especially important because Starman is not on the range right now.  He is on the “wrong” side of the giant fence.  He is on the Custer National Forest side.

The last time I saw him on the range side of the fence was in June.  Since then the openings in the fence have been repaired and he was the only horse left on the other side.  The last I saw him was on my way out on my trip the beginning of July.  I have seen his “stud piles” each time I head up the road on my way to the range, so I knew he was still there.  When I saw him in July, he looked really great.  Starman has been happy being a loner since he lost his band in 2011.  I am sure he enjoyed his vacation away from conflict of other horses, he probably enjoyed eating  all the untouched forage, but it is time for him to be back on the range.

I am hoping to be able to report soon that the BLM  has safely moved him back to the range. I am not sure if Starman will be able to survive a winter on the “wrong”  side of the fence.  At the age of 23 he deserves to live out the rest of his life on the range.

Starman outside the range, July 10, 2012

Starman was born on the Pryor Mountain Range in 1989 to the mare “Loner Mare” and the stallion “Head Light”.  I don’t know his whole story, but I believe he was named by the Reverend Floyd Schwieger.

Starman also has a very faint freeze brand on his neck (you can see it in some of the photos I posted).  I would like to know the story behind that and how it came that he was released after apparently being removed.

Even without knowing his whole story, Starman is very special to me.  He has crossed paths with me many times over the last few years.  He is also the grandfather of my horse, Kiowa, who I just adopted.

Kiowa, March 2012

Starman has three daughters on the range, all three are with his former mare, Rosarita.  His daughters are:  Half Moon, born in 2007.  Half Moon is the mother of Kiowa.  She also is the mother of Missoula.  She is currently in Teton’s band. Before that she was with Lakota.

Half Moon, May 20, 2012 (Kiowa’s mother)

Another one of Starman’s daughters still on the range is the beautiful Feldspar.  Feldspar was born in 2005 and is currently in White Cloud’s band.

Feldspar, July 2011

The third daughter is Isadora.  Isadora was born in 2008 and is currently in Blue Moon’s band.

Isadora, September 2010

I first came to know Starman in September 2010.  My husband Bill and I were heading down the road, towards the range,on the Custer Forest side (this was before the permanent fence was complete).  We saw Starman and his mare Rosarita and their daughter Isadora walking down the road towards us.  I stopped the truck and we watched them walk by us.  I instantly really liked this stallion.  He seemed so wise.  I found myself drawn to him and every trip after that I looked for him.  Bill also became fond of Starman.  Starman was the first wild horse that Bill ever saw.

Starman, September 2010
Starman and his mare Rosarita, September 2010.

I saw Starman again, a few weeks later in October 2010.  This was one of the first days that the new fence was complete.

Starman, October 2010
Starman and Rosarita, October 2010

The next time I would see Starman would be the following July.  By then he had lost his little band and would be alone.  I never got the sense from Starman that he missed being a band stallion.  He seemed to enjoy being alone and that is how I would see him most of the time over the next year.

Starman, July 2011 You can see his freeze brand in this shot.

I only saw Starman that one time in the summer of 2011.  I hoped he was okay.

My next close encounter with him would be in May 2012.  Again, Bill was with me.  We had driven up Sykes Ridge road that day.  We were just passing Penn’s Cabin when I looked off towards Mystic Pond. There in the distance I could see a lone horse trotting down towards the pond.  I instantly recognized that blaze.  It was Starman!  I had heard from several other people that he looked pretty thin.  He did look thin, but he seemed to feel pretty good.  He was trotting and this was the day that he would show Santa Fe that he still had plenty of spunk left. You can read that post by clicking HERE.  He and Santa Fe spent some time sparing over Santa Fe’s mare Judith.

Starman, May 2012
Starman, May 2012
Starman, May 2012
Starman and Santa Fe, May 2012

Both Bill and I were impressed with his spirit.  He seemed to enjoy baiting Santa Fe into sparing with him.  He sure did not seem like 23 years old to me!

I saw Starman again in June.  I was told that he was going back and forth between the range side of the fence and the forest side.  My friend Linda and I  would see him on both sides of the fence this trip.  He seemed to easily slip back and forth in one of the damaged openings in the fence.  I knew that they were planning on repairing the fence in the next few days and I was relieved when I saw him by my campsite one of my last mornings that trip.  We would see him again on our last night heading back towards the fence.  I hoped he would stay on the range side.

I noticed this time that he was missing part of his left ear.  I wondered when that had happened.  As I looked back at photos for this post, I saw that he had all his ear in 2010 and was missing it in 2011. Maybe he had lost it in a fight trying to keep his band.

Starman heading back on the range from the Custer Forest side, June 2012
Starman, June 2012 Visting us at our campsite.
Starman, June 2012

I would see Starman a couple weeks later, the beginning of July.  Stuck on the wrong side of the fence.

Starman on the wrong side, July 2012

It is time for Starman to come back to the range.  I would like to suggest that they use a bait trapping method, similar to the removal this summer.  I am sure by putting some goodies out and maybe even some water, that it won’t take Starman long to go in the trap.  I would love to get a call from Jared, Jim or Ryan telling me that they have been successful in accomplishing this!  You guys have my phone number! Thanks so much!

I will keep you updated on any news of Starman that I may receive!

If you would like to contact the BLM and ask them about Starman, click on BLM and it will take you to all the contact information.


Logo designed by Amber Bushnell

17 thoughts on “Starman

  • Here’s hoping Starman gets on the range side of the fence before winter. And it would be an interesting story behind the freeze brand. Hopefully you’ll find out and share it with us. Again, thanks for the update!

    • Thanks Lola! Please feel free to contact the BLM and let them know your concern about Starman. Just click on BLM near the top of this post. That will take you to all the contact information.

  • Thanks for the uodate,Sandy. I love the older stallions. I hope they can get Starman back on the right side of the fence.

    I have a question concerning the late stallion bigfoot that Ginger wrote about recently. Do you
    know if he ever had any other offspring besides the colt that died in 2003?

    Thanks again for you posts. I really enjoy readin them.

  • I’m guessing the story behind the freeze brand is similar to Shaman’s story. I think he was captured as a young band stallion and was scheduled to be removed. The full story is in the third Cloud book if you want to look it up!

    Starman is a special horse! 😀

  • I was going to suggest the same thing Clarissa! That his freeze brand may have come from the 1994 round up when they had planned to remove a lot of the band stallions. I immeditely thought of Shaman too. Starman looks great in that picture you took this July! I was hoping he would fatten up while stuck on the wrong side of the fence with all that lush grazing to himself. I’m hoping he gets back over before winter too.

  • What a fantastic post Sandy!! I do love Starman too and sure hope the BLM can get him on the range soon. I thought that they would have tried that when they were trapping the others to be removed, but I guess that was not in their plans. He does deserve to live out his life on the range, Wild and Free. You sure have some beautiful pictures of him! Thanks Sandy!

  • It was so cool to see Starman when we were there. And I was soooo glad to see in your July post that he had gained so much bulk by that time. He is beautiful and is another unique individual deserving of the effort required to get him back on the Range where he will, hopefully, be safe. He wouldn’t be over there on the NF land if they’d kept up the fence as needed. Maybe the BLM could check on some of the guzzlers, or unneeded exclosures, etc., while they’re there to get him, and maybe they could make a last minute check of the fence and reinforce it where needed for the winter ahead. I sure hope they can fit it in their budget.
    Looking forward to posts on this, Merlin and Damsel. Thanks, in advance.

  • Lori and I are on our way out to the Dryhead! We’ll let you know who we see!
    Amazing post, as usual Sandy 🙂

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