Dryhead Report from Lori, October 13 and 14, 2012

Cascade, October 13, 2012
Here are a few pictures from my trip Saturday and Sunday this past weekend.I am sad to report that I did not find Merlin as hard as I tried, he did not show his beautiful face. I can only hope that he is hiding out and healing from his battle wounds.Saturday, I did see Fiero with Bakken, Strawberry and I was surprised to see Cascade with them.They all look good, but Cascade does look thin as was reported by several others.

I just love Fiero and think he is a strong and majestic Stallion. He is special to me because he is the son of Sacajawea (one of my favorites on the Dry Head) and the fact that he has held his harem together for quite
some time now.

He has 3 of the 14 mares on the Dry Head and none of them will reproduce as they are on PZP.

This is sad to me because I believe Fiero should have more representation on the range.

I think Cascade seems a bit lost to me since they took Lewis away from her.

I believe that Blizzard is back to being a bachelor again although I did not see him either day while I was out there.

I could not get Fiero to look at me and did not want to disturb them any more than I did.
I also took a picture of Mustang Flats on this very cloudy day so everyone could see the vastness of it.

I believe there was still some smoke in the air as well and so the photos are not the best.

Strawberry, October 13, 2012
Fiero and Bakken, October 13, 2012
Fiero and Bakken
Cascade, October 13, 2012
Fiero, October 13, 2012
Hazy day in the Dryhead

On my way out of the range I saw Jesse James, Hickok and
Seneca…I believe that Hightail was nearby but just not in view.
They were a very long ways off and I did not hike out to them.

Most every time I have been out to the range this past summer I see the devoted Jesse James with Seneca and Hightail. Sometimes Hickok is with them and sometimes he is not, so I am going to say that
Jesse James is the Harem Stallion and much more reliable. Hickok sometimes goes out with the bachelor boys and I have never seen Jesse James out with the bachelors.

They seemed to be just out grazing and taking it easy.
I wish that we had received more moisture this past spring & summer so that the horses would have more to eat, but it just did not happen.
Maybe this winter will bring some much needed moisture, but until then
I will worry about these horses finding enough food to sustain them through the winter months.

Jesse James, October 13, 2012
Seneca and Jesse James

The next set of Β pictures are from my trip, again, to the Dry Head on Sunday morning. Β I thought maybe I would see more of the horses since it was earlier, but not to be. I still did not find Merlin.

I managed to get a few good shots of the Big Horn Sheep that were hanging around Devils Canyon Over Look.
I always enjoy seeing them.

Out on Mustang Flats I saw Seattle, Sacajawea and Kemmerer. They were way out there, but I was up for the hike.

I tried not to disturb them but they saw me coming from the distance.
Seattle looks thin, but he always looks that way. His injury from years past must be healed as he was not limping at all.

He is a beautiful and gallant Stallion and very protective.
Both Sacajawea and Kemmerer look real good and I am so happy that Kemmerer is still on the range, as he is one of my favorites. I have been watching him grow up and he has turned out to be a very robust bachelor. I hope someday he has his own harem and some offspring in the future.

Seattle thought I was getting too close so he started to move Sacajawea and Kemmerer.
I then left so that they could feel safe and I did not want to disturb them any more than I already had. I did thank them for allowing me to take their photos!

Maybe next trip to the range I will get to find Merlin and more of the horses, but I think they are going out to the Lower Sykes area, possibly because there is more for them to eat.

Brianna and I are planning a trip out there on Friday afternoon. Maybe Brianna will bring luck with her!

Bighorn Sheep
October 14, 2012
October 14, 2012
Seattle, Sacajawea and Kemmer, October 14, 2012
October 14, 2012
Seattle, October 14, 2012
October 2012
Sacajawea and Kemmer, October 14, 2012

Thanks for the report Lori!


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38 thoughts on “Dryhead Report from Lori, October 13 and 14, 2012

  • Thank you Lori and Sandy. I miss the Pryors so much. It is very nice to know how the Dry Head horses are doing. Seattle looks so skinny. I can count his ribs. I am worried for him. The winter is here he needs to put on some weight.

  • Thank you Sandy for adding my report and photos to your blog!

    I know Anh…I worry about him too, but as I mentioned Seattle has always looked thin to me and seems to get through the Wyoming winters. These Pryor’s are tough horses. Lets hope he is strong and will be ok come springtime!

  • Loving your report, Lori!:) Thank you! Really wish you had been able to find some traces of Merlin though, but these are big areas to search through and the horses probably have some really hidden places where they can go into hiding. All my hopes are for all of these beauties making it though the winter!!
    So fun to see Jesse James taking the role as the lead stallion despite his young age. He’ll grow up to be a remarkable stallion:)

    • Your welcome Anne. Glad to be able to report something, and would love to find Merlin…hopefully Friday will be the lucky day. I am sure that these horses go to the places they know and where there is more food. They probably have a pattern of where they go to find food every winter and don’t use that part of the range until a certain time. Their instincts kick in. Mother Nature doing her thing. I hope these beauties make it through the winter too Anne!
      Wouldn’t a Jesse James foal be cool?

      • Not if it’s with Seneca, Lori. She’s his mother. But I’m thinkin’ Hickok was around at the right time for that, anyway, if there was one. Didn’t Seneca get PZP? And how about Hightail? Isn’t she in a “no foal likely” category, too? I get lost trying to remember all that stuff.

        I love the word you used for Kemmerer—robust! He really IS THAT. I was really amazed at what good condition he was in when I was out there and observed that little family unit. He was definitely getting some lessons from Seattle on how to be a macho, aggressive band stallion, and it will be interesting to see how long it takes for him to be on the hunt for mares of his own, and when he is, I’m sure he won’t be quite so sleek and robust. πŸ™‚ Hope Seattle makes it thru the winter without losing much more.

        You can sure see the red highlights in Strawberry’s winter coat from whence her name originated. You can just barely find any red on her in the summer—just a touch by her flanks and where her belly begins, if you look real hard and see her in the right light. She looks good.

        It’s a little disconcerting to see that the horses have begun browsing on the shrubs already (pic of Fiero), but they ARE plentiful in the Dryhead.

        I hope that wherever Merlin is, he knows that he has a son to be proud of in Fiero. He has worked his way up the ranks of the stallions with patience and perserverance, and I hope he will one day have at least one foal- bearing mare in his harem to keep the line going, but I, too, prefer to have PZP population control on the range.

        I think of Merlin pretty much every day, and if being cared about helps at all, somehow, I know all of our thoughts will help bring him thru this ordeal.

        Thanks Lori and Sandy, for caring and sharing. πŸ™‚

      • Your welcome Linda! Yes, both Seneca and Hightail are in the PZP category.

      • You bet Linda! and I know that Jesse James is there taking care of his mother and grandmother…I really meant to say that possibly another mare would find her way into that harem and then it would be really neat if Jesse James or even HIckok could have a foal.
        I do agree about PZP to an extent…but I also believe that (after reading a very long study about PZP) that it can be overdone and then what would happen? I still firmly believe that they are messsing with Mother Nature a bit too much.

    • Yes, I agree with you too Lori. While I’d rather see the use of PZP to an extent, it’s still messing with mother nature too much for my liking. I’m always reminded of this in situations such as with Fiero, Fools Crow, and Hickok. I wish they would not dart all of those mareswith the stallions that are still healthy and at a young enough age to reproduce to allow those stallions a chance to reproduce.I think Mescalero also has two non reproducing mares. I’d also like to see PZP not given to mares that have never foaled or don’t have any offspring on the range. PZP is the lesser of two evils, but I still think there are some changes that could better the program.

      • That is exactly what I was thinking Sarah! Instead of it being a “given” that mares 2-5 and then 10 for life be darted, there should be a window that looks at genetics from both sides….male and female.
        who knows..maybe we will have some surprises this spring!!!
        I think Custer ,for one, should have some offspring on the range and I am sure there are a bunch more who could use more representation. At least we have Custer’s stepson at the Center in Kaibab! He is an awesome little guy!!!

      • I agree, the genetics should be looked at from both sides. And I really hope Fiasco has a Custer foal this coming year! I was dissapointed when she didn’t foal this summer.

      • I was hoping she would foal this year too. She will be a good one to watch and take note on. Lets see, she was born in 2005 which means she should not have received PZP shots for 2 years now. So, maybe something was just off with her system last year, or she lost a foal and no one was aware that she did. I really hope she has one this year.
        Also, this removal was supposed to be based on the mares, not the stallions, as that is never a certain for sure on who the father is. But, with this small of herd and the number of people watching the bands, we pretty much know. So they were supposed to base the removal on Fiasco. Well, they took both of her offspring. I guess the thinking there was that she had 3 more years to be able to reproduce more offspring. Now she has gone one more year with out producing. Her line is not well represented, certainly not as much as some others. So she really needs to reproduce now. I hope she does.

        Also, look at the case of Gold Rush, she should have been around longer to reproduce, but disappeared at a young age. I do feel that there should be a closer look at the how and whys of PZP.

      • I was so thrilled when London and Ketchikan both avoided being trapped! I was hoping Leo would avoid the traps too, but since that didn’t happen the best we can do now is hope for Fiasco to foal again. I’ve noticed that it seems some mares were targeted more than others and left with no offspring on the range. Firestorm has had all 3 of her offspring removed so I was glad she had Maelstrom this summer and that he’s doing so well. I think The Black is Velvet’s only other daughter on the range and she’s never foaled so I wasn’t happy to see both LeDoux and Kalahari go. I would love for Bolder and Velvet to surprise us this coming spring πŸ™‚ I would have liked to see Kiva stay too as she was Autum’s only foal even though she’s been off PZP. I’m hoping for all the mares left without offspring to foal again this summer and looking forward to seeing more foals from “H” girls too πŸ™‚

  • Thanks, Lori… I think the stallions get thinner when they have to constantly fight off bachelors. Look at Gringo — he definitely had more ribs showing after he got his own band! And the stallions that look a little heftier are probably the ones who don’t see much action. πŸ™‚ Cascade was used to bonding with Strawberry and Bakken so maybe she felt more comfortable with them — sometimes mares make choices, too. Just more “Drama in the Dryhead” πŸ™‚ Thanks again.

    • You are so right about that Joy…I didn’t think of the fighting going on and how much energy it takes out of the Stallions. Yes, Gringo is a good example.
      Yep..more “drama in the Dry Head” or this is getting to be like “All My Horses” ha ha.
      I believe you are right about Cascade and the other two mares..she must want to be with them. I think Fiero keeps his harem more secluded, and so he does not have to fight too much…just another thought.

  • Thank you, Lori for the beautiful pictures. Thanks Sandy also. I really enjoy these posts. I hope Merlin is ok also.

    • Your welcome Karen. I am so glad that Lori is able to give us these reports. It has been hard for me to get over there right now, so having Lori there to give us these updates are wonderful!! Thanks Lori!!

      • You bet Sandy! I love going out to the range and this gives me more incentive. It is so peaceful and quiet and watching the horses is very soul cleansing to me!

  • Thank you, Lori, for your efforts to get these photos and the update. I feel for Cascade and the other moms who had their foals removed. Lewis was one of my very favorites; I was fortunate to get many photos of him in July along with Cascade and Blizzard running and playing.

    • Thank you Laura…I feel the same as I know these horses have families and that does not mean that they care any less than a human mom or dad. I loved seeing Lewis grow up and you are very fortunate and blessed that you had the chance to see him run and play!

  • Thanks for the update! It really frustrates me too when I see stallions that have worked so hard to put together a band and end up with all non-reproducing mares. Fiero is definitely a great stallions who I would love to see some babies from. He difinitely derserves it. Fools Crow is another one that this has happened too and I was so thrilled when he won Jewel. I hope the same thing will happen with Fiero or one of his ladies will give us a surprise. That would be really great! I am also confident that Merlin is in one of his hiding places healing, but I know it would ease many worries if you could find him. I hope you have a great trip with Brianna and looks forward to hearing how it went!

    • I agree with you Sarah, I really want to see a Fool’s Crow foal and of course a Fiero foal would be great too!

      • I agree with you also Sarah! Fools Crow is one of my favorites (which ones aren’t?) and is so gorgeous, but it would be really special to see a Fools Crow foal. Remember when he was born he was black…you would never have thought he would be so beautiful and such a beautiful blue roan!
        Yes, a Fiero foal!

      • There might be a pretty good chance for a blue roan baby from them since Jewel is black. That would be awesome!!! With Jewel and Fools Crow for parents I’m sure their baby will be gorgeous no matter what color!

      • Jewel is in the PZP group, so if that took this year, no foal for them yet. Hopefully she will stay with him. That would be great. Also, she was with Hidalgo for a while before she went with Fools Crow so if she does foal this next spring it may be his. I first saw Jewel with Fools Crow the middle of May. Mecuria was born the middle of April. I remember that the NPS person was the one to report the birth, so I am thinking they were giving her a PZP shot at that time… But again, was it the first shot or had she been given the first shot a year or two before that? So..there is a chance.

      • Yes, I remember she is in the PZP group. When I first saw her with him I meant that I was excited about a future foal for him πŸ™‚ We’ll have to see about when her PZP was given. I’d be excited even for her to have Hidalgo’s foal next year because I think that would be his first, right? And I’m looking forward to future foals with Fools Crow when she comes off PZP. I really hope she stays with him! I wish there was a more reliable way to find out about their PZP shots. Although I’m sure after all the mares outside the window foaling last year they were better about administering it this year. We will see

  • I went out this afternoon. Still no Merlin πŸ™
    I did see Hawk and Issaquah with Hidatsa, and then Blizzard by his self. He was kicking up dirt and rocks and pulling roots out of the ground to eat. I thought it was pretty cute (:

  • Kemmerer really looks great! I have a feeling he’s going to be one to watch. Is he Durango’s son?

    • No, he is Blizzards son. He is the half brother of Valerosa! (Same mom, Sacajawea). So Kememerer would be Durango’s grandson! πŸ™‚

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