Burnt Timber. A Mountain Report From Shawn Ivie.

Here is part two of Shawn’s trip last week.  Thanks again Shawn!  It almost feels like being there!


Looking towards Burnt Timber going up Sykes.

Wednesday – Burnt Timber
I know it gets a bad report, maybe deservedly so, but Burnt Timber is my favorite road up the mountain. It causes my tires to wear down a lot quicker than they should. Everyone that drives it is promised a flat at some point. There are parts where the bentonite-laden clay turn into a slip-and-slide if a few raindrops fall, which sometimes causes you to come down early to avoid getting stuck.

Yet somehow it is different from the other roads to me and feels like home. Crooked Creek takes you outside the range and takes about twice as long. Sykes, well, that is a great road for when you want to get your heart pumping on an adventure. I have never had as much luck with horses on Sykes, either. On Burnt Timber you can run across a horse throughout almost the whole run of it. In fact, the few places I have not seen a horse on BT have sign, so it is just a matter of time before I do see one in those spots.
I was pleased to see how dry the road was, and worked my way up the red canyon climb without much worry about the road conditions. My first group of mountain horses was on a hill behind the first water guzzler on the right. I am not sure of this one’s name. I was pretty sure it was Jackson on the left and the large group size almost assured it had to be him. At first I focused on the foals, because they would have changed more than the older horses since I had last seen them.

Galena, November 21, 2012

The first I found was Maelstrom. His really dark legs with the 1 white sock are really striking. I did notice Jasmine near him, and hoped that it meant Dancer was just with someone else, too. Next I moved down the ridge a little to where Moenkopi, Galena, Brumby and Moorcroft were feeding. I don’t know if they will last into next summer, but right now the dark wither bars on Moenkopi remind me so much of her father.

Moenkopi and Moorcroft, November 21, 2012
Maelstrom, November 21, 2012
Maelstrom, November 21, 2012

As I was trying to get just the right light and angle for some pictures of Moenkopi and Moorcroft together, Jackson whinnied and ran up the hill. At first I thought I had worn out my welcome, but he was interested in some of his mares which were working the other way. After clicking some shots of him as he ran, I turned my attention back to the foals. As Jackson and the rest moved towards us, he was paying close attention to a grulla mare, and every time he did Jasmine would run over and get close to them. I didn’t really connect things at the time, but it all made sense later. Despite Jasmine being a third wheel, Jackson did mount the mare and do his thing.

Jackson, November 21,2012
Jasmine, Aztec and Jackson with Galena in the background.

I left the group and moved up toward the wilderness lick area where I thought I had seen Cloud, or Echo (Killian). It turns out it was Cloud. Not that I want Damsel back with him as I hope she is with a non-related stallion, but I was still hoping that maybe she was there just to know she was safe. Inocentes was closest to me, so I moved well around her and up past Cloud to see the rest of his harem. Feldspar and Mica were in the open area above… and that was it. I watched a while and no one joined, so I went out through the trees on the other side of the hill and scoured through the brush.

Inocentes and Cloud, November 21, 2012
Mica, November 21, 2012

Later that evening I saw Cloud down near the guzzler, and he still only had these 3 with him. After realizing Aztec was missing, it made sense to me who the grulla with Jackson was and why Jasmine kept getting close to her.

Aztec was the 10th member of Jackson’s band. That doesn’t explain where Baileys is, and it is another horse that I worry something has happened to at this point. I did not see her with anyone else on the trip.

From Cloud’s band, I continued up the road until my way was blocked at the start of Cheyenne Flats. Hernando, Inali and Hamlet were eating the road with Knight to the side. I don’t mean eating in the road, they are eating a good-sized hole of the red clay from the road. I watched them for a while, and since they weren’t moving I scanned Sykes to see if I could find any horses. I did locate a group of 6, then 2 more. I knew what I had to do on Thursday if the weather was nice.

The Former Forest Service Boys, Hernando, Hamlet and Inali, November 21, 2012
Inali, November 21, 2012

After waiting a while, I went off the road and around the bachelors so that they could continue eating. The last group I found was Galaxy’s band just a little further up. I love his wavy hair, but I am not sure how he even sees some times. He looks like he may have been in a scrap, and was a little more statuesque and a little less bouncy than normal. Maybe that is part of going from an active challenger to becoming a stern band leader. It was also hard to believe that Maia was a foal this spring. She seems too big for that to be true.

Galaxy, November 21, 2012
Hera, November 21, 2012
Limerick, November 21, 2012
Maia, November 21, 2012


While I did not see anyone else, at this late a date in November, I was still able to drive all the way to where I camp on the top without seeing hardly any snow. As I drove back to the horses, it was cloudy and the forecast called for snow. I decided to camp at the very bottom, so I would not have to worry about getting stuck in the already mentioned clay if it did snow. While it didn’t stick, I woke up about 10 to the sound of hard snow on my FJ, and I was glad that I didn’t have to worry about it and went back to sleep.


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13 thoughts on “Burnt Timber. A Mountain Report From Shawn Ivie.

  • Hah, I was in here checking for updates like 2 seconds before you posted it 😀
    Thank you so much, Shawn and Sandy, for working together to get these updates out to us who awaits so eagerly (and you of course, Lori;)).

    I wish it could be all good news all the time, but sadly the wild doesn’t work like that. I’m very worried about Damsel now.. She’s been missing for so long, and she always seemed so attached to her band. I hope so much that both her and Baileys shows up again. The fact that Baileys disappeared around the same time as Aztec and Jasmine went to Jackson is a good sign I believe.. Maybe there was a lot of chaos at the time, and someone snatched her up? Santa Fe? She is healthy and not in foal, so it’s strange that something should have happened to her. She always seems like such an extraordinary kind and including mare.
    Loving the pics of Knight in his wintercoat.. looking a bit chubby, is he?:) Otherwise they are all so beautiful as usual! The foals are huuuuge and so cute, Hernando is looking handsome as always, and no one has taken away Galaxys curling iron yet.. Love it 😀

    • Thanks Anne. I am still hoping for the best for Damsel and Baileys as well. The horses are so spread out this time of year and there are so many places that they could be. It is good to see Knight looking so healthy. 🙂
      Galaxy is a looker even when he is just standing still!

    • Love your comment on the “curling iron” Anne! HA HA
      He sure is a beauty if ever there was one!
      I think Galaxy and Doc are the most handsome…oh and of course Jackson!!!!!

  • I love bay roans!! Maelstrom is quite a stunner! I hope he gets to live out his life on the range. In the last post, I didn’t realize Dove’s filly had roaned out. I would have named her Morning Dove. 🙂

    I believe Baileys is fine, though I’m not so sure about Damsel. I hope I’m wrong about her….

  • I will be interested to see what happens with Aztec. I have a feeling she will end up back with Cloud. She’s been with him about 10 years and they seem very devoted to each other. I feel like even if she’s not able to get back to him on her own, they will end up back together the next time Cloud’s and Jackson’s bands are near eachother. I also have the same feeling that Jasmine will stay with Jackson. It seems that Brumby doesn’t mind her so much anymore and she has become part of the band. I imagine though that Brumby isn’t too thrilled with Aztec. So we shall see. I still have hope for Dancer, like you said the horses are very spread out right now and there’s lots of places to hide. And that may very well be the stragegy of a stallion that has picked her up. Keep her in an isolated area so no one steals her and maybe even to prevent her from returning to her band. I’d imagine that with a young foal she would also be less willing to trek all over the mountain looking for her band. And I agree that The Black is probably fine. Although, I’m sure Mica is missing “Aunt Black.” He’s gotten so dark and it looks very good on him 🙂 I’m so looking forward to his likely 2013 sibling. I love Galaxy’s long wavy mane and I sometimes wonder too how he can see, but he looks gorgeous! Maybe it’s just the winter coat, but it looks like Knight is gaining that thick body build of his Dad. Sandy, could you refresh my memory on who Aztec’s father is? I know her mother is Beauty, but I’m blanking on who her dad is.

    • Aztec’s father was a horse called Black Beauty. So Beauty and Black Beauty are her parents! (that is a bit confusing!!)
      I also wonder if Inocentes will have a foal this year. She along with Feldspar are in the “no Pzp” group!

      • Oh that would be great! I’ve been wanting to see a Cloud x Ingrid baby 🙂 I knew the “H” girls were in the “no pzp” group now, but didnt’ realize the “I” girls were in as well! I was thinking the group D-H were in the group, but I forgot there’s no “E” girls so that year gets skipped. Galaxy x Hera is another combination I’m looking forward to. I’m very much looking forward to your future “Who may have foals 2013” post 🙂 Thanks for refreshing my memory about Aztec! Haha I knew once you told me I would be like oh duh, I did know that. I’d love to see another buckskin from Cloud as none of his previous buckskin foals have survived 🙂

      • I was thinking about Ingrid/ Innocentes earlier today while I was thinking about 2013 foals. She’s Fiasco’s daughter, right? And Fiasco is the daughter of Chino and one of the Toppers if I remember correctly. If that’s right she would carry the cream gene from Chino. I’d love to see her and Cloud have a cute little buckskin foal. I can’t wait to see what cute little surprises spring will bring 🙂

    • As I came back down on Wednesday, Cloud and Jackson’s bands did end up near each other. Cloud, Mica, Feldspar and Inocentes were going to the guzzler. Jackson was up a little higher and after a while came down to send Cloud off a little ways. I did not see any of the same horses on Thursday as Wednesday to know if anything happened later, but it sure seemed like Jackson was the current king of the mountain on Wednesday. I do think Aztec will eventually end up with Cloud again, but I think she will have to leave.

  • Thank you Sandy, and Shawn. What awesome pictures you got Shawn…thank you so much for going up that road to find some of the mountain horses. Jackson sure is a handsome guy and those pictures of him running are so beautiful. I do love Galaxy’s wavy and long mane…and the foals from last year are looking healthy and definately not skinny. Knight along with all of the adult horses look real healthy. March is the worst month for the horses so lets hope that they all still look as healthy then!
    Moenkopi, Moorcroft and Malestrom are so gorgeous. I love the bars on Moenkopi and like you Shawn, hope they stay there forever. What a looker she is! Moorcroft is a beautiful little grullo and I hope he gets to live out his life wild and free!! Mica sure does look like he is roaning out in that one picture. Hmm? Maia sure is turning into a pretty filly.
    I just love all of the pictures Shawn…thanks so much for sharing and giving your report to Sandy so that we all can keep up with the wild ones!

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