I wanted to end this year with a review of 2012 in the Pryors. I have included several unseen photos and compiled a list of events that took place with the horses during the year. I hope you enjoy it.
January 2012 started off more mild than the winter of 2011. This winter the snow levels would be significantly smaller. Matt made a January post and you can read it by clicking on January.
In early February I started this blog. I will admit, it has been an incredible amount of work, but I love every minute of it. I love being able to share information with those that know the horses and those that are just learning about them. I wasn’t sure if it would be a success, but yes, it has become one. One that I am proud of.
I am grateful for friends that have helped me with some posts, there are many, but there are 4 I feel that I must make special mention of. Lori, Linda, Shawn and Alex. Thank you for your help and your contribution to this blog. Your input, photos and posts have helped make this a successful blog.
A special thank you to Bill for putting up with my Pryor Addiction and “holding down the fort” while I climbed in the truck and headed off to see the horses.
Two of my favorite posts that I wrote in February were: Lakota and the Moving On. ( The Lakota post was awarded the “Freshly Pressed” award. That means it was picked as one of the best posts out of hundreds of thousands of others for March 2, 2012). From that post, Lakota found people from all over the world that would watch for updates on him and follow my blog.
The post, Moving On , is a bittersweet post really, but one that should be read.
So read on. I hope you continue following me and the horses for a very long time.
My first trip to the Pryors in 2012 was the first part of March. That is what I wanted for my birthday, to go to the Pryors to see the horses. I knew that time of year was pretty risky as far as spotting any. It was a mild winter last year, so I knew that I would be able to hike in lower Skyes even if I was not able to go very far up the mountain.
I really wanted to see Lakota, but I knew the odds were not in my favor.
The first day we drove up Burnt Timber, the temperature was cold and it looked like it might snow. Not too far up the road we saw Grijala and his band. He had another member with him, Kachina, since the last time I saw him. I tried not be judgemental with Grijala. But it was hard, I will admit, he is a beautiful and very powerful stallion, but I felt myself disliking him a bit. He was the stallion responsible for taking Lakota’s band. I have since gotten over those feelings of resentment for Grijala. He has turned into a great band stallion. I doubt I would have felt that way in the first place if it had not been Lakota’s band he took.
We continued up the road and almost 3 miles up we saw Teton and his band. At the time Kiowa was still with him. I did not know it at that time, but I would be adopting her 6 months later.
On this same trip, we were able to see Kitalpha. She was missing and presumed dead. She had recently be sighted, just a few days before we got there. You can read about her discovery by reading Matt’s post. Click on Kitalpha to go there. That morning we were joined by Lori, Jimmy and Diane.
We saw Fiero alone on this March trip. But just a few days after we left, it was reported that Strawberry was back with him.
We decided to head back up Burnt Timber a few more times and on our way out one of those days we saw some horses off in the distance. I would learn once I was home and could get a better look, that it was Gold Rush and London with Garay and Jasper. It would be the last time I would see Gold Rush. You can read that post by clicking on GOLD RUSH.
Gold Rush, London and Ketchikan had been with the handsome stallion Doc. Now Gold Rush and London with Garay. Ketchikan was nowhere to be seen this day. But I would learn that she was now with the stallion Tecumseh and later this month it was discovered that Doc would have Santa Fe’s band. You can read Matt’s post on that by clicking on Santa Fe.
A few weeks later, still in March, Shawn would snap the last photos of Gold Rush. You can read that post by clicking on Shawn. I don’t believe anyone saw Gold Rush after that.
But March would bring the first new life to the Pryors. Merlin and his mare Icara would have a beautiful filly, named Morgana.
The month of April started with the reminder of the possible removal. I wrote this post about that. You can click on Sandy to read my April 6th post and you can click on Matt to read his April 9th post on the same subject.
By the end of the month of April two more horses would be listed as missing. They were: Lincoln and Lemhi. Matt made a post on April 1. Both Lincoln and Lemhi were still alive then, but to my knowledge, I do not believe anyone saw them since. At the time of Matt’s post, Isodora was still with Mescalaro, but would later be with Blue Moon. You can read Matt’s post by clicking on April. One of the things I also noticed in Matt’s April post was how thin Kiva was, just two months before she gave birth to Madrid.
My next trip to the Pryors would be in mid-April. Again, my friend Brigitte would join me.
We saw several horses this trip, but the most exciting was the discovery of the second new foal. Born to Teton and his mare Half Moon. You can read that post by clicking on Missoula.
April would bring 6 foals : Missoula, Maia, Mercuria, Moenkopi, Montana and Millicent. Bringing the total foals born to 7.
We would drive 10 miles up (and back down) Sykes this trip (my first trip up there). I would fall in love that day with a horse named Jalisco. You can read about that post by clicking on Jalisco.
Burnt Timber was quickly becoming one of my favorite ways to go up the mountain. Like Shawn has said, you are almost always are guaranteed to see horses somewhere along the way, they might not be close, but you will see them! This road did not disappoint us. We saw several bands this trip, and were able to spend some quality time with each one we encountered. You can read about those days by clicking on Burnt Timber 1 and Burnt Timber 2.
Every morning we would go up the Dryhead before we headed up either Sykes or Burnt Timber. I got to know the Greeters pretty well this trip and would look forward to visiting them several times this year.
The rest of the Dryhead was just as interesting and we were able to see several more horses in the mornings and the one afternoon we spent there. Hidatsa and Joseph would keep us busy one afternoon along with Fiero and his band. Another morning we witness Hawk and Issaquah challenge Seattle and his band.
The month of May had the feeling of spring and I could not wait to get back to the Pryors. This past winter had been very mild and dry and spring seemed to be coming early.
Four weeks later, I was heading back to the Pryors with my husband Bill. I was eager to show him the mountain on an ATV.
The month of May would bring the birth of 10 more foals, bringing the total to 17. This month in the following order the foals to be born would be: Mesa, Miocene, Malelstrom, Mica, McKeahnie, Moorcroft, Malpais, Maverick, Mendenhall and Meriweather.
One of the oldest mares on the mountain, Madonna, at the age of 23, would have the foal Meriweather.
A week or so before Bill and I arrived in the Pryors, we learned that Galaxy had stolen Prince’s band. You can read about that from the post that Matt made, by clicking on Galaxy. The news show Nightline came with Matt that day and did some filming. If you have not seen that clip, click Nightline to view it. There is Galaxy on national TV breeding Hera. So hopefuly we should see a Galaxy and Hera foal in April. (She is on the no PZP list). You will also see Lakota in this clip as well.
After learning about this I was hoping to see Galaxy with his new band and hopefully locate Prince and see how he was doing. We would see Prince from a distance, but not Galaxy with his new band.
On this May trip, I had the most incredible experience I have ever shared with a wild horse. I don’t expect it to ever happen again. It was something I will always treasure. You can read that post by clicking on Finding Lakota.
On our trip up Sykes Ridge Road, Bill and I would discover the missing Liesl with Bristol and Kitalpha. We would also see Jewel and Mercuia with Fools Crow and Belle Starr.
Even though it was only mid-May, most of the snow was gone. The only snow that remained were in the trees close to the top. On top there were several deep snow drifts. The horses were already moving up.
We encountered Santa Fe with his young mare Judith and watched him spar with Starman. You can read about that by clicking on Starman. There was a lot of action going on between those two and I was able to get some great shots!
On the way back down the mountain we took Burnt Timber Road. There we saw the 4 bachelors, Inali, Hernado, Hamlet and Knight. In the road eating the red dirt. After just reading Shawns November report, I wondered if there would be any road left by spring!
Also down Burnt Timber, we would see Grijala. He had aquired quite a collection of “K” girls. I named them the “Special K’s”. They were Kohl, Kindra, Kachina, Katrina and of course his lead mare and former Lakota mare, Quelle Colour. (which sounds like a K). In June he would add one more, Kalahari. But by the beginning of August Grijala would lose all of the K’s except for Kohl, Kindra and Quelle Colour.
In the Dryhead, Bill and I were able to spend some time with Merlin and his band, watching his young colt Montana play in the rain.
The month of June brought about more change on the mountain. Five more foals would be born, bringing the total to 22. They were: Malakai, Maria, Maclean, Malayna and Madrid.
In the Dryhead, Linda observed Liesl acting a bit “off”. She was alone once and then with Bristol and Kitalpha. When Liesl was removed in July, we would all learn why she was not acting right. She was partially blind.
In the Dryhead, Merlin would recieve, and injury and loss his band for a short time. You can read about Merlins injury by clicking on Merlin. Also during this month Kerry and Maclean would be seen with Fools Crow and his band and Icara and Morgana would be with Durango.
Also in June, Gringo would take Tecumseh’s band and Joviana and Malakai would join Horizon’s small group. Lakota would injure himself. I had heard a couple of weeks before his injury that he had been following Grijala’s band, trying to regain some mares. I am sure the injury occurred during a fight between the two.
Matt called me that first night I was on the mountain and told me about Lakota. The injury had just happened a day or two before I got there. Linda and I kept a close eye on Lakota that trip. Checking on him several times a day.
When I first saw the injury, I was sure his leg was broken, but then as time passed, I had hope that it was a wound and would heal. My first thought was right.
Despite the fact that Lakota was injured, this June trip turned out to be one of my best trips of the year. My friend Linda and I camped on top for 3 nights. There was still a bit of snow up there, especially around Mystic Pond. Not like I had seen the previous year though. I knew it would probably be melted soon.
On on of the evening when we were checking on Lakota, we encountered Prince. It would be one of the last times I would see him. I hope he is okay.
On our last night there a snow storm came in and we woke to snow. I don’t think I have ever seen anything more beautiful than seeing Pryor Horses running in fresh snow on top of the mountain. Despite the cold wind and snow, we were able to get some great shots of them. You can read about that post by clicking on SNOW.
And Starman would end up on the wrong side of the fence.
The month of July brought the beginning of the removals in the Pryors. Only one foal would be born this month, Meadowlark. Bringing the total to 23.
It was difficult to be on the mountain during the removals. But I would go two times this month, once before the removals began.
Just a couple of weeks after my June trip, I returned to the mountain top. Lakota had been constantly on my mind and wanted to find him.
I spent most of my trip hiking around looking for him. I was unable to find him and it was extremely painful to leave not knowing how he was doing. You can read about my search, by clicking on SEARCHING.
I would get my first Pryor flat tire on this trip. First of several, I am sure. Even with 10 ply tires your luck runs out after several trips up the roughed roads.
The last morning that I was there, we noticed that Kiva did not have her foal with her. She had just had this foal about 10 days before we got there. We noticed that he had an injury to his right back leg and was limping. Kiva would find her colt later that same day, but in the end he would go missing by the end of July.
The removals began on July the 14th with the removal of Kokopelli and Jumping Badger and ended on August 23rd with the removal of Kerry and Maclean. In all 38 horses and 6 foals would be removed. A seventh foal was born just days before the adoption. You can see the list of those removed by clicking on Adoption.
And as if the removals were not painful enough, Lakota had to be euthanized on July 23rd. I have lost many friends, family and pets over the years, but Lakota’s death hit me harder than many of those. I still grieve for my friend. Rest in Peace Lakota. Remembering Lakota.
In the last couple days of July and the first few in August, I headed to the Pryors again. I spent a couple of days in the Dryhead and Lower Sykes area, seeing some horses that I had not seen before. You can read about those horses by clicking Dryhead.
I then met Lori at Britton Springs. After spending some time with the horses that had been removed, we headed up the mountain for a couple of days of camping.
This trip in many ways were both good and bad. The worst was seeing Lakota dead (he had died just a week before) and also witnessing the removal in action. The best was getting to know Lori better. We shared a few evenings crying and laughing as we watched the sun go down.
This summer and especially this July trip, I saw more bears than I have ever seen in the Pryors.
The rest August brought the removals to an end and the birth of two more foals. Mato and Manuelita, bringing the total foals born to 25. Both were born in the later part of the month.
At the end of the month, I once again packed my truck, this time I would be bringing my daughter Amber along. We had a great few days. It was a bittersweet trip. Good to see those horses still on the range, but sad not to see those that were taken.
Some changes seemed to be occurring while we were there. Amethyst was acting up and running away from Blue Moon. It was our last night there when we saw that, so were not able to confirm how it unfolded. But my friend Ahn was up there for several more days and I would learn from her photos that Amethyst had returned to Bolder.
The adoption weighed heavily my mind. I would be home for 2 days after this trip and then heading back to Lovell for the adoption.
The month of September brought the adoption and the birth of another foal (Maryanna) in captivity. Bringing the total Pryor Foals born this year to 26.
Another horse, Damsel, was also looking pregnant. But unfortunately she has not been seen since September.
Every horse offered up for adoption was adopted. Hopefully all have gone to wonderful homes. I am trying to keep track of where they all are and how they are doing. I hope I can continue to do that and hopefully give you updates on them.
I adopted both of Lakota’s offspring, Kiowa and Kootenai. They are doing great.
Later in September, in the Dryhead, Merlin would injure or re-injure his previous wound and once again lose his band. Lori emailed me around the 20th. We did two posts on this. Click on Merlin and Merlin Update for those. Another friend, Laura Curtis gave us an update on Merlin with photos of him the end of September. You can read that post by clicking on Laura.
Merlin’s band would end up with the stallion Hidalgo.
Starman was still on the wrong side of the fence, not on the range. So I decided to not only email and call Jared with my concerns, but I also made a post. You can read that post by clicking on Starman.
The month of October was pretty quiet. I would head to the Pryors the end of the month, but before that the only big news would be of Starman. He was returned to the range on October 10th.
Lori was able to keep us up to date on the happenings in the Dryhead and gave us this report. Dryhead report. She reported to us that Strawberry was with Seattle.
I headed back to the Pryors on the 21rst of the month. I was only able to stay a couple of days. Lori and I spent the first afternoon searching for Merlin. We did not find him.
The next day, the weather did not cooperate, and Lori and I were unable make it up to the top of the mountain. It was pouring rain pretty much the whole trip up Burnt Timber Road, so there were no horses in sight. They were well tucked away in the trees. You can read my post on that trip by clicking on October.
I left feeling unfulfilled and disappointed.
These are the changes that did occur this month in the Dryhead: Fiero is not alone (again). Lori and Brianna spotted Strawberry with Seattle. Lori and I saw Bakken and Cascade alone. Fiero never really seems to mind being by himself, in fact I think he may choose it from time to time. Merlin has not been seen since the weekend of October 13th.
I was able to, by months end, receive word that my paper work for my permit allowing me to give Pryor Mountain Tours had come through.
Wild in the Pryors is permitted by the Bureau of Land Management to conduct small group tours within the Pryor Mountain Wild Horse Range from January to December. I am one of a handful of businesses that have the federal permits necessary to guide clients onto this federal property.
The tours will begin in the Spring of 2013. Contact me for availability or click on TOURS, to read the post I did on them. I am excited and looking forward to offering this service.
Lori was able to keep us all up to date on some happenings in the Dryhead and the progress of Kaibab and Liesl.
Shawn Ivie returned to the Pryors for the first time in several months and was able to give us a great report.
Some changes were occurring on the mountain that he was able to report about. Damsel is still missing. Baileys may be missing. White Cloud is down to a band of only 4 including himself. Jasmine and Aztec were with Jackson when he was there. The only to remain with Cloud at the time of his report were Feldspar, Mica and Inocentes.
Now we are in December. I thought perhaps this month would be the quietest of all. But just 5 days into the month, I got a phone call from Lori. She had found Merlin! What a relief, and just the good news I needed to hear. After seeing Laura’s photos of him taken in October, I was so worried. I had seen that painful, dehydrated look before, not too long ago.
Lori finding Merlin, was the best Christmas present! You can read about that post by clicking on Lori.
Lori gave us a great update on the Dryhead and Lower Sykes. Strawberry was no longer with Seattle. So the drama still continues. I am sure that there is just as much drama with the mountain horses, just not enough people to witness the daily changing events. I will look forward and I will share any news I hear.
As this month of December comes to a close, I look back at the year in the Pryors. Even though there were events on the mountain that caused us pain, it was a good year. These horses are wild horses and so we must except all that the wild gives us. There will be deaths, missing horses and changes that we may not like or know how to except. But we knew when we became involved with them that there would be some heartbreak. As we watch the horses, they become family. I know I will never change my feelings towards them. They are a big part of my life.
This year, I have had the wonder opportunity of being able to spend over 30 days in the Pryors with the horses. I am looking forward to spending that and more in 2013. And sharing it all with you. Thank you for following Wild In the Pryors.
Merry Christmas and Happy New Year everyone.
Note: As of the middle of December, Baileys has been located with Bolder and his band and Aztec is back with White Cloud and his band.