A Day On The Mountain, February 17, 2013

It was great to be back in the Pryors. Anh and I arrived Saturday afternoon and made a quick trip up the Dryhead to see if we could find anyone.  The road was covered with 4-5 inches of snow.  The snow made the road slick, but it was helpful to be able to see the horse foots prints.  We almost immediately saw the ever faithful Greeters, up on one of their favorite hill sides.

The Greeters, 2-16-13
The Greeters, 2-16-13

We drove the length of the range slowy.   I wondered why they did not plow this road.  We did not see a single horse or anymore prints.  They were tucked away in the trees somewhere.

From there we stopped by the Center to meet Lori and Brianna along with Kiabab and Liesl.  Liesl and Kiabab were not interested in posing for us, they were more interested in their food.  Liesl’s wound looked good.  They both looked good.

Kiabab, 2-16-13
Kiabab, 2-16-13
Liesl, 2-16-13
Liesl, 2-16-13

After a great dinner at Lori’s we headed back to get a good night sleep.  We were both anxious to see more horses.  My thoughts were with my October trip and I hoped I would have better luck this time.  The weather was looking okay.  30% chance of snow, not bad.  We would just keep our eye on the sky for any sudden changes coming our way.

We were heading towards Burnt Timber Road by 7:30 the next morning.  When I turned off the paved road unto the dirt, I was surprised to see the amount of snow on the road.  I wondered if Big Horn County owned any snow plows.

We drove through 5-8 inches of snow to the bottom of Burnt Timber.  When I stepped out of the truck to unload the ATV, I realized that the depth of the snow was more like a foot.  Would we even be able to drive the ATV up the road?

We were joined by a third person today, Monica.  I was happy to have another person for the moral support.  I have to admit, I was a bit stressed.  Driving Burnt Timber on a good day is hard enough, adding a foot of snow was even more daunting.

We made it to the entrance of the range with very little problem.  The wind had blown here, and made the snow quite a bit shallower.  I was feeling encouraged that we would be able to make it further.

Just as we were about to cross the cattle guard onto the range, I looked up and saw Cappuccino and his band.  Cappuccino and another horse ran over a ridge.  I could not make out who the other horse was.  We left the ATV and hiked the short way to get a better look at the remaining band members.  We wanted to disturb them as little as possible and decided the best way would be to leave the ATV parked and hike closer.

A way off to the left, I saw Two Boots.  It seems I always see him here in the winter months.

Two Boots, 2-17-13
Two Boots, 2-17-13

Further away on the same side as Two Boots, I saw Quelle Colour with Kohl.  Grijala by them, but not close.

Quelle Colour and Kohl, 2-17-13
Quelle Colour and Kohl, 2-17-13

The first horses from Cappuccino’s band that I saw were Blanca and next to her was Galena’s filly, Moenkopi.  Moenkopi had somehow gotten separated from Jackson’s band.  I had learned of this from TCF newsletter.  I was happy to see her, and she seemed to okay.  Blanca seemed to be in charge of taking care of her.  I think she is in good hands.

Blanca and Moenkopi, February 17, 2013
Blanca and Moenkopi, February 17, 2013

Gabrielle and McKeahnie were not to far from them.

Gabrielle and McKeahnie, 2-17-13
Gabrielle and McKeahnie, 2-17-13

Gabrielle looked pregnant to me.  She also seemed a bit thin.

We stood quietly and watch them.

Blanca, 2-17-13
Blanca, 2-17-13
Sandy, photo by Anh.
Sandy, photo by Anh.
Blanca
Blanca
Gabrielle, 2-17-13
Gabrielle, 2-17-13
Gabrielle
Gabrielle
MaKeahnie, 2-17-13
MaKeahnie, 2-17-13
Blanca
Blanca
Moenkopi, 2-17-13
Moenkopi, 2-17-13

We would not have to wait long to find out where Cappuccino had been.  I looked up the hill from were we stood and saw a blaze face looking down on me.  It was a very round Jacinta.  She did not look happy.  Cappuccino had to work to keep her going closer to the rest of the band.  Jacinta is from Gringo’s band.

Jacinta
Jacinta
Cappuccino and Jacinta
Cappuccino and Jacinta
Cappuccino and Jacinta
Cappuccino and Jacinta
Cappuccino, 2-17-13
Cappuccino, 2-17-13
Cappuccino
Cappuccino

I decided that the horses were used to us by now and would probably not be disturbed if we restarted the ATV and kept going up the road.  I was right, we slipped right past them without them moving.

We traveled up the road for another mile before the snow got deep, really deep.  I stopped the ATV and we all got off and unanimously decided we should not risk going another foot.  We Monica dug out the tires (yes, we were stuck) and I backed up and turned around.  We wanted it heading back down the hill so we did not have to deal with it later.

We put our backpacks on and started hiking…slowly.  The snow was almost up to our knees and it was not a light fluffy snow, more like the constancy of too thick mash potatoes.  At times it was up to our knees.  I should have packed the snow shoes.

Our goal was to hike to the first guzzler on the left.   We started to trudge up the road.  It was pretty much all up hill.

The wind started to blow and we all silently hoped that all this effort would be rewarded when we reach our destination.

Finally, we reached the guzzler.  From the road it looked like there were no horses there.  But we walked closer and saw Jackson’s band tucked away against the blowing snow.

Jackson's Band, 2-17-13
Jackson’s Band, 2-17-13
Jackson's band
Jackson’s Band

We sat down next to a bush away from the wind and snow and ate lunch.  I was trying to count horse heads and see how many were there.  I knew that Jasmine had been missing from his band just a few weeks ago.  I thought I saw her there, but it was too hard to tell and I did not want to go closer until they got used to us being there.

After lunch the wind and blowing snow calmed down and we moved closer.  Jackson kept a close eye on us, but other wise seemed unconcerned with us being there.  It seemed his mares were staying very close to him, closer than I had ever seen.  I wondered what the cause of it was, but decided it must be the weather.

Just as we moved closer something caught my eye to the right, up the hill.  I turned and saw Cloud standing above us.

Cloud, 2-17-13
Cloud, 2-17-13

The rest of the band was not far behind him.

Cloud and Mica
Cloud and Mica
Innoceentes, Cloud and Aztec
Innoceentes, Cloud and Aztec
Innocentes and Aztec
Innocentes and Aztec
Aztec, Feldspar and Mica
Aztec, Feldspar and Mica
Anh and Monica
Anh and Monica

I worked my way slowly towards Jacksons band.  They were beginning to come out and move around some.

I never know what to expect when I come to the mountain, so every horse that I see is a gift.

Firestorm
Firestorm
Hertiage
Heritage
Jackson
Jackson
Firestorm
Firestorm
Galena
Galena
Galena
Galena
Hertiage
Hertiage
Galena
Galena
Firstorm
Firstorm
Galena
Galena
Firestorm and Moorcroft
Firestorm and Moorcroft
Hertiage
Hertiage
Firestorm Maelstorm
Firestorm Maelstorm
Firestorm
Firestorm

It took us a while to discover why Jackson’s band was so attentive to him.  I kept seeing Galena and Moorcroft licking Jackson.  I thought it was a bit odd.  Then I saw the wound.

Jackson and band
Jackson and band
Jackson Band
Jackson Band
Mares taking care of Jackson
Mares taking care of Jackson
Moorcroft licks Jacksons wound.
Moorcroft licks Jackson. (wound is on his lower chest)
Maelstrom, Jackson and Galena licking Jackson.
Maelstrom, Jackson and Galena licking Jackson.

It explained what was going on.  I found it very touching.  I continued to watch this close family band.  Still unsure if that was Jasmine lying behind him.

This peaceful setting was about to change as I watched Cloud and Aztec inching their way closer to Jackson and his band.

Cloud and Aztec
Cloud and Aztec

Cloud yawn

Hertiage was digging in the snow and moving away from Jackson a bit.   Cloud took this opportunity to move in.  Aztec wanted to be part of it, but Cloud quickly told her to go back.  He approached Hertiage, who politely greeted him and told him she had the stallion she wanted and turned her back to him.

Aztec and Cloud
Aztec and Cloud
Aztec shows some attitude.
Aztec shows some attitude.
Cloud approaches Hertiage
Cloud approaches Hertiage
Hertiage turns to leave
Hertiage turns to leave

Despite his injury, Jackson approached Cloud and told him to back off.  It was over in a minute.  With a little posturing and a scream.

Jackson goes to cloud

Cloud jackson4

Cloud Jackson 3

Cloud back to Jackson 2

Cloud goes back to Jackson

Aztec and Innocentes head back away from Jackson's band.
Aztec and Innocentes head back away from Jackson’s band.

The peace returned and the bands went back to digging in the deep snow for any forage they could find, or taking a nap in the sun that had finally came out.  I able to confirm that it was Jasmine once again in the band.

Brumby and Moorcroft
Brumby and Moorcroft
Jasmine and Brumby
Jasmine and Brumby
Jackson
Jackson
Jasmine and Hertiage
Jasmine and Heritage
Jasmine
Jasmine
Jasmine
Jasmine
Maelstrom
Maelstrom
Maelstrom
Maelstrom
Maelstrom
Maelstrom
Jasmine
Jasmine
Jasmine
Jasmine

Brumby and Jackson’s son Moorcroft was quickly becoming a new favorite of mine.

Moorcroft and Galena
Moorcroft and Galena
Moorcroft
Moorcroft
Moorcroft
Moorcroft
Moorcroft
Moorcroft
Moorcroft
Moorcroft
Moorcroft
Moorcroft

Then Jackson decided it was time for the band to move on.  I think he was tired of having Cloud’s eye on him.  I hoped that Cloud would give Jackson a break and let him heal without causing any turmoil.  Shortly after Jackson and his band moved on Cloud and his band moved into the nap spot.

Jackson2

Brumby
Brumby
Brumby and Moorcroft
Brumby and Moorcroft
Mica
Mica
Mica
Mica
Feldspar
Feldspar

Cloud stayed for only a short time in the napping area before he turned to watch Jackson.  It was not long after that that both bands started to work themselves up the hill and over the ridge.

Jackson's Band and Cloud's band work they way toward the ridge.
Jackson’s Band and Cloud’s band work they way toward the ridge.

I tried not to worry to0 much about Jackson’s wound.  He was moving a little stiffly, but otherwise seemed good.  I tried not to worry that this was only the middle of February and there were still several months left before spring.  I tired not to worry that Cloud was dogging Jackson and taking advantage of Jacksons small weakness.

The wind started to blow and the sky behind us was turning dark.  We decided to start heading back down the mountain before the weather set in.  And so we turned one last time to see the bands, then started trudging  for an hour and a half back down the mountain in the deep snow and the blowing wind.

Brumby and Moorcroft
Brumby and Moorcroft

We were just about to exit the range when I saw a blaze face to my left.  It was Jacinta again.  But this time she was alone.  She saw us and headed right towards us.  I turned off the ATV and let her cross in front of us.  She seemed to know where she was heading.  I wondered if it was back to Gringo and the rest of her former band.

We watched her go and continued down the range.  Looking forward to what the next day might bring.

Sandy

Jacinta
Jacinta

Jacinta:2:later

Jacinta
Jacinta
Jacinta
Jacinta
Logo designed by Amber Bushnell
Logo designed by Amber Bushnell

38 thoughts on “A Day On The Mountain, February 17, 2013

  1. I was just checking Facebook before turning out the light for the night and saw you had a new post. I just had to read it…I couldn’t wait until morning. Thanks Sandy for the update. There is a lot of winter left and I hope everyone comes through it just fine. That Firestorm is quite the looker. I always marvel at how some horses can change so much from season to season. And beautiful pictures as usual.

  2. Great post, Sandy, as always. Thanks for sharing. 🙂 I’ll bet you ladies don’t regret one bit of the effort it took to do what you did. 🙂 More priceless memories. 🙂

    The youngsters all seem to look VERY good, (and they are so beautiful 🙂 ) but reduced forage is beginning to show on the adults, don’t you think? And doesn’t it seem to you like Innocentes is pretty swaybacked for her age? I thought maybe the first pic was just a bad angle, but it shows on a later one, too.

    I hate to hear that Jackson has a wound, and it looks pretty large, but I do think winter is probably a better time than any other to be nursing a wound because the cold temps help with preventing aggravation by bugs and dirt, and the snow probably helps the swelling. It’s a good thing if he’s not acting lethargic. I love that his family is so attentive. Let’s hope recovery is in the cards for him like it was for Merlin. You can be sure my thoughts are with him.

    Seems like Cloud’s and Jackson’s families can be found near one another quite frequently. It’s interesting that Jasmine seems to have formed an alliance with his family—good for her, bad for Jackson. I guess Cloud is determined to get one mare or another (or more) from Jackson if he’s not going to be able to get Jasmine back. And then there’s the Damsel situation, too. I hope the issues are settled without any real damage to either stallion and good relationships for Damsel and Jasmine. But Nature will prevail, so we’ll just have to see, won’t we?

    1. Thanks Linda. Yes, I do think the mares look thin and I was also wondering about Innocentes. I am not so sure that Cloud was wanting Jasmine back. Maybe that is what Aztec had in mind, but Cloud seemed more interested in Heritage and she would have nothing to do with him. 🙂 Through out the whole encounter between the stallions, Jasmine continued to lie napping without a care .

  3. Awesome post and pictures! I’ve been looking forward to this all day! I love how the horses look against the snow! You really are lucky to be blessed with such amazing opportunities!(:

  4. Hey Sandy! great report! thanks so much! I love all the nice pics!!! It is really interesting what Jacinta was up to! 🙂 I see that several mares are in foal! AWESOME!!!!
    Really looking forward to your next post!

  5. Sandy, stunning photos with a little humor. Hope that Gabbie and Jackson gain weight and heal. How old is Cloud now? Also glad that the snow is not too deep and that the insects are at bay as Jackson’s wound appears gaping. Weird place for an injury…

    On Sunday I had a conversation with some horse folks here about the mustangs and their opinion was that there are thousands of starving horses in the wild, as many people are turning their domestic horses loose, because they can no longer afford to feed them. Is this true? The opinion was pro-slaughter to keep these animals from a slow death. What is your take on this situation? Any merit to these statements?

  6. Great photo’s Sandy! I just love the pictures of Moorcroft rolling in the snow!
    Some of the horses do look thin and I pray that they will be ok and make it until spring when new forage will be sprouting once again.
    I wonder if the removal of LaSalle has anything to do with Jacinta moving around as if she is searching for something. I do believe that these horses have very strong family bonds and when some are taken away it upsets the whole family (band).
    So happy that the weather cooperated with your and Anh’s visit! Also It was great to see you, Anh, and Monica again!
    I think Jackson’s injury is from running into one of the many shrubs or bushes that grow all over the range. It must have been a very sharp but small branch. I am confident that Jackson will be fine, what with all of the attention he is getting from his “girls”!
    I look forward to more pictures from the second day!!

    1. I was thinking the same thing, Lori, about Jackson’s injury. A shrub or a branch. Hope he gets better. It looks pretty nasty. 😦

  7. You got so many pretty head shots of the horses!! I loved them! I was hoping you would find Moenkopi back with Galena and Jackson, but I’m glad she has Mariah taking care of her in the meantime. Mariah’s a very good mom, so Moenkopi should be well taken care of. That picture of Mckeanie holding the branch in his mouth is too cute! I agree that Jacinta and Gabrielle both look pregnant and so do Firestorm and Galena. I couldn’t really see Heritage’s belly or Ingrid’s. What do you think about those two? Jackson’s wound looks uncomfortable, but I think he will be ok. I think it being winter will help healing wise as well as there being less stallions around to try to take advantage of this minor weakness. It’s so sweet to see his family so attentive to him and I think his mares will take good care of him. It seems his and Cloud’s bands are often near eachother. Cloud seemed to be bothering him a bit this day, but I think they’re usually pretty respectful of eachother. Them being together could also help Jackson if any bachelors happen to try to stir up trouble. Niether Cloud nor Jackson is going to want any bachelors hanging around and I bet none of the bachelors would want to take them both on at the same time. Two dominant stallions charging out at you is not going to be what any of the bachelors probably have in mind haha. It almost seems like with Jackson’s wound that he may have run himself through a branch or something. Possibly during a confrontation. I’m wondering if that may have anything to do with Moenkopi being seperated. I’ve just really wondered how that all happened with Galena being a good mother and Jackson always being a great father/ band stallion. But at least she’s being taken care of.

  8. Hi sandy,
    Thanks so much for the update and the pictures. I just love Brumby. She was pregnant with Jill (I believe) when I met her in May 2009 and Jasmine was a foal in Cloud’s band.

  9. I’m also hoping that Jacinta’s foal could be Chance’s! Finger’s crossed she’ll foal early. Ketchikan seems pretty pregnant already too. I know you said you saw Gringo breeding her at some point after he took the band. I’m hoping that if Galadriel is pregnant it’s Chance’s since Gringo is her half brother. I really want Chance to have at least one foal! I guess we will have to see when these ladies foal. I’m wondering if he will make a play to get his band back this spring/summer. If he does I hope he at least gets Galadriel. That will solve the issue with her and Gringo.

    1. As much as I would like as many Chance as possible foals I believe Jacinta is his daughter. Thus I would like her foal to be Gringo’s. It’s fun to think about which mares will foal and what they will look at though.

  10. Glad to see everyone’s doing well. As always I am thrilled to see Mica and Moorcroft. I really hope Gabrielle gains some weight, and boy is that a baby I see in Firestorm? She looks great! And of course I couldn’t be happier to see Cloud, after all he’s the reason I know about these guys 🙂

  11. I just got this from the BHCRA Facebook page. Darn it.

    Bighorn Canyon National Recreation Area: Sandy, on Wednesday Cloud had Brumby & her look-alike foal Moorcroft, Aztec, Feldspar – and several others. Feldspar’s foal Mica was with Santa Fe. There must have been quite a bit of interchange this week. We didn’t see Jacksons’s band on Wednesday.

      1. All I know Livi is there are a total of 8 horses in Clouds band now. I don’t know who they are except Feldspar and Innocentes are still there along with Brumby and Moorcroft. And by the description, I would say Jasmine is one of them too. By the time anyone finds out it will probably be all changed again! 🙂

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