Pryor Update From Shawn

Shawn made the trip to the Pryors late last week.  Here is his update!

It is really good to see that Jackson’s wound is healing.  If you compare Shawn’s photos of Jackson to mine in my post I made a couple weeks ago (Click HERE to go there) you can see that the swelling has gone down a lot.

Thanks Shawn for making the trip!

Sandy

Jackson Band, March 1, 2013
Jackson Band, March 1, 2013

 

I finally had a weekend without a teacher day on Friday or a school activity Saturday, so I decided to run over to the range.  Cass had reported that Jackson had been seen with his band, but I still wanted to see how everyone was doing since it had been a few months since I had visited.

I woke up early Friday and left the campground for Burnt Timber.  I knew it was going to be a long hike so I wanted to get right to it and figured I could hit the dryhead and sykes on Saturday.  The furthest I thought I would be able to drive is the kiosk, but unfortunately I didn’t even make it that far and had to park right at the turnoff from Crooked Creek.  My original plan was to hike the road to the first guzzler on the right, but before I even reached the range I could see a lone black horse to the left on a ridge.

Once inside the range, I cut over to find Two Boots.  He glanced at me across the canyon and went back to browsing.  I did not want to disturb him, so I watched him a little across the canyon and then decided to just cut up the ridge I was on until I reached the big ridge that would allow me to catch the road.

Two Boots, March 1, 2013
Two Boots, March 1, 2013

As I worked my way there I found tracks cutting to and fro in the snow.  Sometimes I would look and think one way was the “best” way to go, but the horse tracks would follow a different path.  Guess which way was usually the best to go?  I’ll give you a hint: it was not the biped’s first instinct that would have been right.

I followed the tracks, ridges and canyons until I got to the long, tall ridge.  I could finally get on the road.  A least that is what I thought, but then I noticed another dark horse by itself on the top of a knob.  I scanned and saw 3 more horses on a ridge to the left.  Not wanting to miss any horses, the best way to go seemed to be down canyon and then up a ridge to the horse on the right, and then move to the ones on the left.  As Malaki and I made our way down through some deeper snow,  I saw another horse with the one that I thought was alone and was glad I had chosen that route.

Coming around the back of the ridge the 2 horses were on, I ran right into Jackson, Galena and Aztec.  Jackson was moving well, and his swelling did not seem too bad.  Beyond them was the rest of Jackson’s current harem:  Heritage, Jasmine, Moorcroft and Maelstrom in the brush, and up by herself was Brumby.  I am not sure if she just happened to be eating there or if she wasn’t the happiest about Jasmine and Aztec.  I seem to remember that last spring she was a little disgruntled when Jackson had some of Cloud’s.

Jackson
Jackson

 

Heritage
Heritage
Galena and Aztec
Galena and Aztec

 

Moorcroft
Moorcroft

 

Maelstrom
Maelstrom
Jackson
Jackson

 

I did not stay too long because I did not want to bother Jackson as he healed.

The next band I had viewed was Blue Moon’s.  I was a little surprised to see him here, because last Spring I had to hike down the side of Burnt Timber and up an arm on Sykes to see him when Miocene was born.  This is the first I think I have seen him on the BT side except up toward the top where they all cross back and forth to various water holes.  At one point Isadora and Miocene must have felt that the others had moved too far from their side and they ran across the snow to “catch up” to Amethyst, who is currently back with Blue Moon.  The last time I had visited the range, Malaki had been afraid of the horses and would stay right by my side as he watched them.  He has lost that fear, and I was glad I put him on his leash whenever we got near horses because I have a feeling he would have joined in with them if he could.

Sequoyah
Sequoyah
Miocene and Isadora
Miocene and Isadora

 

Isadora
Isadora

Blue moon ignored them and kept eating in the direction they had just left, giving me my first clear view of him without shrubs in the way.  There weren’t and cuts or scars, but the lines and nicks in his coat make me think that he has been active recently.

Amethyst and Blue Moon
Amethyst and Blue Moon

I continued over the hill to above the guzzler. From the top, I could see tracks going over ridges in all directions, but no horses.  I finally spotted some horses across a canyon on a steeper side and though that one was either Cloud or Mariah.  As I tried to determine the 2 horses with them I saw Teton and War Bonnet peaking over a ridge on my side of the canyon at me.  For a little while I thought that maybe it was Phoenix and Half Moon on the other side, but when I finally hiked over to where Teton was I found his whole band with him and the others were still on the other side.  I never got a good picture of it, but with the way the light was hitting it there were times where Missoula’s mane looked really blue in the middle with the red tips.

Teton
Teton

 

Phoenix
Phoenix
Teton
Teton
Warbonnet
Warbonnet

 

Half Moon
Half Moon
Missoula
Missoula

As Teton’s band made their way toward the guzzler, I went around them to the canyon edge to get a better view of the horses on the other side.  I was fooled by the front one, because I thought I saw a thin blaze and that it was Dove.  The rest of the time I watched that horse mostly had its side or butt to me as it ate.  Thinking it had been Dove, I started thinking it was Coronado and wondered where everyone else was.

When I finally looked at my pictures later I found that I did have one good shot of the blaze and it was not thin and Dove, but that it was Feldspar.  This really makes me think that I can’t go 2 months away from the range or my skills of i.d. start to go down; but it also makes me realize how weird it is for me to see Cloud with only 2 horses.  I knew Mica was not with him now, but this is the first I have seen him with just Feldspar and Inocentes.

Feldspar
Feldspar
Cloud and Inocentes
Cloud and Inocentes

Another pair had left the area where Cloud was when I first got on the top to look over at him. They had moved off quickly up the canyon bottom and then up top closer to the guzzler.  This was a change that I had not noticed in blogs, but seeing how quickly the horses moved away from camera range it made perfect sense to me when Sandy let me know that Chino only had 1 Topper with him now.

Topper Too and Chino
Topper Too and Chino

On my way out, I checked on Jackson’s group from up high one last time, made my way by Blue Moon and then hiked back out on the road in the ATV tracks from the park service.  It was much easier hiking out than in, but by the time I got to the FJ I had decided I wasn’t going all the way back in on Saturday.

I made a horseless pass through the park.  Having not seen any horses out in Turkey Flats from up top, I didn’t think it would be worth making a hike out there on Saturday, either.  I stopped in to see Liesl and Kaibab, and was fortunate again this time to get there about 3 minutes before Lori came to feed them.  I was able to talk to her for a while before heading to Cody to see some bighorn rams.  I should be able to visit the horses again soon over spring break before hitting a track season that will keep me away longer than I wish.

Shawn

Logo designed by Amber Bushnell
Logo designed by Amber Bushnell

 

24 thoughts on “Pryor Update From Shawn

  1. Oh my gosh, Shawn. I get tired out just THINKING of all the territory you covered on foot! 🙂 It is so great to hear your report, and, as always, I THANK YOU so much for sharing. I especially appreciate knowing that I don’t need to worry so much about Jackson, even tho I know me worrying has no effect on outcome anyway. And I love how your pic shows the black on the back of the tips of his ears, which I hadn’t noticed before. I guess maybe I already mentioned that. Seems like there’s always something knew to see and learn about these critters.

    I really like the one of Chino and Topper Too. They are such acute pair and it really showcases the subtle differences in their winter coats.

    I’m glad to see War Bonnet looking so good, and the lovely Heritage sure takes after her momma. I would definetly have to have some kind of reference to tell them apart out there. 🙂

    I won’t take up more space gushing about what all I love about your adventure, but will conclude with a great big THANK YOU again, and you too, Sandy.

    1. Thank you, Linda. I love being out hiking on the range, and could really use the exercise right now anyway. I think it was too long since my last visit, but I feel lucky that I am able to get over there as much as I can.

    2. Thanks Linda. When you mentioned the black on the backs of his ears, I went out and looked at my 3 pryors. They all have that too. 🙂 Then I started looking through my photos and realized that I believe all the duns have them.

      1. I’ve noticed too that most of the duns and grullas have them. I think I’ve actually read somewhere that it’s a Pryor Mustang characteritic.

    1. I didn’t see her in any other pictures or when i was there from near them or looking down from above. They were in that area the whole time, so hopefully she was just sleeping behind a tree somewhere. My head says that is not what happened because usually you would see one in that time frame or with some of the localized movement they had( plus you had mentioned the park also saw 7 with him the day before)– but at the same time I feel she will pop back up with him soon.

  2. I’m hoping too that Firestorm was there and you just didn’t mention her. I wouldn’t want to see yet another foal/weanling getting seperated from mom. I’m glad that Jackson seems to be doing better. I bet Brumby is not too thrilled with Aztec. It took her months to finally accept Jasmine, but I don’t think she’s too thrilled with Aztec being there too. I don’t think it’s going to be a permanent thing though, I think Aztec will end of back with Cloud. I’m also wondering now if maybe Jasmine staying with Cloud’s band for so long had more to do with Aztec wanting her there than with Cloud. It seems that Aztec doesn’t want her to leave now. I’m interested to see what will happen with Baileys too as spring and summer get closer, when the bands will be in close proximety again. I have to say, I do hope she ends up back with Cloud. I like them together 🙂 Flint’s band looks good, glad to see them too! Shawn I wonder if the light horse and the other darker horse with it you saw was maybe Mariah and Moenkopi. Thanks again!

    1. The dark horse I didn’t know when I first saw it alone was Galena, and then Jackson was the light one that appeared with her. I didn’t try to figure her out right away because I knew I would head there, but being a loner it wasn’t as interesting. Once I saw the lighter one I was pretty sure was Jackson, I was more excited because checking on him was one of my main goals. The fact that the lone visible horse turned into 7 more behind the knob is why I hardly ever skip hiking to a horse once I see it. You never know how many you don’t see are in the area. The only thing I wasn’t sure of is if the other group to the left would still be there or have moved on once I went to the right- but at least in the winter I could follow tracks if I had to.

      This is the second time I have seen Aztec with Jackson. He keeps a pretty close eye on her. I think she may end up with Cloud again at some point, but I don’t know if he can keep her. He has lost parts of his band to multiple stallions, not just to one where he can swoop in and get them all back. Jasmine and Aztec do have a strong bond from when I have seen them, so I think where one goes the other will be.

      I think this could be an interesting year of transition on the mountain. The G’s got very active last year and are theoretically stronger and wiser this year. I think Garay and Fiesta will grab someone at some point, the rest of the forest boys may look soon and even though he is young, Jupiter is looking like a lean stud that can at least pester (Jasper too). On top of this they still have to battle each other. I could really see some of the older stallions facing tough challenges and spending time alone like Tecumseh and Prince did last year.

      1. Garay has taken Kindra from Grijala. But you’re right. Lots of strong bachelors out there.

  3. Sandy, have you heard anything recent from the park service about Mica? If he’s still with Santa Fe? Please let me know if you do. I hope he ends up back with Feldspar and Cloud! I don’t like these babies getting seperated.

    1. Hi Sarah,

      I have not heard anything, but I will let you know if I do. I will be back again next week, so hopefully I will have something to report. I hope Mica finds his way back to Feldspar. He is big and strong for his age, but it would certainly be better for him to be back where he belongs. I know that Moenkopi will do okay with Blanca and crew, but I worry about Mica being with Santa Fe. At least he is an experienced stallion.

      1. I dont like Mica being with a single stallion either. But, like you said at least Santa Fe is experienced. I wonder how that all happened though. Maybe Santa Fe was dogging Jackson, possibly took some mares. Then maybe Cloud came upon the situation and took the mares from Santa Fe. I’d imagine with three stallions fighting there was alot of confusion and probably some running and Mica ended up going in the wrong direction with Santa Fe. Otherwise it would just seem so random that he’s with Santa Fe. But, who knows.

      2. I do not have any idea how it could have happened. I will just be glad to get over there again. It sounds like I will be able to drive my ATV up much further this time (unless they get a snow storm before I go), so I should be able to cover a lot more ground and hopefully see more horses this time.

      3. That’s great you’ll be able to get back again! I’m excited, and I’m sure you are too, that it’s getting to be that time of year when more frequent trips to the range can be made. Hopefully you’ll find everyone back where they belong and get to see more horses. Haha I wonder if they realize the worry they cause us!

      4. The forecast for next week calls for 50’s Wed- Friday with 49 before that! That should mean a lot of snow clears and travel around the range should get much easier.

  4. Wow! it must be a difficult long hike in the cayons then up on the ridges… to find the horses. It was very nice that Shawn got many great photos of the horses.
    I am so glad to know that Jackson is healing and got his mares back including Moorcroft and an addition (Aztec).
    Pheonix and Warbonnet looked good. Missuolla looked pretty in the photo with her blue mane. Hopefully, Mica will be back with Cloud and Feldspa. I am not comfortable if Mica with a single stallion SantaFe.
    Great post. I am always very happy to read the reports and enjoy to see the photos of the horses and the Pryors. Thank you so much Shawn and Sandy.

  5. Great photo’s Shawn! I know it was a difficult task to hike all over the range, especially in all of the rough terrain, rocks, etc. Kudos to you for keeping us all informed on what is happening on the range. I too hope that Firestorm is around there somewhere. Malestrom does look a little on the thin side and I would hate to see him separated from his momma, but I am sure she had to be around somewhere. At least he is with an experienced stallion and possibly Brumby will keep an eye on him since she is an older mare!
    Missoula sure is a beauty. It seems that every winter there are some foals/yearlings who get separated from their mothers, and sometimes they stay with that band. As long as they survive the winters, that is what matters the most.
    Thanks again Shawn, it was good to visit with you. Thank you Sandy for posting this update.

  6. Hi
    I am really a great fan of your blog. Thanks for all the updates on the horses.
    I just recently started following the blog so I want to ask you some questions about the Pryor herd.
    How many bands are there?
    Who has the largest band? Is that Jackson?
    It seems to me that almost all of the K generation was removed? Who are left?
    I hope I will be able someday soon to visit and see the horses

    1. Hi Thora, Thank you! There are 25 bands in the herd. 6 in the Dryhead and 19 on the mountain. Right now Fools Crow (who is a Dryhead stallion) has the most members with 9 including himself. Jackson is next with (when I saw him) 8 including himself. Of course all that can change daily! 🙂
      Yes, most of the “K’s” were removed. Those remaining are: Ketchikan, Kolh, Kitalpha, Killian, Kindra and Knight.
      I hope you can visit the horses someday, I know you will love seeing them!

      Sandy

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