Today I have a guest reporter. Jonathan is a friend of mine, who I have come to know because of his love for the Pryor Horses. Jonathan lives in Georgia. This weekend he and his family traveled to Legacy Mustang Preservation in Virginia to visit 9 Pryor Horses that were removed last summer and a 1oth, Kelly’s colt Nation ,who was born 13 days ago. The following day he met Lisa Friday’s Pryor Horse, Rain. Rain was removed in 2009.
Thank you so much Jonathan, your report and photos are wonderful!
Friday was the best day ever. Meeting the Pryor 10, Lisa, Craig, Christina, and Jamie was such a blessing. I think the best part was helping them introduce the herd to Nation and meeting everyone.
Since I have known 9 of them from when they were foals, it was such a blessing and to make a new one which was Kelly’s foal Nation.
I got to spend some time with them in the arena and I got to know them more a bit.
River is a very nice filly.
We got to introduce them all to Nation one at a time.
That way things won’t go crazy. It went well. We did it slowly. First we did Kicks-A-Lot
then Jill then River then Kayenta then Lady Jane then Adelina then Absarokee then Lilly
Nation was so much fun. He tried to get me to play with him by kicking a bit.
I had never been so close to mustangs like I was today. Everyone was amazed by my special talent with the horses. I was very patient, careful and gentle.
Meeting Jill, Lilly, River, Kelly, Nation, Adelina, Kayenta, Kicks-A-Lot, Absarokee, and Lady Jane has provided me with wonderful moments to connect with the Pryors and at the same time glimpse the futures of 10 wonderful friends who I’ll always treasure and remember.
Getting to know the Pryor 10 has been a deeply richening experience for me as I hope that it has been for them.
This is what happens when two worlds collide and I feel like these mustangs have reawaken me.
The next day we went to Lisa’s house to meet Rain and it was a blessing to meet her. Lisa told me that Rain doesn’t allow anyone except her to pet her without a lead rope. But she allowed me to pet her and she really likes me a lot.
It was such a dream to meet Rain in person. I couldn’t have ask for a better day than spending time at Legacy and also meeting Rain.
Thank you so much Lisa, Jamie, Craig, Christina, Kelly, Kicks-A-Lot, Kayenta, Jill, River(Agate), Lilly, Adelina, Absarokee, Nation and Rain for such a great weekend.
A NOTE FROM LISA FRIDAY
So many times in our lives, without understanding why, people come in to our lives. We may not know the reason at the time and we may not understand the purpose, but all we have to do is let it unfold in front of us. Several months ago, a young man, Jonathan, began to comment on my FaceBook postings. This young man knew every Virginia Pryor 9 and every member of their families, past and present. It was amazing to read the genealogy of my precious mustangs from someone who knew and followed their life history. As I “friended” Jonathan, I began to understand more and more about the passion that he had for these mustangs; a passion that few could understand.
Jonathan wrote about his dream; to travel Wyoming and Montana to meet Cloud and the rest of the Pryor herd. He started writing about each and every mare on the mountain, each and every foal, and their family sagas. He knew which stallion won the heart of the mares and which stallion lost. He knew who left whose band and who was about to foal. I became more and more enthralled with the mind of this young man. Such great intelligence, such great passion, and such great love for the Pryors should NOT go unnoticed.
It saddened me when Jonathan wrote that his family would not be travelling to the Pryor Mountains this year as he had dreamed. I could almost feel the disappointment in his heart. I contacted Jonathan through a FB message, inviting him to visit the VA Pryor 9 and Legacy Mustang Preservation, as I knew that we could make it happen for him. Legacy Mustang Preservation was the perfect place for him to meet some of his beloved horses; horses that Jonathan only knew through pictures, books, and FaceBook. However, he knew more about each and every one of them than anyone else I knew. He knew their markings, their personalities, and their stories, their births and their deaths.
Jonathan’s father contacted me a few weeks later. I could tell he was hesitant. What in the world was this middle aged woman contacting his son for? Why would this woman want to invite his son for a visit several hundred miles away? But I am sure, immediately, Ken, Jonathan’s father, understood what this visit would mean to Jonathan. We discussed him visiting over Spring Break. Jonathan wrote about it constantly. He was so excited!
I read each and every posting Jonathan made about his upcoming visit. I could feel the excitement in his typed words. Jamie and Craig Dodson and Christina Flint prepared for his visit. Even Kelly prepared for his visit as she gave birth to Nation just in time for his arrival. Legacy Mustang Preservation knew exactly what this young man desired during this very special VIP’s visit. We knew that visiting the VA Pryor 9 was the next best thing to being on the mountain. When Jonathan pulled in the driveway with Pam and Carl, his very good friends from New York, electricity filled the air. Even 10 day old Nation knew that someone very special was here to visit.
Although there were several visitors that day, there was no more special introduction than Nation and Jonathan had. Watching the look in Jonathan’s eyes, listening to the excitement in his voice compared to nothing I have seen and heard in many years. He approached “Nate” with such a warm and giving heart, with such calmness, and instantaneously, they became lifelong friends. It was as if there were no more than two creatures on the earth when that special bond began to form; Nate and Jonathan, communicating without words; two child’s minds that didn’t need words to understand the precious moments. There wasn’t a dry eye anywhere around.
Kelly also knew that Jonathan’s intent was so pure and special.
But there were many more to meet! I asked Jonathan to walk into the pasture with me to meet the rest of the Pryor mustangs. River and Kicks-A-Lot greeted him with curiosity. Jonathan told me story after story about River and Kicks and their lives on the mountain.
He was sad for Kicks who had lost a foal so very young. Jonathan’s heart was so open with love that he said, he knew that Kicks was missing her foal and would hope that she would be okay with Kelly’s foal.
Lady Jane behaved as Lady Jane always behaves; aloof and timid. But Jonathan knew she needed her space and he more than respected that. Jill timidly came up to Jonathan and with much curiosity, smelled his intent.
His loving touch was all Jill needed to be calm and greet him as a friend. Although Absarokee stood off somewhat, Jonathan knew he had also made a friend in Abs. Lilly and Adelina continued grazing keeping a watchful eye on Jonathan and me as Jonathan slowly made his way over to pet them. Kayenta instantly became insistent that she receive Jonathan’s attention.
I asked Jonathan to help me bring the horses into the arena where I knew he could study each of them up closely. With great ease, Jonathan knew how to bring them in. He didn’t need instruction. He just knew. He communicated with all of them at once; without words, without hesitation and without questions.
Once inside the arena, there were treats galore and Jonathan was able to touch and play with each of them. Just standing back and watching the joy in Jonathan’s eyes is an experience I shall never forget. This young man was realizing a dream; a dream that only a few weeks ago was unreachable. This dream was something that only Legacy Mustang Preservation could provide for him; a dream that will last a life-time. Legacy Mustang Preservation has the ability to change lives; not just the lives of the horses, but the lives of each and every person that visits.
After turning the VA Pryor mustangs back out into the pasture, Jamie and Christina gave me a very special gift; introducing Nate to the rest of the herd. One by one each of the Pryors was turned out into the large pasture with Jonathan and me so that we could experience the face to face introduction up close and personal. Each introduction was a moment neither Jonathan nor I would ever forget!!
Hours passed. Jonathan spent time by himself sitting and watching, listening to and loving each mustang. The respect he had for their personalities, their needs, and their language was a sight to see. We all left him alone to do what he dreamed; bond with, love, and make forever friends with the VA Pryor 10. It was difficult for Carl to ask Jonathan if he was ready to leave. I knew how difficult it had to have been for Carl and Pam to take Jonathan from his new friends. But with great dignity, Jonathan said good-bye to each and every one of the mustangs individually. He slowly walked through the pasture and one by one, without words, without hesitation, and in his own communication style, Jonathan said, “Good-bye.” My heart broke for him. How do you end a dream day? How do you not cry when a child has to end the best day of his life?
But the next day was a new day. Jonathan came to visit my farm and meet Rain. But first I needed his help. Before I took him to the barn I had a few questions for him. Because I had visited the Pryor Mountains two times last year, I had a multitude of pictures of all of the mustangs in the wild; not just the VA Pryor 9 when they were free, but their families as well. I didn’t know the names and markings of all the horses in my photos and memories, so I desperately needed Jonathan to educate me. Surprisingly enough, he knew them all. Thank goodness I wrote everything down! Although each name and story is embedded in Jonathan’s mind, I knew I would never be able to remember them.
I was so fortunate to meet Jonathan’s dad, Ken, this day. I see where Jonathan gets his wonderful heart. Ken is a patient, understanding, and intelligent man who truly made Jonathan’s dream come true. He brought his whole family hundreds of miles during Spring Break so that his son could experience what I hope to be a lasting, once in a life time memory. Thank you Ken for allowing me to experience this with you and Jonathan.
The next two hours was not only Jonathan’s dream, but mine as well. Rain, Cloud and Velvet’s daughter, came to live with me in the fall of 2009 after a helicopter round-up in the Pryors. She is a very special mare that changed my life. During some of the most troublesome times in the last few years, it was Rain that pulled me up. She was a special gift that Ginger Kathrens entrusted me with adopting during the BLM auction. Rain was my horse as only a horse can be. She doesn’t bond with anyone except me. She is what they call a “one=person horse” until now……… Jonathan and Rain spent two hours walking around together, speaking to each other in a language I have never learned. Rain snuggled with Jonathan, followed him around and showed affection to him as I have never seen with anyone except me. Tears filled my eyes throughout the rest of Jonathan’s visit on my farm. The bond they shared is beyond words.
This last goodbye was hard. Although I thought the purpose of Jonathan’s visit unfolded easily before my eyes in that I was trying to give this special young man a dream, I was mistaken. It was Jonathan’s visit that showed and confirmed our dreams. I finally understood that God’s hand was what brought this special young man into our lives. His visit with Legacy Mustang Preservation and me only stood to confirm our purpose: People Helping Mustangs; Mustangs Helping People. Thank you God and Jonathan for your special gift!!!
Legacy Mustang Preservation
Craig Dodson, Lisa Friday, Jonathan, Jamie Dodson, Christina Flint