Seattle. Merlin and Fiero. An Update from Lori

Seattle, June 10, 2013
Seattle, June 10, 2013

I always love good news about the horses, and yesterday Lori gave me some.  She had spotted Seattle!  He had not been seen for a while.   He looks really good.  Heavier than I have seen him in a while.

I head to the top of the mountain soon for the first camping trip of the year!  I am so looking forward to it.  My daughter Amber will be joining me.  Lori and Brianna will be joining us to for a couple days too!  Linda Dombeck is planning on joining us on the last day there.  It will be a great time with the horses and good friends.

Thank you for the report Lori!



I decided to take a trip out to the range as I have not been out there for a couple of weeks.

I was so happy that I did because I found Seattle, who I have not seen since last fall. I was beginning to wonder if something had happened to him, or if he had survived through the winter. He was out on Mustang Flats and alone.

Seattle is one stallion who appears and disappears. He is very elusive, shy and is very protective of his harem and offspring.  I felt happy and relieved that I was lucky enough to find him, yet sad that he was alone. He has always been thin, and also has the scars to prove just how tough he is. I am hoping that he will win back Sacajawea this summer.

IMG_2892 (1024x683) IMG_2893 (1024x683)


Another pleasant surprise was just around the bend. I saw Merlin and his son Fiero. They had just come from Layout Creek where there is plenty of water for the horses. This creek is at the very north end of the range. They both looked to be in good shape. I spent some time with them and then they walked off heading out of view. I felt blessed to have seen these two and especially together. I don’t think I have ever seen them together.

IMG_2937 (1024x683)
Fiero (in back) and Merlin. Son and Father.
IMG_2953 (1024x683)
Merlin and Fiero

I did see the Greeters, minus Jesse James. I am thinking that maybe Hickok told him it was time to grow up and find his own band. Last year he and Hickok would come and go from Seneca and Hightail. If this is a permanent thing then I sure hope that Jesse James can find his own place in the herd and win a mare. I would love to see Admiral and Sam’s bloodline passed on through Jesse James.

Seneca and Hightail
Seneca and Hightail

IMG_2881 (1024x683) IMG_2885 (1024x683)

I kept on looking for him as I drove through the range but never did see him. Maybe he is over on Sykes where there are more mares to win. So far this year I have not seen one mare at all in the DH. I have seen only bachelors.

I hope for the day when there are more horses, (mares, foals and stallions) on the Dry Head. The balance of males and females is definitely off.  It would be a wonderful experience for the people who come many miles to view this herd, if they were able see more horses and have the chance to observe the family life of these special horses.


65 thoughts on “Seattle. Merlin and Fiero. An Update from Lori

  • Thanks, Lori! 🙂

    I’m sorry to see that Seattle doesn’t have Sacajawea, but, what will be, will be. You can sure see how swollen his leg is in these shots.

    It will definitely be interesting to see the new developments as we become aware of them this spring. And it’s also going to be interesting to see if the horses getting used to using the guzzlers is going to make real changes in where they “hang out”. It will be good for the Range for them to make use of new forage areas, but may make it more difficult for casual observers to see them as much. Seems like maybe they are just now starting to trickle back in from their winter habitats, too. I hopefully doubt that Mustang Flats will ever be without mustangs…

    Could be Jesse James has gone back to roaming where he was when the situation happened with Admiral and Kapitan, and he brought his buddy, Hickok, to help tend his ladies. I really hope I get to see that little gentleman when I’m there. <3

    See you all soon!

    • Thanks Linda! Yep…see you soon!
      I just hope Seattle does not get injured again, but what will be will be. They are wild and we have to accept how they live their lives, however difficult it may be sometimes. ) :

  • When I was out there this weekend, all the greeters were together when I entered the range but on the way back Jesse James was about 3/4 of a mile to 1 mile away from the group and Hickok seemed to be keeping him away. I have pictures but they are from far away. Jesse James seemed to be keeping company with some cows lol

      • I hope they do fix it! And before he gets used to wandering off the range! I hope he finds some nice bachelor buddies to hang out with. There’s so many in the Dryhead.

      • Not necessarily Sandy. Recently I have seen some cows right along the fence line and it is very difficult to tell for sure which side of the fence they are on, but I think they are on the other side, right next to the fence. During this past winter I have seen some stray cows (one or two) on the range, so there is definitely a place in the fence that needs fixing. I am not sure if it is BLM fence or private land owners. However, this needs to be checked out by BLM.

      • I concur about the pics! They don’t have to be “wonderful” to be informative and interesting. 🙂

  • Thank you Lori and Sandy for the report. I love your photos Lori. Merlin and Fiero look really good. I hope Seattle’s swollen leg is healing. Seattle looks good too.

    • I really loved this post! It really got me on my toes, Iding who was who. I always knew that Merlin had a LEFT hind white and Fiero had a RIGHT hind white. But even though I had it included on my list I never noticed that their MANES when the same as there white markings! 🙂 I have a silly way of remember who is who between these two: Merlin has a left hind (married, or used to be HA) and Fiero has a right hind (single most of the time, and younger HA!). 🙂

    • Your welcome Anh!!! I think perhaps that Seattle’s leg (knee) will be like that permanently. Kind of like Bristol’s. I just hope that he does not reinjure it this summer. ) :

  • I wish the speed limit of the road is less than the current speed limit. There are several sharp turns on the road and the drivers can not see far distance because of the hills. I thought it is dangerous if the horses run or chase each other on the road. The drivers can not stop in time that may cause problems.
    Last year, I was driving on Highway 37 looking for the Dryhead horses. Medicine Bow, Blizzar, and Hidatsa were standing together to rest behind the hill on the side of the road then there was a trailer passing by with loud noise and woke them up. Quickly, they were separated and ran across the road. Luckily, there was not any vehicles passing by.
    I hope the Authority will reduce the speed limit of the road for the safety of the drivers, the passengers and the horses.

    • I agree Anh. Lowering the speed limit would be great. We that look for horses know that we can not spot them going much faster than 25. But regardless of the speed limit, we will alway have those that do not obey it, and like the case of Admiral and Kapitain, drink and drive, no matter what the speed limit, those that choose to drink and drive will not obey the rules. But lowering it would be a good start.

      • I so agree Sandy and Anh! It was one of my wishes while working at the Center…to get that changed. We can still make a difference though by writing letters and voicing our opinions.

  • Lori, thank you; so glad to see your report and the photos. Merlin has made an almost miraclous recovery from his hoof injury considering how bad it was last September. We were in the Dryhead two weeks ago and in early morning saw both Hickok and Jesse James outside the Range on the left side at the entry, then mid-day they were back on Range near the water on the right-hand side with Seneca and Hightail, and all four still there in the late afternoon. We also saw Fiero and Kemmerer, each alone. Both looked good. You horsegirls have a wonderful camping trip!! Looking forward to the blogs and photos.

    • You are welcome Laura! Thank you for your compassion and love of these horses and sharing valuable information with us all. Yes…the fence needs to be fixed, or else they are jumping the cattle guard!?

  • Hi
    Can you tell me a little bit about Seattle? I haven´t seen so much of him in your blog.
    Really look forward to seeing pictures of more foals 🙂

    • Seattle has not been seen since last fall (that I know of), so there have not been many posts with him included in it. I will try and make a “note” in my head to do a post on him. I have had a very sick dog (my Jasper, Rez Dog) at the vet since yesterday, so I am a bit distracted. If anyone else wants to jump in and give Thora some more information on Seattle, please do. Thora, when I get home from my upcoming Pryor Trip, I will try and fill you in with as much as I know about Seattle, if someone else has not done it! Thank you so much for reading my blog! 🙂

    • Hi Clarissa! No one has seen her or Bristol for a while. She was last with Garcia. Shawn saw her with him last winter. I am hoping she is with Bristol. It would be horrible if something happened to her after all she has been through. But I am hopeful that someone will see her soon.

  • Sandy, so sorry to hear that you have a sick doggie 🙁


    Just a little info about Seattle. He was born in 1997 to the mare, Tacoma, and I read somewhere that his sire was 3 Bars, who I never saw. In 2007, when I first saw him, he had a large band and every horse in it was either black or grulla/grullo, which is relatively unusual. His was the first real “band” I saw, and it was love at first sight. The mares he would have had at that time would have been Beauty, Cascade and Bakken, and his offspring still with the band would have been Hawk, Farallon and Helena Montana. Beauty, who was getting on in years and very wise, avoided the gather in 2009 and was considered missing, but showed up again, I think in 2010. She is not on my 2011 list, so that winter would have been the time that she disappeared.

    I believe Issaquah and Chief Joseph are both his sons, and maybe Lewis. I’m not sure when he acquired Sacajawea, but he lost Cascade, Bakken and Sacajawea to Blizzard at some point by 2011, and was most recently again accompanied by Sacajawea, who, incidentally is a wonderful example of the quintessential primitive color/markings Pryor mustang.

    Seattle would range with his mares from the Dryhead all the way to the mountaintop, as I would see them in both places on one visit to the Range. His knee was swollen when I first saw him, and has gotten steadily worse over the years. It didn’t appear to hinder his movement when I saw him chase Fiero away from Sacajawea and Sacajawea’s 2010 beautiful dun colt, Kemmerer, last June. But maybe this last winter has made that bad enough to slow him down some, now, resulting in the loss of Sacajawea again.

    He has been a force to be reckoned with out there on the Range, and has enough offspring to prove it. I hope to see him on my next visit, and it wouldn’t surprise me if he has a mare at his side. 🙂

    There should be a number of pictures of the horses mentioned here in my Flickr photos that Sandy has a link to on this page, if you care to check them out. I may also send her some of my favorites to post here if she has the time. 🙂

    • Thank you Linda! 🙂 Yes, you are correct, both Issaquah and Chief Joseph are his sons along with Johnston!

      I heard at one point that Merlin had Sacajawea again (another Brad and Angelina in my opinion) this spring. But I guess he has lost her again.
      Jasper is home now and doing better. (755.00 later, but worth every penny!!) I have to keep him “calm” for a week,which is proving to be the most challenging thing. 🙂 Love him to pieces, he is the best! 🙂

      • Glad to hear your buddy is better. 🙂

        I’m really glad Merlin is doing so well, but really didn’t doubt that he’d be OK after those last pics of him last fall.

        And he and Fiero are two good looking guys. I sure wish it were in the nature of the horses to just pair up 1 on 1 so most everyone could have a family.

        It sure is going to be fun seeing what the heck isgoing on by the time we get there again, isn’t it?

  • That business about the horses being off the Range near the entrance to the Range doesn’t sound good. They must have found Exhileration’s escape hole. If nothing has been done by the time I get out there, I may try to find where they’re going thru and notify the BLM or Park Service, before they get into trouble.

    • Hi Linda, I have notified both Jared and Matt about his. But really should let Cass know. Jared informed me that he and Ryan moved JJ back on the range, but I guess they did not find the hole. If you have time to walk that fence, that would be GREAT! Please let Jared and Cass know if you find a hole. I do not believe they would remove JJ. He is the only offspring of Admiral. But keeping this hole open will only lead to trouble on the other side by him or other livestock, so finding it as soon as possible would be the best thing.

      • How do they get him back on if they don’t know how he got there, I wonder? Does he maybe just remember where they herd him to get him back on and take that same route agin when he wants to check out the “greener grass on the other side of the fence”?

        I definitely will make it a priority to do what I can while I’m there, if need be.

  • Oh, and I just have to comment about one more thing. That road goes thru the Wild Horse Range that the horses have roamed on for a very long time and there are signs warning motorists to watch for wildlife. If they are traveling at appropriate speeds for the curves and watching out, there shouldn’t be much danger to the horses, or the Bighorn Sheep who mosey along the highway many times, too. It would be nice for the tourists if the animals were more careful, and the animals would be much safer, but the animals don’t have the benefit of making the choice of good judgement about it that we humans do. Good, expensive penalties in enforcement of the speed limit would go a long way to helping that situation. For ionstance, the man who killed Admiral and Kapitan should have had much more severe punishment for the bad choices he made and what he did.

      • Me too Linda! I think that Blizzard was Lewis’s sire since Sacajawea was with him for a few years and the year that Lewis was born.
        I think that I will stop in at the NPS tomorrow to see if Cass is in and find out about this fence thing. Since several people have seen horses and cows on and off the range the fence needs to be fixed before one of the horses gets into trouble, or hurt.

      • Hi Lori, I just heard back from Cass and she said she would have someone walk the fence to fix it. Do you have an exact location on where you saw him?

      • DUH on my part Sarah!! HA I am not blonde, so I can’t use that excuse! ( : You are right about that. Anyway, on Matt’s list from way back it list’s that Blizzard is the “probable” sire, but who knows for sure.
        Thanks for the correction.

  • I’m glad to see Seattle is looking good even if he is alone. I wonder who has Sacajawea. I’m thinking it may have been that stallion who decided to kick Kemmerer out and not Seattle. There are so many bachelors in the Dryhead that it really could be anybody! I hope JJ finds a nice group of bachelors to hang out with. Since there are so many it shouldn’t be long before he runs into someone. I hope they’re able to get that hole in the fence fixed. Merlin’s really looking great, Fiero too. It’s nice to see father and son hanging out together. Hickok, Seneca, and Hightail all look good too. I know you must be so excited for your trip Sandy! I hope you have a great trip and see lots of horses! And I can’t wait to hear all about it! Thanks for the report Lori! Hopefully more of the Dryhead horses will be becoming more visible now.

  • You are welcome Sarah! Yes, I am thinking that however Kemmerer got to be on his own was due to a fight or upset with Seattle and the other stallion trying to take away Sacajawea…maybe it was Blizzard. Sacajawea has been known to go with either of these stallions. In my opinion she has good taste! ( : I sure hope that you are right about the DH horses being more visible! We will see.

    • I just heard from Cass and she said that Bill spotted Hildago and his band of 7 down on Mustang Flats yesterday. That could make it really interesting for Hidalgo. It will be interesting to see how long he will be able to hold on to those mares now that he is down in bachelor land.

      • I’m thinking Fool’s Crow is also going to be wanting his mares back. I really like both Fools Crow and Hidalgo. It would be nice if they could split the mares 🙂 I was surprised that Fools Crow was able to hold the entire band and then Hidalgo was able to take the entire band!

      • That’s cool that Hidalgo has returned to his original “stomping grounds”. It will certainly make for some interesting observing for those fortunate enough to encounter them in the Dryhead! Could be that particular band of mares and youngsters are bound and determined to stay together and whatever stallion takes control will get, or lose, them all.

        There are, undoubtedly, going to be some very interesting events going on in the Dryhead. 🙂

        Maybe Seattle and Kemmerer will become another father/son duo for a time, like Merlin and Fiero. 🙂

        Maybe it’s just the spring coat blahs, but I don’t think Seattle looks really all that healthy at this point, even tho he’s not thin. And, his countenance definitely does not appear very content. I hope I’ll feel better about him when I see him “in person”. Being deposed from band stallion status to older bachelorhood does take it’s toll on these guys, for sure. Some recover nicely—some don’t. 🙁

      • I do know what you mean about Seattle, Linda. I remember back a few years ago (summer of 2010). I saw him alone and limping. He looked so sad. I actually cried watching him. It was part injury and part the loss of his band, the pain I saw in his eyes.

      • Bachelor land. Ha! I like that 🙂 (maybe I need to go there!)

        Which one is Sacajawea? I can’t seem to picture her at the moment.

      • Hi Clarissa! Sacajewea is Fiero, Kememerer, Hidatsa and my Valerosa’s mother. She is a beautiful Grulla with a two-toned mane and tail. She was with Merlin for a long time. Long enough to have Fiero, Hidatsa and of course V (Isolde). Kememerer is with Blizzard. If you type in a search on this page for Sacajewea, you will probably have some photos come up for her. 🙂

      • I’m glad she saw them down there. I was starting to worry yesterday that all of the horses were going staying away from the spot that allows the most people to see them. 2 days ago a lot of the usual dryhead horses were still up at the arch guzzler. I am pretty sure Hawk, Issaquah, Kemmerer and Chief Joseph were across from me, Corona is still up there and I think Hidatsa has Belle Star with him. I need to double check the picture, but I am pretty sure it was her. Then yesterday I saw Blizzard with his 4 grullas out in the Turkey Flat area where it seems like I am seeing more random horses lately. It is nice to see them spreading out, but we need that presence down on the park so everyone can see them. At least the greeters are being good ambassadors.

      • I wonder who the 4th grulla with Blizzard might be? Is it Sacajewa? Hidatsa has Belle Starr? Now I am really worried about Fools Crow. I wonder where he is. I thought for sure Belle Starr was back with him.

      • That makes me worried about Fools Crow too. I was sure Belle Starr was with him. Do you have a picture of them we could look at Shawn?

    • You are probably right about that Sandy since she was with Seattle in 2010, but with Blizzard in 2011. I am definitely not an expert on the horses and am still learning. Poor Lewis, I miss seeing him on the range.

    • I’m glad you guys have a better handle on all the lineage than I do. I can’t seem to keep up with all the “back and forth”, and don’t like to take the time to do all the looking up.

      For sure, it would have been a pleasure to see Lewis out there. I hope he is happy where he is now.

  • Thank you Lori for the update on Seattle.

    i am so interested about the new foals so I looked at your post listing the mares likely to have foals and I don´t think Bolder was mentioned. So are all the mares in that band on PZP? Also through your posts I haven´t noticed any mentioning of Bolder´s offspring that are fully grown. Doesn´t he have any grown offsprings on the range?

    • Hi Thora! All of the mares in Bolder’s band are on PZP. So no foals expected in that band this year. But there could always be a surprise. Bolder has 3 offspring on the range, all are still in his band. They are: Killian,(age 3), Lobo (age 2) and Mesa(age 1).

    • You are welcome Thora. I just do some reports for Sandy who is the owner of this blog. She is the one who knows all of the horses and their history. I am just a “reporter & amateur photographer”. I so enjoy this and all of the comments. There is so much to learn, but the best part of it is spending time with these horses, even if I am not sure who they are!! (:

  • I heard from Cass (NPS) this morning. She said the fence looks repaired, but apparently a gate was left open. 🙁

    Thanks for the reports, we will have to keep an eye out, but hopefully the problem is fixed.

    • Well, that was a pretty simple fix then, and observer reports were very helpful 🙂 I’m glad they got right on it. At least maybe now there won’t be a big uproar about horses causing trouble off the Range. Gates left open on the mountaintop were behind some of the issues up there, too, and there were even signs asking everyone to please make sure they were closed. Honestly, I thought pretty much everyone in this country could read. 🙁 I guess some just don’t care. 🙁

      Anyway, this is a GOOD example of people working together for the good of the horses. 🙂 🙂

  • Yes, it certainly is Linda!!! I am happy that it is fixed. We will see now if anyone gets off the range…hope not!!

Leave a Reply