Mountain Top, June 16, p.m. All About The Boys and A Little More.

Lori and Brianna were here with us now.  Brianna had never been up on the mountain top before.  It was fun to watch her expressions seeing the horses for the first time and also good to see Lori.

We were all eating lunch when my eyes spotted a horse a distance away.  When I am on the range, I am constantly scanning for horses, no matter what I am doing.  It was especially important this time, because there were a few horses that I really wanted to see.  They had not been seen for a while, so it was a top priority of mine to see if I could spot them.  Starman, Prince, Kindra, Grijala, Meadowlark and Jasper.

I already knew by now that Meadowlark was probably gone.  No one had seen Grijala since late February or early March.  I was pretty confident that Grijala would turn up.  But this land can be unforgiving, especially in the winter months.  There are many places on this range where a horse could slip and fall to their death at any time of the year.  Add snow to that and it becomes even more dangerous.

I immediately got up to look through my binoculars.  This horse would not turn his face my way, but I was about 90% sure it was Grijala.

June 16, 2013
June 16, 2013

Brianna, Amber and I decided to get in the truck and drive closer for a better look.  I headed down Burnt Timber road.   I knew he was beyond where the road turned to head down the mountain, so I pulled over and parked where the road began to turn.  We hiked the rest of the way.  Heading down along the ridge line, coming over a small hill and down another.  There he was.  This time he turned his head to look at me.  It was Grijala.

Grijala
Grijala

He was up on the hill watching all of the horses far below him.  From where he was, he could see the same land that we had been earlier in the morning.  Probably trying to figure out who he would challenge, maybe who looked the weakest,  or who was not attentive to their bands.  Waiting patiently.

Grijala looked good.  He is two years older than when he took Lakota’s band in July of 2011.  And two years wiser.  I had no doubt he would win another mare or two.  Soon.  I wondered who it would be.

We watched him for a few minutes and then went back to camp.  I could easily keep my eye on him from there.

I wasn’t back for very long when I noticed the four boys (Knight, London, Inali and Hamlet).  They were on the same side of the road as we were and they were also watching Grijala.  Hamlet decided to run out and greet him.

Hamlet heads out to greet Grijala.
Hamlet heads out to greet Grijala.

The other three boys were close behind him.  I was amazed at how London and Knight had filled out.  They are two examples of how strong these horses are.  Both loosing their mothers, before they were even yearlings.  Now they were strong bachelors.  Even though London is only 2, he seemed much older in his actions.  I think it is probably because he was forced to grow up fast.  He did not have the typical life of other young horses (still being in a band and maybe even still nursing).  He was forced to join the boys as a yearling and they seemed to have taught him well. Probably making him tougher.

Knights story was similar.  He lost his mother Guinevere when he was about 6 months old.  When I saw him again, in July 2011, he was with Lakota’s band.  Lakota had taken him in. Then after Grijala took Lakota’s band, Knight  remained Grijala until he kicked him out sometime in the spring of 2012.  ( I still saw him with Grijala and band in March 2012).  Knight had the chance to remain with a band and grow up with its protection for a year or more.  I don’t think London ever got that chance.   But now, they both seemed so grown up.  Raised for the most part by other bachelors.   And I thought how much Knight’s body was beginning to look like his fathers.  A little tank.  (His father is Cappuccino.)

London, Inali and Knight.
London, Inali and Knight.

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It was time to get closer.  I was sure we would see some good action with these boys and  I would not be disappointed!

The interaction of the stallions in bachelor bands is one of my favorite things to watch and study.  I could feel my heart beating a bit harder with the excitement I was sure we would witness.  All four of us jumped in the truck.  I labeled us the “Wild Horse Chasers”.  Not unlike the weather “Storm Chasers”.  I don’t think it could have been any less exciting.

I have gotten to know this range quite well, and I was pretty positive I knew exactly where they would be popping up.  I was right, and it seemed they were waiting for me.

Hamlet, Grijala, Knight, Inali and London, June 16, 2013
Hamlet, Grijala, Knight, Inali and London, June 16, 2013

Let the show begin!  We all just stood there and watched the action unfold.  Note:  we were not far from the truck and could use it for quick protection if needed.  When these boys play and spar among themselves, they often don’t look where they are going.  So to walk towards them without any form of “cover” for protection would be a foolish thing to do.

Immediately these boys started taking note of which bands were around them.  I could feel their excitement.  With Grijala’s experience and knowledge and the power of the others as a group, they were sure they could win some mares.  But for the immediate future, they just decided to watch and spar among themselves.

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Inali and Grijala
Inali and Grijala

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There was a pause in the action.  It was then that I noticed some horses down below by the mud holes near Penns.

Several bands enjoying the mud.
Several bands enjoying the mud.

Then it was Knights turn to “play fight”.  What I noticed most about this was how kind Grijala was to him.  It was apparent that Grijala was showing him how it was done.  It was very interesting and really touching to watch.

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Knight and Grijala
Knight and Grijala

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Grijala and Knight
Grijala and Knight
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Knight and Grijal spar while Inali and Hamlet watch.

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Inali, Grijala and Hamlet, June 16, 2013
Inali, Grijala and Hamlet, June 16, 2013

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Inali and Grijala
Inali and Grijala

The boys decided to take a time out and head to the water hole.  We watched them go.  There were a few bands around me that I wanted to get some better photos of, so I stayed where I was.

The bachelor stallions take a break.
The bachelor stallions take a break.

Custer and his band were close by.  Nodin had grown so much since Anh and I had discovered him over on Sykes Ridge back the end of April.  Nodin has some good caretakers.  Custer is a really caring and loving stallion.  Nodin’s mother Fiasco and the lead mare Winnemucca (who will be 26 this year) are also very attentive.

Fiasco and Nodin
Fiasco and Nodin
Custer
Custer
Custer, Fiasco and Nodin
Custer, Fiasco and Nodin
Winnemucca
Winnemucca
Nodin and Fiasco, June 16, 2013
Nodin and Fiasco, June 16, 2013

Teton’s band, Mescalaro and his two mares and Gringo (with Tecmuseh) were also close by.   I was especially looking forward to getting some better photos of Missoula.

Missoula and Teton.  Tecumseh looks on.
Missoula and Teton. Tecumseh looks on.
Missoula, Tecumseh and Teton
Missoula, Tecumseh and Teton
Rosarita, Mescalero and Polaris
Rosarita, Mescalero and Polaris
Rosarita and Polaris
Rosarita and Polaris
Missoula
Missoula
Missoula
Missoula
Missoula and Warbonnet
Missoula and Warbonnet
Missoula and Warbonnet
Missoula and Warbonnet

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Missoula
Missoula
A storm is approaching
A storm is approaching
Tecumseh with part of Gringos band.
Tecumseh with part of Gringos band.
Half Moon
Half Moon
Tecumseh
Tecumseh
Missoula
Missoula
Half Moon
Half Moon

There was a storm moving in.  The wind had picked up and temperature was dropping fast.  The horses were starting to move into the trees for protection.  We headed back to camp just as a few rain drops hit the windshield of the truck.  It was 7:00 pm.  What a day it had been. Fourteen and one half hours of wild horse energy.  In many ways it seemed like it had been two days, instead of one.

My friend Linda D was going to be joining us on the mountain sometime later this evening.  I was looking forward to seeing her.  The last time she and I had been on the mountain was exactly a year ago and we got snowed on.  I wondered what this storm was bringing with it.  Would it be a repeat of last year?

It had been an incredible day.  I couldn’t wait to see what the next day would bring.

Sandy

PS:  This is my 200th post since I started this blog in February 2012.  Thank you to all that follow this blog and read it!

Logo designed by Amber Bushnell
Logo designed by Amber Bushnell

13 thoughts on “Mountain Top, June 16, p.m. All About The Boys and A Little More.

  1. The bachelor boys are so fun to watch! I like when they all form one big, rowdy gang. I don’t think Starman is gone, but I’m pretty sure Prince is. He looked pretty bad last fall. I hope Kindra, Meadowlark and Jasper turn up. Maybe the girls are with Durango or Bristol, turning up like Kitalpha and Kerry did. 🙂 Missoula is going to be quite a stud! Half Moon doesn’t look like she’ll foal this year 😦 I like Starman and Rosarita’s girls, they are so slender and feminine. 🙂 Do you know how old was the oldest known horse on the range? Being over 20 is an accomplishment!

      1. Oh, I don’t know if she is the oldest horse ever in the Pryors…. Just that she is the oldest horse now. I don’t believe they have records that would tell us if anyone else is older. But something worth checking.

  2. Ahhh..the “Boy’s of Summer” gotta love their “free as the wind” bachelor’s spirit!! Thanks Sandy!

    Clarissa, I am betting that at the PMWMC there are records that go back for many years, and maybe a person could find out that information. The Rev. Schweiger kept journals of the Pryor horses way back in the 60’s. It would be an interesting and time consuming undertaking, but all of these records are at the Center.

    1. Just thought I’d mention, I think in “Among Wild Horses”, it says that about THAT time, Flash was the oldest horse on the Range at 26. Hey, you live close to the Center—how about checking on that question for all of us? 🙂 🙂

      1. I will do the research and add it to my list of the other hundred things that I need to do! HA HA
        When I find out, I will let you all know…how’s that?

  3. I love seeing all of the bachelor boys hanging out together! They all look great! I just LOVE all of the pictures you got of them sparing! I also agree that Knight is looking more and more like his Dad. And that London does seem more mature because of the things he’s gone through. And he’s really filled out physically as well! It wouldn’t surprise me if because of all of his history he becomes a band stallion at a young age. It’s also sweet to see Grijala teaching Knight. He’s a good one for the boys to get some tips from. And Missoula looks so great! I bet all of the ladies will be wanting to join him in a couple years haha! I love to see all the interactions within bands too. How him and Warbonnet were grooming together. And I agree, Nodin has some pretty great caretakers. And Winnemucca seriously looks FANTASTIC!

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