August In The Pryors. Part 3.

Manuelita, August 21, 2013
Manuelita, August 21, 2013

During the night, we heard several stallion screams.  I say screams, because there is a difference between the squeals that stallions make when greeting one another or of the screams that bachelors make when sparring.

The last time I heard screams this loud and long,  was during the time when Grijala and Lakota were fighting.  They both ended up with some pretty good wounds, and in the end, Grijala took Lakota’s band from him.    It seemed to me that something was starting to happen on the mountain, something big.  Change would be coming.  I am betting it will be one of the former Forest Service bachelors taking a band.  If it doesn’t happen this fall, it will probably happen during the winter.  I hope no one gets injured badly.  I wondered if that was part of the reason we had seen Cloud and Cappuccino running with them yesterday.  Were they proving how difficult it would be for any of them to take their bands?

I was eager for the day to start so I could find out what was going on.

By the time it got light, the mountain was quiet again.  Not a horse in sight.  We went down to Krueger Pond just as the sun was rising.  Finding no one there, we hiked to the top of the hill above the pond.  I saw Duke’s band.  We hiked over and spent some time with them before they decided to move on.

Dukes
Dukes
Naolin and Graciana.
Naolin and Graciana.
Dukes
Dukes

IMG_1475

Duke
Duke
Miss Noble
Miss Noble
Dukes
Dukes

They were heading to the pond, so we did too.  We were able to watch several bands coming for their morning drink.

Manualita and Nickel.
Manualita and Nickel.
Maneulita, Dove and Nickel.
Maneulita, Dove and Nickel.
LaBrava
LaBrava
Dove and Maneulita
Dove and Maneulita
Nickel
Nickel
Nickel
Nickel
Rosarita
Rosarita
Rosarita
Rosarita
Rosarita, Polaris and Mescalero.
Rosarita, Polaris and Mescalero.
Horizon and Juniper
Horizon and Juniper
Tonapah, Junipter and Horizon
Tonapah, Junipter and Horizon
Fiesta
Fiesta

IMG_1585 IMG_1565

Phoenix and Warbonnet
Phoenix and Warbonnet
Missoula and Teton
Missoula and Teton
Doc
Doc
Mandan (Malapais)
Mandan (Malapais)

We decided to follow the horses.  They appeared to be heading for the north woods.  We took their path a few minutes after the last horse left the pond.  There was no one in sight.  They had vanished into the trees.  I could see them here and there in the woods, but for the most part they were out of sight.

The woods here are very tightly woven with trees.  We decided to just let them be and sit outside the clumps of trees waiting for them to come out, like they had done in July.   They did not come out.  We sat there for several hours before deciding to head back to camp for a while.  It was the hot of the afternoon, and with the amount of flies around, I knew they would be staying in the trees for a while.

We returned to this area again at 5:00 pm.   I could see a few bands had come out of the trees, so we sat and watched them grazing in the slightly cool breeze of the late afternoon.

Jacksons
Jacksons
Jacksons
Jacksons
Gringos
Gringos
Gringos
Gringos
Tecumseh
Tecumseh

It was just a few minutes later, when we heard thundering hoofs running our way.  I turned my camera just in time to get a few quick shots of the bands running by us.  We watched several bands run by and straight into the woods.

Baileys and Celt
Baileys and Celt
Bolder
Bolder
Killian and Sapo
Killian and Sapo
Nimbus
Nimbus
Feldspar and Mica
Feldspar and Mica
Mica
Mica
Blue Moons
Blue Moons
Blue Moon and Halcyon
Blue Moon and Halcyon

IMG_1647

From there I looked up the steep hill and saw a beautiful sight!  All of the horses were coming out of the woods and trotting along the ridge.  It was so incredible!  The photos just can’t come close to capturing the feeling and sight of more than 60 horses running out of the woods single file.

IMG_1656 IMG_1658 IMG_1668 IMG_1672 IMG_1691 IMG_1694

For the most part, it was peaceful.  Except when Bolder tried to breed Sequoyah.

IMG_1709 IMG_1710 IMG_1744 IMG_1739 IMG_1725 IMG_1715

 

We stayed there for a long while, enjoying the amazement of the scene.  We left only when some annoying people with 2 loose dogs came and disturbed the otherwise natural setting.

Later that evening, just before sunset, we came back down to the pond.  There were just a couple of bands there tonight.  Most had watered an hour or so before and were in the north woods where we had left them.

Baja and Washakie
Baja and Washakie
Fiesta.  I never noticed how much his profile looks like Tetons until this photo.
Fiesta. I never noticed how much his profile looks like Tetons until this photo.
Fiesta
Fiesta

It was almost dark now.  It would be a full moon tonight.  As we headed back down towards our campsite, I saw a horse walking towards us.

It was Irial.  The scene reminded me so much of when I saw Lakota walking towards me, in the same place, just two years before.  Had it really only been two years ago?  It seemed so much longer.

Irial
Irial
Lakota, October, 2011
Lakota, October, 2011

Irial took his time walking by us.  He never left the road, until he was well past the truck that was in his path.

There was a sadness to him, or was it me feeling the sadness?  Just as he left the road to take a trail that lead to the pond, he turned and looked back at me.  It was as if he was trying to tell me something, or maybe offer some comfort to the feelings he knew I was having at that moment.  Whatever it was,  I realized, it had been a long while since I had felt that closeness from a wild horse.

IMG_1806
Irial

IMG_1809 IMG_1814

And to make the evening more special, we were witnesses to an amazing sunset that night and then behind the clouds a full moon was shown to us for just a few minutes.

IMG_1816

Full Moon, August 21, 2013
Full Moon, August 21, 2013

Each day had been different on the mountain this time.   The horses were showing some different patterns.   They were making themselves more invisible, harder to find.   My heart had been touched by a beautiful blue roan stallion.   I wondered what the next day would bring.  I couldn’t wait for it to get here.

Sandy

Logo designed by Amber Bushnell
Logo designed by Amber Bushnell

12 thoughts on “August In The Pryors. Part 3.

  1. Wonder what made Irial leave the bachelor band. Wasn’t that where he’d been hanging? You tell such a good story. Thanks Sandy!

    1. I’ve found, and I’m sure Sadny will concur, that the members of “bachelor bands” change very frequently and it’s not uncommon for one to roam around by himself at times. One day there will be 5 or 6 hanging out together all day, and the next day there may be smaller groups traveling separately from the others. It’s pretty darn interesting. I’m especially interested in how the stallions who have lost their bands behave. I think the ones who take up with some of the younger bachelors on a pretty regular basis, do better with their new status.

  2. What a wonderful day, Sandy, from beginning to end. 🙂 I can’t think of a better way to spend one’s time. Thanks for sharing your experience so vividly. 🙂

    The foals look so great, and Tecumseh does too. I’m glad he’s taking time out to eat. 🙂 I share your concern for Sante Fe from your other post. Reminds me too much of Starman and Prince, altho he is at least staying near other horses. I don’t like the idea that the other stallions together may be hounding Sante Fe unnecessarily, either, tho. I hope that doesn’t turn into a sad story of wild horse behavior. 😦

    I’m happy to see that LaBrava seems to be doing well—that she didn’t have any serious complications after that episode you mentioned of her seeming to be in physical distress quite a while after Nacer’s birth. Maybe she just had additional afterbirth to get rid of or something like that.

    I also found it interesting that Quelle Colour is still allowing that big, mature looking Kohl to nurse! Pretty strange—like Killian.

    I’m glad you “connected” with Irial. I do think he finds “some” people interesting—or MAYBE all of them. I can’t help but remember that snowy morning in 2012 when he and Hernando were right behind our campsite. If you recall, he was comfortable just being there, checking us out, but Hernando convinced him to move along. That experience, along with the time he spent nearby, watching me with keen interest, that evening that the bachelor group interrupted me when I was reorganizing my truck, have given me the feeling that he has a special capacity to “connect” with our kind of “critters”. I was absorbed for some time reviewing those pics of him, just the other night, thinking of him as tho he were a horse I’d known for a long time. 🙂

    Do you realize how VERY LUCKY we are to have met the gaze of some of those wonderful creatures? It’s the stuff dreams are made of. 🙂

    Looking forward to the next post…

      1. And Sandy, I firmly believe that Irial probably did sense your sadness, and maybe his pause to look back was to “invite” you to follow him, or that he was considering just staying around you for company. Who really knows?

        That is really a melancholy picture of Lakota from back then. One I remember clearly. RIP, Lakota. You were a legendary Pryor Mountain Mustang stallion to the people who know these horses best, and have left a great legacy on the Range.

  3. Wonderful to see all the horses…how I wish to be there…Irial looks lovely and it would be nice to see him with a band (being son of Prince).

  4. The potential for a lot of change coming makes me nervous. I don’t like to see the stallion’s lose their bands. Although, I think it’s more likely we’ll see the numbers in bands changing. Usually you see a bachelor win his first mare rather than win an entire bad at first. I remember thinking how unusual and crazy it was that Grijala, Galaxy, and Gringo were all able to take and hold entire bands and relatively the same time. I wonder if maybe some of the screaming is Grijala and Garay having some disagreements. Everyone looks nice and fat! It seems like M’lita and Nickel really enjoy each other’s company. I’m glad her and Dove look so good. LaBrava too. I also love to see my favorite buckskin girl! Haha I had to laugh at your comment that everything was relatively peaceful… until Bolder tried to breed Sequoyah. I was like haha yes that will bring on the dramatics! It’s funny to see Kohl still nursing Quelle Color as their about the same size now! I’m glad you made a connection with Irial. Maybe he was taking a walk with Lakota.

  5. Sandy. Can’t thank you enough for making these posts! The pictures are truly spectacular and the saga is riveting!! Can’t wait to hear more!

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