September In The Pryors. Wild Turkeys and Wild Horses

Limerick and Maia, September 10, 2013
Limerick and Hera, September 10, 2013

On my last evening on the mountain I sat in my chair at my campsite and watched band after band go by me.  Galaxy and his girls seem to want to be close to me, especially in the morning and evening.  This started happening back in August, on my last trip to the mountain.  The had settled in around my campsite peacefully grazing.  Galaxy was flirting with Hera, who was heat.  Seeing this made me wonder.  She is in the age group (5-10 year olds) that do not get PZP.  She had Maia in 2011.  This year she did not have a foal and now that she is in heat in September, it either means she will have a foal in August next year, or maybe not foal again.

As I sat and watched the horses, I noticed Hera had stopped grazing and was looking intently at something.  Sometimes that can mean another band is coming.  But she seemed more alert than normal.

IMG_4527

It wasn’t long and Limerick joined Hera.  Then Maia.  Ireland was a short distance away and seemed not to notice whatever it was these girls were looking at.

Limerick and Hera
Limerick and Hera
Maia
Maia
Hera
Hera
Hera and Maia
Hera and Maia
Still watching.
Still watching.

After a few minutes, Limerick got bored and went off to scratch on a nearby tree.

Limerick
Limerick

Galaxy finally turned his head to look at whatever it was the girls were looking at.  It was then that I saw 4 wild turkeys making their way towards the girls, enjoying the many grasshoppers that jumped in front of them.

I have only seen wild turkey’s up here one other time.  It was earlier in the summer, down past Penns.  This was not the typical sight for horses to see up here.

Galaxy
Galaxy
Wild Turkeys, September 10, 2013
Wild Turkeys, September 10, 2013

IMG_4559 IMG_4565

Hera’s gaze never left the turkeys.  It was such a fun thing to watch, this interaction between different species.

Hera
Hera
Wild Turkeys
Wild Turkeys

Finally, Hera was the first one to approach these strange things.  Limerick was right behind her and it only took a a second for them to realize they could push the turkeys anywhere they wanted.

I immediately thought of my many horsemanship clinics with Dave Ellis.  When a horse can make another animal move, it builds their confidence.  (For instance, cow work is great for horses to do.)  So even though the turkeys were much smaller, these wild horses were learning they could push another species besides their own.  Perhaps building their confidence.  It was an interesting thought, but even more interesting to witness in the wild.

Limerick
Limerick
Limerick
Limerick
Limerick and Maia
Limerick and Maia

It wasn’t long before all of Galaxy’s Girls joined the fun and disappeared down the hill.  It took Galaxy a minute or two to realize that his girls were gone.  He raised his head and looked around, wondering where they had gone so quickly.  I could not help but laugh out loud!  His expression was priceless.  Then he saw them and joined the fun.

Ireland, Maia and Hera
Ireland, Maia and Hera
Galaxy looking for his girls
Galaxy looking for his girls
Trotting to catch up with them.
Trotting to catch up with them.

After several minutes, they got bored with the turkeys and returned to my campsite to graze and breed.  The sky was beautiful, a feeling of peace was all around me.  I had Galaxy and his girls in front of me, Jackson and Coronado to my right and I could just make out Morning Star and Band coming down the road towards me.  It was a glorious night that I felt fortunate to be able to witness.

Sandy

Logo designed by Amber Bushnell
Logo designed by Amber Bushnell

18 thoughts on “September In The Pryors. Wild Turkeys and Wild Horses

  1. Interesting that the Turkey’s decided they wanted to be in that area. I wonder what made them decide to come up. Haha I bet the horse’s were enjoying that new game they came up with and I bet you enjoyed watching it! Haha it always amuses me the different ways they will find to amuse themselves. I know I’ve also been hoping that we would see a foal from Hera x Galaxy foal next year.

  2. Thank you for your report and photos Sandy.
    Your photos are very beautiful. I am glad you had an enjoyable time on the Pryors and with the horses.
    It seems Galaxy and his band scend your special love for them. They always find their way to be near your camp site.
    You have great experience in photoghraphy of the horses. You have taken gorgeous photos of Galaxy, his band and other beloved horses.
    How beautiful the sky is in the Fall season. I love it. Thank you so much for sharing.

  3. I have been wondering about the fertility of fillies born to mares who are on pzp. I’m thinking of how most fillies have had a foal before the age of five except Juniper who hasn’t foaled as far as we know as well as Aztec’s daughters and a few others.

    How did Audubon look to you? I’ve been concerned she hasn’t been putting on weight this summer, I hope all is well with her and Niyaha.

    1. Thats an interesting thought. Ive been trying to think of fillies of pzp’d mares. The first one I thought of was Kerry. But I think Jacinta and July might also be.

      1. It will be hard to know, since many fillies were removed. Half Moon, Hera, and Halo all failed to foal this year, Fiasco and Fools Gold failed last year, even though they are all in the off pzp window. Maybe pzp isn’t immediately reversible.

      2. It does seem like some of them take longer to return to fertility. And then there’s the ones who continue to foal anyways after being pzp’d. Not all of them react to it in the same way. Gaelic Princess hasn’t foaled since 2010.
        Oh I thought of another one of the fillies we were talking about earlier. Kachina. It is hard to know since many were removed.

  4. That must have been so fun to watch! We used to have wild turkey in our yard, my dog liked to chase them when he was younger into the trees. Nowadays it is the deer that are more frequent visitors much to my father’s chagrin (they eat everything and anything in sight, including his precious herb garden).

    It’s always so interesting to watch any two animal species interact.

    1. It was fun! We also have wild turkeys, deer, elk, black bears and coyotes (and others I know are there but have not seen, like mountain lion and wolfs) that come in and out of our property. I feel lucky to be able to witness all this often!

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