Pryor Foal # 16! UPDATE: PHOTOS

I just got news from my friend Anh, that Washakie had her foal.   I was disappointed that I was unable to locate this band last week while I was on the mountain.  But I am very happy and relieved that they have been found this week!  Thank you Anh!

UPDATE:  Anh has decided to name him Nahwa.  Which is a Shoshone word for “together”.  Washakie is a Shoshone name. (Thank you Liz for providing all of the Shoshone “N” words for us to look at!)


Washakie and Baja son!
Washakie and Baja son with Topper Too.
Baja and foal.  September 18, 2013
Baja and foal. September 18, 2013
Washakie and her foal.
Washakie and her foal.
Mom and her colt
Mom and her colt
It's A Boy!
It’s A Boy!

Washakie is the 1994 daughter of Sitka and Shamen.  Baja is the 1996 son of Tonapah and Looking Glass.

Washakie, August 2013
Washakie, August 2013
Baja and Washakie
Baja and Washakie
Washakie and her colt, September 18, 2013
Washakie and her colt, September 18, 2013

That brings the total surviving foal count to 14 this year.


Logo designed by Amber Bushnell
Logo designed by Amber Bushnell

60 thoughts on “Pryor Foal # 16! UPDATE: PHOTOS

    • Sandy’s thoughts on this will probably be similar to mine, but I expect she’ll have additional insight.
      I just happened to see your question as I was entering my comment. I don’t mean to butt in.

      It IS late, but it was in there, so it’s good that it’s born and they both are OK. Washakie is in good condition and Baja is a wise band stallion, so hopefully, the foal will make it thru the winter. Stranger things have happened. I just hope the winter is on the mild side, even tho I’m thinking it’s going to come early.

    • Yes, it is late for a foal. We will hope for the best. Washakie’s filly (born last July) disappeared during the winter last year. I hope that this one is able to survive. Maybe with the addition of another mare this year (Topper Too) it will help with the care of the foal.

      • well Meadowlark made it just fine threw the winter, she died in spring and she was in good condition so her death was due to other factors. he will be fine , 5 adult horses were born in september and later and they are doing fine! it will be the same for this colt.

      • I realize you have never been on the mountain Alex, so it is hard to imagine when you live in a place that has 4 very defined seasons. But here in Montana,(especially in the Pryors) winter goes well into June. So forgive my thinking, as I thought of “she disappeared in the winter”. Whatever the factor, season, or circumstances, it is a tragedy that I hope we don’t see again this “Winter” for Washakie.

      • I think Alex makes a very valid point. Since no one person can be on the mountain 24/7 it’s hard to say how Meadowlark died. I don’t think anyone said this, but to say Meadowlark died solely due to winter conditions is speculation. Just to be the devil’s advocate I will say that there’s no guarantee that any foal will make it this winter. It doesn’t take someone who has “been on the mountain” to know that.

      • Livi, If you re-read my response. I never said that winter was the reason she died. I simply stated that is when she disappeared and that I hoped this foal survived. I share these information and photos for all to enjoy. If all these comments want to do is slam me, I can simply stop providing it. It is not worth the energy. I won’t carry this on any more. If anyone wants to pick a fight with me, pick up the phone and call me. (my phone number is listed on this blog for all to call). This blog won’t become a pissing match.

      • Well, Sandy — you should have stuck with your original response to Alex. It was much more polite. Meadowlark was seen by Shawn in March, when there was no longer snow on the ground and the conditions were starting to warm already. His photos of her show nothing wrong with her condition.

      • You are welcome to comment on this blog Joy. But I did not say that winter was why she disappeared. Please look at my comment. I responded to Livi’s, so I won’t repeat it again. I believe March is actually considered winter in most places, depending on the exact day. I was up in April and still saw a lot of snow. The mountain is never free of snow until mid-June at the latest. Like I stated above. I supply this information and photos for all to enjoy. It is not worth keeping this blog for comments that become pissy. So any all all other comments that come out that way will be deleted. Any others are welcome.

      • Thank you for the heart felt email Livi, I really do appreciate it.

        This blog is for the horses. There have been a few “vultures” circling waiting for me to “mislabel” a horse or say something that they can pounce on and make me look bad. I will not be allowing those comments to post any longer. This blog is a means for all who love the horses to see them more often and comment in a way that will benefit the horses. That does not mean they have to always agree with me.

        Like my daughter Amber reminded me a few minutes ago as I told her what was going on: “in 10 or 20 years, people will look back on the history of your accounts, not the comments that people made. Your reports and observations are very important for the history of this herd.” That really brought it into prospective for me.
        The rest is trivial.

    • Not that we know that winter was the reason Washakie’s foal died last year. But I think in the northern part of the US, winter is definitely still here in March. Here is NE MN, is it not unusual to have snowstorms and cold weather in March. In April of 2013 we had 3 snowstorms that dumped three feet of snow in a week and a half. Weather can be so unpredictable. I hope the new little guy makes in through winter. Washakie looks healthy and fit and hopefully between her and Baja and Topper Too, this little guy will make it. {crossing fingers} What a cutie! Love the picture of him prancing around. What a little spitfire!

  • So glad she’s foaled! I look forward to seeing pictures. I absolutely love that top picture of Washakie. I think it may be my favorite of her. As I was just looking at it again, I noticed I really see Shaman in her face. Sitka and Shaman have left a great legacy and it continues 🙂

  • Great news! Thanks Anh & Sandy!!! Yes it is very late to have a foal, but hopefully the little guy is strong and will survive the winter! The strong will survive! Let’s hope he is!!

  • I am so happy to hear that this foal is going to be fine, no matter how cold it is this winter, nor how deep the snow, etc.— per Alex. I am under the impression that it can be a bit chancey for a smaller foal with shorter legs to get thru deep snow, if that should occur, and no fat reserves to keep it warm if it’s especially cold. I figured it would have to nurse more to keep itself warm and that would also take a toll on it’s mother, etc., possibly with both being pretty malnourished by spring.

    I would also like to remind folks that even tho the pictures Shawn took in March may not have shown snow right where they were taken, there was still plenty of snow cover in other places. Heck, there was still snow on top at the end of June. I also find it interesting that people with no veterinarian training can tell from one or two PHOTOS that a horse is in “good condition” and “has nothing wrong” with it. (I don’t think I’m going to try just emailing pics to my doctor next time I think I’m sick, just in case.)

    A particularly hard winter can increase a horse’s susceptibility to infections so that they suddenly become ill and die, or become so weakened that they fall prey to their predators. As so many folks said so eloquently here–we don’t KNOW what Meadowlark died from. It may not have been due to “winter”, and it MAY HAVE.

    Bottom line is, nobody announced that Washakie’s foal was not going to make it because it was born late, but it’s foolhardy to think it isn’t going to have a harder time than the herd mates born earlier. I stick by my apprehension for it, but hold great hope that it’s innate mustang spirit and the shelter and caring of it’s band will help it beat the odds.

    So, I guess I agree with Sandy’s original statements and I really don’t understand the necessity of twisting it around. It’s almost like a “sour grapes” reaction, for some reason. 🙁

    I don’t know if this comment will be posted, as it is continuing the conversation, but I want to thank you Sandy, for providing this forum for us to share our joys and sorrows about the horses, for sharing your insightful observations and passionate caring about the horses and the range. I hope that you can see the negativity for what it is, just someone else’s opinion, and “take it with a grain of salt”, as the old saying goes.

  • He’s beautiful!!! He’s going to do his parents and ancestors proud, and looks like he may carry on those unique primitive markings besides. 🙂 Thank you again Anh and Sandy. <3

  • Awesome report! Thank you so much Sandy and Anh. I’m heading up tomorrow, so keep your fingers crossed that I will be fortunate enough to see them too. Where were they when you saw them Anh…may give me a good starting point to look?

  • Thanks Sandy for this post – and all of your posts!!! Keep them coming!! Amber made a very good observation. I think you have a very special daughter!

  • He’s such a little cutie! Look at him already practicing his stallion stance in the first photo! I also already noticed he seems to have that two tone tail like Baja! Washakie has raised many many many foals so hopefully this little guy will make it through the winter.

  • Cutie pie! I have a feeling it is going to be a bad winter. Hopefully the little guy makes it! Baja’s band is pretty stable and have a lot of experience on their side, so I think he does stand a good chance. And if he doesn’t make it well… it’s sad but survival of the fittest is a unfortunate necessity for all wildlife.

  • Love the photo of the little guy strutting up to Topper Too – he’s already stepping high and arching his neck like a stallion!

  • He is a beauty….really lovely in the photo where he is showing off to Topper. He seems to be a ströng one.

  • I have been observing wildlife for a long time and this is one conclusion that I have come up with. During the winter months,(which can span from September thru May and even June here in Wyoming/Montana) wildlife have many factors to deal with for their own survival. First there is the brutally cold temperatures with strong winds, and most times very heavy snowfall in the higher elevations. Most of the trees have lost their leaves which during spring and summer months provide places to hide and protection from predators. Without all of this cover and protection it is easier for predators to find their prey in the winter months and so younger and smaller wildlife species have the odds against them right off the bat. I know that mountain lions travel many miles hunting for food and in the winter months their food sources are few and far between. Also the predators migrate to different areas just to find food. There are also packs of coyote in many places out here and I don’t think that they would take a horse, but if they were starving, who knows.?
    I notice more owls, hawks, eagles and even foxes around our place in the winter time and all of the little birds, mice, rabbits and others are on the “list” for food. I even have to keep an eye on my cats and chickens. So with this said, winter is a very difficult time for young, sick or injured wildlife to survive, in fact any prey wildlife are in danger of survival. This is Nature at work, the strong survive to carry on the species.
    Given all of these factors and the harsh landscape the wild horses live in, besides the fences that keep them from going to places that they used to go, it is a challenge for any of them to survive, especially the ones born late. Hopefully they all survive as we want them to, but Mother Nature is not always on our side and has the final say. We can hope and pray and that is all.

    Thank you Sandy for your dedication and sharing your knowledge and beautiful photos. Thank you Anh for sharing your photo’s and your passion for the horses! May this little colt survive along with all of the others living wild on the Pryor’s!!

  • Thanks Lola. I am just trying to put into perspective the hard life that these horses endure, and that it is totally amazing that they survive with what they have been handed, especially during the winter months. Tough horses for sure. I forgot to mention that the forage obviously is not as abundant in the winter months and they have to dig through the snow for food. They also eat bark off of the trees and whatever else they can find to survive. We have even seen them eat dirt and their own “droppings.”

  • On the subject of exceptionally bad winters, which, by the way, I hope we don’t see this year, I was told that there was one year a long time ago, that a band trapped by deep snow/bad weather, actually chewed each other’s manes and tails off in search of nourishment. 🙁 They all perished. Nature can be very cruel.

    I guess we all have to remember that losses to Nature are losses that, at least, won’t be dealt at the hand of man—directly or indirectly. One mustn’t dwell on the negative lest it overtake you, but to be unaware of it’s existence is foolhardy.

    In thinking about the horses eating the junipers, etc., when traditional forage gets really scarce, I can’t help but wonder if that isn’t maybe a benefit to them in the long run by preventing the incidence of worms, etc. I’ve never observed any, that would be visible to the naked eye, in any of the droppings I’ve seen out there. It just seems like Nature has a way of balancing things out.

    • HI Thora! No, I have not heard anything about Bakken. I am hoping Brianna (she works at PMWMC) is going out there this afternoon to take a look. The last I heard (from Anh, who was there on Monday). Was that she saw Fiero without Bakken. Strawberry and Sacajewa were still with him.

  • There is snow on the Bighorns & the Pryor’s. There will probably be more after tonight and tomorrow’s forecast. I am thinking that this is going to be a very COLD winter here. Just thought you all would like to know.

      • ha ha Sandy!! I will try to get out to the canyon sometime REAL soon. I will take some photo’s too.
        Yes…it is supposed to snow in Lovell …so even the lower elevations may be getting a good dose of the white stuff!! 🙂 I will keep you posted. Winter is certainly here, for now anyway!

  • I see the weather report map is calling for what looks like 3-6 inches or more of snow for the Pryors tonight. Just another reminder, that the calendar does not dictate the weather. Hopefully this won’t last long and there will be warmer weather soon. But for today, Winter has arrived.

    Here is a link that gives you a look at the snowfall amounts:

  • I love the name Nahwa, that Anh chose for that little beauty! 🙂 I have a tendency to be partial to Native American names, anyway. Just seems to me like their love of the earth and all it’s creatures comes thru in the sound of their languages. 🙂

    I hope Bakken is just REALLY fat, but will be, will be. I’ll be watching for posts. 🙂

    A lot of snow, with intervals of warm weather melting the snow, and without long stretches of bitter cold would be good—but what are the chances of that? 🙁 We CAN hope…

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