February In The Pryors, Day 1 and 2.

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A Bald Eagle put on a great display for us, just before we entered the range. February 16, 2014.

It had been too long since I had made my way to the Pryors.  October was my last trip and I felt that I could get out and run faster than my truck could carry me this time.  At times that may have been true, the road was not good over Homestake Pass, near Butte, Montana.   I was happy to get down the other side, where it was clear sailing the rest of the way.

Anh and Kimerlee would be joining me on this trip and we were all eager to see fuzzy horses in the snow.  The week before we arrived had been cold and snowing, but the forecast looked pretty good for the days we would be here.  A high of 40 seemed warm after experiencing -25 just a few short weeks ago.

Arriving in Lovell later than I liked yesterday, I immediately drove us to the Dryhead.  This time of year can be pretty problematic for seeing horses there, but I wanted to check anyway and knew we did not have time to unload and head up either Burnt Timber or Lower Sykes.

We immediately saw a horse on a hill as we entered.  Through binoculars, we determined it was Kememerer.  We made a group decision to continue on and see who else may be out.  We made our way slowly down the paved road, rewarded once more with the sighting of the handsome stallion Fiero, alone.  I have decided he enjoys being this way in the winter.  Perhaps he doesn’t want the extra burden of a band during the more trying months of the year.

Fiero, February 15, 2014
Fiero, February 15, 2014

I really love Fiero, he is the full brother to my Valerosa whom I adopted in 2009.  I would really love to see some Fiero offspring on the range.  He just needs to stay keep some mares long enough for that to happen!

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Fiero, February 15, 2014
Fiero, February 15, 2014

The next morning by 8, we were heading up Burnt Timber Road.  Since my last trip, I purchased a wide-angle lens and I was really looking forward to taking some photos of the landscape again.  It is almost like taking the mountain home with me.  I hope these photos can give you a sense of what this beautiful mountain holds.

One of the many views up Burnt Timber Road.  February 16, 2014
One of the many views up Burnt Timber Road. February 16, 2014

We were immediately rewarded as soon as we entered the range.  Grijala and Jasper passed right near us.  I had seen these two bachelors in October, and they still looked as healthy and fat as they had looked then.  I was happy to see this, especially for this time of year.

Jasper
Jasper
Grijala, Febuary 16, 2014
Grijala, Febuary 16, 2014
Jasper, February 16, 2014
Jasper, February 16, 2014
Grijala
Grijala
Jasper
Jasper

I wish we could have had more time with these boys, but the seemed to be on a mission, and kept moving.  So we did too.

Burnt Timber road did not have as much snow as I experienced last February, at least not this day.  I easily went past the spot where I had gotten stuck last year.   We were in my UTV, Ophelia (it is an O year after all) and she was making her way up the mountain easily.  We could see some horses ahead!  It was Jackson and his band, and as I turned and looked right, I could see Galaxy and his band.  Everyone was enjoying the warm sunlight hitting their thick fur, a welcome treat after the previous week.

Jackson
Jackson
Jackson, February, 2014
Jackson, February, 2014

Jackson seemed to be showing some wounds that had recently healed.  Jasmine was still absent from his band, and I wondered if maybe Jackson had received these wounds during that exchange.

Healing wounds on his side.
Healing wounds on his side.
Wounds on this face
Wounds on this face

I was pleased to see both Galena and Firestorm looking healthier and much fatter than last year at this time.  They both appear to be pregnant to me.  Brumby also looked round, but sometimes Brumby just looks that way.  Time will tell.

Galena
Galena
Galena
Galena
Jackson and Galena
Jackson and Galena
Heritage
Heritage
Brumby
Brumby
Brumby
Brumby
Brumby
Brumby
Brumby.  Photo by Anh.
Brumby. Photo by Anh.
Niobrara, Firestorm and Maelstorm
Niobrara, Firestorm and Maelstorm

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I especially noticed how much Moorcroft and Malestrom had grown.  Both Malestrom and Moorcroft are entering their second year.  I wondered if Jackson would kick them out this year, like he had done when Jasper turned 2.

Moorcroft
Moorcroft
Moorcroft
Moorcroft
Moorcroft
Moorcroft
Nye
Nye

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I watched Galaxy and his band rise from their naps slowly make their way over the ridge.  Galaxy is such a great band stallion and his mares seem very content.  Everyone look great.  I am not sure if we will see any new foals in this band this year.

Galaxy and band, February 16, 2014
Galaxy and band, February 16, 2014
Galaxy's
Galaxy’s
Galaxy
Galaxy
View looking down towards Turkey Flats.  I love the hoof prints in the foreground.
View looking down towards Turkey Flats. I love the hoof prints in the foreground.

The snow on the road was becoming the consistency of thick mash potatoes.  As Ophelia struggled to go further, we quickly realized that this warm day would not let us.  Looking towards  the sky, we could see some dark clouds coming in from all sides.  We decided to head down the road.  The melting snow and the slippery red dirt under it made for an interesting and exciting ride back down the mountain.

Threatening Clouds forming all around us.
Threatening Clouds forming all around us.

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Just as we went exited the horse range, the snow and rain fell on us.  We decided to drive to Lower Sykes and have alook.  The rain was still falling there and a creek had formed down the middle of the road.

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Looking up the road to Lower Sykes.

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We would have end our day and head back towards Lovell.  This time of year, I am always grateful to see any horses and today we saw several.  Tomorrow will be another day on the mountain, and I can’t wait for it to get here!

Sandy

Logo designed by Amber Bushnell
Logo designed by Amber Bushnell

28 thoughts on “February In The Pryors, Day 1 and 2.

  1. That new wide lens is great! 🙂 It really does give you more of the range

    I assume Aztec went with Jasmine? Last I remember is she was with Jasmine.

  2. It’s so great to know you’re back in the Pryors again! 😀
    It was like christmas this morning when I woke up to updates from both you and Pryor Wild!
    I’m thrilled that you already got to see so many horses and that they’re looking so good. Jackson seems a bit thinner than normally, but then he obviously have been forced to do some fighting during the freezing cold:/
    I really hope you’ll find out where Tonopah is.. maybe she wanted to be with a more experienced stallion during the winter. We can hope!
    I also hope you’ll find Teton and Hernando to see how things are there now. Fingers crossed that you’ll find Teton with Phoenix!!

  3. What a treat to get up to this morning! Thanks for sharing. It’s good to see the horses looking so shiny and healthy, even if Jackson is a bit thin. Not that unusual for the stallions with large families. I’ll be anxious to check in for your next post! Here’s hoping you all have a great day. 🙂

  4. Fabulous photos! Mustangs look wonderful! Wonder how those late foals are faring.
    Love the wide-angle lens Sandy. Lovely part of the world there.
    After seeing the Prior 9 at Legacy, I can really relate to your images.
    Many thanks and stay safe!
    Despite deep snow here, the eastern bluebirds are beginning to choose nest boxes! Now that is optimism!

  5. Sandy,

    So glad you are back in the Pryors . I have been looking forward to your February trip and am glad you have a new vehicle to search for the horses with, be safe. Thank you for all the info and pictures. I miss that place so much! The horses so far look better than I expected, with all the negative temperatures we have experienced this winter I thought it would have taken its toll on them.
    Enjoy your days up there, I will be with you in spirit. Christmas in February, thank you !

  6. Love how everyone you’ve seen so far is shiny and fat. Healthy horses. That road up to Lower Sykes looks really slushy and wet. Yuck! Can’t wait for your next post. 🙂

  7. Thanks so much for all your efforts Sandy!!! Loving the pictures and text!! That wide angle sure gives a beautiful landscape – but it makes the winter sun look so far away and cold!!! Or maybe it wasn’t the lens that did that – ha, ha!! Hope you have a great day today and find lots of horses!

  8. You know how people say a painting looks like a photograph? Well in this case your photos look like paintings! Each one is an eyeful of beauty. I can’t pick a favorite, but do love seeing the fuzzy horses. Thank you for sharing right from location!

  9. Love the update-glad everyone looks so good! 🙂 Hopefully you find Teton in good shape (and maybe even with company!), and locate Tonopah! I love the pictures of Firestorm and her fuzzy offspring all sunning themselves 🙂 I’m hoping Jasmine and Aztec are doing well with Cappuccino, poor Jackson though, this cold weather is no time to be nursing wounds!

  10. The wide angle lens really does take in the landscape! It’s cool how in several of the pictures of Fiero in the snow he appears to have blue eyes. Maybe a reflection off the snow. Jasper and Grijala both look great. They seem to enjoy spending time together. They do look like they could be brothers with their similar colors and builds. We think so much alike too! I was thinking that Jackson looked a little scraped up and that it probably had to do with Jasmine ending up in Cappuccino’s band. And then the same thing about Galena and Firestorm looking a lot better than last year and appearing to be pregnant. I’m so glad to see them still with a good amount of weight on them. And Nye and Niobrara seem to be in good shape too. And then as I was looking at the picture I was thinking “I wonder if Jackson will kick out Maelstrom and Moorcroft sometime this year?” And then that was the next sentence you wrote with the same thing! Moorcroft really has filled out. I guess he has “beefy-ness” on both sides with Jackson as his sire and Looking Glass as Brumby’s sire. He will definitely be fun to watch as a bachelor! He has so much personality! And speaking of Brumby she does like to be tricky in the winter. She won’t be looking pregnant and then suddenly a possible round baby bump seems to appear and then sometimes go away as quickly as it appeared haha. So we’ll have to see. I know I’d love to see a foal in Galaxy’s band, but I know you saw Galaxy breeding Hera in September which would mean an August baby if she got pregnant and as much as I want her to foal, I wouldn’t want her to foal any later than August.

    I would love to get your opinion on the dynamics of Cappuccino’s band with Jasmine and Aztec now being there (If they’re still there.) So I hope you see them. I know it would be great to see Baja’s band too and hopefully Nahwa is doing good. I hope you see Diamond as well and that he’s doing good. I would be beyond thrilled if Pheonix happened to be with him. It would be good if you got to see Diamond’s previous band now with Hernando up close. It would be interesting to hear how they’re interacting with each other. Tonopah looked to be in good shape heading into this winter so I’m thinking (and hoping) that her and Horizon may have had a difference in opinion about where the best place was to weather one of the storms and she ended up going by herself. She’s a wise and experienced lead mare so I have a feeling if she had a contradicting opinion with her young stallion she would have no issue leaving and going where she felt was best. Some of the mares have done that before over the winter and then returned to the band, so hopefully that will be the case with her. I don’t think you’ve seen La Nina yet, so I bet you would be happy to get the chance to see her too. There are some mares I wondering about baby bumps on, ones that seemed to be or were due earlier in the year. But I will wait and see if you see them. I look forward to hearing about the rest of your trip!

    1. I got some more good full body shots of her that I will post in the next couple days. I am not sure. I would love for her to be pregnant since she does not have any offspring on the mountain!!

  11. Great photo’s Sandy! The horses look “normal” for this time of year. March is the most difficult time for them, and then it will be spring!! Thanks for sharing.

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