I had initially thought I could do one last post with photos and stories from day 2 and 3 on Burnt Timber, but as I began to go through my photos, I decided it would be to large of post. So I will have one more post after this one.
After our morning trip up the Dryhead, we unloaded Ophelia and headed up Burnt Timber Road. This would be our second day on Burnt Timber this trip. The weather said we may get some rain in the afternoon, but that did not bother me in the least. I am very comfortable driving this road in most conditions now.
The first bands we came to were by the water guzzler. It was Jackson’s band and Cloud’s band. Clouds still being dogged by a very determined Santa Fe. I thought they both looked even thinner, just in 24 hours.
It was good to see Jackson and band. The last I had heard, Heritage was not with him, so I was glad to see her back with him again. Also there were both Aztec and Jasmine, bringing Jackson’s band count to 11.
I was sorry that I was not able to get closer photos, but shortly after we arrived, Jackson decided to move his band further away from the Cloud/ Santa Fe conflict.
We stayed watching Cloud and Santa Fe chasing one another back and forth. I have been asked a few times if Mica showed any interest in helping Cloud chase Santa Fe off. No, none. I believe that this particular aggression with Santa Fe (and the others that have continued to dog Cloud) mean business. No place for a 2 year old inexperienced colt. I am glad that Mica was not joining him, I think it is a wise decision on his part.
After a while, we decided to make our way up the road and see what other horses we could find. I was happy to see Hernando and his new band of Warbonnet and Phoenix. Of course we constantly thought of Teton and scanned the range for him each and every day. We never were able to locate him. I hope someone sees him and let’s us all know. I know there are many of us whose hearts ache for this older stallion.
I continued up the road, stopping at Cheyenne Flats to have a look at what horses I could see over there. I don’t have a spotting scope, so I am not 100% sure whose band that is. I saw a total of 20 horses far over there, but was unable to confirm who they were. If anyone wants to let me know who they think this is, I would appreciate it. I was first thinking Morning Star, but I am not sure.
I wanted to see just how far I could get up the road, and we made it to almost the old horse trap area before we encountered two much snow.
On our way back down, Doc and Demure crossed the road in front of us. Right in the exact area where Anh and I had spent hours with Jacksons band in February. I am sure Demure has most likely had her foal by now. I hope it is a healthy foal that survives this year.
I wanted to see what was over a hill, so I hiked up, and was just about face-to-face with Maia. I knew I was way to close, so quickly turned and went back down. We drove down the road a short way and hiked back towards them. I knew we would be at a better distance this time.
Maia looks very pregnant to me.
When we reached the water guzzler where we had left Cloud earlier, we found him and Santa Fe still going at it. Also there were Nancy and Matt from PMWMC. It was good to stop and talk with them for a short time. We both shared information about the horses, then went opposite directions.
We decided to head down and see if we could see more horses, leaving Santa Fe and Cloud.
As luck would have it, I spotted Cappuccino and his band again. They were grazing and then headed over to eat the minerals by the road. Still no McKeahnie with them. But Matt had told me that they had seen him. He was alone he said, but looked to be just fine. I hoped we would see him. He is one of my favorite two-year olds.
Again, another two year old filly looks to be pregnant. This time it is Moenkopi. She is the 2012 daughter of Galena and Jackson.
The wind was picking up, but still no rain, so we turned around and headed back up the road. We thought we would end our day by seeing how Cloud and Santa Fe were doing.
They were still at it. I found myself worried for both of them. Neither is a young stallion. Santa Fe was born the same year as Cloud, 1995. Both stallions will be 19 this year.
The rain was starting to come down. Sideways. The wind was strong as we hurried to Ophelia and made our way back down the mountain. Grateful for yet another fantastic day on the range.
20 thoughts on “Burnt Timber, Day Two.”
One look and I love that little Cloud already!
I’m not thrilled about Maia being pregnant, but at least we don’t have to worry about her being bred by her sire.
Yes, same with Moenkopi.
Shoot. I read the post too quickly the first time and missed that part.
I’m really grateful that you share all these stories and photos with us, even when they’re not all happy, like Cloud and Santa Fe. Both of them are really very thin, and I do hope they don’t wear themselves out, even though I know it’s natural stallion behaviour, that determination and drive to win and hold onto a band, and that older stallions can’t hold their mares forever. They’re both such grand old horses.
On a more upbeat note, some of the youngsters are growing into really beautiful adults. Maia and Mica are absolutely gorgeous – the contrast between their roaned bodies and their points is amazing. And Nimbus’ beard does make me laugh, though as a Feldspar baby she’s bound to be lovely, beard and all! It will be interesting to see what colour she sheds out – the patches round her eyes and muzzle suggest she may be darker this year than she was last.
It could be the dirt making them look like that, but I thought Nimbus’s legs looked a bit darker, so I wonder if she might end up being roan like Cloud. Personally, though I’m kind of hoping she ends up more like Phoenix.
Thank you Kate!
At first I was surprised to hear that Jackson’s band was so close to the Cloud/Santa Fe conflict. It could easily go from Santa Fe fighting with Cloud to Santa Fe fighting with Jackson. It really surprised me since Jackson’s had some trouble with losing members of his band to Cappuccino recently, and just got them all back. But you said it didn’t take him too long to get out of there. I think that was a smart choice. He’s looking pretty thin too especially alone his topline, but not as thin as Cloud luckily. I’m definitely worried to see Cloud so thin, I don’t think I’ve ever seen him this thin either. And Santa Fe is not looking great either. Did you see them “catch” each other at all while you were there. Cloud looks ready to tear into Santa Fe if they were to connect. And Santa Fe looks serious too. I’m sure when they collide it’s probably not a pretty sight. I really hope no one puts a stick through the bottom of their foot running through all of that brush. I think you’re right about Encore being in heat. You can see that it’s dripped down the back of her leg in these pictures. Did Cloud’s band seem to be watching intently or did they seem to be confident that Cloud had things under control? I’m nervous for Feldspar. She could literally be foaling any day now. I just hope all of this action doesn’t put her or her foal in jeopardy. I really think that Jacinta and Ketchikan losing their foals last year had to do with the constant pressure and fighting between Gringo and Tecumseh. Especially since Gringo had never had to raise any foals so he wouldn’t know how to be careful around them or to be making sure they’re keeping up with the band. It wouldn’t be hard for a foal to get lost, left behind, or injured during those knock-down-drag-out fights between those two last year. But luckily Cloud had raised many foals and Feldspar is an experienced mother so hopefully we won’t see that happening here. But it’s still something that’s on my mind. I do think that Demure has probably had her foal by now too. Hopefully it’s healthy and will survive. Maia and Moenkopi definitely appear to be pregnant. Was Nara nursing Gabrielle? I guess maybe no foal for her this year. It will be nice for her to have a break. If it was a different mare besides Electra I would say that she is looking pregnant, but she seems to keep that shape for the most part. She likes to fool us, like Brumby and Quelle Color. Pheonix and Warbonnet seem to still be keeping a bit of a distance from Hernando. I wonder how that’s going for him. Hopefully Diamond is still out there somewhere and hasn’t given up. Not that I want him to join in the party dogging Cloud, but I think it would be good for him to spent time with Santa Fe and Chino. Hopefully everyone will start to put more weight on soon and hopefully we won’t see any bad things happen with Cloud’s band (or anyone.)
Thank you Sarah! I was hoping someone would notice and comment about Nimbus. Thank you for that! It also looks to me with all the matted fur that she may have been bred, hopefully it was not Cloud and hopefully it was not at all, perhaps just some mutual grooming between her and her band members. Yes, Naara was nursing Gabrielle, and yes, I also believe she may not be pregnant this year. No, I never saw any physical contact between Cloud and Santa Fe, but there are bite marks on both, so there must have been. Did you look at that one photo of Cloud, where he looks so thin. What do you make of the “marks” or “bumps” under his belly? I am not sure what that is, or maybe just a pattern in his skin. I thought the same of Ireland, but like you said she is a fooler. I also do not think Brumby is with foal. I am also worried for Feldspar, that is why I asked PMWMC how she was doing. Certainly being chased from one part of BT Road to the other can’t be good for her so close. But they are wild and much hardier than what I think we all think. I am hoping all goes well for her and her foal. Yes, I agree all the stallions on BT are looking a little “rough around the edges”. It has been a hard winter and now all this spring conflict does not help. Let’s hope a big snow does not come to further complicate matters. Hoping for a mild spring with rain, no snow and lots of sprouting forage!
Looking back at the patterns on her after you saying that does look like she could have been bred. But she also likes to be dirty a lot so it could be from her rolling or from mutual grooming like you said. I think usually with the two year olds foaling they usually haven’t been bred by their fathers. Because it would mean that their fathers bred them as a yearling. And usually that young, the father-daughter relationship hasn’t is still in place more than how sometimes when the daughter gets older the lines can blur. And while Cloud and Dancer had a weird relationship when she was older, in the past he has let his young daughters leave to be bred by another stallion. Dancer (in her early years) Firestorm, Hailstorm, Jasmine, Arrow (technically a grand daughter.) So hopefully if she was bred it wasn’t by Cloud. This brings me to a new one of my theories 🙂 Maybe Cloud let her get bred by Santa Fe and then Santa Fe wasn’t content to let her just go. He doesn’t have a band to go back to like he has in the past, so maybe her wanted to keep Encore. And Cloud said no. So maybe that is what has brought on this intense interest of Santa Fe to Cloud’s band. Who knows. But hopefully no matter what’s happened she won’t be pregnant. I’m thinking the bumps on Cloud’s belly are maybe just how he is shedding out his winter coat this year? Also running through the brush he’s probably getting scratched across his stomach so the branches may be pulling out clumps of his winter coat in an awkward way. They could also be welts. I don’t think Brumby is in foal either. I guess we’ll just have to wait and see on Electra. I would definitely love to see a foal from her and Galaxy! It would be a welcome surprise 🙂 Yes, hoping for a mild spring and rain not snow!!
I’ve noticed that Jackson seems to spend a lot of time around Cloud’s band. I think it might have to do with how much bravado Cloud has. Jackson seems to prefer conserving energy, so Jackson may like the idea of Cloud fighting his battles for him, then when things get really bad Jackson can snake his band away. Just a theory, though.
An interesting theory. I had never thought about it that way before. You may be right.
Never thought of it that way. I see it as the opposite though. Most of the time it is CLOUD who shows up on Jackson, trying to prey on his weakness or injury. I had the feeling Jackson was enjoying the show this time!! I could almost hear him saying “Karma is a bummer”. 😉 Just a theory though! 🙂
True, Cloud seems to spend a lot of time sparing with other stallions, where as Jackson tends to spend more time with his band. Could it be possible Jackson feels that having Cloud pick on him is a fair price to pay for having Cloud confront the other stallions for Jackson? We won’t ever know the true motives, but it sure is fun to discuss and speculate about them.
Thanks Livi! Yes, it certainly is fun to discuss what possible situation occurs! We will never know for sure! Thank you for your comments.
It is fun to speculate 🙂 haha sometimes I wish we could ask them if we’re right!
All the horses seem much thinner than last year. I was looking back at some pictures of Gabrielle from last winter and she is definitely bonier that last year. Doc however looks really great though. He seems to be the only band stallion that isn’t a bit under weight. Although, Cappuccino looks pretty goo o.
I am also concerned about Maia and Moenokpi being bred. They are awfully young to have foals and I am really hoping everyone will turn out ok despite being in foal. I really hope Nimbus is not pregnant as that will not do her any favors at her age.
Yes, I think everyone in general is much thinner than last year. Thank you for commenting Maleah!
I agree about Mica and Maia looking stunning! Feldspar always seems to throw such stunning foals so I’m sure Mica is only going to get more handsome 🙂 I think Nimbus’ beard is even more comical given that she was such a feminine foal!
I was just curious, in situations where daughters have stayed with their sires to the point where the lines have blurred, has anyone noticed any common denominators among those scenarios? I read a comment somewhere suggesting that Dancer may have stayed with her natal band because Sitka just disappeared so she didn’t have time to grow apart (not sure if that’s reading too much into it but seems like it could be a possible theory given the strong bonds the horses form). What are everyone else’s thoughts?
I have to disagree with the impression being put forth here that Jackson may be a somewhat timid stallion. Truth is, you don’t get, and keep, for the most part, a large band by being at all timid. I have seen him in brief encounters with several stallions, various ages, and have never seen him back down from any of them. Frequently, all it takes is his confident and firm posturing to discourage the intruder. Some of the stallions are known for their bravado, some for their intelligence, and some for the combination of those and other characteristics. It’s my impression that Jackson possesses and demonstrates many of them. Great courage, bravery and determination are qualities ALL the wild ones possess in varying degrees, but, as with human defenders of freedom, only a few of the heroes are ever really known about by the masses. Jackson may be less known, but he is no less admirable in his role in the Pryor Mountain Mustang herd than Cloud, even if we haven’t been privileged to observe all of his battles. Seems to me like some folks may be having a hard time accepting that the same things will happen to Cloud as have happened to all the other great stallions on the Range, and will happen to all of them in the future. I can understand that, but it’s not necessary to try to diminish Jackson in dealing with it.
My theory is that the reason Jackson and Cloud’s bands are close a lot of the time in the recent past is because of Firestorm and Jasmine being in Jackson’s band. I think everyone should be really glad Jasmine is with another stallion who intends to keep her. When I first saw Jackson and his band in 07, he had none of Cloud’s daughters, and Cloud was not anywhere nearby. They were neighboring with Sante Fe and Lakota’s bands. Also, hopefully, the scenario of Cloud letting another stallion breed Nimbus, if she is indeed in heat, (and I’m with everyone who thinks she probably is), is accurate. It would be so much better than the possibility that Cloud is interested in her. It would be good if she is not quite developed enough to actually conceive, but I suppose the chances of that are slim. As you say, Sarah, an allowed or chance mating between her and Sante Fe seems like it could very well explain Sante Fe’s determination. However, it does seem odd then, that Cloud would be so determined to prevent it from happening again. And now, we have Cappucino and Doc in the mix. But they are wild horses, and there is a lot we don’t see. Bottom line is, if someone followed Jackson and his band around with movie cameras etc., for any length of time, I think they’d find him pretty impressive, too. His poop is on the top of many studpiles on the Range and that’s because he’s aggressive when he needs to be, intelligent enough to reserve his strength for important battles and in very good physical condition.
And as for Cloud, I prefer to believe there may not be reason for panic. Yes, he is thin, and yes, he’s older and under pressure, but he still has Feldspar and their offspring, troublesome as this time with Nimbus may be. Many horses have been VERY thin after long winters and have come out of it fine. (Let’s hope all the moisture from this long winter will make for great forage for the stallions and nursing mares especially, to rejuvenate.) Could be Cloud will spend a few of his later years with a smaller band. What would be wrong with that? Or, if it is his fate, his story will still be amazing if he becomes a respected “old man on the mountain” for a number of years as a retired bachelor.