Jackson, February, 2013
Jackson, February, 2012

This past Monday (May 26, 2014) I noticed a photo posted on Facebook.  It was from a person who had gone up as a guest for a day tour with PMWMC.  Here is the photo, (taken from the internet):

Photo taken by Elaine S, from Facebook.
Photo taken by Elaine S, from Facebook.

The first thing I noticed was that this was part of Jackson’s band, with Santa Fe and Doc chasing close behind.  I thought about this for while, thinking that perhaps Jackson was just out of the photo.  I have photos were there are many bands intermingled running, so I was not too overly concerned.

But this morning (5-27-14), I woke up worried.  With all the changes that seem to be taking place on the mountain, I thought maybe Jackson had lost his band.

Jackson and his band, September, 2012
Jackson and his band, September, 2012

I decided to email Nancy and ask her about the photo.  She got back to me quickly, explaining what had happened. Jackson had lost his band sometime between May 4th and May 18th.  My fears had come true, Jackson had lost his band. 

I was hoping the Center would make a post about Jackson either by blog or Facebook, but they have not and Nancy said it was okay if I did. Update:  The Center made a post about Jackson.  You can read it by clicking on Nancy.

Jackson’s band is now split between Doc and Santa Fe right now, but we all know how quickly that may change.

Jackson, October, 2011.
Jackson, October, 2011.

When I saw Jackson (who was born in 1998)  in February, he looked thin, but so did many other horses.  When I saw him again the end of April, he seemed a little better and at that time had the biggest band on the mountain (11 including Jackson).  However, many of those band members were offspring, but even so, it was still a large band.

I always have admired how Jackson can continue to keep a large band together.  I always have said “Jackson runs a tight ship, he has to”.  But at the age of 16 and with the long hard winter, I think that was perhaps taking its toll.  Not to mention all of the younger band stallions and bachelors (young and old), determined to gain some mares this spring.  It is “chaos on the mountain” this year.  I have some theories on why so much of this is happening, but I will not take the time to talk about that right now.

Jacksons, April 26, 2014
Jacksons, April 26, 2014

I do know that when I read Nancy’s email, I burst into tears.  Not just because he had lost his band, but more because he was not there by any of his band members.  God please don’t let anything happen to Jackson.  But really, I am not sure why I started to cry.  I have learned to be tough.  Right?  I have to be.  I see so much happen, that if I got upset over every little thing that occurred on the mountain, I would be crying all the time.  But why am I now?

I have always had a soft spot for Jackson.  Admired his strong, but caring personality that he shows each member of his band.   Ask me if he was my favorite horse, and I would deny it.  But could the reason be because I have denied myself the opportunity to care so much for another wild horse after my heartbreak with Lakota?

I am pretty sure that could be the reason.  I spend so much time with these horses, that it is hard to not to care deeply for all of them.  But some seem to wiggle their way a bit deeper into my heart despite how hard I try not to let it happen.

Maelstrom and Jackson, February 2014
Maelstrom and Jackson, February 2014

Jackson is without a band right now.  My hope for him is that he is off healing his wounds, which are most likely not only on the outside, but emotionally on the inside as well.  He, like so many other stallions on the mountain, lives for his band.  He won’t lie back and take this change, that I am sure of.

Once his wounds heal, I look for him to swoop in and take back some of his band.  Will he get them all back?  Most likely not.  But that in itself could be a good thing.

Jackson, October, 2011
Jackson, October, 2011

The personal politics of his herd is getting more complex than ever right now. This herd is loved by many people who have just as much right to know what is going on with the horses as I do.  I strongly feel this way.   For many that read about the Pryor Horses, it is their only glimpse into the life of them that they may get.  Does that mean that just because you may not physically get to see them, you don’t have the right to know what is going on?  I don’t think so.  I think we all deserve the same advantages.

I know that when I started this blog,  I vowed to myself that I would report the happenings on the mountain as soon as I saw them first hand.  Why should there be secrets?  Why should news be withheld?  Now, if I was personally asked to “wait” a day or two, perhaps I would do that (for whatever reason). But as we all know, a social media posting only takes a minute, not requiring a waiting period at all.  I have done it several times, many times while on the mountain.  So why wait to report?  Why keep secrets?

There are many that will read that last paragraph and say “people don’t need to know everything that goes on with the horses”.  I agree, there are little things I don’t report, make notes and watch before I post my observations. But when something significant happens, I don’t hesitate to let all the people who follow and love this herd know.  They are after all, everyone’s horses.
No one should have the right to decided what should be shared and what shouldn’t.

Jackson and Brumby, September 4, 2012
Jackson and Brumby, September 4, 2012


But it is not all bad.  A few years ago, I asked and wondered why we all could not get along for the sake of the horses.  Try to work with everyone involved.  Included in this idea was one small thing that I wished for.  That wish was that everyone involved could agree on one name for the foals.   Silly and small to some, but important when you are communicating about them on a regular basis.  AND one small little act may lead to bigger and better communication.  Well, now this year, that appears to be happening!!    That makes me really happy.

Now if we all can just honor and respect each other on a daily basis, and just because we may not agree 100% on how this herd should be managed, it doesn’t mean that we should stop communicating with each other.  Pick up the phone, text, email,  let’s work together,  For the horses.  I look forward to that day.

I am in love with the Pryor Horses, and I won’t be going anywhere.


October, 2011
Jackson and Lakota, October, 2011
Logo designed by Amber Bushnell
Logo designed by Amber Bushnell

37 thoughts on “Jackson

  • Thanks, Sandy. Looking forward to hearing more details as they become available. Especially want to hear that Jackson is OK, and believe he will get back a family of some sort. Two or more against one is hard to beat, and Doc and Sante Fe are strong and beautiful stallions, too, who deserve to contribute to the herd dynamics.

    • I was just thinking, can you contact Elaine S., from FB, who took that photo of the band with Doc and Sante Fe, if she knows about Jackson’s condition?

  • It sure is good to have a place to go to for info on and pictures of the many beautiful horses out there in the Pryor Mountain Mustangs herd—not just the famous ones. Thank you again, for everything you do. 🙂

      • Darn. 🙁 Maybe someone else who was out there will eventually report…

      • I think Ginger was also there during this time so hopefully Nancy and then maybe Ginger too will be able to share some more details.

  • I can only speak for myself, I will probably never be able to see the Pryor herds in person, I’m 74 and live in AZ and have some physical limitations and since I’m retired I’m broke (LOLironically). I became aware of the Pryor herd thru the PBS series but came to know them thru your postings and blog Sandy. I want to know all the herds and their members (not only my favorite mare Bakken and her get) and their outcomes., for better or for worse. I for one, am glad you are alert enough to notice the changes in the pictures and brave enough to tell the horses stories

  • I was thinking about how this may have all unfolded. I bet since Chino is still hanging around now that he was a part of the original “assault” alongside Doc and Santa Fe. With multiple challengers all working against one stallion they can only hold up for so long. Even the strongest stallion. I know he will get some of the mares back, maybe not them all, but definitely some. Brumby for sure, which may make it easier for him to get the rest of Doc’s group if they’re following Brumby’s lead like they always have. With these recent events I wonder if we’ll see Moorcroft and Maelstrom quickly become bachelors like we saw with Mica. I’m sure of the group they’re not going to be the focus of Jackson trying to get back. Moorcroft is huge!! I think we’ll see what happened to Cloud happen to Jackson. And especially since Jackson is three years younger, I think he will definitely bounce back. He got to the point where he couldn’t hold up under the intensive (and unusual) pressure and after taking some time to recouperate he will make a successful attempt to reclaim his band. The mares are obviously going to want to rejoin him. It’s a very close band. With the current situation I don’t know if he’ll be able to maintain a band that large (11 members) but he will definitely be able to maintain a band. I’m happy for Santa Fe though. I really hope he keeps a mare. I would love if it was Firestorm. He seems to like her And maybe next year there will be a little Firestorm x Santa Fe foal! I would love that! Ember (Firestorm and Santa Fe’s 2008 foal who was removed) is so beautiful, I bet a sibling would be too! With all the foals Santa Fe sired over the years, it’s a shame almost all were removed. Arrow’s (Dancer x Prince) colt Arroyo who was born the next spring after she was removed was sired by Santa Fe too. Definitely glad he’s still got Mandan! Maybe he’s got a chance for one more.

    And I totally agree about all of the other stuff you said 🙂

  • I was wondering when Jackson would lose some of his mares, but I wasn’t expecting him to lose all of them at once! I also find it interesting that Doc originally stole Santa Fe’s band, but now they each have some of Jackson’s mares. Something tells me this won’t last long, but I could be wrong.

  • I feel there is something more with this post…something that maybe someone didn’t want to share the information about Jackson just yet. But why? We all love these horses and love to find out what is going on. We don’t need to know every detail (ok…yes we do. 🙂 ) But we certainly love to hear the stories and what is going on on the mountain top. Thank you always, Sandy, for sharing any and all information that you provide to us. I know I look forward to your blog posts, as well as those from the Center and TCF (even though I still sometimes get confused because TCF uses “their” name for the horses).

    • Thank you Lola. I also have shared many times those other blog posts here, as I also enjoy reading them and I want others who may not see them be able to read them too.

  • I too am grateful for all of your posts, good news and sad news. I fell in love with Jackson last October when we came almost face to face with him up Burnt Timber. I swear he looked me in the eye and it was love at first sight. My prayers are that he is healing and preparing a way to get at least some of his mares back. As he will always be special to me I find all of the horses, including Bailey, magnificent and worthy of all of our love and concern. Nature has a way of doing what she wants and even if don’t understand it is, The Way of the mountain.

  • OMG I love Jackson too! I sponsored him when I was there. His picture is hanging in my bedroom …I look at it and dream of being there again! Please Lord let Jackson be ok!

  • Awww, poor Jackson. Such is the life of the animal kingdom. There will always be someone else to oust you from the top dog position (same goes for humans too!). But I would tell Jackson what I would tell any of my friends suffering from a nasty break up: focus on yourself and take some time for you. Then when you are feeling better, go out to conquer the world! Obviously at 16, that may be easier said than done but he unknowingly has legions of fans on the Internet. That should count for something. 🙂

  • Sandy, I was very moved by your latest post. You were so honest with your feelings and putting them out there for all to see takes a lot of courage and honesty!! We are so blessed to have you always being our eyes and ears and photographer for all the Pryor mountain horses. Every bit of information you share, whether from your own information or that from others, helps us stay current on the entire family we love so much. Their battles, wins and losses are the wild in them that we love so much, even though the way they work it out can be very painful to us as well as to them. Keep on keeping on with all the news!!

      • Yes, we spent several days last week in the Dryhead. We saw Hickok, Seneca, and Hightail each day. We saw Johnston and Seattle, each alone, on two days. And to my great joy, one day we saw Merlin, also alone, and looking very good, not even limping!! Each day we saw Fiero with Sacajawea, Oregon and Strawberry and got to watch Oregon play. What a sweetie!! We spent lots of time with Blizzard, Cascade, Bakken and la Nina. What an attitude that little girl has, playing and then looking at us like “did you see that?” And as usual every time I have seen her, Bakken wanted to come too close. So it was a great visit. But my heart ached as we did not see Medicine Bow. Since there have been sightings this Spring, I know he has been OK and hope he is just higher up the mountain.
        As a side note for anyone thinking of going to Yellowstone, we went over there two days and saw seven adult grizzlies and four cubs, a herd of 14 bighorn rams with full curls and moose, all easily visible from the park road. The park rangers said because of so much snow that the wildlife viewing is the best in years.

      • Hi Laura!

        Thank you so much for your report!! I emailed you, but I wanted to publicly thank you for sharing as well! AND WOW!! That is exciting about Yellowstone. I would love to see those photos as well! Take care and see you in July!!

      • Wow, that sounds like a great time! Thank you for sharing! It’s great to hear that Oregon is doing well and seems like La Nina has quite the personality 🙂

  • Sandy, like Collette above, I would dearly love to see the Pryor Mountain Mustangs, but even if I could afford a trip West, I too would have difficulties hiking in the mountains. I’ve had to give up riding all together. That said, I live for your posts and pictures. They are a bright spot in my day or week, and it’s not just the beauty of the horses or landscape, it’s all the fascinating details about their lives and loves. You have deepened my awareness of the emotional lives of horses. What a gift!

    I feel for you regarding Jackson, and feel a little guilty for continuing in my affections for Doc who really sounds like a mischief maker! 🙂

    It’s good to learn that more and more advocates for these horses willing to communicate. As you rightly state, those of us who may never see them love to see and hear about them through social media, and are willing to help advocate for them as well.

    Thank you so much!

  • I, like so many others, really appreciate your blog posts and willingness to share information Sandy. I agree, just because some of us haven’t yet had the opportunity to see the Pryor horses in person, doesn’t mean we aren’t highly invested in what goes on with the herd. I think a lot of us have fallen in love with these horses from a distance and it’s thanks to blogs like this one that we can keep up with the herd! 🙂

    I was really sad to hear that Jackson has lost his band, I really hope he is off recovering like others have said. And he does seem to have quite the fanbase! He’s a gorgeous, kind and impressive stallion so it’s easy to see why!! I’ve come to expect Brumby to always return to him, they seem very close. A smaller band will be less strain on him too so it may wind up being a good thing in some respects. I agree with Sarah that Santa Fe and Firestorm seem to have a “thing” and that it would be nice for him to have another foal on the range. I was really disappointed when Ember was removed, she really is gorgeous!!

    Do you know which mares are with which stallion?

    • Hi Abbie,

      Yes, as of yesterday or Saturday, Doc had: Brumby, Moorcroft, Galena, Jasmine and Heritage. Nancy wrote that Santa Fe had “the others”. I am not sure what that meant. I just did not ask for clarification, because I figured it would soon be changing. It will take a while for those mares to adjust to being apart. So I am guessing there may be some more interchange.

      Thank you Abbie!

      • Thanks for the info! It seems a shame that such a close knit group was divided! Nye and Jasmine were even divided from their dams so I imagine that might contribute to some more interchange-especially since Aztec even left Cloud to go with Jasmine.

  • I have noticed the “secrets” of May, and been very disappointed. I am so sorry that Jackson lost his band. And disappointed that it wasn’t reported. Jeez. Well, Sandy, we’re all counting on you to keep us informed with beautiful pictures and equally beautiful words! You have never disappointed! And I’m betting that Jackson will get a couple of those mares back!

  • Jackson is a very special stallion to me. Along with Galaxy and Fiero he may be my favorite, at least in my top 3, if not 2. Jackson is one of the first wild horses I was exposed to on the range and watching him with his band has been nothing short of a blessing.

    Jackson is a fighter though and I can’t see him giving up on his band. Especially with Firestorm having just foaled. This is his family and he will isn’t going to give up on them without a fight. I really do hope he can at least get part of his band back, if not all of them.

    Of course he won’t be able to hold on to such a large band forever, but I’m not willing to accept he wont fight to get it back. I do really love this stallion, he is an inspiration, and I hope all is settled soon:)

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