2014 Pryor Mountain, Year In Review

Sandy.  Photo by Meg Frederick
Sandy. Photo by Meg Frederick
IMG_5371-1
Nye, February 2014

2014 has flown by.  It is hard to believe that it is already time for my “year in review” post, another year on the mountain coming to a close.

This year, (as every year that I have spent in the Pryors) has been filled with both joy, excitement and tears.  Just part of life when you become closely involved with this magical herd of horses.  These horses have a way of showing me life in a way they thing I should see it,  I found that when I listened, my life changed, for the best.  There is not a day that goes by, that I am not grateful for all they give me.

2014 was my 2nd year of camping tours.  This year exceeded my expectations with the bookings and the guests.  I made many new lifelong friends.  Next summer is almost completely booked, so if you are thinking of taking a trip, I suggest contact me as soon as possible.  Click on CAMPING
to see the available dates for 2015.

So let’s take a look at what happened on the mountain in 2014.

Jasper, February 16, 2014
Jasper, February 16, 2014

January:

  There were no reports from anyone on the mountain in January.  With the late birth of Nawah (Washakie and Baja) in late September 2013, many of us were thinking and hoping for some news.  Like everyday, I found myself checking the weather report for Lovell, constantly.  By checking on Lovell’s weather, it gives me a fairly good idea of what may be happening on the mountain.

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

February:

Ginger (TCF) was there just a few days before I was ( February 8-12).  You can read about there trip by clicking on GINGER

I was glad that they were there.  The snow was deep on Burnt Timber road, their UTV tracks were a great help to me when I arrived with my friend Anh and the famous photographer Kimerlee Curyl, a few days later.

It was Kimerlee’s first time to the Pryors and we quickly became life long friends.  Her photography is amazing, please click on her name above and take a look at her amazing work.

For the next 4 days, we took Ophelia (my UTV) up and down the mountain in search of horses.  The snow was deep in spots, but despite that we were able to find several bands.

Sandy and Anh, February, 2014.  Photo by Kimerlee Curyl
Sandy and Anh, February, 2014. Photo by Kimerlee Curyl
Jackson and Galena, February, 2014
Jackson and Galena, February, 2014

This February trip would hold some “last” things for me.  The last time I would see the amazing stallion Teton and one of the last times that I would see the incredible stallion Jackson with his band.

Teton had recently lost his band to both Doc and Hernando, and I caught a glimpse of him on my last few minutes on the mountain.  He was high on a hill above the Mines, with his head turned over his shoulder to look at us.  My heart ached for him.  It was difficult to leave the mountain and his solitary sorrow.

Teton, February 2014
Teton, February 2014

On this trip, we also spent several hours with Jackson and his band, which continued to affirm my love for this stallion.  Not only is he beautiful, but he is a kind and very fair band stallion.

Maelstrom and Jackson, February 2014
Maelstrom and Jackson, February 2014
Jackson and Heritage
Jackson and Heritage
Heritage and Jackson.
Heritage and Jackson.
Jackson
Jackson
Maelstrom
Maelstrom
Jackson
Jackson
2-18-14
2-18-14
Jackson, Niobrara and Firestorm, 2-18-14
Jackson, Niobrara and Firestorm, 2-18-14
Firestorm
Firestorm
Looking the other direction.
Looking the other direction.
Wide-angle shot of the surrounding beauty.
Wide-angle shot of the surrounding beauty.

Right now he seems content to be on his own, hanging with different young bachelors and teaching them all he can.  I hope they all are taking notes, and will use the knowledge they learn from him.

You can read more about my trip by clicking on FEBRUARY 1and2,

February 3 and February 4.

Kimerlee, February, 2014
Kimerlee, February, 2014
My favorite rock along BT Road, February, 2014
My favorite rock along BT Road, February, 2014

The Pryor Mountain Wild Mustang Center, did a post last February too.  You can read that post by clicking on PMWMC

March:

Ginger was back up the mountain in March.  You can read about her trip by clicking on Ginger.

I did not go to the mountain in March, but there were a couple of note worthy posts that I published.

1.   The first Pryor Mountain Foal was born in Europe.  You can read Cedric’s post by clicking on PRYOR FOAL.

2. My post on Permits.  Read it, by clicking on PERMIT.

Burnt Timber road, February, 2013
Burnt Timber road, February, 2013

April:

April brought the first report of a new foal on the mountain.  Waif and Corona were there first to give birth to Orion, followed by the first of two more, Orlando and Oregon.

Norte and Orion, April, 2014
Norte and Orion, April, 2014

Returning to the mountain in late April, I was greeted by many changes.   Several of the stallions looked thin, and it would be the last time I would see Cloud’s band all together.   Mica and Nimbus would be taken from their family band, never to return.

I love this time of year on the mountain.  The quiet awakening of a winter mountain, with the promise of spring in the air.  Unfortunately, this month can be one of the most difficult for the horses.  With their deprived and stressed systems, the new green forage can proof to be deadly to those horses that are the weakest.   I have heard that April can be the most deadly month of the year for them.

Probably the most noteworthy happenings on the mountain this month, was the very thin Cloud, being dogged by not only Santa Fe, but the also the aging Chino.

You can read all of my April/May posts by clicking on the Archive link on the right and selecting April, 2014.

Ophelia on Cheyenne Flats
Ophelia on Cheyenne Flats, April, 2014
Nimbus, Mica and Innocentes, April 2014
Nimbus, Mica and Innocentes, April 2014
Cloud watches Santa Fe
Cloud watches Santa Fe
Johan had Audubon and Niyaha
Johan had Audubon and Niyaha
Blizzard, April 2014
Blizzard, April 2014
Medicine Bow, April 27, 2014
Medicine Bow, April 27, 2014
Icara, Mercuria and Hawk
Icara, Mercuria and Hawk
Morgana, she would give birth, about a week later.
Morgana, she would give birth, about a week later.
Ophelia
Ophelia on Sykes Ridge Road
Hidatsa and Johnston
Hidatsa and Johnston
Wonder how they get some of those wounds?  Look at what they are running through!
Cloud and Santa Fe,  April, 2014

 

Moenkopi, she would give birth in July.
Moenkopi, she would give birth in July.

May:

May brought the birth of Oracle, Ogala, Morgan’s foal, (who was discovered by NPS, but then died shortly afer), and Oak, Omaha (deceased), Outlawlass, Ohanzee and Okomi.

May would bring a lot of trama and stress on the mountain top this year.  Cloud would lose his band and disappear for a short time.  Jackson would lose his band, with most of his harem going to the band stallion Doc.

Ginger made a post, click on TCF to view it.  The PMWMC made a few as well, you can go to their website to view those.

 

Cloud
Cloud, May 2014

June:

Ahh, June, one of most exciting and beautiful months to me on the mountain.  Not for the fair weathered, this month can be beautiful, but also cold and snowy.  But being one of the first people to witness the horses arriving on the mountain top for the summer months, can make up for a little inconvenient coldness.

June 2014, proofed to be one of the best.  The snow only allowed the bravest and most determined people to have access to it.  The only road open until just before the 4th of July was Burnt Timber Road, and it is not for street cars.  Even in my truck, I had a few difficult moments getting up the road the first time.  But the effort proofed to be worth it, giving myself and my guests, experiences and photos of a lifetime.

June would bring the birth of two more foals:  Odakota and Odessey (Oro), but the absence of four horses was painfully apparent.  The winter claimed: Quelle Colour, Topper, Teton and Madonna.  These horses will be missed, all very much matriarchs of their bands.

Hamlet would acquire a small band, consisting of Audubon and Niyaha.  Hernando was seen with part of Jackson’s band and Teton’s band.  His new band consisted of: Warbonnet, Phoenix, and the look a like sister and brother, Niobrara and Maelstrom.

Meriweather, Madonna, Maverick and July.  July 7, 2012
Meriweather, Madonna, Maverick and July. July 7, 2012
Chino and Topper and Topper Too.  May 2012.
Chino and Topper and Topper Too. May 2012.
Teton, 2012
Teton, 2012
Quelle Colour, October, 2011
Quelle Colour, October, 2011
Odakota and Graciana
Odakota and Graciana
Okomi
Okomi
Firestorm and Doc
Firestorm and Doc
Cloud and band in the Blue Hour light, June 24, 2014
Cloud and band in the Blue Hour light, June 24, 2014
Noble
Noble
Maia and her colt, June 22, 2014
Maia and Odyssey, June 22, 2014

July

The wildflowers this year were amazing, the best in years.  I saw them all summer long, but July was the peak, with them blanketing the mountain like a magical carpet of color.

July would bring the birth of Obsidian and Oklahoma, bringing the total foals born to 16.  Little Obsidian (born to Moenkopi and Cappuccino) would only live a little over a week, and with his death, took a small piece of my heart with him.  I knew the chances were against him from the start (born to a 2-year-old), but I had hoped he would make it.  I was there on the day of his birth and death.  I won’t dwell on this on this post,  you can read about it by going to my July 2014 archives.

Moenkopi and Obsidian, July 21, 2014
Moenkopi and Obsidian, July 21, 2014
Garay's, Mid-July.
Garay’s, Mid-July.
Baja and Dukes running from the helicopter
Baja and Dukes running from the helicopter
Lariat and Oklahoma
Lariat and Oklahoma

A positive note for this month, was the dedication to the new signs in the Bighorn Canyon Recreation Area.  Two of my photos, along with several of my friends were chosen to be permanent displays for thousands to see.

One of my signs, this one is displayed at Crooked Creek Bay
One of my signs, this one is displayed at Crooked Creek Bay

Many wonderful guests shared the mountain with me this month, and I was touched by each one.

Odakota, July 2014
Odakota, July 2014

August:

August would bring the birth of another Washakie, Baja foal, Ojai.  Washakie, although 20 years old, still gives birth to some of the most healthy foals on the mountain, and this year would be no exception to that.

The horses move into the trees on most days of this month, but with it, brings the challenge of finding them.  I know their hiding places, so it has become easier.  Being one of the few people camping on the mountain, I have many day trip people stop by and ask me where the horses may be.  I love to talk to all the visitors on the mountain, so always feel free to stop me and ask questions.  I am always more than willing to share what I know and help identify horses for you.

I love to hike this mountain, discovering new and hidden areas, and the early mornings of August, give me the chance to do this.

Washakie and her new filly.  August 10, 2014
Washakie and her new filly. August 10, 2014

Wild in the Pryors

Little Ice Cave, August 2014
Little Ice Cave, August 2014
hiking the mountain
hiking the mountain
Sandy
Sandy

The last part of August, I spent a week on the mountain with one of my assistants, Meg.  We hosted the University of Montana/Western for a few days, and then spent the rest of the days with the horses.  Most days it was just us with them, a great way to bring the summer to a close.

U of M Class
U of M Class
Photo by Meg F.
Photo by Meg F.
Photo by Meg F.
Photo by Meg F.
Photo by Meg F.
Photo by Meg F.
Watching and learning about wild horses
Watching and learning about wild horses
students
students
August sunset
August sunset
Galadrial
Galadrial

Please go to my August archives to read my posts on this month.

Inocentes
Inocentes
Sandy.  Photo by Meg F.
Sandy. Photo by Meg F.

September:

September brought the birth of another foal:  Galadrial, foal, Oceana.  Galadrial kept us all waiting, but gave birth to a healthy foal the end of this month.  The sire could either be Tecumseh or Gringo.

Although the end of August was snowy, the month of September was warm and sunny for the most part, giving the horses a chance to fatten up even more before the winter begins.

Galadrial and her new foal, taken on September 27, 2014.  Photo by Steve Cerroni.
Galadrial and her new foal, taken on September 27, 2014. Photo by Steve Cerroni.

October:

Two foals were born this month, very late in the year for them.  Orielle, born to Cloud and Innocentes. and Okiotak, born to Ketchikan and Tecumseh or Gringo.  I pray these little ones, born so late in the year, will survive the winter.

Innocentes and her new foal.  Photo by Steve Ceronni.
Innocentes and her new foal. Photo by Steve Ceronni.

 

Photo by Jack Sterling
Photo by Jack Sterling

November:

Ginger was on the mountain in this cold month.  You can read her post, by clicking on GINGER.

November, 2014.  Photo taken from the internet.
November, 2014. Photo taken from the internet.

It looks like (from this report and also from Ryan at the BLM), that Demure has once again changed bands.  I loved the combination of Demure and Jupiter, I was hoping that would stick.  Another example of the effects of PZP.  Demure, now permanently on PZP (birth control), lost her last two foals to unknown reasons, and seems to be seeking out a stallion that may breed her successfully.

December:

Phoenix, 2-18-14
Phoenix, winter of 2014

And here we are in December, the months passing quickly.  Death and Birth on the mountain, new people being touched by the mountain.  My heart, soul and life, once again touched with so much that words can not possibly do them justice.

Looking ahead to 2015 and the long summer months.  I will be camping on the mountain for more than 50 days this year.  I do have a limited amount space left for a few camping trips, it has amazed me how fast they have filled, as I write these last words, I booked two more guests.  Click on CAMPING to see what is still available.  It is a once in a lifetime experience, and it has been brought to my attention that I am one of the few people in the world to offer such an experience.  I feel very fortunate and very, very blessed.

Thank you all for following this blog, joining me on the mountain and being my friends.  I am looking forward to 2015, meeting new friends and sharing my experiences with these amazing horses, who have changed my life.

Happy New Year!

Sandy

Logo designed by Amber Bushnell.  Wild in the Pryors and this logo is copyrighted.
Logo designed by Amber Bushnell. Wild in the Pryors and this logo is copyrighted.

 

27 thoughts on “2014 Pryor Mountain, Year In Review

  1. Dear Sandy

    So great to get this 2014 overview. Really brings me back to our wonderful time on the mountain last summer.
    I have been thinking so much of the Pryor horses and am hoping they are doing fine during these winter months. How has the winter been so far?

    And all my wishes for 2015…
    I hope Custer and Fiasco will have a foal.
    I am also wishing for Winnemucca & Tonapah to make it through the winter.
    The young foals born so late this. I really do hope they will make it as well. 3 more months to go until spring, right?
    I would really like to see Jackson & Coronado with a band again. Although I guess it will be harder for Coronado but Jackson should manage.
    Have you heard with whom Demure is with? Was wondering if she is with Jackson?
    Cappucino and his band really captured my heart last summer, as well as Duke´s & Custer´s bands. So I will be looking forward to news of these bands.

    Again, thank you for a lovely trip last summer and all my best wishes for the year to come.

    Thora

    1. A lot of your wishes for 2015 are the same as mine! I would love to see Coronado get back Blue Sioux. And a Jackson and Brumby reunion. Ginger thinks she saw Demure with Duke’s band. She saw them from a distance and there was an extra grulla with the band so she thinks that it was probably Demure.

    2. Hi Thora! I really enjoyed meeting you and spending time on the mountain sharing the horses. I love all your 2015 wishes. Yes, as Sarah said, Ginger said she may have seen Demure with Dukes. But it also could have Tonapah back again. Time will tell, but we all know Demure is a very independent mare. I wish she could foal again and be able to have a healthy one that lives.

      It is very cold and snowy in the Pryors right now. Unfortunately, winter will last longer much longer than 3 months on the mountain. But we will hope for the best for all the horses, especially the very young and old.

      Thank you Thora!

      1. I really wish Demure could foal again and have a healthy foal. I really loved the pair of her and Jupiter together, I would love to see them back together again. That would be one stunning foal if they had one together! I guess if the pzp plan gets changed there is a chance she could foal again. Have you heard anything about when they plan to release the decision?

      2. What changes are they considering to the plan? I’d love to see certain gaps filled in (such as putting mares back on PZP even when they are seriously underrepresented on the range-for example Demure, as you pointed out). I’ve been worrying a lot about another removal too, has anyone heard any recent discussion in that vein?

      3. Hi Abbie, I do not support the current proposal change of PZP. However, I do feel like there could be some changes to the current plan. I am not sure what post it was, but if you search in within my blog, you can find out more about it. Thanks Abbie.

    1. Thank you so much for this wonderful recap of 2014. Loved seeing old photos of Jackson and band, and all the other wonderful photos! It was also good, although sad, to see the ones that are gone again. I look forward to another year with your blog:)
      Hope your Christmas was good and relaxing, and that you have a happy new year:)
      Anne

  2. This year really has flown by and so many important events took place. I’ve found myself thinking a lot this year about the horses that were lost in the winter months. I was worried about Madonna heading into winter, so while disappointed she didn’t make it through I wasn’t all that surprised. Quelle Color took me completely off guard. That was one I didn’t expect whatsoever. I wasn’t especially concerned about Topper. I know she had been thin and listless the previous winter, but she was in great shape heading into winter and very happy looking after Norte as well. I had really wished Diamond/Teton had been able to hold on a little longer. He could have joined up with Jackson or his brother Red Raven/ Coronado. Or Santa Fe and Chino too. A good number of them ran together as bachelors. I had hoped that in their retired years the trio of brothers (Diamond, Cloud, and Red Raven) would be reunited. I think with Quelle Color at least it was probably a winter related accident rather than the harsh winter weather conditions. She may have slipped and fallen on ice or snow. The terrain is so rugged even in the summer a misstep can cause injury. I’m leaning towards something along those lines with Topper too. I know we’ll never know for sure, it’s just something I’ve thought about a lot. And although there were lives lost there was a lot of new life coming into the world. I think a lot about the youngest ones, Oceana, Orielle, and Okiotak. All three were such healthy foals and born to such healthy mothers in great shape that I have hope all three will make it through. I look forward to 2015 and to the fact that I will actually get to see some of it in person!!! I’m counting the days! I think my biggest wish for 2015 is getting to see Cloud while he still maintains his band stallion status. He is the reason I’ve come to know all of these special horses and the people that love them. So I would love to see him in all his glory while he still maintains a family. And of course one of my biggest thanks has to go to you Sandy, for providing the opportunity for me to see these wonderful horses and the place they call home in person!

  3. Thank you, Sandy!! Loved your recap! Wishing you the best in 2015 – keep those photos and stories coming for those of us who probably will never see the horses in person! But, we sure can dream!!

  4. 2014 was quite a year for all of us: both humans and animals. My father and I want to thank you for taking us on such a wonderful unforgettable trip in July. But I wanna say a huge thanks for helping me make my dream come true and giving me the chance to see the horses I’ve learned a lot about since 2009. Thanks again Sandy and hope I can see you again

  5. Thank you for this review, and the continued updates on the horses! It makes my day to see a new blog post and pictures 🙂 it’s so sad to see Topper, Quelle Colour, Madonna and Teton “officially” listed as having passed, but it’s so nice to see a tribute to them as well. They certainly won’t be forgotten in a hurry. I’m trying not to worry too much about the late-born foals and their mothers (mostly because I can’t do a thing by worrying) but it is scary to think of the little ones facing such harsh conditions at such an early age. But they are much stronger than we think-and all three are lucky to have good support networks though it does concern me that as of the latest update Galadriel and Oceana were missing from Gringo’s band. Fingers crossed they are with Tecumseh! Last year really does seem to be the start of a “changing of the guards,” so to speak. It seems so strange to think of Teton, Coronado, and Cloud (the trio of brothers as Sarah so nicely put it) getting old and having to face retirement.

    Looking forward to all the updates in 2015 🙂 I’ve already started compiling my 2015 foal name list (I can’t help it haha)

    1. Hi Abbie! Thank you so much. I will be in contact with you shortly about my “gift trip”. Your application is very high on the list. Perhaps you will get to see the horses in person this summer!

      1. I was very excited for the opportunity to apply! Thank you for considering my application 🙂 I look forward to hearing from you.

  6. Beautiful pictures as usual. 🙂 I’m behind on my blog commenting, been busy these last few months! Sadly I do not think I will be able to make it this year to the Pryors this summer. On a tight budget and saving up vacation days. I am jealous Julia gets to go again. I will be saving up for 2016. 🙂

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