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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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,
The Pryor Mountain Wild Mustang Center, did a post last February too. You can read that post by clicking on PMWMC
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Many wonderful guests shared the mountain with me this month, and I was touched by each one.
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.
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.
Please go to my August archives to read my posts on this month.
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.
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.
Ginger was on the mountain in this cold month. You can read her post, by clicking on GINGER.
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.
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!