May 2015 on Burnt Timber, Grateful.

Galaxy, May 10, 2015
Galaxy, May 10, 2015

It has been many months since I have been to the mountain.  Many of you have been contacting me and asking if I was okay.  I have gone through some major changes in my life over the last 10 months, but I am great, very happy and looking forward to watching a new chapter in my life unfold.

Sunset at the Monster Lake Ranch, May 9, 2015
Sunset at the Monster Lake Ranch, May 9, 2015

As I watched the sunset out my window at the Monster Lake Ranch, I found myself becoming impatient for the next day to come.  I would be heading up Burnt Timber early the next morning.  Even though I had been away from the mountain since late August, 2014, I still felt very connected to the mountain and the horses.  They are deep in my heart and soul, and all I need to do is think of them and I am on the mountain.  They have helped me through many things in life, and I am grateful to them.

The next morning, my friend Meg and I would be there with them.  I know I have said this in previous posts for this time of year, but I never head up the mountain hoping to see any particular horse or band.  I don’t spend my days searching for one horse, I simply let the day unfold how it was meant to be, and take in the beauty of each and every horse that decides to show themselves to me.

Galadrial and Oceana in snow flakes, May 10, 2015
Galadrial and Oceana in snow flakes, May 10, 2015

We were about 3.5 miles up Burnt Timber around 8 am that morning.  We had not seen any horses yet.  Something caught my eye to the left.  There were several horses quite aways away.  I looked through my binoculars and realize it was Jackson’s band.  But I could not spot Jackson.  Then my heart sunk as I spotted the stallion Doc with them.

Doc had taken Jackson band last spring at this time, but I had learned that Jackson had gotten them back again, over the winter.  But it was now obvious, that Doc had once again taken his band, and I felt sad once again, for Jackson, and hoped he was doing okay.

Doc and Band, May, 2015
Doc and Band, May, 2015

We continued heading up the mountain.  Just as we entered into what is known as “Cheyenne Flats”, we were presented with Galaxy and his band.  I quickly noticed that Maia and her colt Odyssey were not with them.  I emailed Ryan at the BLM and he informed me that they are with Jupiter over on Sykes Ridge.  Odyssey is Galaxy’s first and only foal, and I hope they are able to stay safe away from this magnificent stallions careful watch.  Galaxy has had this band since he took them from Prince in the spring of 2012.  Since that time, I have watched with admiration and amazement at how great of a band stallion he has become.  But not too surprised, as he is the son of Lakota, who was one of the best on the mountain.  He has inherited Lakota’s caring and strong characteristics.

I am going to apologize right now, but I did not get many photos of the band members that were still with him: Hera, Ireland, Limerick and Pococeno.  For I was so taken with Galaxy’s incredible beauty and the striking poses he gave to us.  The light was incredible and the surrounding beauty that surrounded us only made these photos more beautiful.

Hera and Ireland
Hera and Ireland
Galaxy
Galaxy
Limerick
Limerick looking a bit round?
Limerick
Limerick

Galaxy’s focus became intent past us and to the left.  I have been watching these horses for several years, and immediately recognized that he was probably looking at some other horse or horses nearby.  I turned in the direction of his gaze and saw Jackson walk out of the trees.  He was thinner than he looked a month or so ago when I saw him in a photo with his band.  He also had a nasty looking wound on his upper left leg.  It will most likely heal fine, I have seen worse then have.  There are no flies to bother it this time of year, which should make healing easier.  It looked to me like Doc had taken a nasty bite out of his leg.  He did not seem to be limping. That night I emailed both Ryan and Jared about his wound so they could keep an eye on him.

Wild in the Pryors Wild in the Pryors Wild in the Pryors Wild in the Pryors Wild in the Pryors Wild in the Pryors

Jackson
Jackson

Galaxy hurried over to greet Jackson, but there was no kicking or biting, only a greeting of respect, for this band stallion icon.  Similar to what I witnessed several years ago with Jackson and Lakota.

Galaxy heads over to greet Jackson
Galaxy heads over to greet Jackson

Wild in the Pryors Wild in the Pryors Wild in the Pryors

Wild in the Pryors

Lakota's son, Galaxy greets Jackson
Lakota’s son, Galaxy greets Jackson

Wild in the PryorsWild in the Pryors

Jacksons wound
Jacksons wound

Wild in the Pryors Wild in the Pryors Wild in the PryorsAfter a few brief minutes, Jackson turned and continued walking and Galaxy returned to his band.Wild in the Pryors

Hundreds of Galaxy pictures later, we decided to continue up the mountain.  Our next group was the band who I named Fleetwood Mac.  This band consisted of one mare, Nimbus and two to three stallions: Knight, Inali and sometimes London.  London was not with the group, but today they had added yet another band member, Malstrom.  He was clearly part of the group, very much accepted.  It will be interesting to see how long this lasts.

The one thing that I really noticed was how much Knight had matured.  He has grown into a handsome stallion, built very much like his father Cappuccino.  His story reminds us of how strong these wild ones are.  Orphaned at 6 months, survived and now is a band stallion.  I am at awe with his story, and so very proud of him.

Knight leads the way with Nimbus, Malstrom and Inali behind.
Knight leads the way with Nimbus, Malstrom and Inali behind.
Knight
Knight
Knight, Nimbus, Malstrom and Inali
Knight, Nimbus, Malstrom and Inali

My SD carded ran out of space (too many Galaxy photos??!), and I had to do a small hike back up the road to get another.  I was disappointed, but this crew had galloped into the woods, clearly just running because they could.  They had made it through the winter looking good and were simply enjoying life on the mountain.

As luck would have it, once I replaced my card, I caught a horse running in the trees to my right.  It was just a flash, but I was sure it was Tecumseh.  He was chasing Fleetwood Mac, and behind him were Galadrial and her foal Oceana.  I had not seen Oceana yet, she was born in late September.  It was so good to finally meet her!

Galadrial and Oceana, May 10, 2015
Galadrial and Oceana, May 10, 2015

I was really pleased to see how healthy Tecumseh looked.  He had no open wounds and his weight was good.  He looked better than I had seen him since Gringo took his band from him in June 2012.  He also was clearly a good band stallion again.  Very protective and watchful.

Tecumseh, Galadrial and Oceana, May 10, 2015
Tecumseh, Galadrial and Oceana, May 10, 2015

Gringo was down to just one mare now, Beulah.  He seemed content with this, and while he approached and grazed near and with Tecumseh and band, there was only one brief encounter.  It was Tecumseh who initiated the move.  The did some brief boxing and then returned to their grazing.  Little miss Oceana marched right up with her daddy and watched the boxing.  She is a very outgoing and fun little girl.  I look forward to watching her grow up on the mountain.

Wild in the Pryors Wild in the Pryors Wild in the Pryors Wild in the Pryors Wild in the Pryors Wild in the Pryors Wild in the Pryors Wild in the Pryors

Wild in the Pryors Wild in the Pryors Wild in the Pryors Wild in the Pryors Wild in the Pryors Wild in the Pryors Wild in the Pryors Wild in the Pryors Wild in the Pryors Wild in the Pryors Wild in the Pryors Continuing up the mountain just a short way was Mescalaro and his band, with a new member, Feldspar.  She was part of the band, which included her mother, Rosarita and sister Half Moon.  Half Moon looks to be pregnant, I hope I am right, she has only one offspring on the mountain right now, Missoula, it would be good for her to have another.

Half Moon and Broken Bow
Half Moon and Broken Bow
Feldspar
Feldspar

And just as fast as they exited a short way down the road, the Fleetwood Mac band barged into this area.  This band very much reminds me of how the Odd Couple (Horizon, Fiesta and Juniper) were when they first formed their band.  Then the wise and beautiful mare Tonapah joined them and showed them the way of the mountain, and peace and stability took over for them.  I wonder if an older mare will step in to help this band as well.

Nimbus does not look pregnant to me, but she is so tiny, she may be.  If she foaled, I am not sure how that would unfold.  She is a very young inexperience young mare with 3 stallions.  I hope I am right and she is not.

Nimbus watches Missoula
Nimbus watches Missoula

Missoula has grown into a confident young stallion, he is three this year, and as I watched him, I wondered why Mescalero had not kicked him out.  If Mescalero does not kick him out soon, he may have trouble doing so in another year.  Right now, Mescalero has easy authority over him, but give him another year, and he will have a hard time telling this young stallion what to do.

I watched Missoula go over to spar with the Fleetwood Mac boys, he was allowed to do this for a while, but then Mescalero stepped in and reminded him where his place was.

Wild in the Pryors Wild in the Pryors Wild in the Pryors Wild in the Pryors

Knight watches the boys play, but never joins in.
Knight watches the boys play, but never joins in.

Wild in the Pryors Wild in the Pryors Wild in the Pryors Wild in the Pryors

Nimbus, Knight and Malstrom
Nimbus, Knight and Malstrom
Malstom
Malstom

Wild in the Pryors

Mescalero tells Missoula it is time to come home.
Mescalero tells Missoula it is time to come home.
Fleetwood Mac Band takes off on yet another adventure.
Fleetwood Mac Band takes off on yet another adventure.

It started to snow again, as we traveled further up the road.  I wasn’t sure if I would see another band up this high, we were past the old horse trap area and about 2 miles from the top.  I looked ahead and saw some fresh horse manure in the road, and at about the same time, I saw some horses to the right of me in the woods.  It was Jasper with his new band!

Jasper, May 10, 2015
Jasper, May 10, 2015

Last summer, I wrote that I watched Jasper “taking notes”.  I felt this young stallion would be trying for a band soon.  I was right, but his collection of mares was one he clearly worked on, and did it well.  He did not step in and take over just one band, he collected mares from 3 different bands.  They all seemed to be adjusting well with the change.  His band consisted of:  Millicent (Garcia’s band), Lariet and Oklahoma (last seen with Horizon’s band) and Ketchikan and her foal Okiotak (from Gringo’s band).

Wild in the Pryors Wild in the Pryors Wild in the Pryors Wild in the Pryors Wild in the Pryors

Lariat looked extremely thin, but she has looked very thin for a year now.  While he seemed small, her little colt Oklahoma seemed to be doing just fine.  Another testament to the extreme will to survive with these wild horses.  Hope the summer is good to them both and they can put on some much-needed weight.

Milicent was the most watchful of the group.  Her father, Garcia is one of the wildest on the Pryors.  He taught her well to be cautious and observing of her surroundings.

Ketchikan and little Okiotak looked good.  Was Ketchikan pregnant again?  She is one that I am never sure of.  I hope she is not.  Okiotak was born  in October, and unless she was bred immediately, that means she would have another late foal.

Lariat
Lariat
Jasper and band
Jasper’s and band

Wild in the Pryors Wild in the Pryors

Jasper and band
Jasper and band
Oklahoma and Okiotak play
Oklahoma and Okiotak play

Wild in the Pryors

Jasper with Okiotak and Oklahoma
Jasper with Okiotak and Oklahoma
Okiotak
Okiotak
Ketchikan and Okiotak
Ketchikan and Okiotak
Ketchikan and Okiotak
Ketchikan and Okiotak
Oklahoma
Oklahoma
Jasper
Jasper

We left them to sleep in the sun that was now shinning.  I began to wonder if I would make it to the top of the mountain.  My answer was waiting just a short way up the road.  I was about 1/2 mile from the top when I ran into a huge drift in the road.  It would be the end of the road for this day.  I parked Ophelia and hiked around to take in the beauty that surrounded me.

I don’t usually bring a dog with me to the mountain, but this time I had to include my corgi, Dover.  He did well, and he was so small, it did not even seem to interest the horses one bit.  Dover is also used to being around horses, and he did not give them a second glance either.

Ophelia
Ophelia
Walking about 1/2 mile from mountain top
Walking about 1/2 mile from mountain top

Wild in the Pryors Wild in the Pryors Wild in the Pryors

Sandy and Dover hiking through the snow
Sandy and Dover hiking through the snow

We turned around and started back down the mountain, passing a sleeping Jasper band along the way.

Stopping to have a look around, I spotted Hernando and his band.  He was down one member from last fall.  Malestrom was no longer with them.  But Phoenix, Warbonnet and Niobrara were still there.  They all seemed to be doing well.

Sandy and Dover looking for horses
Sandy and Dover looking for horses
Herando and band
Herando and band
Hernando and band
Hernando and band

Back down on Cheyenne Flats, I saw Doc with Jackson’s band.  They had traveled a few miles up the mountain since I had seen them in the early morning of this day.  It was nice to see them up closer.

Teceumseh and his band was there along with a much smaller Duke band.  Duke was now down to 4 members, he had with him, Aurora, Helenium and Outlawlass.  Outlawlass went over to visit with Oceana.  The stayed by each other grazing.  There was a peacefulness to this open area, I inhaled it deeply.  It was good to be back on the mountain.

Wild in the Pryors

Docs
Docs
Jasmine
Jasmine
Nye
Nye
Docs
Docs
Dukes
Dukes
Dukes
Dukes
Dukes
Dukes
Outlawlass with Tecumseh band.
Outlawlass with Tecumseh band.
Outlawlass with Oceana
Outlawlass with Oceana

We left the horses and made our way back down the mountain.  Heading up the road early this morning, I had no idea what I would see, but we had seen over 50 horses (some spotted over on Sykes).  I felt grateful for those that had shown themselves to me.

I am looking forward to my summer here on the mountain.  Introducing people from all over the world to this special herd of horses.  I feel very fortunate to be able to do this.

I have 1 (maybe 2) spots left in my last trip of the summer.  Click 2015 to go to that post and see the dates.  I have also released my 2016 dates.  Click on 2016, to go to that post.

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 “May 2015 on Burnt Timber, Grateful.

  1. I just inhaled your post, Sandy!! Thank you so much! I have thought a lot about you this winter, feeling sure you were searching a new path. Glad you are doing well, happy, and I am so glad you are back on the mountain, among the horses. I know this will give you great peace. Loved this post – beautiful pictures!! So glad to find out how so many horses are doing. I even enjoyed the “snowy” pictures – and having just come out of one of the worst winters the northeast has seen in some time, I was surprised I could enjoy them!! So looking forward to your future posts – thanks!

  2. Beautiful horses, they breathe of freedom, wild nature, strength, unity, solidarity, empathy & so much more that it would take too much on this comment-space to do so 🙂
    It was hard to watch the opened wound, I wonder how they get over this on their own?
    And how do you memorize theirs names & personalities?
    You need to have a sharp mind.
    There’s nothing to compare with the trained horses we see so often around us…

    1. Thank you so much. Yes, it does take a good memory and a will to learn them! They are all like good friends,as I am able to recognize and know their names when I see them!

  3. Thank you for sharing all those gorgeous photos!

    I love your posts on your trips – I think it’s because you don’t necessarily go out looking for specific horses, but enjoy all of the bands you do see. I never know which horses to expect updates on (I always hope for news of Nimbus and Feldspar as my two favourites, and now that I know Half Moon and Missoula are related to them, I am convinced Rosarita and Starman have passed on some very good looks to their daughters and grandchildren), and it is always fun to keep reading and learning more about all the different bands and individual horses. After this post, I have a new appreciation for Galaxy – he is beautiful!

  4. So very glad you have your spiritual connection to the mountain and it’s inhabitants, and good friends, to help you thru trials and tribulations. Best wishes for what will undoubtedly be a great future. Thank you so much for sharing all these pics and observations of the horses and their homeland. It is amazing to see all the growth and changes in the youngsters, and sobering to see the changes in the older generation. I especially appreciate the glimpse of Broken Bow, and the pics of Jackson, even tho it hurts me too, to see him with such a wound. I believe he will heal, physically, and I’m hopeful that he will accept the change in his position and embrace retirement. However, I’m not too sure he’s going to “throw in the towel” yet. I fear that it will take a fatal blow to quell that desire to be head of a family, much like with Lakota. 😦 It would take up an entire page for all the comments I’d like to make on individual horses, but I’m just going to say TY again, for everything. 🙂

  5. It is so easy to get wrapped up in taking pictures of the always gorgeous always camera ready Galaxy! He’s one that I am very much looking forward to photographing this summer and I sure I will leave the mountain with about a million pictures of him! You got some really gorgeous shots of him this trip! The snow made for some really cool pictures too. Tecumseh looks so good, he does look like his former self prior to Gringo taking his band and it makes me really happy. And really happy to see him with Galadrial and Oceana. Oceana seems like she has so much personality already! I wonder if we’ll see Gringo go after Ketchikan this summer or if he sets his sights on some other mares.

    I was really happy to hear that Jackson is not limping. It looks like a nasty bite, but like you said I think it will heal ok. And he’s not limping now but I’m sure at the time of that injury it hurt pretty bad and that may have even been the deciding factor of Doc being able to take his band. I hope we see Jackson get a mare or two back at least. Brumby was with him so long and Heritage seemed really unhappy last summer. It would be nice to see him with those mares again. I loved seeing him and Galaxy meet as respectful warriors. It’s nice to see that. Galaxy recognizes that while Jackson is currently without a band he was one of the most dominant band stallions for quite some time and still deserves respect.

    It seems the Fleetwood Mac band is ever changing! Kristen Collet saw them earlier in the month and it was just Knight and Nimbus without Inali. I think we’ll see Maelstrom end up with the other bachelors this summer, especially with his brother Moorcroft being one of them. These were probably the first “bachelor” boys he ran in to. I’m happy to see they have accepted him and let them be with them. I’m sure he’s happy to have companionship again. I don’t think Nimbus is pregnant either and I’m really hoping we’re right!

    I agree Half Moon does look pregnant. It will be nice for her to have another foal. I think she’s probably a big part of the reason Missoula is still with the band. Maybe with her focus on her new foal Missoula will become a bachelor. those were some great sparring pics you got of him and the boys! I have to admit I was disappointed to learn that Feldspar is with Mescalero. I just don’t like seeing reproducing mares with him as it seems all of the foals disappear. His band stallion skills on that point are just not really on par. Hopefully with Broken Bow in the band these foals will fair better.

    Hopefully Ketchikan is not pregnant again this year. Lariat is really thin but hopefully will pick up weight soon. Is Oklahoma still nursing her? Millicent’s world is about to change as she becomes much more visible.

    On the topic of pregnancy what are your opinions on these mares: Ireland, Hera, Nye, Jasmine, and Heritage. In recent pics Ireland, Hera, and Nye have me thinking they may be pregnant. Jasmine and Heritage have been harder to judge.

    1. Thank you Sarah. Umm.. boy I don’t know. I would like to say that I think Jasmine is this year. I am probably most confident about that one. As for Hera, Hertiage and Ireland, I hope that Hera and Hertiage are, but I don’t know. Ireland always seems to look pregnant to me. I am also wondering about Limerick. She did look a bit round to me. And yes, I am wondering about Nye. I almost did not recognize her when I saw her, she has grown so much. I think she may be, time will tell.

      1. Nye looks SO grown up! At least if she is pregnant she is surrounded by such an amazing group of experienced mothers, some of the best in the pryors. Typically I always think Ireland looks pregnant too. But she looks so big in recent pics. Bigger than usual. She is probaby a hard one to judge just going off of pictures because of that. Hopefully at least one of Galaxy’s girls is pregnant. A foal from him and any of those three would be absolutely stunning! I hope Jasmine is. That will be a beautiful foal too. Thinking positive thoughts for Heritage! Maybe she’s having a July baby and just hasnt gotten very big yet.

      2. A Heritage foal would be fantastic!! Wonder if the sire would be Doc? There was so much unrest with that band and Heritage never really settled with him….

      3. Good point Abbie. Remember, I saw Custer take Hertiage (or she went with him), in late August last year. If she does have a foal the end of July, it could possibly be Custers.

      4. Very true!! A CusterxHeritage foal would be pretty special, though, to be fair, Doc could use some more genetic representation too! Hopefully if he keeps the band he’ll manage them in a gentler fashion this year.

  6. Beautiful words Sandy, this truly is your life’s passion. You capture the wild horses in their landscape so eloquently in both images and word. I am so looking forward to my time with you and Filemon up in the Pryors. Happy Trails Lynn

    Sent from my iPhone

    >

  7. What a fantastic read! In just over a month and I’ll be there to meet you and all those wonderful horses……..

      1. Glad to hear you are doing well-I’ve missed your online prescence and updates! 🙂 Loved, loved this update! And it’s so wonderful to have recent pictures of many of the horses. I l know everyone else has said it but Galaxy is just stunning. I would love for Jasmine to be pregnant, Hera too. I’m hoping we don’t have too many mares foal outside of the PZP window, it just makes me nervous given the gather hanging over us…..So glad to see Oceana and Okiotak apparently thriving!!

      2. Hoping Jackson will recover quickly and regain some of his family! I know Doc is just doing what comes naturally but the band just doesn’t seem “right” with him. Jackson is such a caring stallion….glad to hear that he has been sighted with Moorcroft!

  8. Jasper has a band! So proud of him. He seemed so confident last summer with the other bachelor stallions, so I am not surprised. Hopefully I can make it out next summer. Can’t wait for the rest of your updates from your tours.

    Also not sure what kind of things you’ve been through this year but I hope things are okay and that being the horses will bring you peace of mind.

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