A Visit To The Dryhead

hawkband1

The Dryhead horses can be very elusive, especially in the summer months.  The summer is very hot, and if you are not there in the morning just as the sun rises, as I have found out many times,  you may not see a single horse.  But in the fall, they begin to be a bit more visible, but can still be difficult to find.  My friend Laura Curtis always seems to have a way of spotting the horses, and she takes beautiful photos of them.

Laura and her husband John just returned from a trip, and she shared a report and photos of what she saw in September and October of this year.   Thank you so much Laura, it is great to see all of these horses!

Below are her words and photos.

Sandy

hightail1
Autumn in the Pryor Dryhead

John and I went to the Dryhead for a couple of days this Fall in September and again in October.

In September, the first band we saw was the “Greeter” band. Hickok and Kitalpha with their foal Quasar, Seneca, Nova and Prima. The early morning mist at Crooked Creek made Kitalpha’s photos look like paintings.

I miss the awesome mare Hightail, so much.  She was the very first Pryor wild horse I saw as she was leading the Greeters at the State Line. I loved her and also her son Chino. Hightail is the granddam of Jesse James. The above photo May 28, 2015, is my last time with her and her great spirit still burned brightly as she walked through the spring wildflowers.

Note from Sandy:  Hightail was the first horse I ever saw, walking down the middle of the road, she lead me to Admiral and the rest of his band, at Crook Creek Bay. 

hickok1
Hickok
kitalpha1
Kitalpha
quasar
Quasar

Next we saw Fiero and Strawberry grazing beside the Devil’s Overlook Road. Near them these sweet bighorn lambs were sunning by the road.

Then we saw Hawk with his band, Fresia, Oak, Parry, Morgana and Oglala on a high ridge across from the entry to Devil’s Overlook Road. I hiked up to see Hawk snaking the three boys trying to keep the band tight together as Fresia and Morgana moved away. This band has been together since June.

bighornlambs

hawksnaking

At Mustang Flats we were surprised by a bobcat near the road that quickly ran away. As we left the Flats we saw Chief Joseph high on a western hill grazing alone.

Note from Sandy:  I saw a Bobcat on one of my trips up Burnt Timber this past summer.  They must be making a comeback.

On the October trip, at early morning Fool’s Crow was on Mustang Flats with the two beautiful full sisters, Halo and Jewel.

jewel-halojewelhalofoolscrowfoolscrow1

About 9 am we saw Hawk, Fresia with her sons Oak and Parry, Morgana with Oglala near the road south of the Montana/Wyoming state line. We watched Oglala nursing Morgana so guess that settles whether she or Icara is his mom. Oak and Parry are two stunning full brothers from Fresia and Hidalgo. Parry is really a mischief maker. He constantly nipped at the manes and legs of Oak and Oglala. There was a lot of play-fighting, practice to be big boys. Later Parry decided to be a baby again and began to nurse– and then lay down making a precious picture as the sun highlighted his two-tone mane and tail.

fresiaparrymorgana

oglalaoakmorgana
Oglala, Oak and Morgana
parrynipsoak
Oak and Perry
oakparry1
Oak and Perry
oak2
Oak
oak1
Oak
parry1
Parry

Before you get to the tipi rings, Fiero, Strawberry and Sacajawea were grazing behind the knoll. All three looked good. I was especially happy to see Sacajawea had gained more weight. As they moved on down the ridge, Sacajawea didn’t seem to have any problem keeping up. They watered at Layout Creek, then continued to graze along the two-track.

sacajawea1
Sacajawea

We saw Johnston, Icara and Phantom by the road as we headed back to the Pryor Mustang Center.

icara1
Icara
phantom1
Phantom

Late afternoon I was excited to ride up Sykes Ridge Road with Nancy Cerroni. We saw Hawk and his band on Lower Sykes which was surprising as I had seen them earlier in the day on Hwy 37 near the state line. It is amazing the distance they can travel quickly in this extremely rugged terrain.

hawkband1

On Sunday we stopped by the Pryor Mountain Wild Mustang Center to see Mercuria, who was adopted with her foal Paquita by the Pryor Mustang Center in the 2015 removal, now at her new home in the Center pasture. Stiles is happy to have a friend again since the September death of Besa (a 1999 daughter of Hightail).

mercuria1

As we drove out of the Dryhead early on our last day, Hickok was near the highway at Crooked Creek. How I hate those cockleburrs that seem to always be in his hair in the Fall! Yesterday we saw Kitalpha and Quasar on the ridge by the Creek.

I am already looking forward to Spring in the Dryhead and our summer trip to the mountain with you.

Thanks for everything!!

Laura

 

11 thoughts on “A Visit To The Dryhead

  1. Sandy, thank you so much for sharing my Autumn Dryhead update and photos. Every horse sighting is a joy and a blessing!! I love your blog and photos, and greatly appreciate all the work you do on behalf of the Pryor horses. See you for a trip to the mountain top next summer!!

  2. It’s great to know that some people see the dry head horses. When I went up in October, all I saw was Blizzards band. Although you just got to be thankful that you saw any at all!
    The info on Morgana and Oglala is great too. I think everyone was wondering who is real mom was.

  3. Thank you so much Laura for the update and beautiful photos!! 😀 It was so nice to see close up shots of Sacajawea, Halo and Jewel as it’s been a while since I’ve seen any. I am SO happy you saw Sacajawea, last I’d heard she hadn’t been seen in quite some time!!

    I’m wondering, did Nova look at all pregnant? There had been some speculation earlier in the summer that she was, but at this point I certainly hope not!

    I think Oglala might still be Morgana’s brother. If I remember correctly, as a foal he was observed to nurse both Icara and Morgana and if Morgana lost her foal shortly after birth, she would have continued to produce milk as long as Oglala nursed her. By the time they were separated from Icara, the lines had already been blurred and Oglala was used to nursing both mares. I think Morgana may have redirected her maternal behaviour towards her younger half brother. Oglala then got the best of both world’s because after Icara weaned him (as she was pregnant with Phantom), he was still able to nurse Morgana, strengthening the bond between the two of them. Which also accounts for him staying with Morganan. Of course, this may not be the case at all. I guess we’ll never know for sure! 🙂

    By the way, I really love the photos of Icara and Phantom. Everyone looks great; thanks again for the update! 🙂

  4. Abbie, I knew there had been lots of questions about who was his mom. Sounds like Oglala had several “moms” and the birth mom will remain a mystery. Thanks for sharing his history. In September, Nova could go either way. In October we did not see her.

  5. I love all your posts and learn so much! I was wondering if you could please tell me more (anything at all, I know nothing about him!) About Chief Joseph ? He’s stunning and I would love to try and see him my next trip up! Thank you!

    1. Thank you so much! Chief Joseph was born in 2009 to the mare Bakken and the stallion Seattle (both are still alive and live on the dryhead). Joseph is a bachelor and can be a bit hard to find, but over the years I have seen him many times. Sometimes along the road in the Dryhead and a few times several miles up Sykes Ridge Road. Hope that helps and good luck! Maybe he will show himself to you on your next trip! Sandy

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s