A couple of weeks ago, there were some photos posted on the Pryor Mountain Mustang Center’s Facebook page. These photos, were taken by Dennis McCollough. It showed three dark-colored horses, two of which were easily identified as Orlando and Oglala. The third was not as easily identified. Another wild horse follower, Dawn Ness, was also in that area and took some photos.
This black horse appeared to be solid black. There are only two horses in the Dryhead that are solid black. Seattle and his son Issaquah. Issaquah has not been officially seen for a couple of years now. But not surprising, the Dryhead is a huge and vast area, and anyone that would see him from a distance would possibly make the assumption that it was:
1. Seattle, the son of Tacoma and Three Bars, was born in 1997. He was reported to look very thin this past fall and also has a very distinct swollen knee on the right side. This horse was not him.
2. Chief Joseph, son of Bakken and Seattle, born in 2009. Without spotting his back right hind, he could easily be thought to be his full brother Issaquah. But this horse had no right back hind, (as seen in Dawn’s photos below).
3. Inniq, son of Sitting Bull and Ceceila, born in 2008. Several people thought and think it was Inniq. But Inniq has a very destinctive star, and this horse does not have one. (Thank you Dawn for taking that photo of this horse with a clear shot of his forehead with out a star!
The first person to make the comment that it was Issaquah, was Alex Pitterman. Alex has followed this herd for many years and is virtually a walking encyclopedia with what he knows about this herd. At first I thought maybe it was not Issaquah, but then I began to think about the vastness of the Dryhead and how he could easily be misidentified for one of the other black horses. I am convienced that the horse that was spotted is indeed Issaquah. Thank you Alex for bringing it to our attention!
As a young bachelor, Issaquah was almost always seen with his 1/2 brother Hawk (they share the same sire). In fact I would call them HawkandIssaquah, because they were rarely apart.
But when Hawk gained his own band, Issaquah was not allowed to join him and so this most likely started the mix up of his identity and the assumption that he was no longer with us. Issaquah may also have decided to go off on his own and was not as visable. I saw him once along Burnt Timber Road, about 3 miles from the bottom, by himself in August of 2014, and I am betting that once others start to think about their sightings of black horses over the last few years, especially at a distance, we may all realize that Issaquah was there all along.
Whatever the case, I am convienced that the horse that was spotted in late February is indeed Issaquah. And with all of the death and disappearances of the many horses over the last few years, this news of yet another survivor is very welcome. It’s great to see you Issaquah!