First Pryor Foal of 2018!

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Morgana and her new foal. Photo by Bill Picket, NPS, Bighorn Canyon National Recreation Area.

The first Pryor Foal of 2018 was born to Morgana and (most likely) Johnston.  Morgana is the 2012 daughter of Icara and Merlin.  Johnston is the 2009 son of Cascade and Seattle.

Morgana was expected to foal this year (according to the PZP program), so this was not an unexpected birth.  It is a bit early, but with her living in the Dryhead, she should hopefully do okay.

No word on name or if it is a colt or a filly.  My friends Sarah and Abbie have suggested the name Surprise.  I think that is would be perfect.  It was the first word that I thought of when I saw this post on the BHCNR facebook page!!  Click on Bighorn to see that post.

Thank you to Bill Picket, NPS for allowing me to use his photo!

Sandy

2017 Pryor Foal # 9

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Ruby, daughter of Juniper and Horizon.  Photo by Jack Sterling.

I am a little late with this good news post.  Foal # 9 for 2017 was born around November 8th, 2017.   It is a filly who has been named Ruby.  Ruby is the daughter of Juniper and Horizon.

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Horizon
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Juniper

Juniper is the 2009 daughter of Sapo and Bolder.  Horizon is the 2007 son of Felina and Morning Star.

This was another birth that we were all looking forward to.  This is also the band that the beloved Fiesta was in.  I can’t help but think that he is looking down on this little one and watching out for her from above.  I witnessed Fiesta with Joviana’s foal in 2012 (they were both removed in 2012), he was so in love with that little foal, it was really touching to watch him play with him.

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Juniper
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Horizon and Fiesta

Welcome to the world little Ruby, may you live a long and peaceful life on the Pryor Mountain Wild Horse Range.

Thank you Jack Sterling for the use of your photos of Ruby!

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Juniper and Ruby, November 30, 2017.  Photo by Jack Sterling.

 

A Tribute To The Horses That have Passed in 2017

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Blanca, June 2012

Another year is about to come to an end.  It seems that the days passed very quickly this year, as I feel as if I just posted my tribute to the horses that passed in 2016.  But another year has gone by, and this year was an equally hard year in terms of horses lost.

Sometimes the pain of the loss, is more than I can bear, and some days I feel as if I no longer want to go to the mountain.  I just want to lessen the pain of the loss of so many familiar faces.  But I will continue to go, the strong pull of the mountain is too great to walk away from, it calls me from within.

This year we have lost 12 horses, and there are some missing.  I am going to be including the recently missing ones in this post as well.  One foal was removed, and I will be including him too.  That will bring the total to 14 horses and 3 foals for a total of 17 horses possibly gone off the range.   This year there were 8 foals born, three died and one was removed leaving a total of four 2017 foals still on the range.   The year of 2017 (so far) has left a negative growth of -13.

I felt in order to properly honor each horse that is no longer with us, I would go back over the years and find photos of the horses that I personally took.  There are a few from others here, but for the most part, each photo was taken by me.  It took me several days to go through the 1000’s of photos I have of the horses to find just the right ones.  In many ways, it became a healing exercise for me.  Seeing these horses in the land they loved.  Each one did live a good life, wild and free.  Some just left this earth way too early.

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Below are the horses we lost and those that are missing.  Listed in alphabetical order.

1.  Audobon, born in 2000, she is the daughter of Feather. This quiet mare was with Morning Star for many years, and then in 2014, she and her daughter Niyaha joined up with the handsome stallion Hamlet.

Hamlet and Audbon produced two foals, Penn (Paris) and Quicksilver.  Unfortunately, Quicksilver did not survive within a month after birth.   Something happened last winter/spring and Audobon was separated from Hamlet.  Paris ended up in the Dryhead with the stallion Jesse James.  Audobon has not been seen since early spring 2017.

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2. Belle Starr, born in 1993, daughter of The Old Mare and Hercules.  Belle Starr was last seen early 2017.   I usually saw her up Sykes in the early spring.

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3.  Baja, Reappeared!!  Finally showed himself after missing since last fall on May 31, 2018!! Born in 1996, son of Tonapah and Looking Glass.  Baja was last seen earlier this fall.  London was seen with Bacardi and Quahneah in September.  With Washakie’s health declining, the fate of their foal Renegade was in jeopardy.  It is assumed that Washakie died and Baja and Renegade remained with her.  Somehow Renegade found his way to his sister’s who were with London.  Renegade was removed (see his post listed below).

Baja and Washakie were together for 14 years, I have a very strong feeling that Baja just simply gave up after Washakie died.  He may reappear, and I hope he does.

To me, Baja was one of the most beautiful stallions, not only in looks, but by the way he cared for his band.  He leaves behind just one offspring with Washakie, Quahneah.  My hope is she will remain on the range to carry on his beautiful legacy.

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4.  Blanca, born in 1998, daughter of Phoenix and Raven, full sister to Cloud.  She was found dead on September of this year, lying peacefully in one of the upper meadows.

This one is a hard one for me.  Blanca was not only the matriarch of her band, but also the type of mare that I think we all thought of as a perfect example of how a lead mare should be.  Blanca was always there to help the young ones in her band, and also her band stallion Cappuccino.  She stood by Moenkopi during Obsidian’s death in 2014,  (OBSIDIAN).  This past summer, Cappuccino was wounded and lame and while he healed, Blanca held the band together and watch diligently over her stallion.  I could tell story after story of the touching things this mare as done.

She had been with Cappuccino since early 2011.   She produced her last foal, Kalispell, with Lakota, unfortunately, Kalispell died  in the winter of 2010-11.

The thing I will remember about her the most is,  Blanca could absorb the evening light with her golden coat, like I have rarely seen another horse do.  She was a glowing star, and I will deeply miss her presence on the mountain.

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5.  Cascade, born in 1997, daughter of Aspen and Lone Wolf.  She spent her life in the Dryhead.  She had a special place in Laura Curtis’s heart and below are some of the photos that Laura took of her.  Cascade has been missing since early 2017.

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6.  Corona, Missing, born in 1997, son of Sorita and Sam. Last seen sometime earlier 2017.  I have had only a few memories of this beautiful stallion.  The two most memorable ones were when I discovered Norte had been born.  Traveling down Sykes, they were directly off the road in a very steep section of the road.  The other was when they traveled up to the top of the mountain in July 2013.

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7.  Custer, born in 1996, son of Sitka and Shaman.   With his long-time mare Winemucca’s death in the fall of 2016, Custer, Fiasco and Prospera stayed together.  In January, 2017, Galaxy was seen with Fiasco and Prospera.  Custer has not been seen.

I have thousands of photos of Custer.  He seemed to always be around and his beautiful patterned coat was a treat to photograph.   His kind and caring personality made it easy for me to spend hours with him.  His presence will be greatly missed.

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8.  Fiesta, born in 2005, son of Phoenix and Teton.  Last seen, September 2016.  Fiesta, a horse that is larger than life.  I don’t think I can find the words to describe this horse.  He gave me so many gifts each and every time I saw him.  The gift of unconditional love, the gift of laughter, the gift of tears, the gift of accepting myself for what I am and being happy with it.  He was a true teacher to those of us that paid attention to what he had to say.

The one of the most memorable times I had with Fiesta was when I was camping with my daughter Amber.  We were sleeping in the truck and woke the next morning with the sound of horses right outside the truck.  I slowly sat up only to see Fiesta looking directly at me through the window!  I wish I could have captured the look on his face!  Here is that post if you want to relive that moment with me: FIESTA

Fiesta, you are so missed.  I just could not get used to not seeing you with your family, and I don’t think I ever will.  You were the one who would rush out and protect them from any danger.  You loved your family, starting with your good friend Horizon.  Looking back over your photos, I saw how much you cared for him when you both were just young carefree bachelors. You would risk your life to protect them at any cost, and ultimately I do believe you died protecting them.

Rest in Peace big, beautiful, silly boy, you will always be a part of my heart.

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9.  Inali, born in 2008, son of Iverness and Eclipse.  Inali was orginally from the Forest Service part of the range.  When both of his parents died, he was taken in by Cabaret.  In the summer of 2010, Cabaret kicked him out of the band, forcing him to become a bachelor.  That ultimately saved his life, as Cabaret and the rest of his band died up at the top of the mountain the winter of 2010-11.  (That was the year that the fence was re-built).  CABARET

Although he survived that, he ended up not being able to beat the next odds, he was last seen in the fall of 2016.  He was still a bachelor at the time of his death, but he always found time to mentor the younger bachelors.  He would often be seen with Orlando and Naolin.

You are missed Inali.

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10.  Isadora, born in 2008, daughter of Starman and Rosarita.  Isadora died giving birth to her foal this fall.  FOAL#7  The foal did not survive.

The first time I saw Isadora was when she was still in her family band.  It was the 3 of them (Starman, Rosarita and Isadora) walking down the dirt road in the Forest Service part of the range.  I remember being so impressed with her amazing marking she had on her face.

Isadora gave birth to a little filly named Lemhi the following spring.  Starman had lost his band to Mescalero.  Sadly, little Lemhi did not survive the winter of 2011-12.

Isadora was with Morning Stars band at the time of her death.

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11Medicine Bow, born in 1999, son of Twiggy and Cortez, he has not been seen since fall of 2016.

I had the privilege of seeing Medicine Bow several times.  He spent his time on the Dryhead and Middle/Lower Sykes.  His unique color was what caught my eye.  He was a red dun sabino.

I think Matt Dillion told his story best.  You can read his post here:  MEDICINE BOW.

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12.  Raeleah J, born in 2017 to Icara and Johnston.  Died about a month after birth.  You can read her post here. RAELEAH.  These photos were taken by Dennis McCollough.

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13Renegade, born in 2017 to Washakie and Baja.  Renegade was removed after discovering him without Washakie.  Washakie is presumed to be deceased.

Renegade was removed by the BLM and Nancy and Steve Cerroni adopted him.  You can read more about those details in Nancy’s post:  RENEGADE

The photos of Renegade after he was removed are taken by Nancy Cerroni.

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14Ryden (Rainbow), born June 28, 2017, daughter of unknown parents.  You can read about her here:  RYDEN  Ryden (Rainbow) died a day after her birth.

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15. Santa Fe, born in 1995, son of Twilla and Two Boots.  Santa Fe’s remains were found in March 2017.

Santa Fe, where to I begin.  He only wanted someone to love, always trying to gain a mare.   His one remaining offspring on the range is Mandan (Santa Fe x Demure), but he was not able to raise his son.  Doc stole the band before Mandan was born.  After that Santa Fe worked hard to gain another mare, and he did.  Judith a beautiful filly, but he would not be able to hold on to her either.  Judith was removed in 2012.  I was there when they removed her.  I can still hear Santa Fe’s heartbreaking cries as they loaded her unto the trailer and took her down the mountain.  My heart broke for him that day.

He was unable to acquire another mare, but spent the last several years trying.  He dogged Coronado’s band for what seemed like forever.  It was late June of 2014 where I saw a small crack in Coronado’s vigilance to keep Santa Fe away.  He seemed to be warming to the idea of Santa Fe acquiring Manulita, and she was very interested.  But, it would not happen.  About a week later a helicopter fly over the range, causing a chaotic stampede of horses.  It was during that time that Coronado lost his band to Irial, and Santa Fe’s chances were once again ruined.

He would still continue to try, but his age was catching up to him.  He spent most of his time with old and new bachelors, Coronado being one of them.  They had fought violently, but had somehow put that all behind them.

Santa Fe and his determination will always remain with me.

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16.  Seattle, born in 1997, son of Tacoma and Three Bars.  Missing.  I can’t remember when the last time I heard of someone seeing Seattle.  My best encounter with him was on the mountain top in July 2013.  I had seen him several times in the Dryhead, but most were from a distance. Yes, Seattle is a Dryhead horse, but the summer 2013 he ventured up on the mountain for a day.  I was happy I was able to capture it with photos.

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17.  Washakie, born in 1994, daughter of Sitka and Shaman.  She was an amazing mare. Nancy tells it best with this post WASHAKIE.

Washakie was a mommy machine.  She had a foal every year since she was 2.  Despite being vacinated with PZP, she continued to produce and was labeled a “non-responder”.  But despite her many foals, she and her stallion of 14 years (Baja) now have only one offspring on the range.  Quahneah.  She must stay and carry on this perfect couples legacy.

My encounters with Washakie were many.  The line I always heard from my guests and friends were: “she is HUGE”, she must be ready to foal any day.  But this dear soul would keep us all waiting until SHE wanted the new little arrival to be born.  Abbie and I blessed to see two of her foals shortly after their birth.  Quahneah and Renegade.

Washakie and Baja had a love that few animals or humans have had.  A constant love and devotion to each other and their family.

Rest in Peace dear Washakie, you will be so very missed.

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Rest in Peace dear ones,  run with the wind, I still feel your spirits on the mountain, and I am sure I always will.

Sandy

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2017 Pryor Foal # 8

This was a much-anticipated foal for many of us who have followed these horses!!     Jasmine had been off of PZP for a few years and I think we all expected and wanted her to foal sooner.  As one year turned into two of not conceiving, it crossed my mind that she could perhaps have become sterile.   Abbie and I were relieved to see her looking round in July.   But as the months seemed to go on without her foaling, I wondered if perhaps we were wrong.  Was she just fat?!

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Jasmine, July 2016

We finally have the answer to that question.  She has finally had her foal!  After a few weeks of sad news, this makes this news even better.

TCF made this statement which explains the name that has been choosen:

” The Pryor Mustang Center confirmed his name is Ryden—in honor of Hope Ryden who is largely responsible for saving this herd from total removal in the 60’s. Hope died this year and what an honor this little guy holds, as he carries her name well into the 21st century. ”

Nancy ( PMWMC) was very kind in contacting me to let me know the name they choose.  She knew that Abbie and I had choosen that name for the little foal ( # 3) that got separated shortly have her birth.  FOAL # 3    I agree that this name is a good choice for Jasmine’s foal.   Hopefully this foal will live a long and healthy life on the range and we can all be reminded of what Hope Ryden did for this special herd of horses.

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Jasmine and her colt Ryden, Photo taken by Steve Cerroni

Jasmine is the 2009 daughter of Aztec and Cloud.   But who is the sire?  Only Jasmine knows for sure.  My list would include these possible stallions:  Doc (who she has been with for a while, but does wander,  whenever she can get away with it!). Cappuccino, (who she has wandered to many times), Mescalero (who she was caught flirting with) or even Horizon (who stole Galena away from Doc last fall).

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Jasmine, February, 2013

Thank you Nancy and Steve Cerroni for the use of your photos!  I am looking forward to seeing this little one!

Sandy

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Jasmine and her colt Ryden. Photo by Steve Cerroni.

Proposed Removal of 15-20 Horses

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I am still reeling from this past couple weeks.  First the death of Blanca, then receiving the letter about the removal, and then the sudden and tragic death of Isadora and her foal.

I have been talking in depth with a couple friends (Abbie and Sarah), about the proposed removal, and we are carefully planning our in depth comments and will get them in writing and sent in before October 6.  In the letter from the BLM, it did not state when the removal was planning on taking place.  In order to properly comment, I did email them and was informed that the earliest would be the summer of 2018.

 I made a ton of notes on my copy of the notice, so I am going to give you a link that Travel and Nature posted of it.  PROPOSED REMOVAL LETTER.   Thank you Livi for making a post.  Here is a link to her post if you would like to read it.  Travel and Nature
Remember your comments need to be in by October 6, 2017.
Sandy

2017 Pryor Foal # 7 Deceased

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Rosarita ( Isodora’s mom), Isadora and Lemi, July 2011.

This is a very hard and heartbreaking post.  I was told today that Isadora was found dead on the mountain top.  It was determined that she passed giving birth, the foal did not survive.   What a horrible and tragic way to go.  I pray that she did not suffer long and that she and her foal passed quietly.  I am sure that she is standing next to her sire Starman and her little foal, Lemi that passed in 2011-12 winter.  Rest in Peace.  You will be so missed.

Isadora is the 2008 daughter of Rosarita and Starman.  The sire of the foal was Morning Star, he is the 1996 son of Washakie and Plenty Coup.

7 Foals have been born this year, 4 survived.

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Isadora and Morning Star.  Photo taken by Abbie Branchflower.  I love this photo!

2017 has been a very difficult year.  We have lost a lot of horses.  This loss, coming off of Blanca’s death just 10 days ago.

For those of us that are so close to these horses, it is extremely difficult.  Since Lakota’s death, I have tried to be a bit more distant, but truly, that is not who I am, or who I want to be, I feel each death and tragedy on the mountain.  2017 has been one of pain, and I pray that 2018 will bring us more joy.

Once again I am going to stress and ask that we not rush into another removal.  The mountain is doing it’s own natural part right now to adjust the population.  Sixteen horses will be over the age of 20 next year, that alone should be taken into consideration.

Rest in Peace Isadora and foal, we can not understand, but for whatever reason, this was your time to go.

Sandy

2017 Pryor Foal # 6

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Morning Reverie and her Mom Hataali

Pryor Foal # 6 was born in August to Hataali and Morning Star.  A Filly named Morning Reverie.

Hataali is the 2007 daughter of Sapo and Shaman, Morning Star is the 1996 son of Washakie and Plenty Coups.  Morning Star was 21 this year, so this will most likely be one of his last foals.

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Morning Reverie thinks she can boss Dad around!
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She gives it her best try!

Thank you Linda Dombeck for your great photos (taken on August 29th). This little filly seems to have a lot of personally and I am looking forward to seeing her grow up on the range!

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Morning Star and his band move down towards the water.

This year, the effects of the PZP (birth control on the mares) seems to be working.  With only 4 live foals for this year and the loss of at least 9 horses for the 2017 year, that leaves us with a negative 5 growth.  This will be the second year where there has been negative or very little population growth.  I am hoping that this will be noted and taken into account when the discussion of a removal comes around.  We need to carefully watch the genetics and assure that a healthy amount of horses are allowed to stay on the range.

Sandy

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Morning Reverie, August 29, 2017

2018 Calendars, A Tribute To Some of The Legends

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This year, I have decided to change the format of the calendar.  Instead of the usual calendar with the recent year’s photos, I am dedicating the calendar to some of the horses that have passed, with past photos I have taken of each of them.  Shown below is the layout, each month has an inscription of the horses birth year and their passing year.

There were many other horses I could have included in this calendar.  As I looked back over the years that I have been visiting them, it is difficult to realize how many horses that I knew are now gone, some because of removal, some because of death.  They all hold a special place in my heart, some did touch me deeper than others, but I will always remember each one and the time I spent with them.  This calendar is in honor of these amazing horses.

Sandy

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To place your order, enter the number of calendars you would like, and push the PayPal button!  Delivery will be approximately 5-7 days after you place your order.

The price includes shipping within the US.  Please contact me for overseas shipping cost.  (wildinthepryors@aol.com)

Only 1 left!

2018 Calendars

11 X 17" Heavy weight calendars

$24.99

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2018 Wild In The Pryors Camping Tours

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Sandy has been camping in the Pryors  for several years, spending weeks at a time  with the horses.  Abbie Branchflower will be joining Sandy for her fourth season as her assistant.  Abbie has a vast knowledge of the horses as well.  She will also be offering a photo book so you can make identification more easily once you are home.  If you are interested in purchasing one of these, contact us and we will have it ready for you.

Whether you bring a professional camera, or just a cell phone to take photos, Sandy goes out of her way to make sure you leave the mountain with cherished memories of your once in a life-time camping trip.

The many stories that Sandy and her assistant share about the horses and the range, make this trip more than just a chance to view them, it makes this a trip more about knowing the horses, giving you a brief glance into the life of the Pryor Mountain Wild Horses.

Experience living with the horses 24 hours a day and in doing so, this can give you a better understanding of what it is like to live wild on the range!

All tours may include light to moderate hiking.

IMG_0236Below are the tour dates for the summer of  2018:

1.June 18-21, 2018  Full

2. June 24-27, 2018    Full

3.June 29-July 2, 2018   Full

4. July 5-8, 2018   Full

5.  July 10-13, 2018  1 Space available

Contact Sandy with any questions:  406-360-8959

 

These trips will be 4 days/3 nights on the mountain top.  While on the mountain, we will be in Montana.  This trip includes: transportation up and down the mountain, all food, snacks, tents, and expert personal guiding. (last night dinner is on your own once we return to Cody).

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There are many great hotels in Cody, you will be responsible for making your own arrangements before and after the trip.  AirBnb is also a great source to find some lodging.  I can pick you up at your hotel the morning of our first day, or you can meet me at my house in Cody.

All payments are considered non-refundable. Refunds may be made when cancellations can be filled.  THERE WILL BE NO EXCEPTIONS, so please consider purchasing travel insurance on your own!!  Here is a link to travel insurance purchase.  This insurance is not through Wild In The Pryors.  Please explore this link for cost comparisons of several companies.   TRIP INSURANCE

Camping trips will be limited to 4 guests.  Sandy will have an assistant with her who will do the camp cooking and help you with any camping needs.  Sandy will personally be doing all of the guiding.

For reservations:  Contact Sandy or click on the Paypal link to pay the deposit.

Phone: 406-360-8959 

email:  wildinthepryors@aol.com

 

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Wild in the Pryors is permitted by the Bureau of Land Management to conduct small group tours within the Pryor Mountain Wild Horse Range from January to December. Wild in the Pryors is one of a handful of businesses that have the federal permits necessary to guide clients onto this federal property.

IMG_0158Reviews from past guests:

My dream came true camping in the Pryor Mountains of Montana in July 2017.

I have always felt a pull to our American West, horses and the Native American culture and history. Sandy Palen (Wild in the Pryors) was recommended to me when I was seeking out information on how I could spend time with our wild horses. I could not have asked for a more perfect opportunity and guide.

I signed up for the July 15-18th , 2017 guided tour. How excited I was to be camping out in the beautiful Pryor Mountains with the gorgeous Pryor horses.

I was picked up in Cody by Sandy and her assistant Abbie. I truly did not know what to expect and was kind of a chatterbox I think asking questions on our way to the mountain. Sandy was so patient and attentive answering all my questions. There is much to seen on the ride up and it goes by quickly. And when we got there…..the horses and open country were awaiting. I couldn’t believe they were right there!

Finally, I was living a dream! Our campsite was in a fantastic location. We had horses walking by…..grazing nearby……and lots of wonderful viewing time just from the campsite.

The meals were amazing and the smell of fresh coffee in the morning so very welcoming. Everything was planned and thought out to make this an experience of a lifetime….and one to remember so fondly.

We would go out in the truck to search for some other bands and get different views. We took some great little hikes….to get different mountain views and search out other bands. The wildflowers were in bloom and some of the fields were just breathtaking.

There are no words to describe the fabulous scenes that are etched forever in my mind and heart. Sandy made sure that you get the photographs you are looking for and will go out of her way to make sure you are content with everything. Her knowledge (as well as Abbie) of the horses and the mountain is just amazing. It was just awesome to listen to them name the horses, their background and everything about that. I truly envied them that.

They truly do love their Pryor horses. We got to experience it all. From seeing a rainbow shining down on horses…..to seeing a one day old foal….gorgeous stallions standing on the hillside…..bachelors playing and strutting their stuff…..stallions protecting their mares…..gorgeous sunsets…..stormy skies…..unbelieveable views…and just experiencing what life is like in the day of our wild mustangs.

For me to finally be out in the open….in the mountains….24/7 with the Pryor horses, I got to live one of my wildest dreams. It meant the world to me. I highly recommend Sandy (Wild in the Pryors) if you are looking for that once in a lifetime experience of spending time with our wild mustangs. You will not be disappointed. It’s just the best!

Cathy Weeks, Albany, NY

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Fields of Dreams
If you are searching for an adventure, if you’d love to see and photograph some of the oldest descendants in the founding of America, if you love horses, nature and the out of doors, consider a trip with Sandy Palen and “Wild In The Pryors”.
The road up to the mountain top is a bit rough, however, once you get up there it will take your breath away.  Your first spotting of the horses will cause your heart to skip a beat.  And it just gets better from there.  
Sandy knows these horses like the back of her hands.  She knows the details of the stallions, their bands, their mares and their foals.  She knows their history.  She has a sense of where they will be in the mornings and where they might be in the afternoons.  And she loves them!  
Along with being a great photographer, Sandy is an expert at camping and has everything so organized it makes camping easy.  All someone has to do is show up.  I had never camped nor slept in a tent and it was the most amazing thing.  I wish I had that view from my tent every morning when I wake up.   Sandy cooked delicious meals on top of that mountain; and a sandwich for lunch never tasted better than on that mountain.  The views of the country side, the Bighorn Mountains and the Bighorn Canyon were unbelievable.  You can see miles and miles of both Montana and Wyoming from up there.
The horses in the Pryor Mountains are descendants of the horses brought over to America in the 1600s.  They came with the original explorers who came to America.  It is beyond words to be a part of these incredible animals and to be able to bring home memorable photographs of them.  Advocating for and helping to save the mustangs running free becomes very real to you.  
I had attempted to make this trip for several years, however, was unable to.  So when I was finally able to go this summer I left all my expectations at home.  What I found up there was beyond my wildest dreams and more than anything I could have hoped for.  We saw a foal only a few hours after she was born.  We had almost every horse on the mountain walk or run by our camp sight two evenings in a row.  I had the privilege of seeing the oldest horse on the mountain, a mare, still loving her band. Photographing the horses against the sunset two nights in a row is still a vision in my memory.  I hope some day to return and hope these horses are still running free.
If you love horses and you are looking for the trip of a lifetime which includes them, you have found it!
Robin T.
Texas

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2017 Pryor Foals # 4 and # 5

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A new-born Reiki (Renegade), July 12, 2017

Foal # 4  Born to Washakie and Baja.  Washakie  is the 1994 daughter of Sitka and Shaman.  Baja is the 1996 son of Tonapah and Looking Glass. UPDATE:  Renegade was removed from the range in mid-October, due to the death of Washakie.

After witnessing the sad birth and death of the 3rd foal born this year (Hope Ryden), both Abbie and I were hoping to see another one with a happier ending.

For most of last week, we and our student guests were the only ones camping on the mountain.  Each night Abbie, Beth (a return guest and friend of ours) and I would drive slowly around giving the herd a last look before we went to bed.  On the night of the July 11, we saw Baja and his band.  Washakie had not foaled.  It is so hard to tell with her, as she has had a foal every year since she was 2 (she is now 23).  She always looks so large and about ready to foal, but I have seen several years where she has given birth in the late summer and even the early fall.

The next day we spent hours with the bands, but did not see them, not really that usual, Baja is a wise 21-year-old stallion, and he has learned to stay away at times to in order to continue holding on to his band.

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A tender moment between Washakie and Baja with their new foal below.  I call this photo “The Heart” July 13, 2017

As we return to camp, BLM volunteer Don (what an amazing person, Don retired years ago and comes  from Tennessee each summer to spend his time volunteering.)  He doesn’t know the horses by name, but knows a lot of the history of the mountain and surrounding areas.  He defiantly is a great presence on the mountain and I was happy to see him pull up at our camp.  We talked for a few minutes.  He had a young MCC worker (students) with him.  It was her first time on the mountain.  They had a break in the work they were doing down the mountain and Don decided to take her up to see the horses for the first time.

I happened to be at the truck when they returned.  Don stopped and asked if I had seen the new foal!  No, we had not!!  I asked who had foaled, but he did not know.  The young woman had a camera with her and showed me the first photo of this new little life.  It was Washakie!  They had no idea they were the first to see it.   I can not discribe the joy that was in this young woman’s face when I told her she was and that she got to name it. Not only was it her first time on the range, but she had discovered a foal.

I was really happy for her.  I have had my time to name foals, there are several on the range right now, and several have been removed.  It was a special gift to be able to do it, but honestly, I am happy to pass that torch on to a younger generation.   I saw that a simple thing of discovering a foal and being able to name it,  could involve a younger generation to be involved, inspired and willing to stand up for them.  That is what we need for this herd in order for it to carry on.  A new set of eyes.  As long as the name is not inappropriate, really, what does it matter what it is called?  It is their joy and should be honored.   Most people will look at the parents and go off that theme.  But really, that hasn’t always happened, (the B’s had a theme of liquor of all things!! (Baily’s, Bacardi) ) and it has still been okay.  We as humans need to learn to let go of power for the good of life and try see what can happen if we do.

I learned that she wanted to name the foal Ma’heo’o Reiki.  She had put a lot of study and thought into it.   The Mustang Center decided that the name would be Renegade.

 

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Washakie and Reiki, July 17, 2017

Washakie  is the 1994 daughter of Sitka and Shaman.  Baja is the 1996 son of Tonapah and Looking Glass.

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Baja and his son Reiki, July 17, 2017

Washakie still had some after birth attached to her more than 24 hours after the birth.  She did finally expel it and after almost a week, both mom and baby seem to be doing fine.

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Reiki, July 17, 2017  Reiki is foal # 4 this year.

Foal # 5.  A colt, born to Jacinta and Garay.  Jacinta is the 2009 daughter born to Rosebud and most likely Tecumseh.  Garay is the 2006 son of Mariposa and Conquistador.

I have said for several years, that I believe the new foal will appear to the person that is meant to see it first.  And so it was that Abbie and I would be the first to see Jacinta’s foal in the early morning of July 17, 2017.

Abbie and I have spent many days studying the horses.  We would sit for hours and make notes on their behavior.  Every evening, we would drive just before dark and check to see how everyone was doing.  We knew Jacinta was close, and noted that we did not see Garay and his band on Sunday the 16th.  We had a feeling that Jacinta had either foaled or was close.

The mountain was unusually quiet.  For the last week, we had spent many nights being the only ones camping.  During the day there were the usual flurry of day-trippers, but they were gone by 5 pm, leaving us alone with the horses.  I love that time and cherish the quiet of the mountain.

Our small group was the only one on the mountain the morning of the 17.  I woke early as I always do and stepped out of my tent.  There were several bands of horses around our campsite, making this one of the best cups of coffee I’d had this summer.  Just sitting and enjoying the presence of these special beings.

Either Abbie or myself would step out and look down the road to see who else would be joining us in this constant parade.  We were both out there when I thought I saw Jacinta in the distance.  Was that a foal at her side!  It was, and both Abbie and I were ecstatic.

Abbie has been hoping to discover a new foal, and I wanted desperately for her to experience it.   I can’t describe the pure joy of seeing a new life for the first time and my joy became even bigger knowing that I was able to share this with Abbie and watch her discover her first foal.

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One of the first photos I took of Jacinta and Rue.

They were taking their time, but it was clear that they were going to walk close by our camp.  What an honor for these horses to feel that comfortable with us, that they would decide to parade by us.

Abbie had a well researched name picked out for this little one.  Rue.  Rue is a flower as is Jacinta.  The name Rue also pays homage to Rosebud who is Jacinta’s mom and little Rue’s grandmother.  I had texted the Center to let them know of the birth, and Abbie asked me to let them know of her name choice.

The Mustang Center has decided to name the foal Rio instead.

UPDATE:  I just got a note from Abbie that the Center has recognized her as the official discover and have added the name Rue to the official record.  Proud of you Abbie for keeping on this in a very positive manner.  One small step towards a good change…

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Rue moves off with his band.
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A tender moment with Jacinta and Rue

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