Mares within the Pryor Wild Horse Herd, are given PZP (birth control) every year. Each year there is a group of mares that are in the “window” of possibly being able to foal, meaning that they have not been given PZP. And every year, there will be some surprises from some, despite being vaccinated, and even though the below horses have not been vaccinated, it is not a guarantee that they will foal. Some have never conceived.
We must be careful with this special herd, in 2016, there were 10 deaths, and 11 births, leaving only a population increase of 1 horses. You can click on the post I did in October 2016, ( The Horses that have Passed) if you would like to learn more about that. Since I wrote that post, the death of Quivira (Moenkopi foal) increased the deaths to 10. Keeping a close watch on the population gain and adjusting the PZP accordingly, will make this herd healthy and viable to carry on into the future. We must carefully watch which mares are vaccinated and what horses are removed and make sure that we keep an equal balance of representation for all of the horses on the range, regardless of color, or favorites.
I anticipate that 2017 will be a low birth year. Below are the mares who may foal.
Dry Head Horses
Halo, 2007 daughter of Waif and Corona, currently in Fools Crow band.
2. Jewel, 2009 daughter of Waif and Corona, currently in Fools Crow band.
2. Kitalpha, 2010 daughter of Buffalo Girl and Durango, currently on her own, with her two daughters, but was with Hickok.
Mountain Top Horses
Hataali, 2007 daughter of Sapo and Shaman, currently in Morning Star’s Band.
2. Hailstorm, 2007 daughter of Aztec and Cloud, currently in Morning Star’s band. She has never foaled.
3. Hera, 2007 daughter of Audubon and Morning Star, currently in Galaxy’s band.
4. Heritage, 2007 daughter of Warbonnet and Lakota. Her only living offspring was removed in 2012, she has not foaled since. She is currently in Doc’s band.
5. Isadora, 2008 daughter of Rosarita and Starman, she has not foaled since 2011. (the foal is deceased). She is currently in Morning Star’s band.
6. Jacinta, 2009 daughter of Rosebud and most likely Tecumseh, she is currently in Garay’s band.
7. Jasmine, 2009 daughter of Aztec and Cloud, has never foaled, currently in Doc’s band, but moves around frequently.
8. Juniper, 2009 daughter of Sapo and Bolder, currently in Horizon’s band. She has never foaled.
9. Ketchikan, 2010 daughter of Gold Rush and Two Boots, currently in Jasper’s band.
10. Kohl, 2010 daughter of Quelle Colour and Lakota, she is currently in Garay’s band.
As with every year, I will keep you posted on the new births as soon as I learn about them.
It’s time for the Fifth Annual Wild In The Pryors, “Name Game”! This is the post where any of you can suggest names for the 2017 foals born in the Pryors. Of course, like on all the previous years, I can not guarantee that they will be used, but it will be fun to list them, and I do know that every time I discovered a foal, I came to this post to look at all of the suggestions. And if you can, please include the meaning for the name, it would be very helpful to know that when deciding which name should go with whatever mare/band had the foal.
In 2000, the BLM started using a letter for each year of foals, starting with A. This year is the R year. So please feel free to list your ideas in the comment section of this post. To read more about this system and why we use names, please refer to my Name Game post that I did last in 2013. Click on Name Game to go there.
I am looking forward to reading all of your suggestions! If someone else has already posted your name idea, please list it again anyway. It will be fun to see what the most popular name suggestions are! Thank you!
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
We saw Johnston, Icara and Phantom by the road as we headed back to the Pryor Mustang Center.
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.
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).
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.
Below are the tour dates for my 2017 summer. I will only be doing two trips open to the public in the summer of 2017. I will still be on the mountain in between these dates, hosting a group of students from Canada for a private 3 week adventure.
June 19-22, 2017. A lot of action between stallions and bands, clear beautiful skies and LONG days. The sun rises around 5:15 a.m. and doesn’t set until after 10 p.m.
July 15-18, 2017. Mid-July is a great time to be on the mountain. The wildflowers should be in full bloom, and the new foals will be running, playing and napping in them!
These trips will be 4 days/3 nights on the mountain top. 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). Pick up at the Cody Airport can be arrange with for a small fee.
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 or another travel insurance company for your trip. 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
All trips leave from Cody, Wyoming (unless other arrangements are made). Airports nearby: Billings, Montana. Cody, Wyoming. Arrangements can be made for pick-up at the Cody Airport.
A 50% down payment is required upon booking with the remainder due 6 weeks prior to your trip.
All payments are considered non-refundable. Refunds may be made when cancellations can be filled.
Anyone interested in a trip will be asked to complete a Pre-Screening Health Questionnaire, and those who book a trip will be required to sign an Acknowledgement of Responsiblity and Assumption of Risk document, as per Montana State Law.
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.
Sandy has been camping in the Pryors Range for several years, spending weeks at a time with the horses.
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 stories she and her assistant share about the horses and the range, make this trip more than just a chance to view them, she 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.
A Review from a few of my guests from last year:
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!
I spent three nights on the mountain with Sandy and her assistant Abby Branchflower in early July 2016. The entire trip was well planned and organized. The food was excellent, starting with morning coffee with the horses. Tent accommodations were also excellent – we had some serious mountain weather and my tent didn’t leak! Most impressive was Sandy and Abby’s extraordinary depth of knowledge of the Pryor Mustangs as well as their passion for their preservation.
I highly recommend this experience for anyone wishing an “up close and personal” experience with this spectacular country and its Mustang inhabitants.
Dick Evans Eagle River, Alaska
Please feel free to call or text me to book a trip or with any questions!
I had not heard of this and finally glad that someone has begun to use a judge in Montana who knows who these horses are, instead of a judge in Washington DC, who could care less. However, I do want to add that the BLM in Montana has been fair and humane with these horses during their removals, and 2015 was no exception to this. This office is willing to listen and answer questions, and when I need assistance while on the mountain, they are fast to respond to me.
I have been pretty low-key on a lot of issues, no speaking up and commenting on all the comments that go on, but I also want to add that these “Groups” who file lawsuits, better have their knowledge of these horses to back it up. Sometimes filing a lawsuit causes more harm then good for the horses. From what I saw of the range in the several weeks that I was on the range, it is not in great shape this year, and I personally am concerned for the horses welfare this winter when they move down the mountain.
I’ve been on the mountain for a few days now, and have watched very little go on with this band. Bolder’s 6 year old son, Killian and his 5 year old son, Lobo, are still in this band.
For those that don’t know, I’ll give you a real quick education on what usually happens with bands. The band stallion usually kicks the colts out around 2 years old. For whatever reason, Bolder has not done that. Their are many opinions on why, but the bottom line is, he should have done it years ago.
I consider this band the most disfuntional on the mountain. Neither of these “kids” have joined bachelor bands. These bands made up of young and older stallions ( who have lost their bands) are important for the proper development of the young colt. While in these bands, they learn the way of the mountain, and learn to be independent but also what it takes to be good leaders and to one day become good band stallions.
While Lobo seems to be a bit stronger and more independent then Killian, he still remains with the family band. I read a few times this spring that they were kicked out , but it appears it has not worked.
Last night, I heard screaming and fighting outside my tent. I thought it might be this band, and was delighted when in the morning, I saw that Killian and Lobo were not with the band. The mare Sapo had either gone willingly or was driven to go. I can’t quit decide. She seems content, but has lost a lot of weight.
Bolder, too has lost a considerable amount of weight. But it should be noted that he has very few scars, and Killians face and chin are covered in them.
This mornings separation did not last long. Lobo kept calling, and Bolder, who was about a football field length away came running over to drive them off. But Lobo went one way and Killian with Sapo went another, the other two mares, Celt and Baily’s, followed close behind and in a matter of minutes, they were one band again. With Bolder looking tired and frustrated.
From what I have observed, I think that Bolders mare Baily’s would probably stay with Bolder. Celt on the other hand would most likely stay with her son Killian.
My hope is Bolder figures that out soon. As my assistant Sarah said this morning. “Bolder is young enough to gain another mare on this own”. I tend to agree with that. He needs to take his loses and move on. Lobo will probably join the bachelors, and Killian will be left to fight his battles with his mother by his side.
Below is a list of the horses that were removed from the range and will be available through an Internet Adoption, which has now started and will end two weeks from today. Please click on BLM for details on how to fill out an application and adopt, once you get approved for a home, you will be assigned a bid number. All horses must be picked up at Britton Springs, just outside of Lovell, Wyoming.
I was on the mountain during all of the removal of the mountain top horses. Below are the ones that they have removed to date, in the order that they were removed.
And as I continue to write this post and look for photos to add, I realize that there is not one horse that I won’t miss horribly. Perhaps that is why it has taken me a week to finally work on it. It was easier not to think about it. But, now that the internet adoption has started, I wanted to get it done and give everyone a chance to read and see some photos of the special horses that are up for adoption.
So here they are:
Mesa. Mesa is the 2012 daughter of Sapo and Bolder. She is a very sweet and beautiful dun girl. While the rest of Bolder’s band seem to be getting out of hand with 3 stallions in the band, Miss Mesa seems to remain quiet, but always watching. She loved to come with her band to my campsite, and she would often stay for a long while. She seems to be very tolerant of people. Her color and build is amazing.
2. Olivia. Olivia is the 2014 daughter of Halcyon and Blue Moon. Olivia is grulla roan and a real beauty. From just a few days after her birth, she has shown her personality. Sweet, self-confident and a bit independent, this little filly should make someone a great horse.
3. Nahwa. Nahwa is the 2013 son of Baja and Washakie. Nahwa, a dun, is a little small for his age, he was born in September of 2013. But he makes up for his small size with a big personality. Already a bachelor, he holds his own with the other bachelors. This summer I did see him go back to his band for a short visit, often play sparring with his father. This color is one of my favorites on the mountain, he is almost an exact smaller version of Baja. Someone is going to have a real gem with this young colt.
4. Meriweather. Meriweather is the 2012 daughter of Madonna and Duke. She has been with Garay’s band for a while now. She is quiet, but a very attentive and caring little filly. I know her band will miss her ever watchful eye on the young ones of the band.
5. Ojai. Ojai is the 2014 daughter of Baja and Washakie. Another beautiful dun, like her full brother Nahwa, she is a classic example of what a primitive dun marked horse should look like. She is a sweet filly, very devoted to her mother Washakie.
6. Odakota. Odakota is the 2014 son of Graciana and Duke. I saw him the day after he was born and he quickly became a favorite of mine. Over the winter he bloomed into a stunning young horse.
7. Nye. Nye is the 2013 daughter of Jackson and Galena. I discovered Nye shortly after she was born in April, 2014 and have followed her closely. It seems when you find and name a horse, you can’t help but get more attached to them. She is a beautiful grulla, and very well put together. If someone is looking for a strong, self-confident mare, she is the one for you. I will miss her.
8. McKeahnie. McKeahnie is the 2012 son of Cappuccino and Gabrielle. He is an amazing horse. Not only a stunning dun color, but his personally matches his beauty. His father is a powerhouse in the Pryor Herd, but in a caring way. I look for McKeahnie to carry on with that same personality. I’ll miss this guy, the one thing that especially stands out in my mind with him, was the day he lost track of his family band. It was May, 2014, and when he saw me and my UTV, he came running over and stayed grazing by us for over an hour. Enjoying the company, feeling less alone. I know he will find someone that will give him that special time that he deserves.
9. Maelstrom. Maelstrom is the 2012 son of Firestorm and Jackson. He is a stunning red roan and loved to run with the bachelors.
10. Orion. Orion is the 2013 son of Corona and Waif. I have only seen this colt a few times, but he is a stunning horse who has lived in the Dryhead/Sykes area of the range.
11. Oregon. Oregon is the 2013 daughter of Sacejawea. She is another Dryhead horse that I have not seen very much. This beautiful photo was taken by Laura C. in May, 2015. Thank you Laura!
12. Norte. Norte is the 2013 son of Waif and Corona. Full brother to Orion. I discovered him several miles up Sykes Ridge Road in April 2013.
13. Ohanzee. Ohanzee is the son of Feldspar and Cloud. He is a beautiful colt that would have lived with his family on the mountain top during the summer months. But somehow this spring he was separated from his band when Cloud lost them, ending up living as a bachelor in the Dryhead.
14. Mercuria. Mercuria is the 2012 daughter of Jewel and Merlin. Merlin has one of the best bloodlines in the herd, a beautiful grullo, with a lot of stripes. Mercuria’s filly, Paquita was born this past spring. Her sire is most likely Hawk.
15. Montana. Montana is the 2012 son of Fresia and Merlin.
16. Moorcroft. Moorcroft is the 2012 grullo son of Brumby and Jackson. In my opinion this was the perfect match. Brumby and Jackson’s last offspring, he will be greatly missed on the mountain top. Moorcroft has an amazing build, whoever adopts him will be one lucky person.
17. Milicent. Milicent is the 2012 daughter of Greta and Garcia. This spring she joined Jasper’s band. She is a bit shyer than some, being the daughter of one of the wildest horses on the range. She will most likely need a very gentle hand to show her that humans can be trusted. This is most likely going to be a horse that will need a lot of patience, but by giving it to her, that person will be greatly rewarded.
If more any more horses are removed and become available for adoption, I will add them to this post.
If you have any questions about these horses or would like to see more photos, feel free to contact me by email or text at: Email: email@example.com or Text: 406-360-8959.