It has been a while since I have updated you on my three Pryor Mountain horses that I adopted. This September will mark 4 years since I adopted Valerosa (Isolde). She has been a joy and pretty easy to train.
I have had Kootenai and Kiowa for 8 months now. Kootenai was easy from day one. So willing to trust, and most likely one of the sweetest horses I have ever owned.
Kiowa on the other hand has been very slow to trust. I am not sure what the reason is. I have never had a horse like her before. But we are taking our time and letting her decide how fast she wants to go. The halter remains on her, so that she is a bit easier to catch when down in the bigger pastures. She is definitely still a wild one deep in her heart, and I am sure if she had the chance to return to the Pryors, she would not skip a beat joining the other horses and never looking back. It makes me sad. Sure, she wickers at me when I come to feed them (along with the others),and follows me around when I am out with them, but she is holding back and not giving in as easily as Valerosa and Kootenai.
Kootenai had some health issues from the start. He stepped off the trailer with chronic diarrhea and very “liquid gas” as we called it. After about a month, of trying everything our vet recommended (deworming, sand clear, probiotic) we called the vet to come and have a look at him. He decided that he might have an intestinal infection, so it was 10 days on antibiotics. The day he finished his last antibiotic, he colic. We thought we were going to lose him that morning. Luckily by then he was gentled enough to be given a bantamine injection, which I think saved his life. By 12 pm, he was much better. By the end of the day, he was back to normal. I started him on two natural supplements to help with his intestinal issues. It seemed to work and we had two good months before it returned again.
The vet then recommended 5 straight days of a dewormer, Power Pack. Any domestic horse would hate you after 2 days of a wormer, let alone 5. But he was a pretty good little guy and we were able to get most of it down him.
Since then (it has been another 2 1/2 months), it seems he is good. Of course the natural supplements will be a part of his life from now on, morning and night. He doesn’t mind them at all and wickers when I bring him some mash with them in. The girls are a bit jealous they don’t get as much mash as he does, but I think he loves every minute eating it and knowing he is getting special treatment.
Nancy from the Billings Blm office came out and did our compliance check a few weeks ago. They were all good and came up and visited in the pasture with her while we talked. Everything went well, I knew it would, but I still felt nervous waiting for her arrival that morning and relieved when it was over.
The month of May here in Montana marks the month for opening up some seasonal pastures that the horses have not been on since last fall. Much of this land is very similar to the upper mountain in the Pryors. Many of the native grasses and plants are the same.
Yesterday was the chosen day to let them down into one of those. Kiowa and Kootenai had never been down in this 10+ acre pasture. I sat on our back balcony to watch the show. They would be joined by Valerosa, 20-year-old Quarter Horse Buddy, 13-year-old Anglo-Arab Oreo and two photo bombing miniature burro’s (Pancho and Cisco).
Before I owned wild horses, I thought that any open gate meant an escape opportunity for them. I visioned that they would go bursting through right away. That is not the case. At least not with the 4 wild horses that I own. While Oreo, Buddy, Valerosa and the Burros went running down the hill, Kiowa and Kootenai hung back and took a while to finally join them.
They needed to look over the situation first, with caution. The other horses went running straight down the hill. But these two did a slow switch-back path down instead.
After the initial decent, it did not take them long to love the new area. We spent a couple hours watching them run, eat and play.
I feel very lucky to be able to look out my window everyday and see my own little Pryor Band of horses. From the first day I brought Kiowa and Kootenai here, these 3 have been very close. They know they are the same, I am sure of it.
I hope given time, Kiowa will feel happy to be here too. All I have is time, and I intend to give her as much as she needs.