Lower Sykes. A Mountain Report from Shawn.

Since I am not able to go over to see the horses right now, I asked my friend Shawn Ivie if he would write up a report.  Shawn was there last week.  I know there are a lot of you (including myself) who would like to hear news about the horses.  I will have several posts on his trip.  This is the first.

Thanks so much Shawn!

Sandy

Mato and Cecelia, November 21, 2012

Wednesday – Lower Sykes
I was anxious to get back to the Pryors, it had been a long time since I last visited, and I had 3 goals for my trip (besides just checking on all of the horses): 1 – Find Damsel, 2- Find Merlin, 3- See Mato(lower sykes) for the first time.

Knowing that the days in the mountains are short at this time of year, I camped in the lower Sykes area Tuesday night so I could search for Mato. As the sun came up, I made my way to one of my favorite look-out hills in the area. The first animals I spotted were actually deer, 10 in the group. While marching around the area throughout the morning I noticed that there was a lot of deer track, which was not evident during my summer hikes.
I did not see any horses in some of the usual areas, but it is easy for a horse to disappear in this area. As I searched a little further out, I finally found 3 horses and made my way toward them. I had expected to find either Sitting Bull’s band or Bristol and Kitalpha. As I made my way to the horses I noticed a grullo stallion and thought I must have found Bristol, but then I noticed the snip and a third horse would not make sense. I was more than a little surprised once I realized that it was Garcia, Greta and Millicent that I had found.

Garcia, November 21, 2012

In the spring they were way over at the Burnt Timber Canyon guzzler. If this wide range is their usual pattern, it may explain why I have heard they aren’t the easiest to find, although I always seem to run into them. Garcia came over to the side of the draw I was on to investigate me, and finally passed on after I gently held up my hand to make sure he didn’t approach too close.

Garcia
Garcia, Greta and Millicient, November 21, 2012
Millicent, November 21, 2012

 

From the top of a nearby mound I was able to locate some horses back on the white hillsides on the other side of where I park and camp. I knew there was too many for it to be Sitting Bull, but I decided to jog back over and up to them. The first I was able to recognize was Jesse James. The greeters were shirking their duties at the gate. As if they knew they weren’t supposed to be there, they quickly moved down the hill and at least in the direction of their posts. I did not see them for the rest of the trip, so they must have been taking a vacation from their jobs, too.

Before descending, I decided to take advantage of my elevated status and see if I could find anyone else. Back a little to the North of where I started I could see 2 horses. A quick stop at the FJ to drop some gear, and I was making my way through the washes to where I had seen them. My heart sank a little as crested a hill and only saw Sitting Bull and Cecelia standing there. I had heard that Mato may have had a limp, and I was worried that something had happened to him. Looking at some of my pictures now, I can see that he was there on the ground behind Cecelia the whole time, but it caused me a few moments of anxiety that morning. I was still a ways off, so decided to scramble down the hillside.

Mato and Cecelia, November 21, 2012
Sitting Bull, Mato and Cecelia, November 21, 2012

By the time I had climbed out from the draw to the next finger of higher ground, all 3 horses were in sight. I was relieved to finally see Mato. I had witnessed his mother carrying him around throughout the summer, but I had not been able to find them the 1 time I was back on the range after he was born. It was also good to have accomplished one of my tasks with good news. It gave me hope that I would soon run across Merlin. After a check of Sykes Coulee and the Bad Pass Springs area with no horses, I decided to head up the mountain while the weather was nice.

Shawn

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Some Dryhead News: Report from Lori

I drove out to the Dry Head yesterday morning and had no luck finding Merlin, or Sitting Bull, Cecelia & Mato.

I just keep on going out there hoping to find one or the other, or both.

I also have not seen Fiero or Seattle on my last two trips.
Let’s keep up hope that they are all ok.

The weather has been good, with very little rain or snow. That is all supposed to change later this week with the weather calling for very cold temperatures and rain/snow showers.

If that does happen, I doubt that I will be able to get out to the lower Sykes area of the range for quite some time. We will just have to wait and see how the weather is.

I did see Hidalgo with his harem. They were quite a ways off and I hiked out towards them just to get these photos.

November, 2012
November 2012

 

Montana and Hidalgo July 2012

I did not see Halo at first, but then she appeared from behind a bush. I was happy to see her. I think Montana was near Hidalgo, and the “girls” were together a short distance from them.

Hidalgo seems to be a very strong and devoted stallion, and I do hope he can keep them all together through the winter and into spring.

I am happy to see him taking such good care of his family. I have watched him a few times as he got right behind Montana to make sure he kept up with the rest. He will not leave Montana behind, and that is a significant quality for a stallion to have. It will be interesting to see if he will have his own offspring next year.

I found a new lookout spot along the Dry Head road and from there I saw the “Greeters” and two black stallions with a grullo.

November 5, 2012 Three of the Greeters.

I believe it was Hawk, Issaquah and maybe Hidatsa. Hickok had to run over to check them out and let them know that they were to stay away from his harem. I don’t think there was any serious fighting going on, but from where I was I could hear some horse noises. I believe he was giving them a warning.  Jesse James stayed behind with Hightail and Seneca, although they were curious as to what was going on.

November 2012
November, 2012

After that I drove out to lower Sykes and only found Inniq. He looks to be in good shape going into the winter and was just grazing alone. He does have some battle scars and I wondered who he had been fighting with.

Inniq, November 2012
Inniq
Inniq

I decided to leave him to his peacefulness and drove back to the Center to visit with Liesl and Kaibab.

They were happy to see me and I spent some time with them. As you can tell they both look real good, especially Liesl who has put on some much-needed weight.

Kaibab
Liesl, November 5, 2012
Liesl, July 2012
Kiabab and Liesl, November 5, 2012
Kiabab and Liesl, November 5, 2012

I hope my next trip to the range will be just as good as this one, and maybe if Brianna joins me we will see more horses as she is my “good luck charm”, but I was happy to have seen some of the horses.

Lori

Logo designed by Amber Bushnell

Thanks Lori for the update.  You never know who you will see when you go.  That is part of the beauty of it!

Liesl looks so good.  I decided to post the photo of her from July so we could all see how amazing she looks now.  Of course Kaibab looks great too, but Liesl has had the biggest changes!  It is all because of your great care. (and Diane’s too!)

Yes, winter is scheduled to make a grand appearance in the next couple days.  We have a winter storm warning out for 10- 14 inches in the mountains over here in Western Montana.  We will probably see about half of that where I live at 4,500 feet.  It will make for some great winter photos of the horses.

I am glad that it warmed up again in the Pryors, after the recent snow and rain.  Hopefully it was enough to regenerate some forage for the upcoming winter months.

Thanks again Lori!

Sandy

A Day On The Lower Mountain, A Report From Lori.

Brianna and I had a great trip yesterday and spent almost all day out on the range.

Brianna and I met at about 9:30 at the Center. There was a young man & woman who were talking to Kaibab and Liesl and waiting for the Center to open.

We let them in and they bought one Sandy’sWild Caballo DVD’s! They loved it.

They wanted to go with us (follow us) out to the range…so that is what we did.
They both were very nice and appreciative. They are from Michigan and were on their honeymoon.

So off we went. We first saw the greeters. They were very spread out and we could not get close…but Jesse James, Seneca, Hightail and Hickok were all there.

Seneca, October 19, 2012
Hickok heading over the hill!
The Greeters, October 19, 2012

Next we drove in to the Devil’s Canyon Overlook and saw Fiero, Cascade and Bakken.

We did not see Strawberry and we hiked around to try to see if we could find her, but no Strawberry. I was really worried about not seeing her with Fiero. They were all just resting, but kept looking towards the Canyon area. We hiked out a ways thinking maybe Strawberry was there, but nothing.

Fiero, October 19, 2012
Cascade and Bakken, October 19, 2012
Cascade
Bakken
Cascade and Bakken

We continued on our way and for some reason we looked around by the turnoff by Bad Pass Trail. We hiked out a ways because Brianna saw a dun horse…well it was Kemmerer, way down in the canyon, but on a cliff.

Then Brianna hiked out further and she saw Sacajawea on the cliff with Kemmerer.

Brianna then (and we were following her) saw Seattle and another horse down there…it was Strawberry!!!!!!!!!!!!!! So we took lots of pictures and watched as Seattle “bred” with her.

I could not believe that. I don’t know how this happened from just Sunday when I was out there…but Seattle has Strawberry!!!! I wonder how long this is going to last and how Sacajawea is feeling about Strawberry in the harem.

I also wonder if there was a fight between Seattle and Fiero, but did not see any “war wounds” on Fiero.  Possibly, as Sandy pointed out, Strawberry did not like Cascade in Fiero’s harem! We will just have to wait and see how this plays out.

Kemmerer and Sacajawea, October 19, 2012
Sacajewa
Brianna hiking down to look below!
Brianna
Kemmerer and Sacajewa
Sacajewa and Kemmerer
Strawberry and Seattle, October 19, 2012
Strawberry and Seattle
October 19, 2012

So there is a lot of drama in the Dry Head again!!!

We never found Merlin…we looked and looked but no Merlin.

On our way out we decided to go to Bad Pass Spring in the lower Sykes area..and we hiked for awhile. We saw Medicine Bow all alone. He was on the side of a cliff.

Medicine Bow, October 19, 2012

I almost did not see him, but just happened to look up and saw him. We never saw anyone else in that area, but lots of hoof prints.
Then after leaving that area we decided to go to another part of the lower Sykes area, but just as far as my car would go. On our way we spotted a black horse, so we got out and hiked to see who it was. Surprise of all surprises…it was Cecelia…and we did not see anyone else.

Cecelia, October 19, 2012

I was so worried because we did not see the foal or Siting Bull. Then we drove a bit further and turned around. On our way back we saw Cecelia again and then we saw Sitting Bull. Now I am really worried…we did not see a foal with them.

Sitting Bull
Sitting Bull and Cecelia, October 19, 2012

Well then Joe and Devin (who were with us) hiked a bit further up over the ridge and pointed down as if to say he saw another horse. He saw the foal. Thank God…he found Cecelia’s foal (who has no name yet). Note: we just found out today that Matt has named him Mato.

Anyway….the little guy was laying under a tree and Cecelia and Sitting Bull were a ways from him. I wondered why. I suppose he was just resting, but when he got up he was limping on his right rear leg. His leg seemed to be hurt, but I did not see anything that looked too bad. I did not see any swelling, or anything that looked like a break…no blood or anything…so hopefully he just has a sprain or pulled muscle in his leg.

I am not an expert on these things, but he was putting some weight on it and moving it, so hopefully he will heal. These injuries just worry me.

He is so beautiful, a grullo color with a snip. He then ran a little bit..limping..but able to run, to his momma. At first she seemed to nip at him but then let him nurse, and then he continued to graze with her.

Sitting Bull was nearby too, but they were very spread out. I was worried for the little guy.

Then Cecelia just kept on walking while grazing and he was left behind a bit. Sitting Bull came close to him and they touched noses..it was so so cute. I felt better while the grazed together. The more he moved around the better he was walking,. I think it was stiff from resting. Maybe that is how they just go along…grazing a distance from each other. but I will still worry about his limp and Cecelia taking care of him.

Ceceila’s colt, October 19, 2012
Cecelia and Sitting Bull’s cot, October 19, 2012
Cecelia and her colt.
Cecelia and Mato
Mato
Mato, October 19, 2012
Sitting Bull with his son, October 19, 2012
Father and Son
Sitting Bull and Mato October 19, 2012

It was a real good day as far as seeing the horses, but I still felt sad that we did not find Merlin.

Lori

Thank you Lori for the great update!  I love your photos.  It is so nice to see photos of Sitting Bull and Cecelia’s colt.  I hope he heals fast and grows old in the Dryhead.

I remember when I saw Fiero alone in March of this year.  You can read that post by clicking FIERO.  I felt really bad for him being alone, but then just a few days later someone reported that he was with Strawberry again.  I think she does that quite often.  Leave him and go off doing her own thing for a while.  It will be interesting to see  if she is back with him.

I am heading to the Pryors tomorrow.  Lori and I are going go to the top of the mountain via Burnt Timber Road.  I hope to be able to check on everyone along the way, and  visit Lakota once more before the snow blankets him.  Then  go up the Dryhead and lower Skyes to check on everyone there.

Sandy

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