The sixth 2016 Pryor Foal was born to Feldspar and Mescalero! It is a filly, and her name is to be Quintana.
Feldspar is the 2005 daughter of Rosarita and Starman. Mescalero is the 1996 son of Sitka and Shaman.
Thank you Kevin for allowing me to use your photo for this post! It is very much appreciated. Kevin and his girlfriend Trisha were on the mountain this past weekend. You can check out some of Kevin’s beautiful photos by clicking on 45 degrees. Trish is also an amazing artist, check out her work by clicking on TRISH.
I’ll be up on the mountain soon, and I am looking forward to seeing these little ones myself.
I’ve had a couple of cancellations for my camping trips. Contact me by text or call at: 406-360-8959 if you are interested.
I wanted to end this year with a review of 2012 in the Pryors. I have included several unseen photos and compiled a list of events that took place with the horses during the year. I hope you enjoy it.
January 2012 started off more mild than the winter of 2011. This winter the snow levels would be significantly smaller. Matt made a January post and you can read it by clicking on January.
In early February I started this blog. I will admit, it has been an incredible amount of work, but I love every minute of it. I love being able to share information with those that know the horses and those that are just learning about them. I wasn’t sure if it would be a success, but yes, it has become one. One that I am proud of.
I am grateful for friends that have helped me with some posts, there are many, but there are 4 I feel that I must make special mention of. Lori, Linda, Shawn and Alex. Thank you for your help and your contribution to this blog. Your input, photos and posts have helped make this a successful blog.
A special thank you to Bill for putting up with my Pryor Addiction and “holding down the fort” while I climbed in the truck and headed off to see the horses.
Two of my favorite posts that I wrote in February were: Lakota and the Moving On. ( The Lakota post was awarded the “Freshly Pressed” award. That means it was picked as one of the best posts out of hundreds of thousands of others for March 2, 2012). From that post, Lakota found people from all over the world that would watch for updates on him and follow my blog.
The post, Moving On , is a bittersweet post really, but one that should be read.
So read on. I hope you continue following me and the horses for a very long time.
My first trip to the Pryors in 2012 was the first part of March. That is what I wanted for my birthday, to go to the Pryors to see the horses. I knew that time of year was pretty risky as far as spotting any. It was a mild winter last year, so I knew that I would be able to hike in lower Skyes even if I was not able to go very far up the mountain.
I really wanted to see Lakota, but I knew the odds were not in my favor.
The first day we drove up Burnt Timber, the temperature was cold and it looked like it might snow. Not too far up the road we saw Grijala and his band. He had another member with him, Kachina, since the last time I saw him. I tried not be judgemental with Grijala. But it was hard, I will admit, he is a beautiful and very powerful stallion, but I felt myself disliking him a bit. He was the stallion responsible for taking Lakota’s band. I have since gotten over those feelings of resentment for Grijala. He has turned into a great band stallion. I doubt I would have felt that way in the first place if it had not been Lakota’s band he took.
We continued up the road and almost 3 miles up we saw Teton and his band. At the time Kiowa was still with him. I did not know it at that time, but I would be adopting her 6 months later.
I would see Lakota that day. You can read about that by clicking on THE GIFT. My friend Brigitte was with me on this trip. You can read about our first day on the mountain by clicking on Day One.
On this same trip, we were able to see Kitalpha. She was missing and presumed dead. She had recently be sighted, just a few days before we got there. You can read about her discovery by reading Matt’s post. Click on Kitalpha to go there. That morning we were joined by Lori, Jimmy and Diane.
We saw Fiero alone on this March trip. But just a few days after we left, it was reported that Strawberry was back with him.
We decided to head back up Burnt Timber a few more times and on our way out one of those days we saw some horses off in the distance. I would learn once I was home and could get a better look, that it was Gold Rush and London with Garay and Jasper. It would be the last time I would see Gold Rush. You can read that post by clicking on GOLD RUSH.
Gold Rush, London and Ketchikan had been with the handsome stallion Doc. Now Gold Rush and London with Garay. Ketchikan was nowhere to be seen this day. But I would learn that she was now with the stallion Tecumseh and later this month it was discovered that Doc would have Santa Fe’s band. You can read Matt’s post on that by clicking on Santa Fe.
A few weeks later, still in March, Shawn would snap the last photos of Gold Rush. You can read that post by clicking on Shawn. I don’t believe anyone saw Gold Rush after that.
But March would bring the first new life to the Pryors. Merlin and his mare Icara would have a beautiful filly, named Morgana.
The month of April started with the reminder of the possible removal. I wrote this post about that. You can click on Sandy to read my April 6th post and you can click on Matt to read his April 9th post on the same subject.
By the end of the month of April two more horses would be listed as missing. They were: Lincoln and Lemhi. Matt made a post on April 1. Both Lincoln and Lemhi were still alive then, but to my knowledge, I do not believe anyone saw them since. At the time of Matt’s post, Isodora was still with Mescalaro, but would later be with Blue Moon. You can read Matt’s post by clicking on April. One of the things I also noticed in Matt’s April post was how thin Kiva was, just two months before she gave birth to Madrid.
My next trip to the Pryors would be in mid-April. Again, my friend Brigitte would join me.
We saw several horses this trip, but the most exciting was the discovery of the second new foal. Born to Teton and his mare Half Moon. You can read that post by clicking on Missoula.
April would bring 6 foals : Missoula, Maia, Mercuria, Moenkopi, Montana and Millicent. Bringing the total foals born to 7.
We would drive 10 miles up (and back down) Sykes this trip (my first trip up there). I would fall in love that day with a horse named Jalisco. You can read about that post by clicking on Jalisco.
Burnt Timber was quickly becoming one of my favorite ways to go up the mountain. Like Shawn has said, you are almost always are guaranteed to see horses somewhere along the way, they might not be close, but you will see them! This road did not disappoint us. We saw several bands this trip, and were able to spend some quality time with each one we encountered. You can read about those days by clicking on Burnt Timber 1 and Burnt Timber 2.
Every morning we would go up the Dryhead before we headed up either Sykes or Burnt Timber. I got to know the Greeters pretty well this trip and would look forward to visiting them several times this year.
The rest of the Dryhead was just as interesting and we were able to see several more horses in the mornings and the one afternoon we spent there. Hidatsa and Joseph would keep us busy one afternoon along with Fiero and his band. Another morning we witness Hawk and Issaquah challenge Seattle and his band.
The month of May had the feeling of spring and I could not wait to get back to the Pryors. This past winter had been very mild and dry and spring seemed to be coming early.
Four weeks later, I was heading back to the Pryors with my husband Bill. I was eager to show him the mountain on an ATV.
The month of May would bring the birth of 10 more foals, bringing the total to 17. This month in the following order the foals to be born would be: Mesa, Miocene, Malelstrom, Mica, McKeahnie, Moorcroft, Malpais, Maverick, Mendenhall and Meriweather.
One of the oldest mares on the mountain, Madonna, at the age of 23, would have the foal Meriweather.
A week or so before Bill and I arrived in the Pryors, we learned that Galaxy had stolen Prince’s band. You can read about that from the post that Matt made, by clicking on Galaxy. The news show Nightline came with Matt that day and did some filming. If you have not seen that clip, click Nightline to view it. There is Galaxy on national TV breeding Hera. So hopefuly we should see a Galaxy and Hera foal in April. (She is on the no PZP list). You will also see Lakota in this clip as well.
After learning about this I was hoping to see Galaxy with his new band and hopefully locate Prince and see how he was doing. We would see Prince from a distance, but not Galaxy with his new band.
On this May trip, I had the most incredible experience I have ever shared with a wild horse. I don’t expect it to ever happen again. It was something I will always treasure. You can read that post by clicking on Finding Lakota.
On our trip up Sykes Ridge Road, Bill and I would discover the missing Liesl with Bristol and Kitalpha. We would also see Jewel and Mercuia with Fools Crow and Belle Starr.
Even though it was only mid-May, most of the snow was gone. The only snow that remained were in the trees close to the top. On top there were several deep snow drifts. The horses were already moving up.
We encountered Santa Fe with his young mare Judith and watched him spar with Starman. You can read about that by clicking on Starman. There was a lot of action going on between those two and I was able to get some great shots!
On the way back down the mountain we took Burnt Timber Road. There we saw the 4 bachelors, Inali, Hernado, Hamlet and Knight. In the road eating the red dirt. After just reading Shawns November report, I wondered if there would be any road left by spring!
Also down Burnt Timber, we would see Grijala. He had aquired quite a collection of “K” girls. I named them the “Special K’s”. They were Kohl, Kindra, Kachina, Katrina and of course his lead mare and former Lakota mare, Quelle Colour. (which sounds like a K). In June he would add one more, Kalahari. But by the beginning of August Grijala would lose all of the K’s except for Kohl, Kindra and Quelle Colour.
In the Dryhead, Bill and I were able to spend some time with Merlin and his band, watching his young colt Montana play in the rain.
The month of June brought about more change on the mountain. Five more foals would be born, bringing the total to 22. They were: Malakai, Maria, Maclean, Malayna and Madrid.
In the Dryhead, Linda observed Liesl acting a bit “off”. She was alone once and then with Bristol and Kitalpha. When Liesl was removed in July, we would all learn why she was not acting right. She was partially blind.
In the Dryhead, Merlin would recieve, and injury and loss his band for a short time. You can read about Merlins injury by clicking on Merlin. Also during this month Kerry and Maclean would be seen with Fools Crow and his band and Icara and Morgana would be with Durango.
Also in June, Gringo would take Tecumseh’s band and Joviana and Malakai would join Horizon’s small group. Lakota would injure himself. I had heard a couple of weeks before his injury that he had been following Grijala’s band, trying to regain some mares. I am sure the injury occurred during a fight between the two.
Matt called me that first night I was on the mountain and told me about Lakota. The injury had just happened a day or two before I got there. Linda and I kept a close eye on Lakota that trip. Checking on him several times a day.
When I first saw the injury, I was sure his leg was broken, but then as time passed, I had hope that it was a wound and would heal. My first thought was right.
Despite the fact that Lakota was injured, this June trip turned out to be one of my best trips of the year. My friend Linda and I camped on top for 3 nights. There was still a bit of snow up there, especially around Mystic Pond. Not like I had seen the previous year though. I knew it would probably be melted soon.
On on of the evening when we were checking on Lakota, we encountered Prince. It would be one of the last times I would see him. I hope he is okay.
On our last night there a snow storm came in and we woke to snow. I don’t think I have ever seen anything more beautiful than seeing Pryor Horses running in fresh snow on top of the mountain. Despite the cold wind and snow, we were able to get some great shots of them. You can read about that post by clicking on SNOW.
And Starman would end up on the wrong side of the fence.
The month of July brought the beginning of the removals in the Pryors. Only one foal would be born this month, Meadowlark. Bringing the total to 23.
It was difficult to be on the mountain during the removals. But I would go two times this month, once before the removals began.
Just a couple of weeks after my June trip, I returned to the mountain top. Lakota had been constantly on my mind and wanted to find him.
I spent most of my trip hiking around looking for him. I was unable to find him and it was extremely painful to leave not knowing how he was doing. You can read about my search, by clicking on SEARCHING.
I would get my first Pryor flat tire on this trip. First of several, I am sure. Even with 10 ply tires your luck runs out after several trips up the roughed roads.
The last morning that I was there, we noticed that Kiva did not have her foal with her. She had just had this foal about 10 days before we got there. We noticed that he had an injury to his right back leg and was limping. Kiva would find her colt later that same day, but in the end he would go missing by the end of July.
The removals began on July the 14th with the removal of Kokopelli and Jumping Badger and ended on August 23rd with the removal of Kerry and Maclean. In all 38 horses and 6 foals would be removed. A seventh foal was born just days before the adoption. You can see the list of those removed by clicking on Adoption.
And as if the removals were not painful enough, Lakota had to be euthanized on July 23rd. I have lost many friends, family and pets over the years, but Lakota’s death hit me harder than many of those. I still grieve for my friend. Rest in Peace Lakota. Remembering Lakota.
In the last couple days of July and the first few in August, I headed to the Pryors again. I spent a couple of days in the Dryhead and Lower Sykes area, seeing some horses that I had not seen before. You can read about those horses by clicking Dryhead.
I then met Lori at Britton Springs. After spending some time with the horses that had been removed, we headed up the mountain for a couple of days of camping.
This trip in many ways were both good and bad. The worst was seeing Lakota dead (he had died just a week before) and also witnessing the removal in action. The best was getting to know Lori better. We shared a few evenings crying and laughing as we watched the sun go down.
This summer and especially this July trip, I saw more bears than I have ever seen in the Pryors.
The rest August brought the removals to an end and the birth of two more foals. Mato and Manuelita, bringing the total foals born to 25. Both were born in the later part of the month.
At the end of the month, I once again packed my truck, this time I would be bringing my daughter Amber along. We had a great few days. It was a bittersweet trip. Good to see those horses still on the range, but sad not to see those that were taken.
Some changes seemed to be occurring while we were there. Amethyst was acting up and running away from Blue Moon. It was our last night there when we saw that, so were not able to confirm how it unfolded. But my friend Ahn was up there for several more days and I would learn from her photos that Amethyst had returned to Bolder.
The adoption weighed heavily my mind. I would be home for 2 days after this trip and then heading back to Lovell for the adoption.
The month of September brought the adoption and the birth of another foal (Maryanna) in captivity. Bringing the total Pryor Foals born this year to 26.
Another horse, Damsel, was also looking pregnant. But unfortunately she has not been seen since September.
Every horse offered up for adoption was adopted. Hopefully all have gone to wonderful homes. I am trying to keep track of where they all are and how they are doing. I hope I can continue to do that and hopefully give you updates on them.
I adopted both of Lakota’s offspring, Kiowa and Kootenai. They are doing great.
Later in September, in the Dryhead, Merlin would injure or re-injure his previous wound and once again lose his band. Lori emailed me around the 20th. We did two posts on this. Click on Merlin and Merlin Update for those. Another friend, Laura Curtis gave us an update on Merlin with photos of him the end of September. You can read that post by clicking on Laura.
Merlin’s band would end up with the stallion Hidalgo.
Starman was still on the wrong side of the fence, not on the range. So I decided to not only email and call Jared with my concerns, but I also made a post. You can read that post by clicking on Starman.
The month of October was pretty quiet. I would head to the Pryors the end of the month, but before that the only big news would be of Starman. He was returned to the range on October 10th.
Lori was able to keep us up to date on the happenings in the Dryhead and gave us this report. Dryhead report. She reported to us that Strawberry was with Seattle.
I headed back to the Pryors on the 21rst of the month. I was only able to stay a couple of days. Lori and I spent the first afternoon searching for Merlin. We did not find him.
The next day, the weather did not cooperate, and Lori and I were unable make it up to the top of the mountain. It was pouring rain pretty much the whole trip up Burnt Timber Road, so there were no horses in sight. They were well tucked away in the trees. You can read my post on that trip by clicking on October.
I left feeling unfulfilled and disappointed.
These are the changes that did occur this month in the Dryhead: Fiero is not alone (again). Lori and Brianna spotted Strawberry with Seattle. Lori and I saw Bakken and Cascade alone. Fiero never really seems to mind being by himself, in fact I think he may choose it from time to time. Merlin has not been seen since the weekend of October 13th.
I was able to, by months end, receive word that my paper work for my permit allowing me to give Pryor Mountain Tours had come through.
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. I am one of a handful of businesses that have the federal permits necessary to guide clients onto this federal property.
The tours will begin in the Spring of 2013. Contact me for availability or click on TOURS, to read the post I did on them. I am excited and looking forward to offering this service.
November brought the hiring of a new Director for the PMWMC. It also brought us news of the sentence for Adam Finn on the death of Admiral and Kapitan.
Lori was able to keep us all up to date on some happenings in the Dryhead and the progress of Kaibab and Liesl.
Shawn Ivie returned to the Pryors for the first time in several months and was able to give us a great report.
Some changes were occurring on the mountain that he was able to report about. Damsel is still missing. Baileys may be missing. White Cloud is down to a band of only 4 including himself. Jasmine and Aztec were with Jackson when he was there. The only to remain with Cloud at the time of his report were Feldspar, Mica and Inocentes.
Now we are in December. I thought perhaps this month would be the quietest of all. But just 5 days into the month, I got a phone call from Lori. She had found Merlin! What a relief, and just the good news I needed to hear. After seeing Laura’s photos of him taken in October, I was so worried. I had seen that painful, dehydrated look before, not too long ago.
Lori finding Merlin, was the best Christmas present! You can read about that post by clicking on Lori.
Lori gave us a great update on the Dryhead and Lower Sykes. Strawberry was no longer with Seattle. So the drama still continues. I am sure that there is just as much drama with the mountain horses, just not enough people to witness the daily changing events. I will look forward and I will share any news I hear.
As this month of December comes to a close, I look back at the year in the Pryors. Even though there were events on the mountain that caused us pain, it was a good year. These horses are wild horses and so we must except all that the wild gives us. There will be deaths, missing horses and changes that we may not like or know how to except. But we knew when we became involved with them that there would be some heartbreak. As we watch the horses, they become family. I know I will never change my feelings towards them. They are a big part of my life.
This year, I have had the wonder opportunity of being able to spend over 30 days in the Pryors with the horses. I am looking forward to spending that and more in 2013. And sharing it all with you. Thank you for following Wild In the Pryors.
Merry Christmas and Happy New Year everyone.
Note: As of the middle of December, Baileys has been located with Bolder and his band and Aztec is back with White Cloud and his band.
I asked my friend Anh (whom I just met on this trip, but had been in touch through email for several months) to write about her first mountain top experience. She was unable to get to the top when she visited in May.
Thanks Ahn for sharing with us your experience. It is always nice to hear about the horses through another set of eyes and another heart and to see other photos of the horses.
I found as I looked through her photos and posted them, that the photos continued to get better and better and it was apparent that Anh had fallen in love with them too.
Below is her story and photos from her trip. Thank you Anh for sharing your trip with us!
ps: We now know where Amethyst is: Back with Bolder again!
My Visit to the Mountain by Anh N.
Because of my love for the Pryor Mountain wild horses, my niece and I drove 1,200 miles from Los Angels to Montana. We took Crooked Creek up to the mountain top on September 1st. We got there around 4:00PM. We met Sandy and Amber. That was a great pleasure to meet them both.
We set up our tent near the Penn’s cabin. The sun started setting on the West, the Moon began rising on the East and the stars showed off their beauty. What a wonderful place!!!!
Around 9 PM, the sky quickly became covered with clouds and the wind was blowing harder and harder. We decided to sleep in the car. Then the rain started to pour quite hard. I was hoping the rain would last a little longer.
September 02, 2012
In the morning we met Sandy and her daughter Amber. We spent some time chatting and visited Lakota’s memorial. I could not avoid the sadness of losing him, but I know he is in heaven. Sandy and Amber left the mountain in the morning.
Late morning, Ginger, Lauren and I hiked down to the Tea Cup Bowl area to look for Cloud’s band. There was Gringo’s band, Tecumseh, other bands and some bachelors. Nearby, we ran into Bolder’s band, Cloud’s band, Duke’s band and Teton’s band. I took several pictures of them. We sat for a while watching the horses napping and waking up. They grazed as they moved to different areas. We left the bands and went back to our camp sites for lunch.
It was a beautiful day on the mountain top. I kept telling myself there is nowhere else that I’d rather be.
We went down to the water hole late afternoon. There were several bands that came down to drink. I was amazed that the 3 bachelors and a yearling (Knight) hanging out together.
Before the sun began to setting, we left the water pond. We were in the meadow above the water pond trying to take pictures of the horses passing by us, heading for the water pond. We saw Flint’s band and Baja’s bands running to the water hole then several other bands.
We rested early around 8:00pm. It was about 54 degrees. There was no wind. The sky was clear. I fell asleep and dreamed of the horses.
September 03, 2012:
I went down to the water pond at 7:15 AM and Ginger was already setting up her camera to film the birds, squirrels, and deer while waiting for the horses. Jackson’s band came down first. His 3 foals have grown since I saw them in May. It was so nice to see them again. Jackson looked great and handsome. Then several other bands came to drink.
Ginger and other campers left the mountain top that day. It was so quiet and peaceful when some people riding ATVs came by and parked the vehicles off the roads and on the grassy areas. It was a warm day on the mountain top.
Early afternoon I hiked to Tea Cup Bowl area to see Lakota memorial again. There were a few bands napping nearby. I got some great photos of them. Greta and her foal were posing for me and other horses. Then We went down to the water pond and waited for the horses. Teton’s band, Bolder’s band, Cloud’s band and other bands came down. Many horses played in the pond and dipped themselves in the water then they went up to the hill side and rolled themselves in the dirt. It was fun to watch
The sun started to set and it got cold. There were many horses passing by our camp site. I love to hear them galloping. We got ready to rest for the day. I wished for my angels (the horses) to rest peacefully, especially for the little babies to be warm and loved by their mothers and fathers. Good night my angels.
September 04, 2012
We went down to the water pond in the morning. It was cold and breezy. There were white clouds sailing in the blue sky. The sky was crystal blue and the air was fresh and filled with the strong aroma of pine trees. The birds were singing in the trees and bathing along the edge of the pond. I felt so peaceful inside and wished I never have to go back home. There was a wood pecker nearby being playful. He seemed to be enjoying himself pecking at the pine trees.
The reflection of the pine trees on the surface of the water pond was so beautiful and so peaceful. I thought this is heaven and I just wanted to be here forever.
I left the water pond and hung out with Cloud’s band on the meadow on the top of the water pond. I got some beautiful shots of Cloud and his family members, including playful Mica. It seemed Cloud didn’t mind that I was near by his band and watching them graze. I took lots of pictures of them. He looked at me then went back to his breakfast.
There was sound of the horses in the forest then 2 bachelors came out. Suddenly, Cloud ran as fast as he could to meet up with bachelors. The three horses ran into the forest. There were some loud noises. I was worried to death and feared that Cloud might fight with them and get injured then Cloud ran out from the forest and back to his family. I was relieved that Cloud was alright. It was incredibly amazing to witness the behavior of wild horses.
I left Cloud’s band and went back to our camp site to have lunch. My niece and I rested for a while. We drove to Burnt Timble Road to find horses but we did not see any.
Then we hiked for a short while in the tea cup bowl.
After lunch, we went back down to the water pond. There were several bands that came down to drink. My niece was sad for Tecumseh. He kept dogging Gringo’s band. Gringo took his band a while ago. He looked very sad. It seemed there some tears in his eyes. We were sitting by some trees so the horses could have their own space. Tecumseh was drinking and suddenly he was startled and walked past us going into the forest.
I can feel for his broken heart. I hope he will heal soon. Tecumseh, my best wishes for you!
The wind picked up this evening. The sun started to set and it got cold. There were many horses that passed by our camp site. I love to hear them galloping by. We got ready to rest for the day.
September 05, 2012
There was thick smoke hanging on the mountain top. We thought there may be a fire nearby. I prayed that I was wrong. I did not want any destruction to happen here on the Pryors. My niece and I thought that we should drive down the mountain to see what was going on.
Before leaving the mountain top we hung out with Doc’s band and I took many pictures of Doc. I love his mane and tail. It looks like someone had given him a perm. He is so handsome too.
We were on our way to Bridger but it took a longer time than expected because we took a wrong turn. I drove down to a ditch of a storm drain. I could not drive up or even back out. Luckily, 3 gentlemen who were driving by and helped us out of the ditch. They pushed my 4 WD Toyota 4Runner back ward then I drove parallel with the road and back to the dirt road. It was a blessing to get back on the road and got some help.
We got to Powell about 5:30PM. We washed up, rested and went to Cody to have some Japanese food. We bought some more batteries for my camera and a memory card for more photos!
September 06, 2012
We took Crooked Creek to the mountaintop in the morning. It was about 12:30 PM when we got back to our camp site. It was so excited to see many horses grazing near our tent. Bolder’s band and Teton’s band …Of course I took many as photos as possible. Killian was sleeping on the grass, Bolder napped in the pine trees with his family. Teton’s band was grazing near by. Phoenix seemed so shy. She never allowed me to take a good photo of her.
Early that evening many horses galloped by our camp site and down to the meadow below for shelter. There were storm clouds coming in but we only felt a few rain drops. It was 32 degrees. We stayed inside the car from 6:30 PM until 7:30AM the next day.
September 07, 2012
The sky was clear after the rain passed by quickly last night.
We went down to the water pond in the morning. It was cold and breezy. There were white clouds sailing in the blue sky. The sky was crystal blue and the air was fresh and filled with the strong aroma of pine trees. The birds were singing in the trees and bathing along the edge of the pond. I felt so peaceful inside and wished I never have to go back home. There was a wood pecker nearby being playful. He seemed to be enjoying himself pecking at the pine trees. The reflection of the pine trees on the surface of the water pond was so beautiful and so peaceful. I thought this is heaven and I just wanted to be here forever. There were not many horsed came down. It was a beautiful morning though.
We went back up and packed our equipment and we drove around. Jackson’s band was on the side of Burnt Timber road. Some of them were resting and some were napping. Baja’s band was grazing near by. Jackson seemed unhappy that Baja was close by. He walked over and had some words with Baja. Then he walked back to his band and napped again. I was glad to be able to take some great photos of them.
I left the mountain top and brought with me the wonderful memories and great experience of being on the Pryors, such a magical place. I hold dear the image of the horses. Their simple lives just melt my heart away. Pryor Mountain has captured my heart and my soul. There is no place else that I’d rather be.
We got to Britton Spring about 4:00 PM. I visited the horses in the pens that were up for adoption. I took several pictures. Sandy and Lori were there.
After having dinner with Sandy,we went back to Powell and rested.
September 08, 2012
I went to Britton Spring and spent some time with the horses. The bidding began at 10:00 AM. It was a good experience to see the process. I was glad Sandy and Lori got Kootenai, Kiowa, Liesl and Kaibab.
September 09. 2012
I took my niece to the Billings’s airport and she heading home first.
I drove to the Dry Head area in the late afternoon. I was greeted by 4 horses on the side of the gate: Seneca, Hightail, Jesse James and Hikco.
September 10, 2012
I stopped by Pryor Mountain Wild Mustang Center to visit Lorie and the horses. Liesl and Kaibab are adjusting well with their new home.
Then I drove through highway 37 to visit the Dry head horses.
Jemez and Joseph were hanging out on the hillside of the road. Jemez was up high on the cliff.
I met Susan from Texas and her daughter. Three of us hiked up the hill so we can take some pictures of Jemez.
We drove to the lower Skyes Ridge hoping to see Cecilia, her baby and Sitting Bull. Unfortunately, we could not find them but we saw Medicine Bow and Innaq. They quickly disappeared behind the sage bushes.
Susan and her daughter left the mountain to go back to Cody.
I drove back up the Dry Head areas. Jemez and Joseph were still at the same location. I also saw Hidatsa and Fool Crow’s band.
September 11, 2012
Late morning, I drove back to Dry Head areas there were Medicine Bowl, Jemez and Joseph were on the hill side grazing. I hiked up and down the hills to spend some time with them and took several pictures of them.
In the afternoon Medicine Bow, Jemez and the black stallion moved the hill side on the other side of the road. They were standing still and napping.
September 12, 2012
I drove to Cody and visited the McCullough Peaks wild horses. It was a special day because I saw a band of three with a newborn who was only one day old (he was born on September 11, 2012)
I drove back to the Dry Head areas in the afternoon. There were no horses during the 1st round. I drove back again then I saw Blizzards and Cascade, they were grazing in the little valley. The pictures I took of them were not that great because they would not let me get too close. Blizzards has a very long mane. I wish I would have been able to take good poses of him.
I left Pryor Mountain hoping to be back soon. I left my heart in the Pryor Mountains.
One horse was removed later in the day on the 25th. It was Kaibab. Kaibab is the 2010 son of Fiasco and Doc. I remember seeing Kaibab shortly after he was born, in August 2010. I have enjoyed watching him turn from a small little colt until a strong looking young stallion. I am going to really miss him.
Four more horses were removed today. They are Kyrstal, Judith, Lenape and Kelly.
Krystal is the 2010 daughter of Feldspar and Blue Moon.
Judith is the 2009 daughter of Halcyon. She was with the stallion Santa Fe. I will miss Judith. In my post in May I said that every time I saw Judith it involved running. I will miss her and all that running. You can read that post by clicking JUDITH.
Kelly and Lenape are in Morning Star’s band. Kelly is the 2010 daughter of Gaelic Princess and Morning Star. Lenape is the 2011 daughter of Hataalii and Morning Star.
This was a post I was really hoping that I would not have to write, at least not for a very long time. But, I think I knew this deep down when I was there 3 weeks ago and could not find Lakota. I really hated leaving the mountain that day without seeing him one last time. But, I am sure maybe Lakota wanted it that way.
I just received a call this morning from Jared Bybee. He told me he had to euthanize Lakota last night. He said he was suffering badly, and that his leg was broken. I was afraid Lakota was suffering. He had endured this injury since the middle of June. Click on Lakota to read about that and from that post you can read all my posts that I wrote about him and if you did not know this, Lakota was my favorite horse.
Lakota was born on the Pryor Mountain range in 1992 to the mare Tonopah (who still lives on the mountain) and the stallion Blacky. Lakota died July 23, 2012 at the age of 20. He was born wild and died wild. He leaves a great legacy on the mountain.
The gift he gave me in May was something that I will always remember. Thank you Lakota. I will remember you always and I will remember how strong and great you were.
“Not life, but good life, is to be chiefly valued. ” ― Socrates And Lakota had a good life.
Rest in Peace my dear friend.
Thank you Jared for calling me and not letting Lakota suffer any more.
I am just going to say it right away. I did not find Lakota.
It is easier for me to be strong when I am on the mountain. I try to tell myself up there that these are wild horses. Things happen. Sometimes I can’t quite remember that and burst into tears up there, but most of the time I am strong.
I was this time. Then I got in the truck and started heading down the mountain towards home. I was still okay. Then I plugged in my ipod and it started playing. You know what I mean, some song that you downloaded started playing. One of those “tug at your heart” kind of songs. That is what happened yesterday morning as I headed down the mountain towards Bridger. I started to cry, hard. Luckily, I knew the road well and I could only drive about 10 miles an hour, so no one was in any danger. Why was it that the ipod would not quit playing those songs? The tears would not stop and by the time I got to Bridger my eyes looked like I had been in a fight. We stopped to have breakfast there, and I am sure the waitress felt very sorry for me, because she seemed to be extra nice.
Let me back up a bit and tell you about my search for Lakota. I arrived on the mountain early afternoon of the 7th. After changing a flat tire on the truck and setting up camp, I went down Burnt Timber Road to try to find Lakota. And that was pretty much what I did for the next 3 1/2 days. Search for Lakota. I did spend some time off and on with the other bands, but a lot of the time I was hiking around looking for Lakota.
The last time someone saw him was on July the 2nd. I thought for sure I knew where he would be. It is so dry up there right now, that water is very limited. I thought Lakota might be getting water from a little ice cave not far from where he was last seen. Either that or at the red mud hole that Shawn had shown me 2 weeks ago.
The mud hole was dried up. I saw a big black bear there, but no horses. At the ice cave were 6 tents. It was a group of people who were spending time mapping out the ice cave. I know nothing about that. They were nice enough people, but I was concerned that they may have driven Lakota off with all the activity around there. I left them my card (with the image of Lakota on the front and back) and asked them to call or text me if they saw him. I hiked to the ice cave just in case they had missed seeing his tracks. Nothing. The were there for a couple of days and I asked each day if they had seen Lakota.
I stopped everyone coming up Burnt Timber or heading down, gave them my card and asked them to watch for him.
I tried to think about where he might go for water. It not only was dry up there, but hot and I knew that he would need to go for water.
The next water hole was off towards the fence line, more than a mile away or more away. A hard mile. Especially for a horse with a hurt leg. It was down a steep hill over a huge meadow and down another hill. I hiked it and looked around the water hole. I then hiked up the next hill above the water hole and sat for over an hour watching and looking through the binoculars. Nothing.
And so went the days, hiking and driving looking for Lakota. I did not find him.
I really did not want to leave without finding him. It was a very hard thing to do. I will be back in a few weeks. I am hoping that someone can find him before then. I will let you know if hear anything.
The afternoon was just as wonderful as the morning. What made it more special was that my good friend Lori was going to join us for a few hours and along with her was a new friend Chris. They met us shortly after I had seen Lakota.
The four of us were the only ones on the mountain so far that day. As we headed up the road after checking on Lakota I saw two horses to my left napping in the sun. It was Santa Fe and Judith! If you don’t remember Santa Fe and Judith, you can read about them by clicking; SANTA FE. I had seen them in May and at that time Santa Fe was having a hard time keeping Judith around. It seemed like she had finally settled in to being with him.
As I followed the road towards Penn’s Cabin, I was able to get closer to them.
The next band that we encountered was Cloud’s band again. But this time Mica saw me. I only stayed for a few minutes and moved on. He was getting way to close to me and I did not want it to become a habit.
Mica is the only foal that I have ever met that deliberately walks right towards me. It does make me feel pretty special, but I do not encourage it in any way.
I left and went down the road and parked. I walked over and peered over the cliff above Mystic Pond. This is what I saw:
Jackson’s band had a new member since I last saw them. Kaycee had a beautiful little filly.
The snow above Mystic was a fraction of what it was a month ago when I saw it last. It was also much smaller than last year, when I saw it the end of July. I am sure it will be gone in the next week.
We spent a long time watching all of the bands. It was really interesting to see some of the interaction. It was not as quiet and peaceful as it had been when I was watching everyone nap a few hours ago. If you missed that post, click HORSES, and it will take you to that post.
I am going to share several photos with you of what I saw.
Judith and Santa Fe had come down to join the bands.
Garay came walking up and caused some commotion. Nothing too bad, but very interesting to watch. Garay was a lone. I wondered where London was. I would see London the next day.
Garay and Grijala used to hang out together before Grijala got his band last summer. I was interested to see how this meeting would go.
The meeting went just fine. There was even a little mutual grooming.
There were so many horses around, it was hard to watch everything. I looked up over to the left and saw Galaxy moving his band down to the water.
I looked to the right and saw Duke’s band heading for water.
I then turned and saw Grijala and Santa Fe having a discussion. Each time I turned my head I saw something happening some where. It was an amazing sight to witness!
Grijala then realized that Santa Fe meant business and left to return to his band. Only to encounter a very grumby Jackson who did not allow anyone to step over an imaginary line that he had drawn in the snow. When they crossed that line, he would let them know!
I wasn’t prepared for how many photos I took down here. My camera chip was down to my last 20 shots and I had to hike back to the ATV to get more. On my way up I saw Coronado and his band.
And then my chip was full. I did see this band again the next day, so you will see more photos of them when I do that post.
I was then told by my hungry visitors that I would have to stop and eat lunch. I reluctantly agreed. We went up to Penn’s and ate.
On our way back up the road I saw two black horses coming my way. It was Two Boots and Jasper. Two Boots looked great! I can’t believe he is 24 this year. I thought it was great that the young Jasper was with him. He was learning from one of the best.
I then saw Tecumseh. He headed up to greet them. It wasn’t long before Two Boots decided he would rather not continue this greeting.