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.
Oglala, Oak and Morgana
Oak and Perry
Oak and Perry
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.
Thanks for everything!!