Wild in the Pryors

A Blog about the Pryor Mountain Wild Horses

Posts tagged ‘Mustangs’

Lighting Strike On the Mountain

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Doc rushing in to prevent Aztec and Jasmine leaving for Cappuccino’s band.

One of the first things I noticed this year when I arrived on the range, was how very dry it was up here. I could hear the grass “crunch” under my feet as I walked. It made me afraid that this could be a very high fire danger season. As I looked at the forecast for the next 10 days, there seemed to be no rain in sight, but every afternoon, it seemed as though that might change. Yesterday it did, and it rained for 3 hours, the horses running past us, seeking shelter from the storm. Knowing by the horses reaction, I knew that this would be a severe storm, and the horses were right, with the rain came a sufficient amount of thunder and lightning.

Whenever a storm with lightning strikes occur on the mountain, I gather my guests and we climb in the truck. I feel that is the safest place to be during a storm, especially with lightning striking around us. I then pull away from any near by trees. And that is where we sat for 3 hours yesterday, waiting out the storm and being thankful for the much-needed rain to the range. As I type this , the rain is again pouring down. So thankful for this moisture. Today is different, however, the horses are still visible, so I will take that as a sign that this storm will not be as bad as yesterday’s.

At about hour 2 1/2 of this storm, the sky seemed to be clearing, and I started to work my way back up the very muddy road to our campsite. It was then that we all witnessed a lightning strike hit a tree up near the Skyline Meadow, also known as Bigfoot’s Meadow.  This area was about 1/2 mile from us. The lightning strike caused the tree to turn instantly bright red and as fast as the red dimmed, the smoke began.

My guests ( Barb and Dick) my assistant (Abbie) and myself decided we should let as many people know about this fire so we could as to get a quick response from someone..anyone. I immediately got on my phone and was relieved that I had enough service to make a call. The first call was to Jeff, the BLM law enforcement agent. After leaving a voice mail, I then dialed 911. And at the last-minute, I thought I should let Jim Sparks know, and left a voicemail for him as well. It was a bit unnerving to think what could occur if the fire was big enough and the wind strong enough. I tried to push that from my mind and focus on where we had seen this strike.

The rain was still coming down hard, and that in itself was comforting, knowing that it was hopefully putting the fire out. But by now we could not see the area of the strike, the fog had settled in, it was difficult to tell if it was smoke or fog. We all continued to watch the area of the strike as we waited for a response from our calls.

It was not long, probably just a few minutes ( but it seemed much longer) that I heard from Jeff. I spoke briefly with him, and he confirmed that the 911 dispatcher had already reached him. He indicated that they would send up a helicopter to try to spot the location, but they needed to wait for the fog to lift.

Once the fog lifted, much to our relief, we could not see any smoke. I called Jeff and let him know. (I was not looking forward to a helicopter, knowing how the horses would react, but we all agreed, a helicopter would be better than a range engulfed in flames). He said a ground crew of firefighters would be up to check on the fire. For those of you that have not been on the range, that would mean that it would take about 3 hours or more with a fire truck, to get to the top.

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The Firefighters spent the night so they could continue to check on the strike.

Once the firefighters reached the top, I directed then to the area of the strike.  They were able to hike to the area and locate the tree.  The lightening had traveled all the way down the tree and into the ground where there was a small area of smoldering matter.  The firefighters  worked on the area last night, then sat up camp so they could continue to work on it in the morning.  This morning they were up working on the area for several hours.  They informed us that a small smothering area can turn into a big fire in no time if the conditions are right, and told me that it was good that we had called it in.  Abbie and I had just hiked that area a few days ago, so I know how thick and dense that area is with dead and downed trees.  A fire that started here, would be eagerly fed with the food of this forest.   We were grateful for their quick response.

I am writing this post so that others that travel up on the range can know that you can call 911 when on the range.  After talking to my guests, I realized that many people to not think that there is reception on the range, but you can locate it in some areas.  If you do call 911 you should know a few things.  When on the top of the mountain, you are in Carbon County, also try to pin point the direction and area that you see a strike and smoke.   So please call to report a fire.  The horses depend on your fast response.

My guests and I would like to thank the BLM for their fast response and hard work.  Thank you Jeff, LeRoy and the rest of the firefighting crew for your efforts.  We very much appreciate it!

When we woke this morning, we were greeted by a glorious sunny sky and a very green range with lots of muddy puddles for silly horseplay!

Sandy

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Knight and Nimbus drinking from a puddle. 7-3-16


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Mescalero playing in the mud. 7-3-16


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Pride and Mescalero, 7-3-16

 

Bolder’s Band


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. 

I will keep you posted. 

Sandy 

the full moon rising this week on the mountain

2016 Pryor Foal # 7

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Ireland and Galaxy’s new foal! Photo by: Colleen Kilbane Heart Four Bar Photography

Ireland and Galaxy have a new foal.  Discovered yesterday.  I had a feeling by the photos I had been seeing, and what I had witnessed last summer, that Ireland was very close.  I had witnessed Galaxy breeding her about a week after she had little Pegasus last year.

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Galaxy, June 29, 2015

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Ireland and Pegasus, June 29, 2015

Ireland is the 1997 daughter of Isabella and Raven.  Galaxy is the 2006 son of Quelle Colour and Lakota.

This little one looks to be a filly.  No word on a name yet.  Pegasus love having a playmate!

Thank you Jack Sterling and Colleen Kilbane for allowing me to use your photos!  I’ll be getting some of my own in just a few days!

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Ireland and her new foal, June 11, 2016 Photo by Colleen Kilbane Heart Four Bar Photography

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Ireland’s new foal. Photo by Jack Sterling

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Photo by Colleen Kilbane Heart Four Bar Photography

2016 Pryor Foal # 6

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Pride and his half-sister, Quintana.  Photo by 45 degrees North

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.

 

Sandy

2016 Pryor Foal # 5. Deceased

Another 2016 Pryor foal has been discovered!

I just received word from Ryan at the BLM field office this morning that Hatallii, who is currently in Morning Stars band has foaled.

Here is a link on the BigHorn Canyon Facebook page telling about this new little one.  Click on Foal, to go there.  Thank you for sharing the news!

Hataalii is the 2007 daughter of Sapo and Shaman.  Morning Star is the 1996 son of Washakie and Plenty Coups. 

Quest, named by Abbie, was not seen with his band this week. (5-20-16). Rest in peace little one. 

Sandy

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Hatalli and her new foal. Photo by Bill Pickett/ NPS

2016, Pryor Foals # 3 and 4.

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Garcia’s band with the new foal.

Foal number 3 was discovered by Dennis McCollough from Billings, MT.  Thank you Dennis for allowing me to use your photos!

Foal number 3, yet unnamed, was born to Garcia’s band, he or she is the offspring of Greta and Garcia.  Greta is the 2006 daughter of Belle Starr and Chino, Garcia is the 2006 son of Topper and Tony.

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Dukes band with their new foal.

The 4th 2016 foal was also discovered by Dennis.  This foal was born to Duke’s band.  No name has been chosen yet.  He or she is the offspring of Helenium and Duke.   Helenium is the 2007 daughter of Rosebud and Sandman.  Duke is the 1996 son of Flicka and Bigfoot.

I will update this post as the names and sex of the foals are announced.

Sandy

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Helemium and her new foal.

2016 Pryor Foal # 2

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Quanah with his mom Halcyon.

The second known Pryor foal born in 2016 was discovered by Dawn Ness and Danielle on April 9, 2016.  Thank you Dawn for allowing me to use your beautiful photos!

The foal is a colt, and has been named Quanah.  Quanah was a Comanche Chief.  Quanah was born to the stallion Blue Moon and the mare Halcyon.  Blue Moon is the 2001 son of Sitka and Shaman.  Halcyon is the 2007 daughter of Coronado and Blue Sioux.  They make beautiful foals, that seem to end up very identical!  Welcome to the Pryors little one!

Sandy

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Quanah, April 9, 2016. 

Below is Halcyon last born offspring, Olivia.  I am pretty sure Quanah will have the same coloring when he matures, just like his brother Miocene and sister Nirvana.

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Halcyon and Olivia

 

2016 Foal # 1

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Quasar and Kitalpha.  Photo by Wild At Heart Images.

Once again, Kitalpha defies the odds, despite being on PZP, and gives birth to a beautiful foal. I believe this foal is a colt, born sometime during the last week of March.

I love this mare.  Kitalpha is one of the wildest on the range and has quite a story of survival.   Click on KITALPHA to read that story, one that I published back in 2012.

Kitalpaha is the 2010 daughter of Buffalo Girl and Durango.  The likely sire is Hickok, he is the 2007 son of Belle Starr and Starbuck.

The foal has been given the  Quasar.  I want to thank the photograher Sandy Sisti for allowing me to use her beautiful photos.  I am looking forward to seeing her on the range again this year!

Sandy

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Quasar. Photo by Wild at Heart Images.

Brianna’s Trip Up Burnt Timber

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Doc in August 2011 with his son London. London is the son of Doc and the deceased mare Goldrush. (see a photo of London below, from Brianna’s recent trip)

This past weekend, my friend Brianna ( I met her while she was working at the Mustang Center and then a few summers, she joined me on one of my summer camp trips).   After learning about her day trip up Burnt Timber, I asked her if she would be willing to write up a short report on her trip.  She agreed and below is her account of her day adventure up the roughed road.

It is really good to see the horses, especially the older ones and London.  I had learned not too long ago that London had not been seen since late October, so it is really good to see him doing so well.   It just goes to show how vast this range is, especially in the winter months when the horses are so spread out.  “Missing” horses could just be behind a  tree or dip in the land while you pass by them unnoticed.  I don’t become too concerned with those who have not been seen, until I see all of the horses on top of the mountain in the early summer.   I think Brianna’s photo of London, really captured the best of him.  He looks so mature and so much like his father Doc.

Thank you so much Brianna!!

Sandy

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Jackson looking good.  He will be 18 this year!

On Saturday I decided to head up Burnt Timber to find horses and see how far I could make it. I know we haven’t gotten much snow this year, but I was really surprised that even halfway up there wasn’t any trace of snow.

As we came over a hill we saw Jackson standing alone right beside the road. We parked the ranger and walked a little bit closer. He didn’t seem to mind our presence and continued to just stand where he was.

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Jackson, March 2016

We moved on and went as far as we could before the snow drifts got too deep. I’m not really good at knowing exactly how far up I am, but I think we were only a few miles from the top before we decided to turn around. The snow has melted everywhere that there isn’t trees to keep it shaded.

We had only been headed back down for a few minutes when we saw Santa Fe on the left. We parked the ranger and got out.

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Santa Fe. He was born in 1995, so will be 21 this year!

We thought Santa Fe was alone, and then I saw another horse just over a hill about 100 yards away. It started walking towards us, and then we saw two more horses.

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London, Naolin and Inali. London will be 5 this year, Naolin will be 3 and Inali will be 8.

They started running towards us, so we started backing up to the ranger. London and Inali ran all the way up to the ranger before they turned and headed another direction.Naolin wasn’t quite as brave and hung back a little.

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Naolin

The three moved towards Santa Fe, who acted like he wanted nothing to do with them. He quickly walked away, heading further up the mountain towards the snow.

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The young bachelors with Santa Fe, March 2016

Inali turned to the right and went up the other side of the road, and Naolin followed London who slowly walked around and followed Santa Fe.

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Inali, Naolin, and London, March 2016

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Inali, March 2016

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London

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London, March 2016, looking so much like his sire Doc!

We walked over to the hill that they had come over, hoping to find more horses, but didn’t have any luck.

Brianna

 

Lakota’s Gift, 2016

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Lexi and Montana

This will be my 4th season of camping tours!  On my first season, my very first trip, in July of 2013,  with my daughter Amber acting as my assistant, a woman, named Jeanne booked a trip for herself and her two granddaughters, ages 11.  Lilly and Lexi were great to be around, and seemed mature beyond their young years, and since that day, Jeanne and I have become life long friends.  Not only did Lexi know the horses, but the love they all shared for the horses and the appreciation they had for the mountain, made this trip one that I will always hold close to my heart.  But this trip will also be remembered as the trip that a new foal decided to be born, right outside our tents very early one morning.  That foal was Nacer.  Through tragedy and deep emotions, the five of us would be linked to this mountain for life.  You can read more about that foal, by clicking on NACER.

This is my third year that I have awarded a free camping trip to a young person who would be willing to carry on their passion of the wild horses and share it with others their age.  I named it “Lakota’s Gift” in honor of my favorite wild horse who died in the summer of 2012. ( Has it really been 4 years?)   Lakota gave so much to me in such a short time, that I wanted to do something to “keep the torch burning” for these special horses.

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Lakota at my campsite, July 2011

And so this years Lakota’s Gift recipient will be Lexi.   She will be joining me for one of my July trips.  Lexi is now 14 (she will be 15 by the time she goes on the mountain), and even more knowledgeable than ever about the horses.   I look forward to spending some time with her.

Lexi is also the proud co-owner of the Pryor Horse, Montana, who was removed last summer.  Montana is living at her grandmother, Jeanne’s house and is doing great.  It is apparent by the photos here, that Lexi already has a special bond with him.

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Montana, Lexi and Olivia

I think Lakota would be pleased.

Sandy

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