A Tribute To The Horses That Have Passed in 2016



As we enter the last months of 2016, I felt I needed to do a post on those horses who have passed this year.  It has been a very hard year for those of us who follow the horses.  We have lost some very significant members of the Pryor Mountain Wild Horse Herd.  They are and will continue to be missed by all of us.  I found myself looking through more than 30,000 photos that I have taken over the years, trying to find the best photos of each of these horses, something that would give us all a great memory when we hear their name mentioned in the future.

This year there were 11 foals born, 3 of those have died, leaving a total of 8 foals.  Six adult horses have died with a total of horses lost this year of 9, leaving a population growth within the herd of only 2 for 2016. (Although the BLM did not include Chino in last years population loss (I did in my 2015 post on the horses that passed), so with that taken into account, the population growth for the herd for this year would be 1, not 2.)

Below are the photos of those that are no longer with us, listed in alphabetical order.

1. Cloud, born in 1995, son of Raven and Phoenix. Last seen in November of 2015.  What can I say about Cloud?  Wow, this has left a giant hole on the mountain for all of us.  I found myself still expecting him to walk out of the trees by my camp, something he did often, especially in the evenings.  I have had many guest sit and enjoy his presence in the light of the sunset.

It was heartbreaking to witness him loss his band and watch from a distance, clearly in emotional pain of his loss.  He was not one of those stallions who excepted his second bachelorhood with grace.  His family was his life, and the pain of it slowly took his away.

I will miss him, and I don’t believe there will be a single trip that I make to the mountain, that I won’t think of him and all the joy he brought to so many.  He will continue to live on with his offspring and his memory.

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2.  Coronado, born in 1996, son of Raven and Isabella.  Last seen in November 2015 with Cloud.   He was also known as Red Raven by many, Coronado was an amazing and caring stallion.  He lost his band in July of 2014 to the stallion Irial.  He was another stallion who did not take kindly to a second bachelorhood.  For days after he lost his band ( I was there to witness it), he stood alone, barely eating or drinking.  He finally tried to move on, often seen with Cloud in the summer of 2015, but in the end, he too disappeared without a trace.

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3.  Durango, born in 1995, son of Guinvere and Lancelot.  I believe the last time he was seen was in the fall of 2015.   Born in the Dryhead portion of the range, I was fortunate to be able to see him many times.  His coat was an apricot, dun, roan, and his missing half-ear and white ring on his neck (in later years), made him easy to identify.  I am sorry I did not get to spend more time with him, but feel lucky have known him.

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4.  Merlin, born in 1997, son of Guinvere and Lancelot.  He was a beautiful Grullo stallion, living in the Dryhead, and produced some of the finest examples of the Pryor Herd known.  I was particular fond of him because he is the sire of my Valerosa, who I adopted in 2009.  (Valerosa is now living with my good friend Jeanne). 

Merlin survived many wounds, and turned up a few times when some of us thought he may be gone.  A couple of these photos are from Laura Curtis.  Laura really loved Merlin, and I felt she took some of the best photos of him I have seen.  Thank you Laura for letting me use these.

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5.  Sitting Bull, born in 1996 to Guinvere and Lancelot. I believe he was last seen in the spring of 2016.  Sitting Bull was once discribed to me as one of the wildest stallions in the Pryors, and he most certainly lived up to that discription.   He lived in the Dryhead and kept out of sight for most of his life.  He prefered to live with his band, in the lower Sykes area, away from most people and other horses.  Every time I saw him, I considered it a rare gift, and felt very privileged with each sighting.

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6.  Quest, born in the spring of 2016, son of Hataali and Morning Star, he did not live very long.  Cause of death was never known.  The photo below was taken by NPS Bill Picket.


7.  Quietstorm, daughter of Firestorm and Doc.  Born in the early morning of July 14, 2016, right near my campsite.  This little one was discovered by my friend Liz, shortly after I left to head down the mountain.  She was a beautiful little filly and very much loved by her band, especially her brother Okomi.  She disapeared in late September, cause of death is unknown.   The beautiful photos below were taken by Anh, I thought they captured her personality beautifully.

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8.  Quicksilver, son of Audubon and Hamlet, born in mid September, 2016, he disappeared in late September, early October 2016.  Cause of death is unknown.  The below photo was taken by Jack Sterling.


9.  Winnemucca, born in 1987, daughter of Black Star and Konik.  Winnemucca lived to the age of 29, and with that, became the oldest every known Pryor Horse to survive on the range.  She died the end mid-end of September, 2016.  You can read more about her in the post I did on her this past spring.  Click on Winnemucca to read it.  She was an amazing mare, and will be very missed.

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There is one last horse that I am going to list here.  It is a bit early to really make a call on him, but I am publishing these photos in hopes that it will bring attention to him, and perhaps someone will go up  on the mountain and see him and let us all know.  He was last seen in early-mid September.  Fiesta, born in 2005, son of Phoenix and Teton.  He has been with the stallion Horizon for years.  Early on as two bachelors, and then in the past several years, he has acted as a very devoted Sattelite Stallion.

He was the big protector, the one who would step up and fight to protect his little band from whatever and whom ever he saw as a threat.  It is very unusual and odd that he is not with them, and I am worried.  I hope and pray he shows up soon and gives us all some peace.  I love this horse,  I can’t imagine the mountain without him.  Fiesta has made me smile and laugh so many times, I can’t begin to count them.  If anyone spots him, please let me know.

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This year has been a year of loss.  I believe this is the largest loss of horses since the winter of 2010-2011, when 15 horses died.  Next year we will have new life once again to the mountain, the birth of the new foals will help ease the pain of the ones that will no longer be there.  But these horses and the others that have pasted before them, will not be forgot,  their spirits will continue to live on in one of the most beautiful places on earth.  Rest in Peace dear wild ones, I am sure you are looking down and protecting the ones that you love.


Cloud and his son Mica, summer of 2015.




Pryor Foals # 17 and 18

Washakie and Ojai
Washakie and Ojai

I was about to announce the arrival of Galadrials much anticipated foal, when I realized I never made a formal announce for Washakies foal, so this post will cover both of those.

Foal number 17 was born to:

Washakie, daughter of Sitka and Shamen, born in 1994 and Baja, son of Tonapah and Looking Glass, born in 1996, had a foal, born on August 6, 2014.  The foal is a filly and was discovered by Shawn Ivie.  The chosen name for this filly is Ojai.

Washakie and her new filly.  August 10, 2014
Washakie and her new filly. August 10, 2014

Foal number 18 was born to:

Galadrial, daughter of Atlantis and Duke, born in 2006.  Sire of this foal could be one of two stallions:

Tecumseh, son of Warbonnet and Flash, born in 1998.  OR Gringo, son of Madonna and Duke, born in 2006.  I am hoping that the foal is Tecumseh’s.

Galadrial and her new foal, taken on September 27, 2014.  Photo by Steve Cerroni.
Galadrial and her new foal, taken on September 27, 2014. Photo by Steve Cerroni.

This foal was discovered by Steve Cerroni of the Pryor Mountain WIld Mustang Center.  The photos are from their facebook page.

Steve thought the foal may be a filly, no name has been chosen yet.

Galadrial and her new foal.  Photo by Steve Cerroni.
Galadrial and her new foal. Photo by Steve Cerroni.

This year 18 known foals have been born on the range, with 15 remaining alive.   I hope that all survive the upcoming winter. Foals lost this year were from Morgana, Demure and Moenkopi.


Logo designed by Amber Bushnell.  Wild in the Pryors and this logo is copyrighted.
Logo designed by Amber Bushnell. Wild in the Pryors and this logo is copyrighted.


Pryor Foal # 11, 2014. Update, Photo!!

Firestorm and her new foal Okomi.  Taken this morning ( 5-31-14)  Photo by Shawn Ivie
Firestorm and her new foal Okomi. Taken this morning ( 5-31-14) Photo by Shawn Ivie

I received an email from Shawn Ivie, this morning at 7:30 am.  He had spotted Firestorm and her new foal and wanted me to see them.  Thank you so much Shawn!! I will also add, that this was taken with Shawn’s cellphone.  Shawn’s photos are amazing, the link to his website is on the side of this post if you would like to see more of his work. (Wyoman Photography)

Firstorm, February, 2013
Firestorm, February, 2013

Pryor Foal # 11, born to Firestorm and Jackson.  Discovered by TCF.  Colt.  Name: Okomi.  No photos at this time.  I will update with photos when I can.

Firestorm is the 2005 daughter of Scarlett and Cloud.  Jackson is the 1998 son of Broken Bow and Two Boots.

Thank you Shawn (Wyoman Photography) for providing the photo!


Jackson and Doc, June 2013
Jackson and Doc, June 2013
Firestorm and Niabrara, June 2013
Firestorm and Niabrara, June 2013
Logo designed by Amber Bushnell
Logo designed by Amber Bushnell

Pryor Foal # 8, 2014

Pryor Foal # 8 was discovered yesterday.( by the PMWMC and others).  This discovery also brought some other good news that Cloud had also been found.  His mares Feldspar (who has the new foal) and Inocentes were back with him too.  Still missing from the band are Mica (who has been seen) and Nimbus (who is still with some bachelors).

Foal # 8, born to Feldspar and Cloud.  A colt.  Name:  Ohanzee

Feldspar is the 2005 daughter of Rosarita and Starman, Cloud is the 1995 son of Phoenix and Raven.

Photo by Nancy C. (PMWMC)
Photo by Nancy C. (PMWMC)
Feldspar, Mica and Nimbus, April 28, 2014
Feldspar, Mica and Nimbus, April 28, 2014
Cloud, April 28, 2014
Cloud, April 28, 2014

Thank you Nancy for sharing this news!


Logo designed by Amber Bushnell
Logo designed by Amber Bushnell


The Cloud Foundation Releases Their PZP Proposal

Mica and his father Cloud.
Mica and his father Cloud, May 2012

The Cloud Foundation released their PZP Proposal.  You can click on TCF to read it.   I am not opposed to some of their ideas, and I support the idea of no more removals.  But to rush into another plan, could be detrimental to the horses.  Is this “playing with mother nature” a bit too much?

I do think it would be nice to see Seneca have a foal.(read TCF proposal to see what I am talking about).  However currently she is in a band of 4 (The Greeters), including her 1/2 brother and son.  Which one would she breed with?  Either one may lead to a less than perfect foal.

I still think the current program should remain in place.  The current plan has only been in place since 2011.   Due to the schedule, weather and only one person delivering the injections for the 2011 year, we have yet to see what a good year looks like.   You can read more about my thoughts and the letter I will be sending to Jim Sparks in regards to this, by clicking PZP. 

This current plan will remain in place until 2015.  I do believe the plan has room for improvement.  But why rush it?  My first concern is for the welfare of the entire Pryor Herd and the future generations.


Logo designed by Amber Bushnell
Logo designed by Amber Bushnell

Mountain Top Update, Day 1, June 17, 2012

Discovering that Lakota was injured (LAKOTA), was really hard.  At times I felt myself thinking of only him.  But I did see many other things and so I would like to share them with you.

I met my friend Linda just outside Bridger, Montana at the bottom of Pryor Mountain road.  Linda had never driven up to the top of the mountain and I was happy to show her the way.  We planned on camping on the top for 3 nights.  We chose to go up this way for a few reasons.  The biggest one was I felt it was the easiest way to go.

We encountered at least 50 ATV’s on the way up.  That was pretty depressing.   I always worry about people harassing the horses, and I hoped that none of these had.  I did see one of them off the road as I drove unto the range.  There are signs that clearly state that you are to remain on the road.  Perhaps this guy could not read.

As we went over the cattle guard unto the range, I looked up along the fence and saw several horses up on the hill.

Several bands, June 17, 2012

We decided to keep going to our campsite.  If there were no horses in that area we planned to come back here and hike back to these.  But we would not be doing that.   There were plenty of horses for us to watch there.  It started to rain.  Seems it always rains when I am here.  But I was glad for the range to be getting this moisture.

The first band to greet us was Custer and his band.  I like Custer.  He seems like a really caring stallion, always watching out for everyone in his band and taking good care of them.  I was also very impressed with how Kaibab had grown.  This must be his year.  I have been worried about him for the last year.  He just seemed to be so small, but that seems to be a thing of the past now.  I am really happy about that.  Little Leo seems to be in the pesky yearling stage and even bugged Custer a time or two.  Custer was very patient!  The photos are a little dark.  It was still raining!

First look at Custer and his band, June 17, 2012
Fiasco, Leo and Custer, June 17, 2012
Fiasco, Leo, Winnemucca, Custer and Kaibab
Look at how much Kaibab has grown! June 17, 2012

The next band we saw was Galaxy.  Galaxy has just become a band stallion in the last 6 weeks.  His new band was from the stallion, Prince.  I would see Prince the next day.

I am very impressed with Galaxy.  He seems to have slid into the role of band stallion very easily.  He is a caring, and protective stallion.  He is Lakota’s son after all, and he seems to have inherited all of Lakota’s greatest features.  Everyone seemed to be content with him.

We would see them again the next day.  It is still raining, but the next day I got better photos of Galaxy and his band that I will be sharing when I write that post.

Galaxy, keeping his band in line. June 17, 2012
Galaxy and his band, June 17, 2012
Hera’s filly, Maia, June 17, 2012
Hera, Maia, Ireland, Limerick and Galaxy, June 17, 2012

Off in the distance I could see Blue Moon and his band and also Gringo who now has Tecumseh’s band.  Tecumseh was near them.  We would see Gringo and Tecumseh a lot in the next few days.

Blue Moon and Tecumseh/Gringo band, June 17, 2012

We continued down the road to Mystic Pond.  Custer and his band had made it there at about the same time.

Winnemucca, Kaibab and Fiasco at Mystic Pond.
Custer and Leo heading down to Mystic, June 17, 2012
Custer and his band, June 17, 2012
Leo pestering Custer.

The rain had not stopped and the wind was starting to blow, so we decided we should go set up camp before it got worse.  By the time we got there, another band was waiting to greet us, Baja.

First look at Baja and his band, June 17, 2012

I have not spent a lot of time with Baja.  But what I have seen of him, I like.  He runs a very strict band, and is very protective.  He does not tolerate disrespect among his family.  When I last saw them in May, Juneau and her foal were not with him.  He had them back now.  Jicarilla was pushing Juneau and her foal around and Baja quickly put a stop to that.

Bacardi, Washakie, Juneau and her colt, June 17, 2012
Baja keeping his band in line.
Bacardi, Jicarilla and Washakie
Juneau and her colt, June 17, 2012
Juneau and Baja’s colt.

I could see Baja look to his right.  He then urged his band to move on.

Juneau and Mendenhall, June 17, 2012
Jicarllia, June 17, 2012
Baja and Luckachukai

Down and to the right of Baja, I could see a head coming up the hill.  It was Fiesta.  That was why Baja was making his band move.  Fiesta wanted to cause some trouble.

Baja goes over to see Fiesta
Baja and Fiesta greet.
Baja and Fiesta, June 17, 2012
Baja and Fiesta
Baja and Fiesta

It was over with fast.  Fiesta retreated and Baja trotted off to catch up with his band and keep them in line.


We looked over the small hill and saw Fiesta, Horizon and Juniper.  With them was Joviana and her colt.  Juniper seemed to really like Joviana and her foal.  She even played with the foal off and on.  Joviana looked really thin.  I was worried about her.  I was also worried how Juniper interacted with the foal.  But then the foal would seem fine.  It was almost as if the foal was Juniper’s and Horizon.  The foal would go with them, leaving Joviana behind.  Joviana never made a move to interfere or try to get her foal back by her side.  It was almost as if she did not have the strength.  I wondered if she even cared.  The foal seemed too young to be acting this independent.  The whole time we watched, I never saw the foal nurse, which also seemed odd to me.  But yet he had the energy to run around.  I hope the colt and Joviana will be okay.

Joviana and foal with Juniper and Fiesta, June 17, 2012
Joviana foal and Juniper
Horizon’s new band, June 17, 2012
Juniper chases the Joviana’s foal.
Horizon, Juniper and Joviana’s foal, June 17, 2012
Joviana foal with Horizon and Juniper following.

Then the colt took off running with everyone following!

Joviana’s colt, June 17, 2012
Foal leads the way!

Horizon and Fiesta had a brief discussion and then they all were gone over the hill.

Fiesta and Horizon, June 17, 2012

I wondered how long this band would last like this.  We would see them again several times over the next few days, but at a distance.

We then decided to head towards Kreuger Pond and see if the horses had moved down from where we had seen them when we first entered the range several hours earlier.

The first band we saw was Doc.  Doc is another stallion that I admire.  He seems to take good care of his band and is a good father, even to foals that are not his own.  Today was no different.  I could see that he had formed a close bond with his stepson.  I have wondered how Doc came to lose his band from last year.  It consisted of Gold Rush, Ketchikan and his son, London.  I wondered if he still had them if Gold Rush would be with him now.  Gold Rush has been missing, and I am beginning to lose hope that she is still alive.

Broken Bow, Demure, he son, and Jenny were his band now.  He seemed very attentive and they seemed content to be with him.

Jenny, Broken Bow, Demure, Doc and Demure’s colt, June 17, 2012
Doc and his band.
Broken Bow and Doc, June 17, 2012

We looked past them and saw every horse that we had seen on the high hill above, down low by the fence.  This was really hard to see.  I don’t like this fence, it was installed the fall of 2010.  The horses were used to going into the Custer Forest, especially this time of year, and the way they were lined up at the fence, made it clear to me that is where they wanted to be.  I hope that someday something can be worked out to move this fence down further.

June 17, 2012
June 17, 2012
June 17, 2012
June 17, 2012
Chino, Topper and Topper 2, June 17, 2012

We wanted to stay longer here, but there was yet another storm coming.  It was raining pretty hard now and it was starting to get dark.  We headed back to the campsite.

After the storm passed we had a beautiful sunset.  A couple of bands of horses walked by us. It had been a great first day.

Sunset, June 17, 2012
June 17, 2012