2019 Pryor Foals # 8 and # 9

Quan and foal
Quahneah and her new foal Taiga

Pryor Foal # 8, was born to Quahneah and London.  Quahneah is the 2016 daughter of Washakie and Baja.  London is the 2011 son of Gold Rush and Doc.  The foal is a filly and has been name Taiga.

Quahneah has always held a special place in my heart.  Abbie and I were blessed to have seen her a few hours after her birth.  The following year, Quahneah put on a special show just for us, making us laugh at a time really needed it.  She is a special horse.

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Quahneah shortly after she was born with mom Washakie, sister Bacardi and father Baja. July 2017

Pryor Foal # 9, was born to Jacinta and Garay.  Jacinta is the 2009 daughter of Rosebud and Tecumseh.  Garay is the is the 2006 son of Mariposa and Conquistador. The foal is a colt and has been name Tapadero.  Tapadero joints his other two full siblings on the range, Rue and Patriot.

Jacinta and foal
Jacinta and her new foal.

 

2020 Camping Tour Dates

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Have you ever wanted to photograph wild horses in their nature setting?  The Pryor Mountains in Montana offers you an amazing opportunity to do that with an equally amazing backdrop.  You will have full days loaded with the opportunity to capture the horses in action, starting with the first light and ending with the blue hour and sunset.  And if you choose, you can stay up late and capture some of the dark starry skies in photos and then fall asleep with the horses near by. 

Whether you bring a professional camera, or just a cell phone to take photos, Sandy goes out of her way to make sure you leave the mountain with cherished memories of your once in a life-time camping trip. 

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Sandy has been camping in the Pryors since 2009, spending weeks at a time with the horses, and has been providing camping tours since 2013. Abbie Branchflower will be joining Sandy  for part of this season, as her assistant. Abbie also has a vast knowledge of the horses and loves to share it! 

Sandy is unsure how many more years she will be doing these tours, choosing not to do tours in 2019.  Don’t miss the opportunity to join her.

The many stories that Sandy and Abbie share about the horses and the range, make this trip more than just a chance to view them, it makes this a trip more about knowing the horses, giving you a brief glance into the life of the Pryor Mountain Wild Horses.

Experience living with the horses 24 hours a day and in doing so, this will give you a better understanding of what it is like to live wild on the range.  All tours may include light to moderate hiking.

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Below are the tour dates for the summer of 2020. Cost of the trip is $2125 per person. A deposit of 50% ($1062.50) is due at time of booking. Contact me for payment options, or check out by hitting the PAY NOW button below. (a secure payment that accepts most credit/debit cards through out the world.)Below are the tour dates for the summer of 2020. Cost of the trip is $2125. A deposit of 50% ($1062.50) is due at time of booking. (balance is due April 1, 2020). Contact me for payment options, or pay now by hitting the PAY NOW button below.  Accepts most credit/debit cards all over the world.

1. June 28-July 1  2 Spaces
2. July 3-6 Full Moon!  1 Space
3. July 9-12  3  Spaces
4. July 14-17  2 Spaces
5. July 19-22  Full

All payments are considered non-refundable. Refunds may be made if cancellations can be filled.  THERE WILL BE NO EXCEPTIONS, so please consider purchasing travel insurance on your own!!  Here is a link to travel insurance purchase.  This insurance is not through Wild In The Pryors.  Please explore this link for cost comparisons of several companies.   TRIP INSURANCE 

2020 Camping Tours

2020 4 Day All Inclusive Camping Tours Deposit

$1,062.50
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Contact Sandy with any questions:  406-360-8959
All tours will start and end in Billings, MT.

 Your camping trip will be 4 days/3 nights on the mountain top.  This trip includes: comfortable transportation up and down the mountain, all food,( the food is top quality, no freeze dried camping stuff!)  snacks, tents, sleeping pad and expert personal guiding. (last night dinner is on your own once we return to Billings).

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There are many great hotels in Billings, MT.  You will be responsible for making your own arrangements before and after the trip.  AirBnb is also a great source to find some lodging.  I can pick you up at your hotel the morning of our first day, or you can meet me at my house in Billings. Feel free to contact me for hotel recommendations. Camping trips will be limited to 5 guests.  Sandy will have an assistant with her who will assist her and help you with any camping needs.  Sandy will personally be doing all of the guiding. For reservations:  Contact Sandy
Phone: 406-360-8959 
email:  wildinthepryors@aol.com

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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. Wild in the Pryors is one of a handful of businesses that have the federal permits necessary to guide clients onto this federal property.

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2019 Pryor Foals 6 and 7

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Talia

Pryor Foal # 6 was born to Juniper and Horizon.  Juniper is the 2009 daughter of Sapo and Bolder.  Horizon is the 2007 son of Felina and Morning Star.  The foal is a filly and has been named Talia.

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Pegasus and Traveler.  Photo by Jack Sterling.

Pryor Foal # 7 was born to Pegasus and Missoula.  Pegasus is the 2015 daughter of Galaxy and Ireland.  Missoula is the 2012 son of Half Moon and Teton.   The foal is a colt and has been named Traveler.

This foal is very special to me.  Both Pegasus and Missoula were discovered and named by me.  Missoula was the very first foal that I had the privileged to find.   I am looking forward to watching this little guy grow into a stallion. Thank you so much Jack for the use of your photo and the discovery of this very special foal.

Has a Missing Horse Reappeared?

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Issaquah

A couple of weeks ago, there were some photos posted on the Pryor Mountain Mustang Center’s Facebook page.   These photos, were taken by Dennis McCollough.  It showed  three dark-colored horses, two of which were easily identified as Orlando and Oglala.  The third was not as easily identified.  Another wild horse follower, Dawn Ness,  was also in that area and took some photos.

This black horse appeared to be solid black.  There are only two horses in the Dryhead that are solid black.  Seattle and his son Issaquah.  Issaquah has not been officially seen for a couple of years now.  But not surprising, the Dryhead is a huge and vast area, and anyone that would see him from a distance would possibly make the assumption that it was:

1.  Seattle, the son of Tacoma and Three Bars, was born in 1997.  He was reported to look very thin this past fall and also has a very distinct swollen knee on the right side.  This horse was not him.

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Seattle, photo taken by Laura Curtis.

2.  Chief Joseph, son of Bakken and Seattle, born in 2009.   Without spotting his back right hind, he could easily be thought to be his full brother Issaquah.  But this horse had no right back hind, (as seen in Dawn’s photos below).

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Chief Joseph, 2012.

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Issaquah, February 2017  Photo by Dawn Ness

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Issaquah, February 2017.  Photo by Dawn Ness

3.  Inniq, son of Sitting Bull and Ceceila, born in 2008.  Several people thought and think it was Inniq.  But Inniq has a very destinctive star, and this horse does not have one.  (Thank you Dawn for taking that photo of this horse with a clear shot of his forehead with out a star!

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Inniq, 2012

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Not Inniq!  Photo taken by Dawn Ness.

The first person to make the comment that it was Issaquah, was Alex Pitterman.  Alex has followed this herd for many years and is virtually a walking encyclopedia with what he knows about this herd.   At first I thought maybe it was not Issaquah, but then I began to think about the vastness of the Dryhead and how he could easily be misidentified for one of the other black horses.  I am convienced that the horse that was spotted is indeed Issaquah.  Thank you Alex for bringing it to our attention!

As a young bachelor, Issaquah was almost always seen with his 1/2 brother Hawk (they share the same sire).  In fact I would call them HawkandIssaquah, because they were rarely apart.

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Hawk and Issaquah, September 2, 2012

But when Hawk gained his own band, Issaquah was not allowed to join him and so this most likely started the mix up of his identity and the assumption that he was no longer with us.  Issaquah may also have decided to go off on his own and was not as visable.  I saw him once along Burnt Timber Road, about 3 miles from the bottom, by himself in August of 2014, and I am betting that once others start to think about their sightings of black horses over the last few years, especially at a distance, we may all realize that Issaquah was there all along.

Whatever the case, I am convienced that the horse that was spotted in late February is indeed Issaquah.  And with all of the death and disappearances of the many horses over the last few years, this news of yet another survivor is very welcome.  It’s great to see you Issaquah!

Sandy

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Issaquah, 2012

 

A Trip Up Sykes Ridge Road, April 27, 2014

Lower Sykes, April 27, 2014
Lower Sykes, April 27, 2014

I know I have said this before in my posts about Sykes Ridge Road, but every time I travel up this road, my heart is in my throat, and every time I head back down this road, I say out loud how I don’t think I can ever drive it again.  But then I do.  For the horses.  Believe me, if there were no horses involved, I would never drive it.

I was waiting for the perfect weather day to drive up this part of the range.  I have become so accustom to Burnt Timber Road, that I feel comfortable doing it in any weather situation (especially on Ophelia).  But Sykes Ridge Road is another thing.  The last thing I want to have happen while on that road was to be caught in a rain or snow storm.

Bighorn Canyon View from a view miles up Sykes Ridge Road.  April 27, 2014
Bighorn Canyon View from a view miles up Sykes Ridge Road. April 27, 2014

The weather for Saturday April 26 the chance of rain was 50 percent in the afternoon, not a good day for Sykes, Sunday, April 27, was initially supposed to be a 40% chance of rain, not a good day either.  Monday the 28 there was only a 10 % chance, so I felt that would be our day.  But when Sunday morning came, I checked the weather and suddenly the hour by hour forecast was looking good.  Only by 5 pm was there then a 20 % chance of rain.  After I quick trip up the Dryhead early that morning, I announced this would be the day to do Sykes.  I actually think it was better that way, doing it at the last-minute, it somehow helped my heart not beat so fast just by the anticipation of the drive.  Decide fast, think about it later..

So by 10 am, we were heading up Sykes Ridge.  The day before from Burnt Timber side, I had spotted several horses over on that side of the range, so I knew our trip would be somewhat successful.  But of course, horses move and things can change, even minute by minute.  But I figured we had a pretty good chance of seeing some.

We stopped a few miles up to take in the view.  This is the area that I knew Medicine Bow liked to hang out in, and I was hoping to see him here.  Not this morning.

Canyon View
Canyon View

Medicine Bows favorite area.
Medicine Bows favorite area.

Ophelia
Ophelia and the road.

A few miles up the road, we entered what is called Cougar Canyon.  This area is a bit creepy the first time you go through it.  High Canyon walls on each side and the name alone makes your heart beat just a little faster.  But the more I do this road, the more the beauty of this area shows itself to me, and this time I was actually able to stop and take a few photos.  They really don’t do it justice, but I thought I would share them anyway.

Wild in the Pryors

Couger Canyon Area
Cougar Canyon Area

Continuing up the road a few more miles, we finally spotted some horses.  It was Fools Crow and he had Icara and Morgana with him.

Fools Crow band, April 27, 2014
Fools Crow band, April 27, 2014

Icara and Morgana
Icara and Morgana

Fools Crow
Fools Crow

Morgana
Morgana

Fools Crow
Fools Crow

After a short time, we continued up the road.  We ran into a bit of snow on the road, in the dark shaded areas, but I was able to push through it after two tries.  I had a shovel with me just in case.  After maneuvering “Dead Biologist’s Corner”, with little trouble, I felt my heart calm down a bit.

I looked up and saw three horses on a hill pretty far from us.  We stopped and I quickly realized it was Kitalpha, Bristol and their yearling filly, Nova!!  Nova was a beautiful red, sunny glow on the far away hillside.  I was relieved to see that Kitalpha did not appear to be pregnant again.

Wide Angle View of Bristol's Band.  Can you see them on that far off hill?
Wide Angle View of Bristol’s Band. Can you see them on that far off hill?

Bristol's Band
Bristol’s Band

Nova, Bristol and Kitalpha, April 27, 2014
Nova, Bristol and Kitalpha, April 27, 2014

Bristol's Band
Bristol’s Band

I was at mile-marker 9 going up Sykes Ridge Road.  Anyone that goes up that road and is reading this, please take note.  Ophelia high-centered on this part.  Three times.  It was a bit scarey to back up of a rock, but I gave it a try three times.  In retrospect, I should have tried a fourth time, but by then I welcomed the idea of parking and hiking.  Last year I had the same problem with my ATV, but was able to sneak through.  Ophelia is wider, so I did not have that option.  It seemed the winter run-off had made this part of the road worse.  Anyway, we (or rather I) decided this would be a great place to park and hike.  Don’t tell Liz and Anh, but I was VERY excited to leave Ophelia and hike beyond this.  It was WAY less scary.  Hard work, yes, but much more comfortable.

High Center Road.
High Center Road.

We had only hiked a short way (up a very steep road) when we came upon enough snow in the road (we sunk in past our knees), that I am sure we would not have made it past this spot anyway, so parking and hiking was the right thing to do after all.

Then, just a little further, we came across some horses, right on the road.  It was Hawk, and he had a band of his own, the first I had seen this.  He had Belle Star, Halo, Jewel and her two year old filly, Mercuria.

Hawks Band
Hawks Band

Hawk
Hawk

Wild in the Pryors

Halo
Belle Starr

Hawk
Hawk

Mercuria
Mercuria

Belle Star and Halo
Belle Star and Halo

They moved off shortly after we got there, but we would see them again when we headed back down the mountain.

Walking towards the water guzzler
Walking towards the water guzzler

One of our views of the Canyon below
One of our views of the Canyon below

Wild in the Pryors

I knew I had seen some horses around the water guzzler in this part of Sykes yesterday from Burnt Timber.  So I hiked down to the guzzler while Anh and Liz waited to see if there were any horses there.

I immediately saw three horses.  They did not see me right away.  It took me a while to figure out it was Johan.  I had only seen him a couple of times.  What threw me off was that he had Audubon (a mountain horse) and her 2013 filly, Niyaha.

Johan with Audubon and Niyaha, April 27, 2014
Johan with Audubon and Niyaha, April 27, 2014

Once Johan saw me, he headed straight for me.  I wasn’t in the best place to be.  There were no trees and no other people to make me look larger.  I slowly turned and left, thinking that would keep him from coming over.  But I glanced over my shoulder and saw him looking straight at me.

I motioned Liz and Anh to hurry over.  We all as one then backed up and that seemed to calm him a bit.  He had been breeding Audubon, and I knew his hormones were really kicking it up and he made it clear he did not want anyone around.  I am not sure he would have charged me, but I did not want to stick around and find out.  Once we moved away, he continued mounting Audubon.

Niyaha and Johan
Niyaha and Johan

Johan and Niyaha
Johan and Niyaha

Wild in the Pryors Wild in the Pryors

Niyaha
Niyaha

Johan
Johan

Audubon
Audubon

Johan
Johan

I spotted Blue Moons band not to far away, and we decided to slowly make our exit here and go over to a much calmer band.

Blue Moon's Band, April 27, 2014
Blue Moon’s Band, April 27, 2014

Everything in Blue Moon’s band was the same, except he had one additional member, Baileys.

Baileys
Baileys

Blue Moon
Blue Moon

Halcyon
Halcyon

Micocene and Nirvana playing
Micocene and Nirvana playing

Blue Moon's Band
Blue Moon’s Band

Amethyst and Halcyon
Amethyst and Halcyon

Isadora and Sequoyah
Isadora and Sequoyah

Blue Moons
Blue Moons

Blue Moons
Blue Moons

I would have liked nothing more that to have been able to sit and watch these horses for a long while.  But it was after 3 pm and I knew we had at least an hour hike back to Ophelia and then another 2 back down the mountain.  I did not want to risk leaving too late in case something when wrong on the way down.

Water Guzzler on Sykes
Water Guzzler on Sykes

Wild in the Pryors Wild in the Pryors

As I headed back down, I spotted Custer and Nodin on a far away hill.  The view was such that I could not see Fiasco or Winnemucca.  I wondered if Fiasco was off foaling and I hoped that Winnemucca ( born in 1987) had made it through the winter.

Custer and Nodin
Custer and Nodin

We were almost back to Ophelia when we came upon Hawk and his band.  They were right along side the road.  Hawk was acting as if he was going to breed Mecuria.  Icara saw this and stepped in to replace her daughter.

Hawk's band
Hawk’s band

Icara, Mercuria and Hawk
Icara, Mercuria and Hawk

Wild in the Pryors

Mecuria
Mecuria

We walked slowly by, barely noticed by them now.  Back to Ophelia, we headed back down the mountain.  Going down Sykes is always worse for me than going up.

About a mile down the road, I saw Corona, Waif, Northe and the new colt, Orion.  Missing from this band since I last saw them was Topper.  I wondered if she was still alive.  I will miss her, and I hope she turns up.

It was pretty clear that Norte was enjoying his new brother.  We watched them for a while before we decided we should continue back down the road.

Corona
Corona

Norte and Orion
Norte and Orion

Wild in the Pryors

Orion
Orion

Orion and Norte
Orion and Norte

Norte, Orion and Waif
Norte, Orion and Waif

Corona
Corona

We were just few mile from reaching lower Sykes, when we spotted Medicine Bow!  It had been a long time since I had seen him.  He looked better than the last several photos I had seen of him.  Even his tail seemed to be longer and healthier looking.  He has had a hard life and I hope that perhaps things are starting to look up for him.  He certainly deserves it.

Medicine Bow, April 27, 2014
Medicine Bow, April 27, 2014

Wild in the Pryors Wild in the Pryors Wild in the Pryors

We made it safely down to the bottom of Sykes.  It had been a great day.  Sure, it would have been great to see a few of the other bands I have not seen for a while.  I would have loved to have seen the new foal in Morning Star’s band.  I guess we just missed see 2, maybe 3 more new foals that have been born on Sykes ridge.  There have been reports of them this week from the NPS.  I am waiting for photos and positive confirmation of all of those before I make my blog post announcing their birth.  New life on the mountain.

Lower Sykes
Lower Sykes

Wild in the Pryors

And tomorrow would be another day on the mountain.

Sandy

Logo designed by Amber Bushnell
Logo designed by Amber Bushnell