New Life And A Guardian Angel

Chino, Jacinta and Patriot, July 4, 2015 Chino, Jacinta and Patriot, July 4, 2015

It was the evening of July 4,  just yesterday, that I witnessed a new life come to the Pryor Mountains.  And along with that new life came a guardian angel in the form of the oldest stallion on the mountain, Chino.  Chino was born in 1992, the son of Hightail and Hercules and he arrived on this day, just in time.

I was busy taking photos of little Pegasus, who I saw shortly after her birth the previous week.  When I looked up and saw my friend and assistant for this trip, Jeanne (who had gone to the truck), waving her hand at me to come over.  I immediately walked over, and that is when she told me a foal was being born.  No one there knew who it was, but when someone told me she had a blaze, I knew it was Jacinta.  I hurried over towards where they pointed.

Meriweather watches over Jacinta and Patriot Meriweather watches over Jacinta and Patriot

For those of you that have been on the range, it was in the “tiered” field to your right just as you enter the range from the Sage Creek Road.  There were over 100 horses around near that, and the first thought had been:

1.  how odd that she was foaling at 6 pm with so many horses around and

2.  I hope nothing happens to the foal with so many horses around.

It was just 2 years ago that I witnessed a similar birth at my campsite with LaBrava and it did not end well.  Please read my Nacer post if you want to learn more about that.   Since then, I admit, I have tried to look at the horses with more of a “watching a National Geographic special” sort of state of mind, when it comes to these intense happenings on the range, but so far my love and emotions have won out and I can’t quite capture the “don’t feel the pain” emotion.  I guess that is who I am, and I guess it is how I will always be, and I am not ashamed to say, I cry a lot on the range.

It wasn’t long after I arrived and spotted them, when “all hell broke loose”.  I am not  sure what set the horses off, but while Jacinta tried to encourage her filly to stand for the first time, 75-100 horses decided to race above them.  I do apologize for the quality of these shots.  The sun was setting and unfortunately in the wrong place for good photos.

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And as if a giant hand swooped down to pick them up, the next thing I knew was the other members of Garay’s band (where Jacinta belong), disappeared in the mist along with them.  This set Garay into a blind frenzy.  He wanted his other band members (Kohl, Peite Colur and Meriweather), but also wanted to be there for Jacinta and Patriot.


His desire for his other band members won out and he gallop off towards where they had run.  I wondered how he would sort them out of 100 horses and get them back.  It seemed liked an impossible task, and I doubted he would be able to do it.

And it was then, that I looked at Jacinta and watched her standing alone, with a new-born foal.  I found myself a bit angry that Garay had chosen to run away when she needed him the most.

Jacinta and Patriot Jacinta and Patriot

Then, I looked to the left and saw Chino, trotting right towards them.  I wasn’t sure this was a good thing, or if it would end well, but I barely had those thoughts when Jacinta took charge.

Chino makes his move towards Jacinta and Patriot Chino makes his move towards Jacinta and Patriot

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I held my breath as they danced dangerously close to the newborn foal.  But it was then that I looked in the opposite direction and saw 4 bachelors, (yes one was Jackson, and yes, he had the filly Nirvana for 24 hours but then lost  her)  running directly towards them.  I knew in my heart that this story would have a painful ending if a miracle did not happen.

IMG_8918 A small miracle did occur, 3 of the bachelors moved to the left, but London stayed behind.


IMG_8922 London, Jacinta and Patriot

And that is when little Patriot’s guardian angel appeared in the form of the oldest stallion on the range.


This old stallion has been through a lot in his life, the only stallion or horse for that matter that has ever lived on every part of the range.  He is a legend just by being himself to this point in his long wild life, but what I witnessed next, placed him even higher in my heart and soul.

I am sure he did not think about what could happen to his old self, all he cared about was saving Jacinta and Patriot, and watched it unfold before my eyes.

He charged at London like a stallion 1/3 his age and he never backed down.

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Jacinta also did her best to keep him away.  I have had two children, and I can’t imagine getting up and doing kick boxing minutes after their birth.  How do these horses do it?  The will to survive and protect what is theirs clearly wins out whatever pain she was feeling after the birth of her daughter.  And all the while that she was fighting London off, she was frantically trying to get her little one to stand for the first time.

Chino, London and Jacinta Chino, London and Jacinta

Chino decided that he needed to be even more aggressive to fight off London, and he gave it his all.

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I am normally a quiet observer on the range, and ask that my guests do the same, but I found myself crying out ” Please, don’t let this little one get hurt or die, please…”

Patriot was up now, and Jacinta was using her body to push her further away from the stallions.

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Finally London decided he had met his match, and he trotted away.  I wondered how Jacinta would react to Chino now.  She had fought him off earlier, would she do it again?  My answer was granted in just a few seconds, as I watched her gratefully accept what Chino had done for her and her new foal.

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Chino stood guard while the bachelors continued to circle, but never had the courage to come closer have his with Chino’s incredible show of courage and strength.

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But Chino’s guardian Angel role was short-lived, as Garay returned with the rest of his band.  (How did he do that,  gained his band members back among 100 horses??  That is story no human witnessed and can never be answered).

But with his return, Chino exited the scene as quickly has he had entered it.  With tearful eyes, I watched this amazing stallion gracefully conceded and walk away without a fight.  He had done the job he was asked to do and excepted it as if he did it everyday of his life.  I wondered how many more times he had stepped up and done the same without a human to witness and write about it.

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I found myself feeling sad for Chino, as he turned and looked over his shoulder towards Jacinta and her filly.  But he did not stay there long, he turned and walked towards me, and I told him out loud how wonderful I thought he was.

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He stopped and yawned, and continued on his way, because for Chino, it was  just a day in the life of a legend stallion.

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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.

Socializing On The Snow/ June 28, 2015

Oceana and Pride
Oceana and Pride

My group and I spent a couple of hours watching the horses on the snow above Mystic Pond a few days ago.  One of my favorite shows, was with little Pride.  He decided that it was time to go out and meet the neighbors, and first stop was with little Miss Oceana.  She wasn’t sure about his bold advances, but did give in and spend a few quiet moments with him.

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Next up for the meet and greet was with the band stallion Tecumseh.  It was a really touching moment to watch the giant stallion (in comparison to Pride) that has had to fight his way back to becoming a band stallion, show his very soft side, and spend some tender moments with the little guy.  It seems that every year that passes, I admire this stallion, and this day I found myself feeling especially impressed by his kind ways.

Pride walks toward Tecumseh
Pride walks toward Tecumseh

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Tecumseh and Pride
Tecumseh and Pride

The next neighbor on the snow to get a greeting from Pride was with Blue Moon’s band.  First the yearling filly Olivia, and then the 3 year old Miocene.  And once again, I was impressed with how tender and kind the older horses were with this little one.

Pride and Nirvana
Pride and Miocene
Olivia and Pride

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Nirvana and Pride
Miocene and Pride

Each and every day that I spend with these horses, I feel is a gift, and I have been cherishing every moment with them.   For some, it will be their last summer on the mountain, for others, life has just begun here.  And so, I have been especially motivated to stop, put my camera down and just inhale each little interaction and movement these beautiful horses show to me.

I still have an opening (due to a last minute cancelation), in my last August Camping Trip, if anyone is interested, please give me a call or text me at: 406-360-8959.

Remember, if you want to see the image bigger, just click on the photo.


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.

2015 Calendars

June 2014
June 2014

Below are the photos that will be in the 2014 calendar. Also included with each calendar orders will be a sheet listing who is the photo each month.

Contact me to pre-order.  Calendars will be $23.00 including shipping within the US.  To contact me call:  406-360-8959 or email me at

Thank you!


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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.

The Name Game, 2014. The “O” year.


It is time for the second annual “Name Game” post.  This is where all of you can suggest names for the 2014 foals born in the Pryors.  Of course, like last year, I can not guarantee that they will be used, but it will be fun to list them, and I do know that every time I discovered a foal last year, I came to this post to look at all of the suggestions.

In 2000, the BLM started using a letter for each year of foals, starting with A.  This year is the O year.  So please feel free to list your ideas in the comment section of this post.  And like last year, I will make another post with the collection of all those names that were suggested.  To read more about this system and why we use names, please refer to my Name Game post that I did last year.  Click on NAME GAME, to go there.

I am looking forward to reading all of your suggestions!  Also, please if someone has already listed your idea, please list it again anyway.  It will be fun to see what the most popular name suggestions are!


Logo designed by Amber Bushnell
Logo designed by Amber Bushnell

October In The Pryors. Part Three.


The next day, Monday was as different a day as it could get from the warm, clear day before.  This day brought wind and clouds.  We got up early to check out the radar before deciding what to do.

After looking at the radar, we decided we had some time before the snow hit.  But heading up Sykes or even Burnt Timber with the impending storm, would not be a wise thing to do.  We decided to head up the Dryhead.

I knew that Nancy (PMWMC) had hiked the Dryhead area and found Bakken the day before.  I texted Nancy to ask for directions.  Nancy texted me back and let me know where to possibly find them. (Thank you Nancy!).  It was where I thought, the Layout Creek area.  I had never hiked this area and was looking forward to exploring there.

The day before we were in T-shirts and Jeans for part of the day.  Today, we had jeans, insulated wind pants, jacket, scarves, hats and a wind breaker jacket on.   And, we were not the least bit hot while hiking, (or cold!!).

A look back towards the road where the truck was.
A look back towards the paved road where the truck was.
Sage Blooms along the creek bed.
Sage Blooms along the creek bed.

There were plenty of tracks (and some tiny ones too!).  I knew we were on the right trail.  The beauty of this area was incredible, I am sure I said it out loud several times.

The wind was picking up and I could see the storm getting closer, but we knew, even if it snowed hard, we could find our way back to the truck.  So we continued down the well worn path.

Layout Creek Area
Layout Creek Area
A giant stud pile that had been in use for a very long time.
A giant stud pile that had been in use for a very long time.

We continued hiking until we got to the part of the trail where it became only about 10 feet from the edge to the drop-off of the Bighorn Canyon.  No protective rails were here!  With the wind increasing in speed and the snow starting to come down, we decided it was not safe to go any further.  We reluctantly turned around. Without finding horses.

Storm heading towards us.
Storm heading towards us.

By the time we were almost to the truck, the wind was gusting hard enough to make us weave in our tracks.  I decided to take a short detour and go down to Layout Creek.  It was more protected there and I wanted to see how much water was still in it.

Water in Layout Creek, October 28, 2013
Water in Layout Creek, October 28, 2013
Layout Creek
Layout Creek

We were glad to reach the warmth and protection of the truck.   No horses were seen this day.  I was grateful for those I had seen on this trip.  There is always next time.

Snow coming towards us.
Snow coming towards us.

The next day, we would be leaving and I would be heading for The University of Montana/Western, in Dillon, Montana.  I was scheduled to present a slide show and talk about the Pryor Horses to the students and faculty of the Equine Programs (Natural Horsemanship) and also some local horse folks.  I was looking forward to it.  I enjoy sharing my photos and knowledge with those that do not know about these horses.


Logo designed by Amber Bushnell
Logo designed by Amber Bushnell