A friend of mine introduced me to Sandy ’s blogs about the Pryor Mountain Wild Horses about 18 months ago, when we were also talking about travelling together to the USA . We very quickly decided that this was where we wanted to go and subsequently planned our trip around the Full Moon Tour.
I love horses, photography and wild places so I was excited to be going to the mountains that I had read so much about. The reality was even more amazing that I could have imagined. The Pryor Mountains and the horses that live there gave me that ‘once in a lifetime’ experience (although if I can make it happen again I will!). It is a truly wonderful place that allows you to completely escape from real life and observe the horses living theirs. I was often torn between wanting to take photos and just sit watching them, soaking it all up.
Sandy was the perfect guide and host. Firstly by making it up the ‘somewhat scary in places’ road with ease and getting us set up with the prime camping spot on top of the mountain. The organisation of the camping and food was spot on, my favourites being the home made cookies and scones. She even had vitamin supplements to help me get over my cold! But more importantly she knows and cares about the horses and their mountain home like they are family. This allowed us some amazing close up encounters that I will never forget in particular the discovery of new foal, less than a day old, and the afternoon we spent amongst the trees with the horses in the wild flowers – beautiful!
So if you really want to see how horses live in the wild and escape from the stresses of our everyday lives I would thoroughly recommend taking a Wild in the Pryors tour. My only warning…it becomes an addiction 😉
Ros Jones, Oxfordshire , UK
If you find yourself in Montana near the Pryor Mountains and you want to see these horses, go with Sandy Palen. I cannot say enough good things about her. She knows the range like the back of her hand and she is a walking encyclopedia when it comes to this herd.
Because she spends so much time on the range, she knows all of the approximately 170 horses by name and can recognize them by sight. From what I understand, she has been visiting the Pryors since 2009 but to me it feels like she has known these horses her whole life.
She understands the dynamics and connections between these horses so well. She doesn’t mind repeating for the millionth time which horses you are looking at or explaining how they are related. She knows how to approach the horses and will make sure you are at a safe distance, respecting the horses’ need for space. And even when all the horses seem to have vanished into thin air, she knows where they like to hide and is really good at spotting them.
Amelie L., New York, NY.
I discovered Sandy’s blog Wild in the Pryors about these wild horses living in Montana/Wyoming about a year ago and became immediately fascinated with these beautiful horses and their lives. I have followed her blog faithfully ever since and am always waiting excitedly for her next report.
When I saw that she was also offering guided tours, there was no turning back and I decided this was something I had to do. So it was that I travelled from Iceland with a friend of mine from UK to meet up with Sandy and finally see the Pryor herd with my own eyes.
I really don´t know how to describe this trip but these are a few words that come to my mind: amazing, spiritual, harmony, fun, beautiful, peaceful and exciting. Sandy´s experience and dedication to these horses is admirable. She has an in-depth knowledge of the horses, their family ties and character of each horse and band. I enjoyed immensely spending time with her and learn from her how to approach the horses and be around them, she was always very respectful and mindful of not disturbing the horses and their natural behavior. We had wonderful opportunities (thanks to Sandy) to observe the horses and managed to see all of them. I only wish I could have stayed there longer to enjoy them.
Everything about the trip was very well organised and Sandy did a really good job with all aspects of our trip, all details well thought of. Things were relaxed and easy-going. Our camping site was located perfectly to be able to spot the bands coming and going, we even had some night visits from the horses where they were grazing just outside our tents.
On the whole this was a wonderful experience and I can highly recommend her tours to anybody interested in seeing the Pryor herd.
Thora Jonsdottir, Iceland