October 17, 2008 – Prince

Since it first happened and I mentioned it to visitors to the Center, people who have emailed me, and others, I have received a number of inquiries as to how Prince is doing. Prince, as of this Wednesday, is not bad; but his life is different now than it had been when this story started in June.

Many probably remember that the grulla roan stallion Blue Moon (Flint) got a grulla mare named Feldspar shortly after her foal died. Feldspar had been with Morning Star, and Morning Star had taken her last year from Prince. Blue Moon and Feldspar were still together in mid-June of this year.

Shortly after this, though, he had lost Feldspar again. She was back with Prince, which wasn’t a total surprise given the time she had spent with him last year.

As the summer progressed, Prince started getting pressure from bachelors. On September 17, when I was up there, I found Prince with Custer and Blue Moon dogging him.

Looking at Prince closer, I found that the right side of his bottom lip had been torn.

A couple of days after this, I learned from some people that had been on the mountain that Blue Moon once again had Feldspar back. I went up a couple days after this, and I was surprised to not see them together. Instead of having Feldspar, he had Duke’s two year old daughter and her foal.

Around this same time, there was other frequent interchange involving a few horses going on in other parts of the range. Just when I had an updated list sent out with people, they were reporting it wrong. This was also the case with Blue Moon. They said that he had a grulla with blaze, which of course meant Feldspar. I went up shortly after this to see them together.

This, of course, raised two main questions for me. How was Prince and what happened to the young mare and her foal that had been with Blue Moon? I did find Prince, but I never found Duke or the young mare and foal that day.

Custer and Littlefoot were also nearby dogging Prince.

I really was wanting to see Duke, but I just couldn’t find him. Just days right after this trip, a large snowstorm arrived in the area. It was just this Wednesday when I went back onto the mountain. The horses are all moved down off the mountain, having come down their “home ridges.” I went into the Burnt Timber area. The first horse I saw was a dark colored stallion running a distance out.

Following him along, he led me right to Prince. Custer was also there. This time, though, Custer was acting more like a satellite bachelor than a dogging bachelor. In fact, for the first few minutes I was there, I thought Custer had Winnemucca (Prince’s grulla mare) and Prince had the rest of the family. I stayed there for a while, and it really did seem more like this was one harem with a main stallion and satellite bachelor.

Prince hadn’t changed a whole lot since I last saw him. He doesn’t have as much weight on as many of the other horses do, but this is to be expected with such an injury. The injury itself seems to be healing.

It was nice to see Prince then. I actually ended up seeing most of the Sykes and Burnt Timber horses that day as well, though I still didn’t see Duke.

Prince was one of the first Burnt Timber horses that I was able to remember when I first started watching the horses. At that time, he only had Ireland. More recently, he has also become another favorite of mine as he is the only offspring of his mother (Queen) that has ever reproduced; he is carrying the line forward with his offspring. He’s also pretty admirable as he is an older stallion (15 years old), and he’s still pretty tough to carry on the way he is.

Published in: on October 17, 2008 at 9:23 pm  Comments (8)  

October 2, 2008 – Bighorn Canyon Area

In early June, I had some visitors come in to tell me they’d just seen an injured horse in Bighorn Canyon. This was hard to hear as the three year old bachelor Farallon and the old bachelor stallion Opposite had just been put down shortly before that. I was able to find the horse easy enough, and it was Exhiliration. He is a pretty well known horse as he is the only horse born in 2004 that is still alive. He is also really unmistakable in appearance. From stuff the visitors told me that they’d seen, and what I saw when I got there, it seemed as though it was some interaction with the other Dryhead bachelors that had caused him to get injured. The injury was in his front right leg in the pastern area. He couldn’t walk, he just had to hop on three legs to move around.

Since then, I’ve been keeping an eye on him. Here we are now in October, and the injury is still persisting to a certain extent; it isn’t fully healed. He can get around better on it, but he’s just not up too 100% performance. He’s also lost some weight, and he really needs that weight for the upcoming cold months. All the other horses are busy getting fattened up, and he needs to do the same. Here is him last night.

We’ll definitely continue to watch him.

Published in: on October 3, 2008 at 3:21 pm  Comments (3)  

Drilling in the Peaks

Though there is a portion of the Pryor Mountain Wild Horse Range in Wyoming, most of it is in Montana; and so it is really considered a Montana wild horse area (It is actually Montana’s only federal wild horse area). Wyoming does have wild horses, but the ones most often discussed are those living in the southern part of the state. This is where most of the Wyoming wild ones live. However, up here in the north, there are actually some Wyoming wild horses too. There had been about 8 herd areas designated originally up here (one was very close to Lovell), but there are now only two herd management areas. These are the McCullough Peaks HMA and the Fifteenmile HMA.

The McCullough Peaks horses have a different genetic origin than the Pryor horses, which really makes the Bighorn Basin a nice place to see different types of wild horses. The horses there come in many colors and have pinto patterned horses too.

Up until this summer, the only time I’d ever seen the McCullough Peaks horses once while driving from Greybull to Cody. I’ve been out a couple times since as I want to learn a little more about them. The last time I went out, I was able to go along with representatives of an organization called Friends of a Legacy (FOAL). (Please check out their website for more info: http://www.friendsofalegacy.org/.) A big reason I went out this last time was to learn about the latest controversy for the Peaks, which is a proposal for petroleum exploration. There was a pretty good article about this written in the Billings Gazette, which can be accessed here: http://www.billingsgazette.net/articles/2008/10/02/news/wyoming/21-exploratory.txt. I’d highly recommend reading this and making appropriate comments to the address listed there.

When you drive out to and around the Peaks area, there’s something that is pretty noticeable; there isn’t much of anything out there but undeveloped country. Here’s an example of one area you can look out upon. (Click the picture for a bigger version.)

The horses in the Peaks are really wild relative to many of the Pryor horses.

The times I’ve been out there, I’ve also seen a good number of pronghorns.

The area really is special and is well worth knowing about. Again, if you can, it’d be beneficial to read that article and learn more about the specifics of this situation. Thanks!

Published in: on October 3, 2008 at 1:51 pm  Comments (1)  

October 1, 2008 – Lower Sykes Ridge

I’ve been trying to find Sitting Bull for a while now, and I had focused two trips prior to my October 1 trip on finding him. There were two big reasons I wanted to see him. The first reason for this was that someone who had been lucky enough to see him saw that his mare Cecelia was looking very pregnant. The second reason was that I just wanted to see him. I hadn’t seen him in months, and I just wanted to see how things were going. Sitting Bull is one of my favorites, and the reason I like him is because he is wild and elusive.

I was thus very happy to get a glimpse of him on the first.

His daughter from 2006 is getting big and looking great. She is the one that was born in December of 2006.

The best surprise was that Cecelia had foaled, though.

The foal is a colt. He is a very dark bay like his mother and big sister. He has no white on his feet, but he has a really unique star that I think looks like the “Dipper” constellations.

After watching the foal, I figure it was probably born during the week of September 7. He’s actually not the only September foal. Shane’s grulla mare Moshi had a dun filly foal.

Duke’s black mare Atlantis had a bay colt foal in September too.

This brings the 2008 foal crop to 31 born. With 4 of those foals missing, there are currently 27 foals on the range.

Published in: on October 3, 2008 at 12:30 pm  Leave a Comment