September 9, 2009 – Gather Day 7

I apologize for not putting something up earlier. Really, there isn’t too much to say about the last day of gather operations. When I arrived at Britton Springs, I was told that a horse had come in on its own. When I got down there to the trap, I found out it was Exhilaration. He didn’t want to leave, and so they just put him in a pen so he wouldn’t get in the way while horses were released.


Most of the gathered horses from Burnt Timber and Sykes Ridge were released. This started in the morning with the release of Cloud. From the chutes I was able to get a few photographs as Cloud left.


I didn’t really get to see much of the other releases as I was back in the chutes. The last of the horses to be adopted were processed back there. Also, two daughters with their birth harems were placed with other stallions in hopes that they wouldn’t continue to stay with their birth harems. These were daughters of Duke and Cloud. Duke’s daughter was placed with Cappuccino while Cloud’s was placed with Exhilaration.



Because these are two stallions who are descended from Dryhead horses, they are about as unrelated to these two females as possible. They will be staying at Britton Springs for a short while longer so that they can get a chance to get mroe comfortable with each other. Moving females like this has been something that was done in the past successfully, and I hope it works out well for these two females as well. These new matches were unsure of each other at the start, but by the time I left they were showing a little more interest in each other. I think it will help Duke’s daughter to have Cappuccinno’s old mare there too.

After we were done at Britton Springs, my dad and I headed out to the lower Sykes area to see if we could get any clues about Beauty. We walked through an area that I last saw Beauty, and I just couldn’t smell anything dead in the area. I will keep checking out the area, but I really won’t be surprised to see her back with Seattle before too long. I’m not sure if I’ve mentioned it yet, but my dad was there to help out too. In fact, many of the photographs here were taken by him as I was too busy helping with identification to take them during certain times. I plan on going to the mountain in the upcoming days as well to see how all of the horses are up there. Though the range is open, I don’t think it would hurt to let the horses all have a few days to settle down.

Apparently something’s popped up that comes out once in a while, so I’ll talk about it again here. There are many people who realize I am highly interested in the conservation of individual bloodlines within the herd. This is very true! However, there are some people who think that I am only interested in this so that I can somehow ensure that certain horses are removed; and once these horses removed, I work with others in selling them for top dollar. This is definitely not true. Neither myself nor the Pryor Mountain Wild Mustang Center try to do this. I think I’ve mentioned this before, but I don’t even know how to ride a horse, much less sell one. There are often accusations that we work with the Pryor Mountain Mustang Breeders Association to do this as well. This isn’t true either. There are indeed a number of adopted Pryor horses and domestically bred Pryor horses that are privately held out there. Many of these are being kept genetically intact like this to have a reserve of genetically pure Pryor horses available in the event that a catastrophe occurs which may require the introduction of new horses to the range. This is what the Pryor breeders assocation was originally created for. But, again, I am certainly not making the big bucks from the sales of, as I recall it is often put, the rare Spanish alleles in the Pryor Mountain Wild Horses. I’m really not making the big bucks period, our organization is funded through private donations, grants, and sales from our museum building. I’m not in this for the money, I am in it because I love these horses and love what I get to do with them.

I plan on expanding on this post a little more soon with some specific numbers on horses gathered, removed, treated, and the like. I’d also like to further discuss some of the things I didn’t like about this gather. However, I will say that I was very surprised at how well this gather went. The only gather I’d seen before this was some of the 2006 gather, and that was a bait-trap style gather. I really had prepared myself for severe injuries and death during this one. As you can see, we so far haven’t found any cases of severe injuries of death as a result of this gather, though we will keep looking. I was very impressed with the people I worked with and how they did their individual jobs to ensure that each part of the gather was a success. I have also been very impressed with many of you who weren’t able to come to this gather. It’s great to know that so many out there have educated themselves on the issues these horses have to deal with. I have been able to take a quick look through all of the emails I’ve received at the Center, and all of your support means a lot.

So what is next? The adoption is on September 26th at Britton Springs. I plan on soon writing a post devoted to information on the adoption and on answers to some of the common questions I’ve received over adopting a wild horse. I’d sure love to see each of the horses get a great home. Already there have been some serious offers from groups willing to take some of the older horses in, and I have had a number of inquiries from people who plan to adopt a younger horse. Still, it wouldn’t hurt to work to get more horses adopted. Please watch for this upcoming post in the next day or so with these adoption specifics.

Published in: on September 10, 2009 at 12:52 am  Comments (6)  

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6 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. Matt you have given us a wonderful overview of how things have gone. I wish all the negativity would stop. Can’t wait until we can come and see the horses again. If next year we were to come and bring horses to ride say up to Penns cabin. Would it be safe to ride mares? Thank you for the time to explain al the stuff you did and how you were so helpful to ther blm workers

  2. Hey Matt,

    Thank you for all you have done. I’m sure as rewarding as your job is at some times, it is not easy to deal with situations such as a round up. You seem to be handling yourself well with both keeping us informed and keeping the peace! How is Brumby doing? Did they release her yet and did they take anyone from Jackson’s family?



  3. Matt, I guess I could have just emailed you about this, but I’m away from home and am not 100% sure of your email address, so here goes.

    One of the people I’m training with this week for the next phase of the 2010 Census whose family owns a large non-working farm here in Wisconsin is interested in possibly adopting a small family group from the Forest Service horses. We will be working at the time of the Sept. 09 Adoption Day, but I’ll be their link to the process as much as needed—(they do not have internet connection(s). If you have any extra info we can’t get from other sources, that would be great, but I know you’re STILL busy.

    I never heard anything about Bristol and his mare through this deal, and never did find them around the Dryhead when I was out there, either. Do you have any idea about their whereabouts? I hope they have just used their wits and camouflage to avoid us humans. Go Bristol!!!

    I am sooooo glad to hear about the manuevers to deal with the inbreeding issue. You, and your helpers, truly have served these horses well through this difficult time, and the rest of the time, too. Give your dad a big, warm handshake for me!

    NO UNRECOVERABLE INJURIES AND NO DEATHS. I think people caring and saying so, and your dogged determination have helped. There can be NO DOUBT anywhere in this country that treatment of the wild horses is not on the minds of MANY Americans. Now, onward and upward, right?


  4. CORRECTION: There can be NO DOUBT anywhere in this country that treatment of the wild horses IS on the minds of MANY Americans.

    I proofread, but missed that…


  5. Hi Matt,
    We met several weeks ago when your dad took my 3 kids and I up to see the horses for the day (we were the late ones šŸ™‚ ). I’ve just caught up on all the news on this blog, thank you for being so detail- oriented and specific and I’m glad to hear that things have gone so well.

    I also want to take this opportunity to say that we arrived at the center for our tour with a lot of questions and concerns and were very upset about the upcoming roundup and the reasons for it, etc. (We have followed the Cloud series and have visited the horse range before, although only in the canyon along the road). After spending the day with your dad and talking and getting such great explanations, we had a much better understanding of all of these issues. We came away with a very different outlook on everything, a much more well-rounded one. We are so grateful for that.
    The Pryor Mountain Wild Mustang Center is a wonderful place and great resource for anyone interested in these issues. It is very obvious how much everyone involved cares about the horses and the knowledge that you all have about not only the horses but the land and its history and features is really impressive. We all agreed that it is one of the best days we’ve ever spent doing anything, maybe the best.
    Thank you again for everything you do there. We will be back and we are telling friends about it.

  6. Matt I appreciate your updates, but it’s really frustrating that the BLM thinks Cloud’s blood line is worth more OFF the mountain than up there for all Americans to enjoy. His family certainly seems like it was targeted. And the BLM numbers will look good for adoptions only because people who actually care about the horses want them to be safe from whatever plans the BLM has for them.

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