October 5, 2009 – Stiles Update

The weather has turned cold up here. Many areas around here are receiving snow, especially the mountains. The Pryors have snow coming down pretty low, but we haven’t received any significant snow here in Lovell yet.

It shouldn’t be long now before Stiles heads down to New Mexico, and he is doing very well up here. He was with the veterinarian to get gelded last week, and he is recovering very well. Stiles has now made many more friends at his temporary home.

He’s also making all of us like him a lot. My mother has described him as a gentleman. He is still a little apprehensive of us, but he is perfectly happy to come up and eat from our hands now.

Even with his new friends next door and his calmer attitude, he still acts like a wild horse. He even maintains two stud piles – He has one in the round pen and another in the corner of his adjoining sheltered pen.

Despite this, it seems as though Stiles would make an excellent companion given time and patience. It will be great to see him running wild with his future family in New Mexico too, though.

I’ll be making another visit to the wild ones soon, as soon as the weather settles enough for me to hike around and find them. I should be able to get to some of them a little later this week, and I will post more on what I see too.

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Published in: on October 5, 2009 at 1:03 pm  Comments (19)  

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  1. Thanks for the update. I, too, thought he such a dignified guy the day we observed him watch over Coronado’s colt. So happy to hear that he is adjusting seemingly well.

  2. why was there not an effort made on behalf of stiles’ mare, cassidy, to join him at the sanctuary in new mexico??? it seems that it would have been better to keep at least SOME of his family band intact & together….

    • The Monero sanctuary takes in horses and lets them immediately return to the wild. It is not a priority for them to take in adoption age horses as they must be kept in or around holding areas that meet the adoption requirements. Thus, it was not a priority for them to have Cass come with Stiles. Honestly, though, this hasn’t been a very big deal for Stiles and Cass. Stiles is looking very content in his temporary home here, and he will definitely be putting together a new harem in New Mexico. Cass is in a great home, and I’ve been told that she is doing great there. There certainly are times when we’ve made observations that could possibly indicate that some horses prefer to be in each other’s company. However, many other times we’ve made observations that could possibly indicate that the horses have a “love the one you’re with” philosophy. So would Stiles and Cass have been any happier together in New Mexico than they would be if they were separated and in two very different homes? If we do not try to anthropomorphize them, I’m not sure that we can say with any certainty whether or not they would be. I do think that the situations they are in now are a lot better than the possible alternatives that could have occurred had these two been removed from a different herd, especially in the case of Stiles.

  3. Why is it that some people just know what efforts were made for what without being anywhere near and knowing the facts?

    Matt, Stiles and Cassidy hadn’t been together as a “couple” very long, had they? He was still a satellite bachelor to Teton’s harem when I was out there in 07.

    These horses are survivors. They aren’t going to dwell on the past and what might have been, like a lot of us humans tend to do.

    On the subject of preferences with the horses, I must say I still find it very interesting that Seattle has established and maintained his harem of nothing but grullos and blacks. I’d really like to do a good study of that harem and get lots of pictures of them.
    I think Beauty is very well named for her looks, and I admire her ingenuity and determination in avoiding the gather. I’m so glad they all got back together OK.

    Thanks for keeping us posted.

    Linda

  4. Matt,
    Since Stiles has been gelded, will this affect his ability to obtain a new harem in New Mexico?
    I’m also still curious about Fools Crow. Does he have a new family?

  5. I think the make up of bands is fascninating. Red Raven (coronado I think) obviously likes his blue roan mare and vice versa, but for most horses Matt is right, they accept the changes in their bands pretty easily. It is proablably a natural survival abilitiy to adjust to new herd mates.
    I remember a book I read years ago that told of a wild stallion who only seemed to like flaxen sorrels and would run off mares of other colors, keeping his band of red heads together, and another stallion who choses pinto mares only. HOrses are fascinating!!

    • These types of relationships really are interesting. Seattle is the most obvious one here at this time, as Linda pointed out, with his three unrelated grulla mares. There have been a couple other similar instances of this happening here as well. I’ve really only heard speculation as to the cause of this with some different people telling me that it may have something to do with the horse’s parents or harem mates.

      • In a book that I bought many many (many) years ago, “Mustangs: A Return to the Wild” by Hope Ryden, talks alot about one particular stallion in the Pryor area, Black King, who had a rather large harem of all bay mares (with only one notable exception of a chestnut, but who’s body colour was the same as the bays).

        Wouldn’t it be lovely if the horses were left completely to their own devices, and allowed people to study their relationships and personalities through the generations. I for one would love to know if perhaps Seattle is related to Black King, and this desire to “collect” is something that was passed down?

        Off topic from this particular thread, but why was Stiles gelded? I have been reading with much interest about where he is going, and I thought that Stiles’ genetics would be in high demand. After all, he does carry what is probably far more pure spanish genetics than many of the other mustangs.

  6. I wonder where all those “screamers” who were so sure that the horses were going to be murdered, etc., and that everyone but The Cloud Foundation is out to “get” the mustangs, are now. I would guess they get more out of trying to cut someone down than they do out of recognizing positive things. Negativity seems to be rampant these days, but it doesn’t help us get ahead.

    I, for one, want to reiterate that the supporters of the Pryor Mountain Mustangs, from Betsy Tillett the rancher’s daughter who loved them and was probably the first to recognize their great beauty and uniqueness, thru the local people who have created the Mustang Center, including the Dillons, deserve a GREAT BIG THANK YOU, for everything they’ve accomplished for these horses; and especially for the fact that NOT ONE HORSE DIED thru this ill-planned and untimely gather.

    Matt, whenever you get a chance, tell the friends of the mustangs that there are a lot of us who owe them a deep debt of gratitude. I may just write a Letter to the Editor of the Lovell Chronicle to do that myself.

    Linda D

    • Linda, I am one of the screamers who greatly admires Matt’s work with these horses. I am one who feels that the older horses benefitted from the fact that this is a well-known herd, and a lot of caring people were there to make sure that all went well. And that they were able to remain with their families and remain wild, just in another location. I don’t believe the Wild Horse Center could have managed this on their own.
      Other wild horses are not so lucky,however, and the older horses many times end up in a very bad situation.

      • I might be a mini-“screamer”, Linda- I’m far away, but I’m still here!

        I think a good part of what made this “gather” different- was having Matt (PMWMC) advocate for the horses of Pryor Mountain.

        I know that the horses in upcoming round-ups will not be so lucky. I wish every herd had it’s own Matt!

        Serious props also have to go to the wonderful photographers and cinematographers who have followed this (and other herds), and the interest they have created. And of course to the Cloud Foundation, for keeping family bands together.

        And Matt- you are the voice of diplomacy! Looking forward to updates when you get back.

        Heather

  7. write your letters, linda! & while you’re at it, join all the rest of us SCREAMERS in writing to our government to get these roundups stopped—ALL of the roundups! let’s work together to save ALL OF THE WILD HORSES & BURROS!!! write write write…..protest the blm’s mismanagement of ALL of our wild horses! protest the loss of nearly 20million acres of land. ask for accountability & transparency in our government. ask to see where the captive horses are. write to protest the doi’s new “petting zoos” & disnelandish preserves–where YOUR horses, removed from YOUR land–will be “showcased.” get online & read what’s going on outside of the pryor mountains & start SCREAMING YOURSELF!!! tens of thousands of horses equally as beautiful & special as YOUR horses are being rounded up & left in blm internment camps; it’s not just the horses of the pryor mountains who are suffering untimely & illplanned roundups. did you know that the blm plans to round up over 14,000 more of these wonderful creatures in the next year?? did you know that they plan on removing well over 12,000 of that number from the land that was given to them by act of congress??? did you know that they are planning the eradication of ENTIRE HERDS???? (you were lucky; they only took 57 of YOUR horses. what about everybody ELSE’S horses???) did you know that the blm has admitted that they cannot take care of the 33,000 or more horses they already have??? while the pryor mtn. horses were “lucky” in that there were no deaths, this is a rare occurrence (how many died at the challis round up last month?? 11?? that’s horrendous!! how many die at MOST of the roundups the blm does? even the death of ONE wild mustang in a roundup is unacceptable). & please, stop attacking the cloud foundation. i have heard ginger & colleagues be nothing but supportive of the work that matt, his father, & the pmwmc have ALL done in supporting these horses. ginger has talked at great lengths about the efforts matt has done in watching over these horses, trying to prevent the roundups, & working to save & protect EVERYBODY’S wild horses there in the pryors. so, yes! write your letters! join us in offering gratitude to EVERYONE who worked to save these horses, & then start your campaign to stop the blm’s plans to eradicate the wild horses & burros from america’s public lands. let’s ALL WORK TOGETHER to see that these hideous & inhumane roundups of ALL HERDS OF WILD HORSES & BURROS are stopped. write those letters, linda! scream with the rest of us screamers! write ’til your little fingers hurt, just like the rest of us.

    • oh, & while you’re writing those letters, how ’bout dropping one or two off to the cloud foundation??? thank THEM for all the work they are doing to save not only YOUR horses but ALL of our wild horses & burros. they, too, have spent years & countless unpaid hours working to educate the american public, as well as to save the lives of EVERY horse & burro on public lands, not JUST the pryor mountain horses. & as soon as you’re done with THAT letter, write to every newspaper in your state! don’t stop with the lovell chronicle, baby! write to every radio station, every television station, every web media that you can. the more people that you contact & the more SCREAMING you do to get the word out there to save these horses the more people who will become aware of what’s going on & the more who will work to support the horses (’cause really, isn’t this what we are ALL here for?????). write! write!! write!!!!

  8. Screamers, I DO, I HAVE, and I WILL DO all the POSITIVE things mentioned, and I have NOT “attacked” The Cloud Foundation—the way some people have attacked the PMWMC staff. I DON’T go on their website and criticize them for not doing more. I LOVE them for what they ARE doing. As I have said here before, I am VERY THANKFUL for EVERYONE who is working in a POSITIVE MANNER for the horses, everywhere.

    Unfortunately, I have to face reality in my world and can’t solve all the problems everywhere and I know it. I am hopeful that adding my opinions and support to the pot on the wild horses issues WILL help have an effect for the future, and I WILL continue to PRAISE the people who are doing something GOOD.

    I am convinced that the communications Matt has been able to establish thru his work with the horses made the nature of this “gather” far less dangerous for the horses here than it COULD have been. It was NOT handled the way he had recommended, (see the document he put forth on this site outlining how he recommended the range problem be handled), but it WAS MUCH better than if the PMWMC staff did not exist and were not working hard and not just offering criticisms. Hopefully, supporters of the horses everywhere are sharing their ideas on how to deal with the problems. I think the people at Ground Zero with the Pryor Mt. mustangs have a lot to offer.

    Keep on screaming, but be CAREFUL who you are screaming at and what you are screaming about: PLEASE. You could do more harm than good, and I don’t think that would be an accomplishment for the betterment of the situation for wild horses.

    YOU WON’T CHANGE MY MIND. And I won’t take up anymore space on this website answering ungrounded accusations.

    Linda D

  9. There are certainly some silly ideas being proposed for the wild horse and burro program. At this point, most of these still are just ideas, though. It is great to show support for our nation’s wild horses and burros. However, what has been getting out of hand is, as you have all referred to it, the screaming. The issue has become so full of emotion that it seems to be spawning a lot of impulsive actions and misinformation. It has just really gotten to be pathetic here in the Pryors. I read all of the other blogs and blog comments, and I am seeing a lot of people trying to negatively explain things about the Pryors that they obviously are not fully informed on. This is making other people get fired up, and they further perpetuate these myths. Soon the personal attacks get integrated in, and the whole thing is very messy. The more this happens, the more the horses end up suffering as attentions are refocused and progress is lost in the meantime. This is just totally unnecessary. I know we (government, organizations, individuals, etc on all sides of the issue) got fired up about the Pryor gather. All sides said things that were hurtful, whether or not that was the context they were to be taken in. But let’s really stop focusing on it. The gather is done. Let’s keep working toward responsible management of wild horses and burros, but let’s be civil and realistic about it. Though our methods may vary, we really are all after a very similar goal.

  10. Well said, Matt! Thank you for zeroing in on what is most important. As my mother always reminded me when I wanted to be sarcastic, you will attract more bees with honey than vinegar. Any suggestions on what you suggest needs to be done at this point?

  11. Well, the best thing is to get informed. You can go and download the current wild horse and burro act and then go download the House and Senate versions of the ROAM Act; sit down with these documents and go through them to see what you think of the ways in which the ROAM Act would change the current 1971 Act. Read these new announcements from the Department of the Interior and the BLM to see what is being proposed. Next, don’t hesitate to contact your Senators and Representatives; let them know what you think. I think the biggest thing is to let them know what -you- think after you took the time to research the issues. All of these proposed actions may have very far reaching effects on the future of wild horses and burros here, so now’s the time to act. As I mentioned above, we all need to be very civil and realistic with this stuff. It is great to have emotional attachments to the animals, I know I do. But don’t let emotion cloud your reasoning or your communications on these issues. It’s hard for people to work with emotional recommendations, but they certainly can work with objective recommendations.

  12. >>If we do not try to anthropomorphize them, I’m not sure that we can say with any certainty whether or not they would be.<<
    OMG- Matt- I just brought my Arabian mare's 9 year old son home, after them being apart 6 months. From his first whinny on the trailer and her answering scream- and the immediate, uncanny way that she immediately protected her son from my other gelding- I'm not anthropomorphizing them- it was/is real. They move and stop and stand, as one horse. It made me cry, knowing that they suffered so, away from each other. (He was slowly starving to death!)
    They knew each other before they saw each other, and if you can see true joy on a horse's face- it was on these two faces. Amazing…

    • Yes, this definitely happens. A recent example here is with Beauty returning to Seattle. There were other harems out there who were not gathered, but she seemed to have stayed alone until she could rejoin Seattle. We’ve seen it happen in the past too; it is a lot of fun. While it wasn’t such the case with Stiles and Cassidy, who I referred to in that line, I think that there are times when the horses do get too anthropomorphized sometimes. It’s not something I really have seen in comments here, but it is something that goes on and can really complicate things. I do fully believe that wild horses are one of the most socially complex land mammals that exist. I just don’t think it is fair to ascribe human characteristics to them.


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