October 23, 2009 – Other Gathers

Though the Pryor horses get a lot of attention, there are actually two other wild horse herds in the Bighorn Basin besides them. Both of these herds recently had gathers too. I got some figures from these gathers from the BLM today to post here.

The McCullough Peaks horses are near Cody. They were gathered last week. During the gather, 191 horses were brought in with 94 horses being removed and 97 being released. Of the released horses, 34 females were treated with PZP. They also estimate that there were around a dozen horses not gathered.

The Fifteenmile horses are near Worland. They were gathered this week. During the gather, 377 horses were brought in with 307 horses being removed and 70 being released. No females were treated with PZP. They estimate that there were possibly 10 to 15 other horses not gathered.

The 401 total horses removed from the McCullough Peaks and Fifteenmile HMAs were taken to Rock Springs where they will be made available for adoption. There will be more gathers in other parts of Wyoming in the upcoming weeks as well.

Published in: on October 23, 2009 at 2:56 pm  Comments (12)  

October 22, 2009 – Dryhead Update

Yesterday I headed out to Bighorn Canyon to see how the horses there are doing. I first saw Cappuccino and his harem on Mustang Flats.

This man-made harem seems to be getting along okay. Cappuccino was pretty wary of us; he had his eye on his from the moment we started hiking to them until the time we got back.

I am very interested to see how long these guys stay out on Mustang Flats. I think that Guinevere is one big reason they are out here. She was originally a Dryhead horse, and she spent many years of her life on Mustang Flats. She is 19 years old now.

Cappuccino was also born in the Dryhead, though he was soon after stolen with his mother, ending up in Burnt Timber.

In the area I also spotted Blizzard and his harem, but I didn’t get close enough to them to photograph them. Otherwise, it was quiet on Mustang Flats. Heading back down we saw Exhilaration off in the distance, and we could tell he was limping a little. We went down to see him, and he has a puncture wound on the back of his right front leg. I am not sure what caused this; but if I were to guess, I would say it had something to do with a confrontation with Admiral. I think that he’ll be fine, but I just hope that his bad luck will run out soon. (Please click here to view a video of him walking with this injury. His clip is the last one.)

I am not sure what he’s been up to, but his forelock and tail are completely caked in cockleburs.

Nearby was Admiral’s harem. The colt, Exhilaration’s little half-brother, is getting big and sure is looking like his big brother.

Published in: on October 23, 2009 at 2:37 pm  Comments (2)  

October 21, 2009 – Mountain Update

On the 21st we headed out to the range. After seeing only Sitting Bull and his harem in the Lower Sykes area, we decided to head up Burnt Timber. The snow had melted a lot since I was last there, and nearly all of the puddles in the mid-slope were dried up. Scoping to the top of the mountain, we could see that there was still a good amount of snow up there still. However, there was also a good amount of horses up there too. Drifts blocked our way, so we had to walk in to the horses.

Going down the cirque, the first horses we saw were Starman’s harem as his daughter Isadora peeked out at us.

Up from them was Two Boots and his harem. The colt foal was still missing, and so I think that he is probably gone. As we continued to walk in, we came upon Lakota and Baja’s harems. The black colt in Baja’s harem is definitely striking, much like Isadora is above.

This foal, like the others, is getting big and is growing in his first fuzzy winter coat. Crossing over the hill, we came upon a number of horses – the harems of White Cloud, Teton, Bolder, Blue Moon, and Mescalero. Custer and Coronado’s harems could be seen in the distance.

There was a little interchange up there. White Cloud’s black mare Pococeno wasn’t with the harem, but his two year old daughter was back from Morning Star. I couldn’t see her with any of the harems I saw.

There really was a good amount of snow on the ground, and there’s not a whole lot of available forage in some of the areas the horses were in due to these seasonal conditions. The snow does provide water for them; and, judging from a lack of water in the mid-slope, I guess that was a big reason the horses were up there. Not all of the horses were up on top, though many were. Some, like Jackson below, had their harems down there still. I’m not exactly sure where they watered, but they are definitely able to take advantage of the great forage that is present in these areas right now.

Also, I have been receiving a number of inquiries on the health of some particular horses. White Cloud and Firestorm are the topic of many of these inquiries. While up on the mountain this day, I took some short video clips of them moving around so you can see how you think they are looking. You’ll also see Exhilaration there walking; there will be more on him in the next post on the Dryhead horses. To view this movie, please click here. (Note: I disabled comments on this video so that any relevant comments can be put here so that it is easier for others to read them.)

Published in: on October 23, 2009 at 2:03 pm  Comments (4)