December 18, 2009 – Solved Mysteries

I always like to have as complete of picture as possible of the herd at the end of the year. I was able to be on the range yesterday and last Thursday, and I was able to see 97 horses on these trips. Below are some of the things I found on these trips.

I think Mescalero has a really pretty winter coat. He’s a dun roan; and his dun really comes out this time of year. He still has some roan in his coat, though, so it gives him a frosty appearance. During the early days of the PMWHR, there was a dun roan stallion that was referred to as “The White Buckskin.”

I was also very happy to see Exhilaration last week. The reason why I was so happy to see him is worthy of a blog post itself. I’ll just say it involved open gates and/or down fence combined with Exhilaration’s discovery of some nearby domestic mares.

Exhilaration happened to be with Starbuck then, though he was alone when I saw him yesterday. I do think Exhilaration would benefit from spending more time with Starbuck. (Starbuck’s poor left ear is still bent after a fight that happened this spring.)

The black mare Pococeno had been a priority horse for me since I found her missing from White Cloud’s harem at the end of October. Yesterday I found her with Prince. I know she wasn’t with Prince right after going missing from White Cloud, so I’m very curious to know what kind of adventures she was on. My best guess is that she was with Morning Star during this time as he is the only stallion I couldn’t find during her absence. It was like old times yesterday, though, with Prince, Ireland, and Pococeno being near Custer, Winnemucca, and Irial while Littlefoot was close behind.

Yesterday we also spent a good amount of time exploring Lower Sykes to find horses. I was able to solve another mystery there. This seems to possibly be related to the Exhilaration incident, but Admiral was not with his harem for a short while. During this time, the young filly Halo disappeared. I found her yesterday with Merlin. Her little sister Icara was also there.

High above them on the side of Sykes Ridge were Sam and Hightail. These two may be some of the easiest horses to find in the summer, but they are among the hardest to find this time of year as they can disappear in the Sykes area. It was good to see them as Hightail was looking a little rough last time I’d seen her. They both seemed to be doing well though. (The picture is as good as my camera can do. I have a nice spotting scope, though, that brings me close enough to verify the horses by their markings.)

Below Merlin was Sitting Bull’s harem.

Sitting Bull’s foal is getting big, and I think he’s a lot of fun.

Further in was Seattle and his harem. Seattle kept a good eye on me while I was seeing how everyone was looking.

His black sons were all lined up. I think they are a pretty good looking trio together. Everyone else looked great as well.

Just down the hill from them were White Cloud and Bolder’s harems together. As I’ve mentioned before, I think winter is fun as you can see mountain horses and Dryhead horses in close proximity due to their overlapping winter ranges.

If you do some raw counting or identification of the horses in the above photograph, you’ll notice that there is a missing horse here. This is White Cloud’s two year old daughter; she is currently up on Sykes with Coronado.

As you can see, there’s snow on the ground here; and the horses are spread out across the range. With the above observations, there are no missing adults; and no foals have disappeared lately. As we go into winter, I think the horses look to be in good shape; and there is a lot of great forage for them. This will likely be my last horse-related blog post of this very significant year for the herd. I am really looking forward to seeing what next year brings for the horses.

Published in: on December 18, 2009 at 2:32 pm  Comments (16)  

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16 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. Good stuff, Matt! Thanks for the update and all your hard work on behalf of these horses throughout this past year! Have a great holiday!
    All my best,
    Lynn B.


  3. Hi Matt, it’s good to see a picture of Starbuck, the father of my stallion, Targa. (captured in 2006). Merry Christmas and happy new year.

  4. matt, Once again, thank you for the update and pictures, it is good to see them, and know they are well and all accounted for.
    Have a great Christmas and a Blessed New Year.
    I look forward to the post about Exhileration’s adventure!
    Take care,

  5. Hi Matt,
    Have a wonderful Christmas! You deserve a break, and a chance to sit back, knowing the horses are doing well.
    By the way, if you have a moment, I think I sent you a photo of a grulla foal, peeking out between fir boughs. (enclosed with the Christmas card) If you know who it is, please let me know. He/she was up Burnt Timber, and if I remember correctly, the mare was a grulla as well.
    Wishing you all the Best. Big hi to your dad and Tracker as well.
    Thanks for all the updates and photos; makes me feel like I am there.
    Cheers, Wendy D.

  6. awesome matt! Its good to see they are all healthy DId you see Jericho and his parents?

  7. Matt, It was a pleasure to catch up and read the last few posts from population and fences and water to all the photos. The horses look very good. Stay safe and warm and have the best of holidays. I look forward to all you post and hope you can tell us more of Exhileration’s adventure… Mar

  8. I love the pictures of Seattle and his “boys.” Looks like that band is going to have a presence in the Dryhead for years to come. It’s nice to get caught up on some of the missing horses. Thanks!

  9. Sent “the Three Sons” to my friend, Kim (the photo). She likes black horses. They are really beautiful! Thank you for all the photos. Have a wonderful holiday season!

  10. MERRY CHRISTMAS to Matt and everyone on this site!

    As always, beautiful photographs and a wonderful update on the horses!

    I do have one question for all the “horsey” people – could the closest of the three black sons be a Smokey Black? (single cream dilute on a black)

    • Corinna,
      I hope you had a great Christmas too. Cream is pretty rare in the Pryors. I have a pretty good handle on who the “founders” for it are and who their probable descendants are. This little guy’s not descended from them, so I think it’s just the way his coat looks now that makes him look smokey. Such a color wouldn’t be impossible here, though. After a discussion of the color of White Cloud’s blue roan daughter with Dr. Sponenberg, I am pretty convinced she has cream. (This is the blue roan mare with Cappuccino, she’s been in some recent posts.) Thanks for your question!

  11. Hi, Matt — just read your exciting and jam-packed newsletter, and enjoyed the beautiful photos. The front gate looks splendid! What a talented artist. And knowing Stiles was the model! I am still catching up on my reading from your previous blogs. . .

  12. Hi Matt,

    Great photos. Who is the black horse? Is that Sitting Bull?
    And how close did you get to take the photos of the 3 horses? Did you have to hide for a long time or do they know you by now?
    Just curious to know what type of lens you used as well.

    • Thank you very much! Sitting Bull is a dun. His mare and one of his sons are black. I always try to stay back from the horses about one hundred feet. I don’t really have to hide with the horses, I think they know me. This time of year, some are more sensitive, though; and so I don’t get to see them as close. I do most of my winter watching with a spotting scope so I don’t accidentally cause the horses any unneeded stress, but I like to get close to them once in a while to make sure I am not missing something that I can’t see with the scope. I have a 75-300mm lens, though sometimes I am able to borrow a larger lens.
      Thanks again!

      • I have been looking for an intro on your site, but may be I missed the link. What type of work do you do?

      • Hello,
        I took down the About Me pages after we had my blog fully incorporated into the main site of the Pryor Mountain Wild Mustang Center. It is still possible to access the blog without going through our main site, so this can be confusing. I work for the PMWMC, and this is a blog I’ve done in the side since July 2007 to show everyone some of the things I see while on my weekly trips to the Pryor Mountain Wild Horse Range. I also use it to provide information on things that I feel are important to know about. Thanks for your interest!

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