April 12, 2010 – Dryhead Update

It’s been a while since I’ve written about the happenings of the Dryhead horses. Previously, I reported the sad news that the well-known stallion Sam had died. Following Sam’s death, his mare Hightail was alone; and she stayed alone for a while.

However, Hightail seems to have joined Admiral’s harem now.

There have been a few times when this group of horses has been described as a group of bachelors:

I describe this as a harem, though it isn’t a normal one. In this harem are Fools Crow, Medicine Bow, Belle Starr, and Belle Starr’s son Hickok. Fools Crow and Medicine Bow were together early on as bachelors, and they have had this harem since last June. It’s kind of strange having what seems to be two dominant stallions here, and so I wonder if one of them is acting more like a satellite bachelor. Earlier on, it had seemed as though Medicine Bow was the lead stallion and Fools Crow was just helping out. In the past months, though, the blue roan stallion Fools Crow seems to have become more dominant.

There are still some Dryhead bachelors out there too. The grulla brothers Fiero and Hidatsa can still often be seen together.

Perhaps the most well known bachelor stallion of the Dryhead is Exhilaration. In the past months, he has just been keeping to himself.

It’s the time of year now when foals will be appearing, and I found the first Pryor foal of the year on the Dryhead. This foal was born to the mare Strawberry in Blizzard’s harem.

This foal carries on the family tradition of being an apricot dun. We are calling him Kokopelli.

Kokopelli was born almost one year after Strawberry’s 2009 foal Jemez. Jemez is big now, and he definitely shows a resemblance to his father.

Jemez and his little brother also show a lot of similarities.

Blizzard’s other mare Sacajawea also looks like she is very close to having her foal.

Kokopelli isn’t the only new face out there. This weekend, the National Park Service discovered two mules on the wild horse range. I was able to see them earlier today, and I’ve also talked with visitors today who have been puzzled about their presence.

Besides Sacajawea, there are a few other mares who should be foaling very soon as well. I’ll definitely be talking about these and other future events as we continue on into the spring.

Published in: on April 12, 2010 at 5:18 pm  Comments (13)  

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13 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. Good for Hightail.. and now a lovely foal. Enjoy the spring while it lasts… mar

  2. Those pictures of Strawberry’s new foal are wonderful. What a character! Just like his brother. Isn’t Hightail Admiral’s dam?

    • Hightail is Admiral’s dam. This isn’t the best situation, of course. I haven’t seen Admiral exhibit any reproductive behavior around Hightail yet, but that doesn’t mean he hasn’t or won’t eventually. Due to Hightail’s PZP treatments, though, it is not probable that she can even conceive.

  3. matt, thank you for the update, great news about hightail and the new baby!
    take care,

  4. Thanks Matt again for the pictures and updates! Isn’t Spring a Wonderful time. Hope to see more “Baby” pictures soon!

  5. Hi Matt,
    It’s so nice to see the foaling season is here. Where do you think the mules came from?
    I look forward to each and every email from you.
    Thank you.

    • I’m not sure who would dump mules on the range! It’s really weird, and it’s also sad. The mules are no longer on the range. I don’t know what will end up happening with the pair, but I have had three different people in the area express interest in them.

  6. Hi Matt- wonderful updates and photos….I look forward to each email from PryorWild. I was was worried about Hightail, I’m glad she’s joined another band. That little foal Kokapelli is adorable and what wonderful face markings she has. Fools Crow is still my favorite stallion…what a beauty he is. THanks again and looking forward to the following updates.


    • Angie,
      Fools crow is also my favorite. Strawberry is my favorite mare but Fools Crow’s father is a mystery that has never had another foal. As far as I am concerned Fools Crow is indeed one of a kind. There are plenty of other blue roans on the mountain, yet somehow Fools Crow holds a special place in my heart

  7. Just a note to let you all know that the last picture on this blog post of Jemez and Kokopelli is this quarter’s Mustang Award photo at Lovell Middle School. Each quarter Mustang Awards are presented to those students who have demonstrated qualities above and beyond academics. Each student is given a certificate along with a copy of the selected photo. We’ve been doing this for three years now, with Mustang Awards given four times during each year. A wall at Lovell Middle School is dedicated to the Mustang Awards with a display of 8×10 framed Pryor Mountain Wild Horse photos. It’s an impressive site! It also gives our local students a connection to these beautiful horses that gave them their school symbol: The Lovell Middle School Mustangs. The students were thrilled that this quarter’s photo showed the first foal of the year!

  8. It’s good that Hightail isn’t all by herself, I think. Maybe she will just be a “satellite” mare to Admiral’s band like Stiles was a “satellite” stallion to Teton’s band for so long—being allowed to stay nearby but not in on the procreating. And maybe she’ll be able to pass along some of her knowledge of living on the range to him, like you had mentioned in your email. The horses’ behaviors are sooo interesting. I so appreciate that you share all these observations on this blog.

    I wonder if Exhileration’s sort of “loner” role isn’t the result of the fact that he was the lone foal to survive, in 2004, wasn’t it? There wouldn’t have been any other youngsters his age for him to interact with, or even observe, and no familiar peer group to “hang out” with as he moved into the age of being pushed out of the family group. He is such a beautiful horse, and according to his behavior during the gather, he would probably take well to being “taken in” somewhere. I’d sure love to be able to befriend him, but the better thing will be for him to someday find a companion right where he is. I do hope to be able to see him on my next visit, since he is one I never have caught sight of when I’ve been there.

    Have you seen Bristol and friend on any of your wanderings? And what about Tony and Lone Wolf? Are they still hanging on?

    Thanks if you get a chance to answer.


  9. Matt,
    I have a special place in my heart for all of the original Dryhead bachelors. Let me know what is going on with all of them. Is Exhilaration showing any signs of getting a harem? Is Medicine Bow’s injury better? I really care, so let me know.

  10. Hi Matt,
    Wonderful to see my favourite stallion Blizzard in such fine form. And I cannot believe the size of Jemez. He was such a long-legged foal when I last saw him in September. And now, Kokapelli, another apricot dun. What a fine little herd Blizzard has, and such beautiful blue roan mares.
    Regarding the mules, that is too bad someone would leave them there. I own a molly (female) mule, and four large standard donkeys. While the mules wouldn’t present a problem from a breeding point of view (molly mules will cycle, but they rarely conceive, as most are sterile), but the john mules (males) can be extremely aggressive. Anyone with a john mule gelds them.
    They looked like fine bay mules. Maybe an outfitter would be interested in them, as they are great in the backcountry.
    I hope they find a good home.
    Thanks for the update on the dryhead. Life moves on!
    Wendy D

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