April 21, 2010 – Sykes Ridge

Yesterday I was really excited to make a trip up Sykes Ridge. Though I often see the Sykes Ridge horses with my spotting scope, it is good to see them up close too.

Heading up, I first saw Durango’s harem.

Durango’s three year old son Hidalgo has really grown up, and his yearling Jalisco is also big.

Up the ridge further was Seattle’s harem. Since I saw them last week, Seattle has apparently kicked out his oldest son Hawk.

Following Seattle was the 20 year old bachelor Tony. In the photograph above, Beauty, the oldest horse on the range at 23, is looking down at Tony, who was her first foal.

I haven’t seen Tony’s fellow bachelor, Lone Wolf, since September. I think he probably died this winter. I’m thinking it would be neat if Hawk joined up with Tony. Further in was Merlin’s harem.

There was a new surprise here – The young mare Halo had a new filly foal.

It is interesting to think about who the sire of this foal is. Though Halo had been with Admiral up until this fall, she was with Merlin last April. Thus, it is very possible that Merlin is the sire though Halo had been with Admiral so much last year.

Just a couple ridges away from Merlin was Blue Moon (AKA Flint) and his harem.

The yearling Jupiter has really grown up this winter.

A few ridges up from Blue Moon were three harems in close proximity: Bolder, Coronado, and Prince. Prince is typically a Burnt Timber stallion, but he has spent time on Sykes Ridge in the past.

Prince’s mare Ireland really looks pregnant.

Bolder’s harem was just down from them.

Yearling Juniper is a rare buckskin filly.

You’ll notice that Bolder’s black mare Celt isn’t with the harem. She is actually with Coronado’s harem; they were down the other way from Prince.

You’ll also notice above that Celt, there on the right, has a new foal with her.

This light colored foal is a colt.

North of these three harems was Morning Star’s harem.

His mare Audubon looks like she’ll be foaling soon, and Gaelic Princess also looks like she is going to foal this year.

Heading back down, there were some other horses out. Blizzard was up there, though his mare Sacajawea wasn’t with him. Recall how pregnant she looked in my previous post – I won’t be surprised to see her and a new foal with Blizzard next time I see them.

Down from them was Corona’s harem.

Corona’s yearling Jewel, the first foal born last year, is really big. She definitely takes after both of her parents.

This time of year is fun due to the appearance of new foals, but I like it now a lot for another reason – The horses are more spread out. Here in the next couple of months the horses will be moving up and congregating together in the upper meadows, but I think it is really fun getting to drive up one of the ridge roads and find horses spread out. I also think that it is good for the horses to be spread out over these areas that have such good forage. Yesterday, I was able to meet up with BLM wild horse and burro/rangeland specialist Jared Bybee. He took me around one of the meadows on Sykes Ridge. (Please click on the picture to see it larger.)

This meadow is obviously very grassy. The tall grasses here include bluebunch wheatgrass, Idaho fescue, and junegrass. This whole area has been found to have really good forage, and there are comparable areas to this in Burnt Timber. Recall my past discussions about the development of new water sources on the range. These are the areas the new water sources will be going into, and the goal of this is to allow the horses to spread out in these areas. This would allow for better utilization of rangeland resources, and this could lead to more horses getting to live on the wild horse range. This, of course, is something that many people would like to see happen.

Published in: on April 21, 2010 at 12:36 pm  Comments (21)  

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21 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. Great Photos and news of foals! thanks much, mar

  2. I get such a peaceful feeling looking at these horse families roaming their home ranges. Thanks so much for keeping watch over them.

  3. Matt,
    What fantastic photos! It did my heart good to see Tony. He looks very much like my 31 yr old gelding that we lost last year. It made me smile.

    It’s good to see so much graze and the new babes.
    We so appreciate what you do!!!!


  4. Matt,
    Once again, BEAUTIFUL, beautiful and more! I agree with above post on how great it is to see ‘families’ of horses just roaming in the wild.

  5. Love your pictures especially love the baby pictures. How sweet they are.

  6. Thank you for keeping us updated!

    So Blue Moon and Feldspar’s foal – now yearling – is Juniper not Jasper? I think I have his name wrong on my web site.

  7. I was excited to see Halo with a foal – – she is such a lovely mare.

    Blue Moon and Feldspar’s foal from last summer is named Juniper, not Jasper? I have that wrong on my web site.

    Thank you so much for keeping us updated on the range as well as the horses.

    • Jupiter is their foal. Jasper is Jackson and Galena’s colt.

  8. As someone once said, “Wonders never cease.”

    Thank you for all the work you have done to remove the barbed wire and to promote additional water resources and expand the range.

    This country needs a great many more centers like yours — on natural rangeland where the herds already exist. Our public servants, such as Mr. Bybee must promote this actively, as it is a forward-thinking measure. What an international treasure this range is and others could be for generations to come!

    Such areas will become more and more precious as each year goes by. When our grandchildren are starting their families, I pray such wonders still exist on our glorious public lands.

    Please work for this ideal and promote your ways throughout the Bureau of Land Management Wild Horse and Burro program, and pray for a more humane oversight on all roundup activities. The cruelty, suffering and death of the Calico roundup is criminal.


    • Amen to that. Surely if the Nevada wild horses had some one or several some one’s with Matt’s committment ( and that of all the other people who have worked for so many years to protect these horses!)the travesty of the Calico round up would not have happened!!

    • I (and this whole organization) definitely are firm believers in the importance of local advocacy. We are very fortunate here to have the opportunity to work with the quality employees of the BLM’s Billings Field Office.

  9. Thank you for sharing this incredible day with us! You were able to see groups of horses that are often elusive this time of the year. Seeing the young horses growing up, the new foals, and the pregnant mares give such hope for the future of this herd. What an amazing palette of colors for these young horses. Hidalgo has such a unique color. Jalisco looks like a classic dun like his mother, Buffalo Girl. Jewel carries on the genes of her parents. Juniper is such a buckskin beauty. And beautiful Celt has a striking little palomino! I’m so excited and I can’t wait to get back up there!

  10. The miracle of spring! It is my wish for all the wild horses-that they will have a lifetime of springs in the wild, and my sorrow for the many mares and foals of the calicos-they they are now feedlot horses.

  11. Matt! Long time no see! Wow, Merlin looks awesome! But I sure don’t envy the girls… The pic of Gaelic Princess makes me laugh; it almost looks like she’s thinking, Oy, my aching back! 😀
    Can’t wait to see pics of the little-one-to-come from Sacajawea… Bound to be a looker!
    Safe trails!

    • Great to hear from you! Gaelic Princess actually foaled this week! I thought Audubon would be first, but Gaelic was instead.

  12. I’m glad to see Tony looking so good! It’s amazing how much better he looks now than when I saw he and Lone Wolf last July.

    I salute Lone Wolf for the part he has played in the saga of the Pryor Mountain mustangs. Seems like I read or heard that he was Merlin’s father and Fiero’s grandfather—correct? I’m sure he has had other fine offspring as well, but those two are definitely beautiful animals in my opinion, and I hope they carry on that bloodline with great success.

    Each and every horse on that range, and all the others, is beautiful in some way, and I also salute the people who work to make life better for them…like you, Matt, and all the local people who have created and maintained the PMWMC. Like Janet said, the existence of more groups like the creators and supporters of the PMWMC is badly needed in other wild horse areas. You all are doing a great service by leading by example.

    It’s great to see the healthy babies bringing springtime joy to the Range. Again, thanks so much for sharing what you see!


  13. Beautiful beautiful photos! The horses are so gorgeous, and I have to admit that I especially love to see another generation of a dilute cream colour!

    And thanks for the photo of the range! Its so encouraging that the officials are working towards having a larger sustainable herd.

  14. Matt – Great job with the photos and update! I haven’t posted (or emailed) in a while. Been digesting all the info/research I’ve come across in the last few months. Would like to ask you about the people/ranches around that area that are adopting Pryor horses and advertising their own “Pryor Bloodlines”. Do you know anything about these folks?
    I’ve found two prominent ranches that brag about having horses/bloodlines from the Pryors. It worries me some… Also, what is the true physical condition of “Image”? Heard there were some questions about possible orthopaedic problems with this foal… If you’d like, please feel free to respond via my personal email.

    Many thanks! Keep doing all you can do to help the horses… We like what’s happening so far!
    Lynn Bauer

  15. Is Bolder the father of Celt’s new foal?

    • Yes, he is the most probable sire due to the fact that the foal is expressing the cream gene.

  16. Celt is certainly a beautiful mare; and this foal’s story undoubtedly is going to be an interesting one…

    He looks like a little version of his famous uncle to me.

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