Education has been a key part of the Pryor Mountain Wild Mustang Center since its early days. As part of this, one of the Center’s traditions has been to accompany local students on field trips to see the wild horses. The Lovell ones typically start with us giving an in-class presentation on the herd followed by an actual trip to the wild horse range. Today, we had a beautiful day for a trip out there; and my mom and I worked together to talk about the horses we saw.
We spent most of our time with Blizzard’s harem out on Mustang Flats. This harem actually allowed for some interesting lessons on the behavior of wild horses. This spring, Blizzard has taken Seattle’s harem while also losing his mare Strawberry and her colt foal (Kokopelli). Thus, at this time, Blizzard has a pretty good sized harem.
We walked out a little closer so that everyone could see better without bothering the horses.
We also set up our spotting scope so that everyone can take turns viewing the horses. In this case, Sacajawea’s colt foal was the most-viewed of the horses.
All the while, the students were able to learn more about the horses by actually spending time with them. For example, they were able to see Beauty acting as a lead mare while learning a little bit about her history. They also saw the two yearling colts playing together. Perhaps the most interesting thing to see was that there is some apparent conflict between Seattle’s former harem and Sacajawea. In the above photograph, you can see how Sacajawea and her foal are on the left while Seattle’s former harem is on the right. Blizzard is in the very middle. Though we didn’t see it today, it hasn’t been uncommon to find these two distinct groups on different sides of Mustang Flats while Blizzard goes back and forth between the two.
This big story with Seattle and Blizzard is still unfolding, and so it will definitely be something that I’ll post more information on as I learn it.