May 18, 2010 – Field Trips

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.

Published in: on May 18, 2010 at 1:48 pm  Comments (3)  

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3 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. I sure wish the “powers that be” would realize the value of horses – wild or domestic – as a teaching tool. And treking is a wonderful way to get kids away from the virtual world and out into the world around them. The hope is the more they see and know, the more they’ll care.

  2. Matt, it’s so GREAT what you guys out there are doing for the horses; the Pryor herd directly and many others indirectly. I can’t THANK YOU ALL enough as a wild horse fan and animal lover.

    There is no better Public Relations than Public Education, and I know the Center provides numerous opportunities and materials for teaching about the horses. I passed along some of the materials I purchased when I was out there to our local library, and have been told they are being used. A small victory for me.

    And so it goes with the stallions—I’m sorry to hear that Seattle has lost his band. It was so neat to see the black stallion with nothing but blacks and grullas/grullos in his family. He was the first stallion with a whole band that I saw when first visiting the Range and I’ll remember that experience forever. He stood proudly on a rocky rise on Mustang Flats with the orange sunset behind him and his family around him. The beauty of that scene was breathtaking. (Sam and Hightail were the first horses I saw on the Range, but there were mares with young foals, yearlings and even older siblings with Seattle!)

    But, Blizzard is a fine and spirited young stallion who deserves to grow into a position of more power if he can do it, too. He was the next stallion I encountered on that first visit, and he was following behind Strawberry along the highway and trail with his nose constantly to the ground, raising his head only once in a while to nicker to her as she was getting pretty far ahead. You told me later when I saw you at the Center that his behavior was probably what is referred to as “snaking”.

    Anyway, I hope Seattle will find some kind of companion to help fill the void he must be feeling with the loss of his mares. (Maybe he and Hightail will meet up.) Or maybe he’ll find the strength and courage to get them back. There are lots of possibilities, aren’t there? I’ll be watching your posts for news.

    Thanks again for sharing their world.

    • Thanks for the great support, Linda! I sure do appreciate it. I think that Seattle will get his harem back. His harem really doesn’t seem to want to be with Blizzard, and so I have a feeling they will go right back to Seattle when they can.

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