July 13, 2010 – Exhilaration

Exhilaration is one of the more well known horses here. He first became well known due to the fact that he is the only surviving member of the 2004 foal cohort. Since then, many have enjoyed seeing him grow up. He’s pretty hard to miss with his unique face marking.

Exhilaration’s story got a little more interesting last year. On December 1, we were driving back from Sykes Ridge when we noticed a familiar face at the inspection corrals that are south of the wild horse range. It was Exhilaration!

This was strange to see him this far from the range. Due to fences and private land, the most direct route for a horse to get from the nearest entrance, the Sykes Ridge entrance, to these corrals is by the road. From the corrals to the entrance, it is nearly three miles. It would be shorter for him to cut across some fences and private land to get to this place, but that still left us wondering how he even ended up in the corrals.

About the time that I called the BLM, they had also gotten another call from a private landowner who reported that he found Exhilaration with his mares. He put him in the corrals so that the BLM could come and pick him up easier. The plan was to come down the next day to pick him up and drive him back up to the range.

The next day, we went out to meet Jared and Nancy from the BLM and to see Exhilaration; but he wasn’t there anymore. When we met up with them, we found out that they’d already gotten a call about Exhilaration being back with those mares. We headed on over to that pasture to see him.

We indeed found him with a big group of mares and their offspring (that is him on the left).

Exhilaration was working very hard to keep his “harem” together. In fact, he was working so hard that he was drenched in sweat. A comment was made that Exhilaration had the biggest harem of the Pryor stallions, both in number and in size. It’s sometimes hard to visualize the small size of the Pryor horses until you see them next to different horses, like these domestic mares.

Soon after, Exhilaration was caught and back on his way to the range. The plan was to put him at the Burnt Timber entrance of the range to encourage him to stay out of the private land. He headed off into the Burnt Timber area, and we all hoped that he would find a nice new life there.

About a week later, we were out in lower Sykes when we saw Exhilaration was already back there. Fortunately, he was on the range.

He stayed there in the Lower Sykes area through the rest of the winter and spring and into this summer. Yesterday, I got another phone call about how Exhilaration had gotten back in with those mares. They got him caught, and they brought him back to the range again. This time, though, he was brought up to the north boundary entrance of the wild horse range – The very top of the wild horse range. The idea, again, was to bring him somewhere where he might forget about those domestic mares.

Shortly after he got out of the trailer, Chino’s harem came over the rise. When Exhilaration caught sight of them, he ran out to meet them.

He quickly backed down to Chino’s aggressive behavior. He just acted more like he was looking for some companionship than a fight.

The two hung out together for a few minutes before they parted ways.

Exhilaration headed out into a small forested area, and that was the last I saw him yesterday. Though Chino’s harem was the only group of horses I saw Exhilaration encounter, he likely has met others by now given the density of horses in this area. This includes a bachelor band that might be a good fit for him. I’ll be curious to see if he stays up there with the mountain horses or if he gets himself back down to the lowlands.

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Published in: on July 13, 2010 at 3:58 pm  Comments (12)  

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12 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. What a brat! I hope he meets up with someone wonderful, forgets about the “lovelies ” in the private herd, and stays put!

    • I definitely agree with you! It is puzzling to us how he got out this time. I didn’t talk about it much in this post, but we did locate and repair a few holes that he may have gotten out of. Admiral’s harem actually ties into this bigger story too, but we’ll save that for another day.

  2. What do you do if he decides he likes those horses best? We saw him low on the range when we were there year before last. He was on the road ambling around. He looked at us like what are you doing on my road. We got a kick out of him.

    • Well, I am just not sure to be honest. I’m just hoping that he learns to stay on the range!

  3. We were in the Pryors last weekend and spent Saturday night there. I think we saw your van? Did we? We didn’t see Cloud this trip but are thinking about going up again this Saturday.

    • Hello,
      That wasn’t me on Saturday, but it was our vehicle out on a tour then. If you come back, you do have a good chance of seeing him. He’s one of the more visible harem stallions out there.

      • Thanks! We’ve seen Cloud each time we’ve been there – this was a first for us that we didn’t see him. 🙂

  4. Ha ha ask Nancy about the “Thing” in 1999! He was a beautiful grulla stallion with a wide blaze that kept getting into that same pasture with the domestic mares. I think he was jumping the cattle guard at lower Sykes road. He eventually had to be adopted out because he refused to stay on the range. There was another stallion that did that too, years before…I guess they figure they’ve got a pretty good deal going. lol

  5. Seems like maybe Exhileration has decided he likes being around civilization better than roaming alone on the Range. He was reluctant to leave the area when he had been brought in on the last gather, wasn’t he?
    A good candidate for adoption, probably. Hopefully, his story will be a happy one, somehow.

  6. Maybe Exhileration is just visiting a girlfriend who likes her boys a little more on the wild-side?

    I love the photos that illustrates the size difference between Exhileration and the domestic horses. It really does show that these aren’t just any old horses who happen to be running loose, but horses that have evolved with their environment.

  7. great post!

  8. Oh my, he is gorgeous!! While at the Range back in 2005, he came right up to me for petting. Since then I have followed his antics. You didn’t mention the mare that he was “given” at the roundup. Is he still with her at all? Where can I get copies of these wonderful pictures of him?


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