August 17, 2010 – Changes

A few weeks ago, a visitor asked me why the dun mare with White Cloud didn’t seem too happy to be with him. I didn’t know how to answer this – I had just been on the mountain a couple days prior to this, and there was no dun mare in that harem. A few days later, on August 4, I headed up on the mountain. When I found White Cloud’s harem, there certainly was a dun mare there. I recognized her right away as Topper Too, one of Chino’s mares. Also, there did seem to be a bit of tension within the harem due to her presence.

Down from them were some more horses, including Doc’s harem. (This harem will come into the story soon too.)

Nearby was Starman’s harem, and the young grullo stallion Garcia was hanging pretty close to them.

Garcia, like Topper Too, had come from Chino’s harem. I was really curious, and somewhat concerned, about what was going on with Chino. Unfortunately, I couldn’t find him. Also, though, I didn’t see his mare Topper either; and so I wondered if she was still with Chino.

I was able to come up the next day, and I found another change – Doc’s harem was with Baja. Recall that I’d just seen Doc and his harem together the day before. Doc was with the bachelors. (Doc is there on the upper right with his ears down. This photo reminds me of the old photos you see of Western outlaw gangs together.)

Once again, though, I was unable to find Chino. Due to a busy schedule and weather, I was unable to get on the Range last week to try and resolve the Chino mystery. I went up yesterday, though, with the goal of finding Chino.

As I hiked around finding the horses, I found Baja’s harem. This harem had one more member than it did when I’d last seen them – There was one too many duns.

This additional dun was Topper, Chino’s other mare. Here she is near Baja’s blue roan mare Bacardi. Like Topper Too was (and still kind of is) with White Cloud, Topper doesn’t seem totally content to be with Baja.

Upon finding Topper away from Chino, I got a bit more worried about Chino. On my return hike, I passed by the pond to see if any horses had come there. Right there was Chino and some bachelors! The grullo there is Garcia, the blue roan is Irial, who is just recently kicked out of Custer’s harem, and that dark bay there is Doc.

Chino seemed to be doing just fine. He seemed to be the leader of this little group of bachelors.

He is getting older (17 this year), but I am still unsure of what happened to cause him to lose his harem. I have the same questions about Doc losing his harem as well. I will be curious to see what ends up happening with these involved horses. I won’t be surprised to see some reuniting between these harem stallions and their former mares.

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Published in: on August 17, 2010 at 4:43 pm  Comments (11)  

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  1. Very curious indeed, perhaps the Stallions are taking a break from the family life? Perhaps on occasion they do this without relative notice and then rejoin their harems. Or perhaps it is like a guys weekend for horses…either way I will be curious to see what happens.

    Keep us posted Matt!
    We love your updates.

  2. Interesting! It is amazing how much the herds change.
    How wonderful that you are able to observe them as often as you do.

    Thank you Matt.

  3. Sounds to me like maybe Baja and Cloud managed to work it where they distracted Chino from his post, maybe one at a time, and took turns running off his mares while the other engaged him in “battle”.

    Whatever happened, I hope the mares find a way to get back to him if they really want to. It has happened before. I’m also glad to know Chino is not roaming alone with a broken heart, which is what seemed to happen with Shaman.

    Chino is really a beautiful horse, and I never would have thought he was that old. I have a great pic of him from my last visit to the mountain. In it, he’s “drinking the wind”, a perfect example of what inspired Rev. Schweiger to nickname the mustangs “wind drinkers”. The sun shone on his coat making it look like liquid gold as he ran with that black mane and tail flowing. Beautiful….

    In the pic of “the outlaws”, the distinctive face marking of one of the guys in the front looks like
    it would be Exhileration. Is it? I also noticed a similar marking on the face of one of them in the back. If you get a chance, could you identify that one, too? If so, thanks so much.

    And thanks again for another glimpse into their world for those of us who can only wish we were there.

  4. Perhaps the use of PZP is having an effect of causing younger batchelors to become more insistent on obtaining mares who have been PZP’d and possibly coming into estrus more often?

    I have heard PZP can have devastating affects on herds — including more fighting among the stallions, especially the younger, stronger ones.

    Perhaps this may result in the older, more knowledgable and range-wise stallions, which have greater survival wisdom, being “kicked out” of their bands earlier than mother nature might have planned —

    What do you think, Matt and PZP people who make these decisions to use PZP in ways it has heretofore been used on this herd?

    • Hello,
      Well, this particular incident isn’t really involving young bachelors – It involves interchange only between harem stallions. Also, not all of the involved females have ever been treated with PZP.

      But let me still address this. There is a rumor out there that PZP leads to increased stallion aggression. There is no true scientific data to support this. It seems to be based on some casual science (as most of these allegations about PZP are). Lately I have had more inquiries about this, and so I hope to revisit it in a (very) future post.

      Thanks!

  5. Wow Matt! Chino is my horse(Hombre’s) sire! And my horse’s dam is now with Cloud. I am sad for Chino- I hope he gets his herd back. Hombre is such a gentleman and is incredibly smart! I only have to show him something once and he has it! Very handsome as well. I can’t wait for him to fully mature. Please keep us updated on this situation! Hope you guys are having a wonderful summer! 🙂

  6. Didnt Baja have a grulla mare and her blakc foal and Is Doc Mateo’s son?

    • *black

  7. I think the recent Princeton study revealing the social disorder created by PZP on the specific response of mares who have been PZP’d-22 more revealing and devastating..WH are somewhat unique in their family structures importance to survival, mares are normally stolen-they do not leave a band on their own and yet this critical research shows PZP’d mares leaving the band when they cannot become pregnant by that stallion, moving from band to band to try and fulfill reproductivity-driven by survival insticts, it was also found when the titers fell off and the mares could concieve..the mares continued their nomadic life, moving from band to band..and I find that very disturbing, as the family structure and continuity is extrememly important for the survival of the WH..we were not here to help them survive the ice age when most other species perished with the exception of the wild horse, messing with mother nature is not an indication of our superior intelligence but more of an indication of our arrogance and lack of understanding of natures balance

    • So Tooper Too decided to stay with Cloud and his band? Did Chino also have a grulla mare?

  8. Matt, I just RE=read this post, & you are Right! …”(Doc is there on the upper right with his ears down. This photo reminds me of the old photos you see of Western outlaw gangs together.)”… that photo IS a HOOT 🙂


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