March 4, 2011 – Lower Sykes

I apologize for my delay in posting this; this week has flown by. I spent time on the Range this weekend. On Sunday, I hiked around the Lower Sykes area before ending up on Turkey Flats, where I found many horses. We’d had some more snow and frigid weather, and so it seems that those storms pushed many of the Sykes and Dryhead horses off of the middle parts of Sykes Ridge and down about as low as they could possibly go. I thought I’d post some of the photos now, and I can post the rest now if people are interested.

Fools Crow once again has Belle Starr (from Durango). When I’d last seen him, he had Beauty; so I am curious where she is now and how she has done through the winter. Also with this little harem was the young male Hidatsa.

Fools Crow

Belle Starr


Down from them was Blue Moon’s harem. Besides the family members in showed in the last post, he had a few new ones: Amethyst from Bolder and Halcyon and her daughter Judith from Coronado. I’m not liking Halcyon’s body conditions too much, but at least she was like this at the end of February and not in December.




I headed out toward a lone black horse I saw on a small hill. Before I got to him, I found that he was looking down on Bolder’s harem. Bolder also had a new family member: Scarlett from Cloud.








The lone black horse above them turned out to be Galaxy.


Far to the west was Coronado’s harem. He had Dove from Mescalero. This didn’t totally surprise me as Coronado and Mescalero’s harems have often been in very close proximity during the winter.



Blue Sioux


Fool's Gold


As you can tell in the above photos, there was a pretty good amount of snow out there. The horses were having to dig little holes through it to get to some of the vegetation. During a hard winter like this, they’ll often eat about anything they can find. On Sunday, the three main things that I saw being dug for were sagebrush, threeawn, and some forb.

You can see that virtually all of the tender parts of this sagebrush have been eaten.

This grass – threeawn – is very common on Turkey Flats. Unfortunately, it isn’t the best forage. From what I understand, it is like the iceberg lettuce of the Pryor grass species.

I’m unsure of which species this forb is. Generally, though, it seems as though the forbs aren’t the most beneficial forage for the horses.

That said, I don’t know that Turkey Flats is the preferred area for the horses – I really think they were pushed there by the two storms we had. The areas above the flats that the horses were pushed from actually have pretty good forage, and so I have a feeling that many of these horses have moved back up into those areas given that we have had some nice weather this week.

In addition to the horses shown and mentioned above, I also saw the harems of Sitting Bull, Bristol, Cloud, Lakota, Prince, Mescalero, Custer, and Cappuccino. The day before, I also found Merlin’s harem. If anyone’s interested in some photos of these harems, I’d be happy to post them! I just didn’t want to bog down a single post with a ton of photos.

Published in: on March 4, 2011 at 7:44 pm  Comments (22)  

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22 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. I would love to see the photo’s so have there been any deaths yet from the winter or haven’t you been able to find them yet?

    • War Bonnet’s daughter High Noon(Heritage) and her colt arent looking so well but the foal didnt survive the winter weather and the foal’s mother isnt looking so well. I hope that High Noon is ok and Aztec’s Beauty is somewhere in the horse range

      • According to the Cloud Foundation it appears
        that High Noon did not make it. She was last
        seen in January looking very bad.
        Her foal was seen with a dun stallion and a
        dun mare and their foal toward the end on
        They had named the foal Koda Wakan

  2. Great pics Matt and yes please post pics… you can never post enought… I am suprised of all the movements amoung the band this time of year … tks again Matt on all your work just cannot see enough of the horse and there colors are so so different at this time of year .ross

  3. Matt, would definitely like to see the other photos; most of the horses seem to be doing ok weight wise. It also looks as though some mares may be pregnant.
    Thanks for the posting. it’s good to see them coming through the winter.

  4. Thanks Matt. Beautiful pictures. You have captured this really hard winter. Hope all make it thru. Would love to see the other pictures. These are beautiful horses. You help us to get to know them.

  5. Im glad Autumn(Fool’s Gold) and Kicks Alot(Kiva) are ok and Kicks Alot is looking fine. Her two brothers are looking great as well and very handsome. Now Flint has 8 members in his family and Im proud and happy for him. I feel bad for Cloud since he lost Velvet to his son but I know he might win her back someday

    • I hope that Bolder wins back Texas(Amethyst), Autumn(Fools Gold), and Kicks Alot(Kiva) back and that Cloud wins back Velvet(Scarlett) in the spring or summer

  6. Matt, Beautiful pics. Please show the rest. Never get tired of seeing these wonderful creatures. Have you seen Quelle Colour lately. Last pics showed her to be pretty thin and in foal.

  7. Hi Matt,Can you tell me the names of the mares you think could be pregnent.I really want to know!

  8. Thanks Matt. Yes, please post more! So great to see them!

  9. Matt, What great pictures. I would love to see more. They look really good with the exception of Halcyon. I love Hidatsa. Besides during adoption at the gathers is there ever the opportunity to give one of these guys a good home? I know that the first priority is to keep the herds in their “Free and Wild” state and well taken care of, but I’m just curious. Thank you.

  10. Please post more pictures. We are all interested in seeing the beautiful horses and how they are doing this winter!

  11. Great to see all the pics! Looking forward to the rest.

    Glad to hear about Bristol. How large is his family? It was just he and his filly when I saw them in ’07 and I hadn’t been able to spot them since.

    Hope you spot Beauty soon, on one of your trips. She didn’t look all that great last fall.

    And, have you seen Medicine Bow? He, Belle Starr, Hickok and Fools Crow were all together when I saw them last.

    THANKS so much for braving the elements and keeping us informed like you do. It’s so good for the horses that you and the others who are “the boots on the ground, year ’round” are keeping good records that we can use for dependable, objective research. Keep up the good work :o)

    I’m sure hoping the horses who aren’t faring so well get a break soon.

  12. Sitka’s daughter Adona is looking fine and it’s too bad she lost her mother. I cant believe Bolder won Velvet from his father Cloud and Flint won Texas from his stepbrother. I hope that Texas, Autumn, and Kicks Alot are back with Bolder soon and also Velvet is back with Cloud and his family very soon. I bet Velvet’s daughter Midnight(Baileys) is missing her

  13. Matt,
    You know I love all of our horses, but Fools Crow holds a special place in my heart. Don’t know why. He just does. He was not the first Pryor horse that I saw, he was the first I felt a connection with. I cannot believe how he changes with the seasons. Your last post had a picture of him that I didn’t recognize. I am really happy that he is looking as good as he does.

  14. I don’t know what happened to my coment. Yes yes yes to more pictures. Love them. How old is Blue Sioux. Love her.

  15. Hi, I am currently writing a middle grade novel about the Pryor Mountain mustangs. I am so excited about following your blogs and all the information I have gained from the website! I hope to come visit soon!

    • Kimberly,
      It is good to know that the love of wild horses has not ended with one generatiion. Keep up the love and never-ending want of knowledge for our wild horses.

  16. Great pictures Matt.

    Without you we would not have any idea how these horses are doing this winter. Thanks so much.

  17. Matt,
    You will let me know if Fools Crow ever has an offspring, Right?

  18. Matt,
    I so want pictures of you in snowshoes.

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