March 14, 2011 – Lower Sykes

I apologize for not posting any more of the photos I took on the 27th. I’ll start today’s post with them.

As you’ll recall, Dove was with Coronado, away from Mescalero, in my last post. However, Mescalero had some new members in his harem as well: Firestorm and her foal Kalahari from Jackson.





White Cloud’s harem was also in that area. In addition to Scarlett, he was missing one mare (Topper Too) but had also gained a new one (Inocentes from Custer).

White Cloud







Since I took those photos, we have had a really big change in weather. Last week, temperatures were mostly in the 40’s during the day. Today the high was in the high 50’s or low 60’s. I took these following photos on Turkey Flats Saturday. This is the same area I took the above photos in – You can really tell how much the snow has melted since.

There weren’t as many horses still down on Turkey Flats, but I wanted to see who was still there. Cappuccino, Gabrielle, and Kodiak weren’t too far from where I’d seen them previously.




Bristol, Greta, and Katrina were also nearby. They tend to spend much of the year in this area, which I think is pretty impressive given the range conditions out there. I don’t remember if I’ve mentioned this before or not, but I was always surprised that this little harem wasn’t gathered during the 2009 gather. This area they live in is adjacent to Britton Springs, but they weren’t even seen during the gather though.




In addition to the above, I also saw Prince, Teton, and Sitting Bull’s harems out there. However, my favorite sighting of the day was north of Bristol’s harem. It fulfills a prediction that I recall discussing with some of you last year: Chino’s gotten his harem back together. I think that this is pretty interesting given the winter weather and the fact that the two mares were in different parts of the Range. Topper was with Baja (Burnt Timber) while Topper Too was with Cloud (Sykes Ridge). As a bachelor, Chino seemed to be bouncing back and forth between the two areas. Chino has a good knowledge of the Range; he is one of the few stallions I know of to live in all three subherds. Somehow, in the past while, he has gotten these two mares together. It is likely that the mares themselves, who are mother and daughter, also provided assistance in making this happen as they seem to be very bonded to each other.

Chino's harem



Topper Too

Last week definitely felt like spring to me, and I am really looking forward to seeing an end to winter. With this warm weather also comes better accessibility on the Range, and so I am also looking forward to seeing some of the horses that have been more difficult to see up close.

Published in: on March 14, 2011 at 6:00 pm  Comments (24)  

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  1. Glad to see that “most” of these horses appear to be doing OK. Hopefully, Firestorm will be able to put on a bit in this break in the weather.

    And it’s always good to hear about reunited families.


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

  3. all the horses are looking fine. Its too bad that Cloud lost Velvet and Bolder lost Texas, Autumn and Kicks Alot but they’ll win them back soon. Im glad that Chino is a band stallion again

  4. Thanks Matt! Good for Chino, he is one of my favorites and I am glad he has his band back again.

  5. We have been reading some of band instability in herds where teh mares are treated with PZP. a study done by Princeton seems ot suggest teh mares travel more between bands and mate with more stallions inan apparent attempt to get bred and at least in the Steens area, of multiple stallions mating with a less than willing mare. The study seems to suggest different bands have different reactions ot the PZP. Have you seen more band scrambling in the treated mares or has it stayed pretty much the same as is historically documented? It seems as if the band structure is pretty fluid but I wondered if you had seen a difference?

  6. Any photos of Exhiliration? Do you know if he made it thru the winter? He is my favorite. Am wondering if he has mares of his own now and of any new foals by him. Thanks for all you do to keep us all informed on these magnificent animals!!

  7. Hi Matt
    Have just read through all the winter blogs, and am pleased to read that most of the horses have come through in relatively good condition. Up here, in southern Alberta, we too have had a long, snowy and cold winter. Temperatures at night were close to minus 40, where Farenheit and Celsius meet. In between we would get several days of warmer temperatures, forming crusts, making for severe avalanche conditions. Also, the wildlife and my livestock (the mule and donkeys) found it difficult to forage. Of course I feed grass hay but I still try to keep the animals moving about or else they just stand around waiting to be fed. Even with the mule I have to be careful because if she does not move about, she colics easily. I cannot feed them alfalfa for the same reason, as they colic on it. So am glad that precautions were taken not to feed the wild horses, but to at least monitor them. I can’t imagine how their systems would react to alfalfa, when they are not used to it. I remember years back when hay was dropped to deer ( I think in Montana), and many died because of it.
    We are now in a big thaw with flooding, but grass is finally showing on south slopes. My donkeys turn to bark and leaves, even spruce boughs, when pickings are slim.
    Will be interesting to see if foal counts are down because of the conditions. Usually when conditions are rough, females will remain barren. Just nature’s way of preservation. If an animal is not in good condition, pregnancy often won’t occur, or they will abort.
    Great to read all your reports and see the photos.
    I too had to snowshoe my way around this winter. Quite the workout, isn’t it?
    Take care, my friend. And keep up the great work!
    Best to your dad and Tracker, too!

  8. Hi Matt,
    I live in Indiana and hope to someday come there to visit. Thank you so much for your wonderful work. I was wondering how Blizzard is doing?

    Thank you.

  9. Is Firestorm a sandy roan mare? She looks funny in her winter coat

  10. Matt! So happy to see Chino with Topper & Topper Too again(They are Hombre’s parents!)! Do you know if Topper Too is pregnant? Just wondering if Hombre might have a full sibling on the way? He is doing great and is extremely handsome…would like to post a recent pic if I could? πŸ™‚

  11. Anything new happening on the mountain? Is nothing happening up there or are you waiting so long just to start the new blog again with “sorry for the long time it took…” πŸ™‚ (just kidding). I’m curious!

    • Hello Michiel,

      Matthew is not longer the director here at PMWMC. He took another environmental position at a nearby location. However, he will still be doing the blog and doing the ever so important documentation of the wild mustangs. It may not be as often as before, but rest assured he will still be the main person keeping a watch on the horses!

      Thank-you for your interest in the PMWMC.


      • Hi Lori,

        I’m sorry to hear Matt has taken on another position. I second the question from Linda: will there be tours? We are planning to return to the mountain end of August and we definately need some help getting up there, as the road conditions are not what we’re accustomed to here in the Netherlands πŸ™‚


      • Our only tours this year are from June 15th thru July 15 on Wednesdays only.

        We have had some staff changes and tour guide change. I am sorry if this is not what you wanted to hear, but that is how we are doing this year. Maybe next year we will have more tours throughout the summer. Thanks you, Lori

  12. Thanks for the limited info. Who will be the director of PMWMC now? Will anyone be doing tours on the Range? I guess I should check the Center website. Will Matt be working out of Billings? Guess I’d better check the area newspapers in case there is an article somewhere.
    I expect to be visiting the Range next fall, and am wondering what the situation will be when I get there.

    Hope we don’t have to wait TOO LONG for new foal pics πŸ™‚

    Thanks, if you can answer any questions at this time.

    • I want to see a pics of foals too, if they are born,but i think this year there will be not so many foals as last year 😦

      • Hello Maria,

        I am sure there will be many foals born this year. We will try to get pictures of them and post them on the website for people to see.

        Thank-you for your interest in the PMWMC.

    • Hello Linda,

      I am the new Director of PMWMC. I have been on the board of directors for over a year and have helped with fundraisers for the Center.

      We have limited tours now…being from June 22nd thru July 15th, on Wednesdays only. We feel that the Center has information, maps and other things to hand out and most people like to take the drive themselves. We are not in the tour business, just committed to preserving the wild mustangs and the range that they live on, and educating the public about these special wild horses.

      Matt is working in Lovell, and is still very much a part of the PMWMC.

      The photo’s will be taken and posted by Matt as usual, but they may not be as often. We will do the best we can, especially since all of this is volunteer work. It is with great pride that we do what we do!!

      Thanks and I hope I have answered some of your questions.

      Lori PMWMC Director

      • Hi Lori, can you pass onto Matt my own thanks. I do look forward to his photos as they are always beautiful, but as a person who volunteers I completely understand the limited time available.


      • Corinna,

        Yes I certainly will pass this on to Matt. I know how beautiful his photos are and I myself love to see the pictures. Of course going up the Pryors is always the best!!!

        Thank you so much for your interest in the PMWMC.


  13. Lori and Matt, my first comment should have been “congratulations and best wishes to Matt in his new position”. I’m sure he’ll do excellent work in whatever it is, and hope that his excellent education will be utilized. I am sorry to be losing that Center connection with he and his family, even tho my visits there have not been that frequent, but life does go on.

    The memories and knowledge they have shared with me are precious to me and have been, and will be, helpful to the horses. I am very glad to hear that Matt will continue to be involved in the commitment to the horses that you describe and that has been unwavering from those local people around that area who are responsible for the existence of the Range itself, the PMWMA and the PMWMC.

    I am involved in a project that I hope will make more people aware of just how much effort and dedication it has taken to have the relatively safe refuge for this unique band of wild horses that the PMWHR provides. Thank you ALL very much for ALL you do!

    And CONGRATULATIONS to you, Lori, for your appointment as Director of the Center. Talk about what I’d call a dream job….you’ve got it!!! And if I didn’t have so many family connections here in Wis., I’d move out there in a minute and be one of the best volunteers you ever had at the Center.

    I’m looking forward to meeting you when I get out there, hopefully next fall, if not before. I’m getting a little old to be out on the mountain by myself, but I’m sure I can come up with a solution to that problem. I’ve been out there enough to know some things I need to avoid and where my best chances of seeing the horses are. I’ll just have to do some inquiring, exploring and get up the nerve to be my own guide. And, like I’ve stated on this site before, anyone who doesn’t spend time in the easier to access Dryhead areas is missing some excellent horse viewing action and scenery.

    Gosh, all this talk about the Range and thinking about seeing the horses is making me wish I were riding out on Bad Pass Highway right now!

    I’ll be watching for news of babies.


    • Thank-you so much Linda..first for the congratulations and the best wishes.

      I agree with you about Matt being so much a part of these horses and this center. He is only a few miles away so I will see him frequently. He will also be doing the pictures and the blog…and be monitoring those beautiful horses! His family, like him are not going anywhere and will still be very involved also. I am sure if you came out to visit they would take you out on a very private tour…the only difference is that I will be handling the office part of the Center. Believe me…there is so much to learn and I am ready and willing to do that! I am also looking forward to going up the mountain to view and take some pictures of my own. I have always loved horses and wildlife…so this job is right up my alley. I absolutely love it and feel honored to be here. I will do my best..promise!

      I look forward to meeting you someday! Thanks for caring and for your support!!


  14. I am so going to miss Matt. Like so many, we had a connection. He and I had a connection with Fools Crow. I can only hope he left you with the story as to where Fools Crow began. So much of my life has been has been built around Matt and our horses that I don’t know what to do without them. Guess I am not good with change. He was with us during the last round-up and let us know that all was for good. Don’t know if I can contribute or come out there this year

    • Teresa,

      I know exactly how you feel about Matt, as I feel the same way! Like I said to you Matt will always be involved in the center and will continue his very important work on the range and with the horses. He also will continue to do the blog and post his magnificent pictures on the website. I am sure he will be stopping at the Center at least once a week, so no worry…some things will be the same. I do know the story of Fools Crow and I am sure that I will never know as much as Matt, but I am learning and trying my best.

      I hope someday I can meet you when you come out to Lovell.

      Thanks so much and I will be sure to let Matt know to check all of the mail coming to the Center!!


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