May 9, 2011 – New Faces

While on the Range Saturday, I came upon Jackson’s harem. I was happy to see that Brumby and her daughters Jenny and Kaycee were back.


Brumby, Kaycee, and Jenny

Firestorm is looking pregnant, and I wouldn’t be surprised to see a new foal with her next weekend when I am on the Range. Firestorm’s 2010 foal Kalahari continues to look interesting as she loses her first winter coat.



Also joining Jackson’s harem was a new foal – Galena had a new solid grullo colt with her. This is Galena’s second foal; he joins big brother Jasper in the harem as well.

Galena, her new foal, and Jasper

This wasn’t the only new foal I saw, but it was the only one I saw up close. Looking over to Sykes Ridge, I could see new foals with Ireland in Prince’s harem, Adona or Blue Sioux in Coronado’s harem (I only had binoculars and couldn’t tell which mare had it), and possibly a foal with Amethyst in Bolder’s harem.

Ireland and her new black foal

On Thursday, I made an afternoon trip up to Lower Sykes. I saw some of the Dryhead bachelors, and I thought it would be good to show their photos here as it’s been a while since I’ve shown these guys.

Durango and Buffalo Girl’s sons Hidalgo and Jalisco were down fairly low.

Hidalgo and Jalisco

Starbuck was up a bit higher near Sitting Bull’s harem. This was the first time I’d seen Starbuck in a couple of months; he hadn’t looked great when I’d last seen him.


Medicine Bow and Johan were up a bit higher. Johan is the first son of Bristol and Greta. While down last week, Jared saw a new foal that looked to belong to Greta and Bristol. This is why I was out this day, but I unfortunately didn’t find them before it got dark.

Johan and Medicine Bow

My biggest surprise in a while was with Fools Crow’s harem. I spotted him walking through some shrubland, and I could see Belle Starr with him.

Fools Crow

Belle Starr

Also coming out of the junipers was a third horse.

Do you recognize this horse? Me neither! Her origins are a total mystery to me right now as are how exactly Fools Crow picked her up.

Fools Crow and mystery mare

I was just really taken back by finding this mare out there on Sykes Ridge. I’ll be curious to learn more about her. I was hoping to spend more time on Sykes Ridge Sunday to get a better look at the new foals there. However, we have had a storm system move in that is bringing a pretty good amount of precipitation to the Bighorn Basin. I’ll be out this next weekend, though; and I’ll be sure to post anything interesting I see!

Published in: on May 9, 2011 at 6:45 pm  Comments (39)  

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  1. It’s great to see all those familiar faces! And, that furry little new one. How precious! Those are some nice zebra stripes, too.

    I find the info on Bristol and Greta interesting, and it sure seems like they are good at making themselves scarce out there.

    I see Starbuck’s left ear seems to be in the same condition as when I was out there last. Another battle scar to be endured.

    I hope the precip helps bring on good, nutritious forage for the horses to get back to better body weights. The deer in our neighborhood sure are enjoying having tender new grass to graze on.

    You don’t suppose a domesticated mare has run away to the wild side and joined up with Fools Crow, do you? He is a mighty fine looking guy. Or maybe it’s a case of someone needing a place to put their horse because they can’t afford to feed it. Looking forward to the solution of the mystery.

    Thanks so much for sharing!

  2. tks Matt for this very well done report and pics it is so nice to see the horses and up dates great jobb..ross

  3. Thanks Matt! Great report and wonderful pictures!

  4. Hay Matt.
    long time no speak.
    I dont know why but that mare looks familiar.
    does she have a freezbrand? she does not look like a QHorese.

    • Hey Alex, I posted a photo of the mare’s left side so you can see she doesn’t have a freeze brand. She does look kind of like some of the old sorrel mares, but I think she’s a turned out domestic mare.

  5. OMG.So happy i could die,I hope Electra’s foal is a filly!!

  6. And what means ”possibly a foal with Amethyst”?

  7. Im so excited to see the new foals. Has Blue Sioux have a foal and is Adona a first time mother? Are there any signs of mares being pregnant in Cloud’s band, Bolder’s band, Flint’s band, and Diamond’s band?

  8. Recently became interested in Wild Mustangs. I heard about those seen in the Pryor Mt. Range. I’ll be coming out from Illinois the beginning of June. Can any of you suggest the best places to view the horses, and which roads get you the closest.
    Thanks, Tom S.

    • Hello,
      There are a few different areas to see horses. Burnt Timber and Sykes Ridge are accessible only with four wheel drive vehicles while Bighorn Canyon (AKA the Dryhead) is highway accessible. Let me know if I can answer any questions!

      • Matt,
        I’ll be leaving IL on June 8. I plan on stopping off in WI to visit TJ Clibborn, an Australian Cowboy who has a couple mustangs he’s tamed. Should be in Billings on the 10th or 11th. I have a Montana Road Atlas but couldn’t find Burnt Timber or Sykes Ridge. I’m assuming you’re talking about the southern part of the Bighorn Canyon Nat. Rec. Area. Just SW of there is marked Wild Horses next to a Pt of Interest symbol. Could that be the BT or SR area?
        Anyway, it looks like roads down from Billings could be tricky. Any suggestions?
        Tom S.
        ps. Is it possible to contact you through direct email? My email is

  9. Any sitings of Exhiliration?

    • Exhiliration was removed from the range and adopted out, by Matt’s Stepfather. Matt you should do an updated blog on Exhiliration as I think most people don’t read all the past comments. You might get a lot of questions as to why he is not being menitoned :).

      • To be more specific, according to Matt’s previous posts, Exhileration kept “removing himself” from the Range and mixing with the domesticated horses on nearby range. The BLM was required to remove him from THERE—AGAIN. With this happening repeatedly, and the fact that he was reluctant to leave the area after being brought in for the last “gather”, I’m convinced that Exhileration just didn’t have his heart in being “wild”, and I’m sooo thankful that someone nearby has him so I may get to see him close up someday. He is a beautiful horse, as well as being unique in that he was the only surviving foal in 2007, I believe it was, per Matt’s posts. His story brings to mind a book I saw on a list at our library about a solitary wild stallion who sought out human companionship, written quite a long time ago, taking place on one of the other wild horse areas out there. Can’t think of the title right now.

      • I think you meant he was the only foal to survive in 2004. There were foals in 2007 but all except one died in 2004

  10. Mystery Mare…Hmmm. From the looks of her she doesn’t look like she has been on the range all winter. She is either fairly young or was once kept pretty, as her mane looks like it has been cut. Nice perfect straight line. I disagree that she doesn’t look quarter horse, if she had more weight on she definetly could be especially the more modern ones being bred for jumping & barrels. She has the newer slim look not the bull dog. Would be great to figure out the mystery on her if she was dropped off or Fool’s Crow stole her. Keep us updated on teh sitation Matt :):).

    • I just can’t get over the mystery mare. She looks so much like my filly right now (AQHA)Blaze, sock, orangy sorrel, and all. I also noticed that she doesn’t have a lot of feathering like the other pryor horses do. She also looks pretty tall next to Fools Crow, I bet she is about 3 years old and still growing.

      • Yes, it is amazing how she looks by him; and he is a pretty beefy stallion. She definitely looks like a quarter horse to me too.

  11. I doubt that mystery horse is mustang. Forehead too narrow. Muzzle too wide. Ears not very pointy, along with aforemetnioned characteristics matching Qhorses. Only similarity I see is I think she looks a little like Flicka did.

    If she’s a “drop off”, will she be put up for adoption by the BLM? Or what?

    • I agree, she looks like the type of horse you’d seen in the majority of pastures around here – A typical sorrel quarter horse. I am not sure what will happen to her, but I can say that there are new notices regarding stray horses on the PMWHR now that can be seen at post offices, etc around the area.

  12. Did Firestorm give birth ?

    • I would guess she did. I was planning a trip up Burnt Timber this weekend, but rainy weather prevented it.

  13. Firestorm looks like she will drop soon to have her foal and I wonder if the foal might have his or her’s mother’s looks. What color is Firestorm?

    • I will be curious to see what Firestorms anticipated foal looks like. As to her color, this is a good question. The best answer I have heard, given by horse color expert Dr. Phil Sponenberg, was that she may be some rare type of bay roan. I’ve always just called her sorrel roan, though.

      • Is Halcyon’s daughter a dun roan or a sorrel roan? Has Feldspar, Blue Sioux, Hera, and any of Cloud’s mares given birth yet? Is Sitka’s daughter Adona a mother now? I wonder if Flint’s son Jasper is a bachelor now and if Flint tried to win back Feldspar and Agate from his stepfather. Has Cloud even tried to win his mare Velvet(Scarlett) yet?

      • She’s a dun roan – When she was first born she just looked like a plain little dun. She really got to be striking as she grew up and roaned out, though. As of two weeks ago, none of Cloud’s mares or Hera had foaled. Coronado has a foal in the harem, but I couldn’t tell if it was with Blue Sioux or Adona. I’ve not seen Cloud try to get Scarlett back; he has spent the last while on Burnt Timber while Bolder is on Sykes Ridge.

      • Maybe Cloud’s mares are still pregnant but havent given birth yet. Do you think that Cloud might get a chance to win back Velvet(Scarlett) soon? Is there a foal with Bolder’s mare Texas because Im confused? Hasnt she been given PZP and had only one foal?

      • It is possible for some of Cloud’s mares to be pregnant still. I won’t be surprised to see Scarlett back with Cloud this summer. With the mares, it isn’t always about the stallion; sometimes the mares can have a say in wanting to be with a particular stallion. Bolder doesn’t have Amethyst (Texas) right now; while scoping to Sykes from Burnt Timber I thought I saw her back with him. However, I saw this wasn’t the case when I was actually on Sykes the next week with the involved horses; she is still with Blue Moon and does not have a foal. She was treated with PZP in her early years and most recently during the 2009 gather, and you are correct that she has one offspring on Range.

      • The mare that’s with Fools Crow now has me puzzled. Maybe that mare is a wild mare or is a stray

      • I heard that when Firestorm was a foal, she was bright orange and then she roaned out. Firestorm and Red Raven’s daughter Sand (BJ Star) look like a sandy colored roan. I think I know why Feldspar and Velvet left their bands. When Flint got a new mare and foal, Feldspar was annoyed and left to join Bolder then Cloud. The same thing happened with Cloud. He got a new filly and Velvet was annoyed then went to join Bolder.

  14. I think you’re right, Jonathan. I was out there in ’07 and he was already on his own. Thanks for correcting the year he was the lone surviving foal. I hope he has a very happy life, anyway, in spite of all his trials and tribulations.

  15. I need an update so badly

  16. Linda, you mentioned “(Exhilaration’s) story brings to mind a book at library about a solitary wild stallion who sought out human companionship, written quite a long time ago, taking place on 1 of wild horse areas…Can’t think of title…”
    I wonder if you are Remembering a story told by *Hope Ryden! in 1 of her earliest wild horse books?!
    I looked for it to check, but I ‘fear’ my daughter likely has taken book away to
    College with her…LoL! @ any rate, I believe that Story was about
    A Lonely young Bachelor, seeking out human companionship,
    During a LONG icy Winter,
    When he seemed to be fairly Isolated & scared to be on his own, all ALONE…
    Does that sound like the 1 ?

  17. Matt, regarding the PZP treatment of
    Amethyst (the Texas filly), why was she given
    PZP in obvious error during 2009 R-U?!
    Since her Very Early treatments left her unable to
    Conceive until she was 7…she had the 1 (off-season)
    Filly….she certainly shouldn’t have been treated
    AGAIN @ only 9 years old (& Not within BLM’s odd
    Age ranges)! Would they not take any prior circumstances into consideration?b-4
    Making her infertile so soon? Or do they just JAB drug into
    Any female within striking distance, despite their Own Errors-in-Learning?
    I surely she Will NOT be darted Again!…for @ least a few more years??
    (I mean, it isn’t like the whole World, along with BLM!, don’t know the intimate stories of Each of these Mares on the Pryors,
    Especially those of that 1st disastrous ‘Experimental group’, ya know?) ?

    • Hello,
      Sorry for my delay replying. During the 2009 gather, nearly every female that was gathered was treated. This was part of the plan during that action. 43 females ages two and up were treated during the gather and released. 30 females, ages two and up, that weren’t removed were not treated. Amethyst was one of the females that was treated as she was one of them that was gathered. There also were a number of females that were under two who were not treated and are still on the Range. The new fertility control plan is age based; it sounds like you may be familiar with it?

      From a management perspective, based on the best available research, it would be preferable for a mare to have one offspring on the Range than it would be for her to have many that get removed (this isn’t uncommon). In balancing herd numbers with the resources of the Range, it does come down to management methodology. Population objectives have been demonstrated to be achieved through fertility control. Following the researched model, each mare would be allowed to reproduce; but she would only be allowed a finite number of offspring. With a gather style of management, the mares would be allowed to reproduce uncontrolled; however, many, if not all, of these offspring could easily be removed later on. In doing this, the mare’s ability to pass on her genes has been totally diminished. When a mare is guaranteed representation, however limited it may be, she is being allowed to pass on her genes to future generations. So it all comes down to a couple questions. First, which technique of management is preferred – Gathers or fertility control? Second, given that some sort of management will take place, what will be managed for?

      Personally, I feel that fertility control is preferred to gathers. If fertility control is used, I think that there should be a goal of managing for kinship; that is, I feel that every mare should be allowed to have representation on the Range. It isn’t any easy thing to think about, but it is a reality that we must face.
      Hope this helps, please let me know if I need to elaborate more!

  18. Sorry, I Meant to say:
    I surely *HOPE* she Will NOT be darted Again!…for @ least a few more years??

  19. Matt, thanks! You are correct, I DO
    Understand the “Age-based Fertility
    Control plan”…& I agree this is to
    be Preferred vs. Round-Up/removals.
    I know–it sounded rather Harsh; I
    Apologize…yet I did find it Irritating*
    that Amethyst was “denied” fertility
    4 longer than ‘intended’ in her 1st
    Years….then RE-denied the LAST 2 years
    Of her 5-10 year ‘Age-range’ ? &
    I just mean–they Knew that–at the
    Time; so *some exceptions could be
    Easily made*—for such situations ?
    (e.g. Of those original 8 fillies,
    Adona & Aurora have Never Reproduced,
    -so will They also be darted from now on?)
    Usaid, “in researched model, each mare
    would be allowed to reproduce; but would
    only be allowed a Finite Number of
    offspring”—*MUST this # be only = * 1 *?!?
    “With gather mgmt, IF allowed Uncontrolled reproduction;
    ALL offspring May be removed
    later–then ability to pass genes can
    be totally diminished”…
    **I AGREE–‘Controlled Fertility’ gives
    limited chance(s) “to pass genes to
    future generations,” –I just
    Was Not *Aware that BLM has decreed
    this to = ONLY 1 as
    “the Finite # offspring” for this very *Unique* Herd??
    Is that what is now ‘Implied’ to be
    the plan?–for All the mares–even
    During their ‘5-yr window of opportunity’ ??
    Possibly I missed it; but don’t recall such
    Written instruction…perhaps it has been
    OR “based on Kinship”, as
    You prefer, would the live & reproducing
    # Members–for Each mare’s “Family Line” or
    “Unique traits”–be considered 4 the
    decision ?? [Difficult, but not impossible,
    esp with all the Kinship info!–that
    You have worked so hard to gather..]

    • You bring up many good points that are well worth knowing. I can’t argue that some of the timings of past treatments have been frustrating from certain perspectives. I honestly don’t know yet what will happen with Aurora and Adona, but I can tell you that they haven’t been treated yet this year. You’re right – This current PZP plan isn’t based on kinship; it is based on age classes. I’d obviously prefer to see the kinship model used at some point in the future. Some of us have had some discussions about how many foals may be appropriate for each mare to have in the Pryors. To us, one seems risky given that it’s the Pryors. At least two may be acceptable, maybe some of the mares from underrepresented lines could have more? On Assateague, the move from letting mares have more than one foal to only have one foal was due to a need for rapid population management – The NPS wasn’t interested in removing horses; they wanted PZP to exclusively take care of the population. Having a decrease in population size could only come from changing the offspring each mare was allowed. Hope this helps!

  20. Has the sorrel mare been removed

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