September 14, 2011 – Updates

It’s been a while since I posted, so I thought I’d put up some that I think are worth knowing about right now.

Hickok and Jesse James continue to spend their time at Crooked Creek Bay with Seneca and Hightail. From what I’ve seen of this, it looks like Hickok thinks he is the harem stallion while Seneca and Hightail are doing whatever they want with the two boys following them. It will be interesting to see where this goes.

(l-r) Hickok, Seneca, Hightail, Jesse James

Hickok

Jesse James

Up on the mountain, Lakota is still keeping up with his former harem. On Sunday, I saw him with Grijala and the harem (Quelle Colour, Kohl, Knight, and Jenny). Lakota is looking pretty good now compared to when this all started happening, but Grijala is still looking thinner than would be preferred. It kind of looks like Lakota and Grijala are developing a harem stallion-satellite bachelor relationship. Like the situation with Hickok above, it will be interesting to see how this pans out with Lakota and Grijala.

Lakota

(l-r) Kohl, Knight, Lakota, and Jenny

Quelle Colour and Grijala

On Sunday, I also found that Damsel had given birth to the 18th known foal of the year. The foal was pretty small; it was likely born within the past one or two days. It looks like it is a colt. Unfortunately, the foal is not totally healthy. Its head has an appearance (longer with an overbite) that reminds me of Damsel’s last foal that didn’t survive very long. Given the time he was born around, its name will be Liberty.

Damsel and Liberty

Liberty

Liberty

This is a quiet time of year for the horses, and has been more difficult to see them in the past while due to the hot days pushing them into the trees more. However, we are feeling fall in the air now; and so I am looking forward to a new season with the horses. I’ll try to get more updates here soon showing the new things I see.

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Published in: on September 14, 2011 at 5:42 pm  Comments (100)  

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  1. Do you think Liberty will survive through the winter weather? I really hope this winter doesnt claim Liberty’s life

    • Lets be realistic, i dont think he will survive.

      • I know he will survive cause he is Raven’s great grandson and all of Raven’s grandsons and granddaughters have his strength.

      • Is it possible that he lost his lower jaw during birth?

  2. I’m a bit curious as to why Damsel is still in Clouds herd, and if he is the father of this foal? Could that be the reason for the deformation?
    I’m sorry if this is not an “ok” question to ask..

    • Yes it is curious that Demsel is still with her Sire, its goten to the point that he cloud no longer see’s dancer as his doughter but as enny other mare and he is the likly sire of this foal.

    • During the 2009 gather, she was actually moved to a different harem; but it didn’t take her too terribly long to rejoin him. It’s hard to say if he is the father of this foal. A DNA test would be needed to say one way or the other. That said, she has been seen being bred by him in the past. Inbreeding is an explanation for the way the foal was born.

      • Maybe Damsel must be moved to a stallion that is more experienced but not very old.Corona or Durango probably.And when she was released with Exhileration in 2009,it was early fall,so Cloud came down and she rejoined him.May be BLM should take Damsel in the Dryhead in late spring.

      • Dancer probably found her way back to her father and his family during the fall. I dont know if she has to be relocated to the Dryhead cause she wants to be with her family

  3. This is a pregnancy gone very wrong.The foal will probably not survive.If it was a domestic,the most humane decision would be to kill the foal.We’ve had a case like this,but here there was no inbreeding.I support Alex’s idea BLM to take Damsel to the Dryhead with another stallion.I feel sorry for Damsel and the foal.It’s so sad

  4. Thanks so much for the update, to bad that part of it will be sad news later on. Isn’t what the foal has something like parrot mouth or another? More than likely it is because of inbreeding, and if this is the second foal she has lost due to the herd situation it would be really nice if somehow she could either be removed from the herd or another alternate?

    Looks like Quelle Colour is possibly heavy with foal? I know last year she had a huge belly and looked quite odd after she had her foal she foals quite late in the year, seems that she doesn’t have optimal body weight on going into winter. Being a younger mare that probably isn’t as hard on her now, but later…she would be a prime mare to give the PZP maybe to get her heat cycle back in the spring?

    Thanks for all the updates!

  5. I’m glad to see Hickok and Jesse with Seneca and Hightail. At least the two mares have a stallion to protect them, even if Hickok hasn’t quite figured out how to earn their respect. It is an odd family band to be sure.

    Thanks for the update Matt!

  6. Very sad about Liberty. I hope he won’t suffer long.
    😦
    Any news on who Seattle is hanging out with?
    Thanks for the updates. I love reading them.

    • Seattle actually has Sacajawea and her son Kemmerer. It’s pretty exciting that this happened.

  7. According to your article 18 foals have been born this year. I was under the assumption that the majority of the mares had been given PZP. Was this the expected result? Also is the fact that they were given PZP, causing some of the births to be later in the season than usual?
    Additionally, is Damsel the only surviving offspring of Cloud and Sitka?

    • The lower birth rate we are seeing this year is the result of the PZP pellets given to the mares during the 2009 gather. We didn’t quite know what to expect with the effects of the pellets as they are newer and with less research on efficacy, but the pellets did obviously have some effect. The effects of the PZP given this year will be seen next year. There’s always a bit of a lag time, the length of it depends on which time of year the PZP was given. There’s no firm scientific evidence out there right now that PZP has led to the out of season births.

    • Also – I forgot to add that Damsel’s the only Cloud-Sitka offspring that I am aware of on the Range at this time.

      • Maybe Damsel has a birth-canal abnormality or blockage of some kind that caused Liberty’s “defect.”

      • Janet, I don’t think so. The undeveloped jaw and ocular malformations are more likely the result of chromosomal (genetic) abnormalities. That could come from inbreeding or from either non-related parent carrying those genetic aberrations.

  8. Jonathan, Liberty was found deceased about 2 days after I saw the foal, so my calculations are that it wasn’t quite a week old. I’m sure it had the strong heart and immense will to survive that is characteristic of ALL the mustangs on the Range, but this time there were insurmountable odds. If you look closely at Matt’s pictures, the lower jaw was missing from about the point where the mouth opening would end. This means that the foal had no bottom teeth. Thus, it would have been unable to bite (graze). Since it looked thinner as it got older, I wonder if it wasn’t even able to retain the milk it tried to get from nursing. Anyway, for a grazing animal, having no lower teeth would mean starvation even if it had reached that stage of life. Also, one eye had not developed and the other was gray, so undoubtedly, it was blind. It followed it’s mother by smell and touch, and was stumbling from weakness, or blindness, or both. Blindness on the Range would also have been a death sentence beyond foal stage with the dangerous uneven terrain and huge cliffs, etc. Going on to Horse Heaven was the best thing for it, sad to say.

    But, let’s not dwell on the sadness. There are many beautiful horses and foals on the Range left to carry on the strength and character of these magnificent animals, and Liberty and the foal’s valiant effort to be among them will not be forgotten among the true lovers of these horses.

    I truly hope that since people have an effect on these horses’ lives, by necessity in today’s world, that we can come up with an effective method of dealing with this inbreeding issue in time to prevent another incidence of this nature. We owe it to the horses.

    • Where was his body found and is his mother doing ok?

      • Jared found him dead on Thursday. As Linda said, he was found to be very unhealthy. It really was for the best that he died like this, he would’ve really suffered had he lived any longer.

  9. Are there any updates on Flint(Blue Moon), Bolder, Diamond(Teton), Cloud or Red Raven?

    • As of the last time I was up there, there’s nothing really new with any of these harems except for the latest news with Cloud and Liberty.

  10. Maybe the inbreeding would suggest that it’s time to increase the herd size and leave the birth control methods alone. These are wild animals and nature has shown in every way possible that it will find a way. We’re messing with their future and maybe they’re just trying to ensure their own survival in any way possible.

  11. I think it’s time we have a reality check, and contrary to the tendency our society has of avoiding personal responsibility for things, face the fact that the responsibility for the inbreeding lies with Cloud. He has abused his position of strength and authority and probably won’t stop, the older he gets and the less he feels like “fighting for it”. (Are we reading anything on other sites about horse rape in this situation, by the way?) The facts cannot be ignored just because he is a “celebrity”. Excusing bad behavior from celebrities, which runs rampant in humans these days, does much harm to a species.

    All the other stallions on the Range face the same struggles and woes, changes and complications of modern life, and have reacted differently. If that changes in the future, it is my hope that their situations will be dealt with swiftly as well.

    Since it’s not really very far, like maybe 5 miles the way the crow flies or the horses climb, from the Dryhead to the mountaintop, I don’t believe relocation “on the Range” is going to be effective, any more than it was with Exhileration or the previous attempt with Damsel. The best thing for Damsel, and probably any of Cloud’s other female offspring, (like the beautiful Jasmine who will be coming of age soon), is to
    1) remove them from the Range if they stay with him into their reproductive years
    2) administer birth control ASAP to prevent more sad stories like Liberty and Damsel’s previous ill-fated foal,
    3) relocate them to join the Freedon Fund horses, or,
    4) sterilize Cloud, since he has numerous healthy offspring already. This alternative would allow the females to live on the Range, at least, and allow them the opportunity to possibly accept another mate and produce healthy offspring.

    Sometimes it seems to me like a lot of people think that Cloud is the only stallion on this Range of any importance, and that is simply not true. He IS beautiful in his own way, and spirited and adored, but he is NOT the only, nor the greatest, example of the heritage of the horses on the Pryor Mountain Wild Horse Range. It is harmful to the survival of the herd if an unhealthy situation is allowed to continue because of hero worship by the public and misplaced concern and actions by people who don’t have ALL the facts, or truly have the interest of the WHOLE HERD at heart. Research the old bloodlines connection and characteristics. I think you’ll see what I mean.

    It is my hope that we will soon hear that this unpleasant, to say the least, situation has been resolved in a positive manner, and no more sad little foals like Liberty will happen on the Range. However, if largely uninformed public opinion rules the day and nothing gets done because of Cloud’s celebrity status, Nature WILL continue to do it’s job and there will likely be more foals that survive only long enough to become sustenance for predators and scavengers, and Damsel will once again be denied the joy of having a normal little baby to care for and bond with. In this situation, I hope we don’t let Nature take it’s course.

    • The Liberty situation was certainly a tragic one, however Matt himself (pryorwild) said, “it’s hard to say if he’s (Cloud) the father of this foal; a DNA test would be needed to say one way or the other.” It is also possible that Damsel has chromosomal abnormalities that are being expressed regardless of the paternity of her foals. Actions by people who don’t have all the facts can certainly be harmful, and DNA testing of the foal would be the first step in establishing the ACTUAL facts. Perhaps this testing is already being undertaken(?) That should be the guide for any future potential actions or herd/harem removals. Cloud has not prohibited Damsel from leaving as much as she seems intent upon returning despite efforts to relocate her. Other daughters such as Firestorm, while still in Cloud’s harem, were bred by other stallions (it’s been filmed), and she is now part of another group. Depending upon the outcome of DNA testing, it does not seem unreasonable to remove Damsel to the Freedom Fund group if she remains reluctant to bond with another stallion. ALL the facts are indeed necessary.

    • We’re not going to remove Cloud’s daughters from the range or sterilize Cloud or give Dancer, Jasmine, Breeze, Firestorm, or Shadow birth control. Dancer doesn’t want to leave her family cause she decided to stay with Cloud. Liberty probably wasn’t fully developed and maybe born premature

      • If the BLM sterilizes Cloud, they’re doing the wrong thing. Just leave Cloud, Dancer, Jasmine, Breeze, Shadow, and Firestorm alone. Cloud deserves to not be gelded and his daughters belong on the wild horse range and if Dancer wants to be with her father or another stallion, just let her decide what she thinks is best. We’re not choosing for her and just leave her alone. Dancer, Jasmine, and Breeze shouldnt be removed from their home. Liberty was probably not fully developed. It’s not Dancer’s fault or Cloud’s fault and Cloud shouldnt be punished

    • It would probably be illegal to move Cloud to the Freedom Fund Horses because of the pending lawsuit–to move those horses back to the range.

      Honestly if we allow numbers to stabilize at around 200 horses Cloud may be less likely to go after his own daughters. He has only been doing this since man has been messing with the herds with PZP.

      And as hard as it is–I’m glad that foal didn’t suffer more than he already did.

      Tell me you didn’t actually say to geld Cloud???? You must be freaking nuts! And you would PZP all the mares indiscriminately???!!!! YUP your freaking nuts!!!! Case closed.

      • I agree with you. There’s no way anyone is going to geld Cloud at all. That’s messing with nature

  12. Excuse me Jonathan , but you are the exactly the type of person that Linda D’s Coment is riferd to.Poeple that humanise the horses and only think about Cloud and his relatives as if thay were the only horses on the Range(and that bugs a lot of poeple). this herd is not just “Clouds Heard” but the pryor mountain mustang herd . There are lots of stallions and mares that should he conciderd as important as cloud and his family.This does not mean i Agree with all what Linda D has to say ,She is not the only one that knows the horses and the Genetics of the Herd, I love all these self-rightous people claiming to know every thing and think thay can make decisions that are not thairs to Make.

  13. All the horses on the Range have there own story.

    • I’m just saying what I think. I don’t think it is Cloud’s fault or Dancer’s fault either. Cloud doesnt need to be gelded and Dancer, Jasmine and Breeze shouldn’t be removed.

  14. It seems like we forget that nature always manages to take care of the imperfect and the weak. Yes, in nature, the weak die and the strong live, and that is what needs to happen at Pryor and all the wild horse herds, and humans need to quit trying to”micromanage” these horses to what WE think is fit and perfect. I’ve always professed that the gene pool of the wild horses that survive and propogate are the healthy and the smart ones–the dumb ones and unhealthy ones die. And yes, there are some foals that won’t make it and some mares won’t have good babies. Nature takes care of that in all our wild animals. These horses aren’t any different, whether it’s Cloud, Chino, Blizzard, or stunning Custer. The Cloud films are what brought me to the Pryors, but I have found a whole mountain of remarkable horses that I love to photo and watch there and on many other wild horse ranges–which is true for most folks that I’ve met. I certainly don’t care to be pigeonholed as a celebrity-horse worshipper. And I certainly wouldn’t “humanize” Cloud to say that he has abused his power. He’s a Pryor stallion, just like all the rest. And Damsel may never have another foal–there’s nothing wrong with that, either. This isn’t unhealthy–it’s just nature and sometimes that happens.

    • Linda H.—I totally agree. I based my above comment on the knowledge that the BLM has intervened in the Damsel situation in the past by attempting to relocate her. In reality, natural selection prevails and there is absolutely nothing wrong with that.

      • Dancer might have another foal next year. Cloud might not be Liberty’s father but another stallion like Red Raven or Prince might breed Dancer. Dancer’s probably having a hard time with the loss of her son. Her family is taking care of her and she’ll be ok. Cloud probably didnt win Dancer back from Casper. Dancer probably found her way back to her father and his band

    • Linda H, I did not refer to you, or anyone else who is as concerned about the other horses as they are about Cloud and family, as “celebrity horse worshippers”, but they do exist, and lots of them. But, I guess that’s OK, too. At least they help keep the pressure on to not slip back to the way wild horses used to be dealt with, and all the horses benefit in the long run—or at least this herd does.

      And, I have to agree with you that it was humanizing Cloud to say he abused his power as a stallion. Only the human species is equipped with the knowledge that such behavior is detrimental to the species and abusive to young, vulnerable people. I wonder why so many of US choose to ignore that—or DO we all know it? Perhaps that needs to be included in sex education in schools. But that’s a whole ‘nother subject.

      It will be interesting to learn if a DNA sample was obtained from Liberty and what difference it makes if there was. Perhaps I will be more objective if I don’t get to see the next one in person. I’ll try.

      • PS. There are differing opinions, from people who are “in the know”, on whether or not the efforts of the celebrity fanatics “do more good than harm”, for the horses. I would certainly hope that the people in a position to make decisions can overcome their knee-jerk reaction to some of the actions of those fanatics in the interest of doing whatever is BEST FOR THE HORSES.

        That said, I’m going to get busy putting some pics of the beautiful horses of the PMWHR on a Kodak Gallery site. Will put the web address up here when I can, to share with those interested, when I get done.

  15. I apologize for my delay in replying here lately. This has been a tricky situation.

    It is possible that Damsel is carrying genes that have a high probability of leading to problems with offspring. It is also possible that there has been inbreeding, and that this is what is leading to unhealthy foals. Damsel has been seen being bred by other stallions, but she has also been seeing being bred by Cloud. I never put much stock in saying that a certain foal was sired by a certain sire because that sire was once seen breeding that foal’s mother. Because of this, an actual DNA test would be needed to provide the reality of the situation. DNA tests have actually been done for Cloud, Damsel, Jet, and Image; and these are available to look at online (http://www.blm.gov/pgdata/etc/medialib/blm/mt/field_offices/billings/wild_horses.Par.71769.File.dat/GeneticAnalysis2010.pdf). In the PDF I have mentioned, you will find DNA results on page 10. These are listed by ID number. The ID numbers for Cloud, Damsel, Jet, and Image are, respectively, 1995-13, 2003-26, 2009-15, and 2008-15. At this time, it is not known how Liberty was related to Cloud.

    Relocating Damsel did prove to not work in the end. Though she was with Exhilaration when released, Cappuccino had her very soon after. He, Damsel, Guinevere, and Galadriel did spend a good amount of time in the Dryhead. However, I had a feeling that once they moved into Lower Sykes, she had a good chance of getting back with Cloud’s harem. This ended up happening. It makes sense, of course, given how often we’ve seen mares end up back with the stallions they had previously been with. It’s hard to tell if these two know that they are father and daughter. They aren’t the first to be in such a situation, and they will not be the last. I have seen other stallions show reproductive behavior toward their probable daughters and brothers reproducing with sisters; it’s just something that happens out there. I believe it’s a simple matter of probability; certain lines out there have many representatives. As such, the probability of having relatives end up reproducing together is high in regards to the overrepresented lines.

    That said, things aren’t dire for the herd due to this happening. One of the three most important scientific concepts that I learned concerns outliers, events that are rare but very noticeable. It’s easy to really focus on these dramatic situations given their abnormality. However, you always have to take a step back and look at the whole situation. There are many healthy foals on the Range this year, just as there are many healthy foals on the Range every year. In the future, it is probable that Damsel will be the mother of one or more of these healthy foals.

    As for solutions, I personally think that the best thing to do now is just let time sort this out. Damsel will most definitely not be with Cloud for the rest of her life. If the opportunity came to be able to successfully relocate her, that would be good; but she will again likely be relocated on her own in the next few years.

    • Matt—Thank you for addressing what really is a tricky situation and for providing information on accessing the existing DNA records on Cloud’s family. I hope to be able to visit the Pryor Range and meet you in the future. Again, thank you for your input.

    • As always, Matt, thanks for your totally objective point of view and useful information. I needed that.

    • Dancer(Damsel) doesnt have to be relocated. One of the stallions on the mountain top might win her but she might go back to her father. She just needs some time to get better because she’s probably very upset about the loss of her foal. Her family will take care of her and comfort her. Family means everything in the Pryor Mtns to the wild horses

  16. OK, so I let my reaction to that pitiful little foal who tried so hard to live, however it got here, get to me and I let myself dare to think another probable repeat could be avoided in the future. I guess the true reality is that we DO have to let Nature take it’s course and we CAN trust the people “in the know”, who deal with these horses on a regular basis, to make good decisions as to what actions can and should be taken to deal with their situations. It’s a thin line they have to walk, and it just scares me when I read some of the stuff that shows up in efforts to influence what happens out there on the PMWHR.

    I certainly DO NOT profess to be one of those “in the know”, but I do care about ALL the horses, and have a right to my opinion, just like everyone else. I first learned about the PMWM from this website, not from the Cloud movies, and have found that it is a great place to learn more, from Matt and the reading he recommends, and from others’ comments as well. I will probably never know all I want to know, but plan to visit the Range and follow their story until I can’t anymore.

    I’m glad to see that more and more people are becoming more aware of the other horses in this herd who exhibit the fascinating colors and markings characteristic of the very old bloodlines of the mustangs. This herd is truly a national treasure and should be treated that way by our government agencies who have an effect on their lives, and the story of how this Range was created for use by these horses is a great American story. That story truly makes me proud to call myself an American.

  17. HELLO Matt and Lori: My sis Harriet and I were making our annual trip to the Pryors and got Lovell on 13th (tues) and immediately went to the lower horses. A beautiful stallion came down the mountain and poiised just in front of our vechile. He also whisled to 5 other (4 dark and one lighter?) who stayed up there. He made is way down into the canyon area and then came back. Later my sis phoned her husband to let him know we were off the road. He had passed away, and our trip was over. Wasn’t it strange that our trip was to see the horses, and see them we did, and especially to have that one poise for us. He was a sorrel or reddish color, dark mane and tail, a star with a drip to a snip on his nose. He had 2 back longer stockings and a little white on the front. Could you let me know his name and the other group? Plan to visit you next year, miss you ant Tom, Glad to meet Lori, all my (our) best,, Hazel Matejec

    • Hello Hazel,
      I am so sorry for your sister’s loss. Wish things turned out different and you two could have had more time to see the horses and visit with me. At least, as you said, you did get to see some of the horses during your short visit.
      Do you have a photo of the horses you did see?
      I will have to research this one, and maybe Matthew can help me identify who you saw. Exactly where did you see ehese horses. On Mustang Flats? You say “4 dark and one lighter”..exactly what color dark?
      I hope your sister is doing ok, and I also hope you can make another trip out here next year! thank you both for all of your support and caring about the wild Horses and the Center!
      Lori
      I will try my best to identify those for you though.

  18. Maria, will have a link to my pictures on here soon. You’re going to love them.

  19. Hi Matt,

    Someone on Facebook saw my Flickr link of the horses and asked if I would post my link here on your blog.. Hope you don’t mind.

    http://www.flickr.com/photos/66585829@N08/

  20. Matt and Sandy, it was me who requested posting the link. Seems to me like there was some question about Cabaret and Forunatus, and they are in Sandy’s pics, so, hopefully, that’s good news. I have seen you express approval of people posting links before, so thought it would be a good thing all around. She has lots of really nice pictures and I want to thank her for sharing. Wish I could get to the Range as often.

    I’ll post the link to my photos as soon as I finish my descriptions. There are about 200, so it’s taking some time. Hope others enjoy viewing them as much as I enjoyed getting them. : )

    • Hi Linda! Thank you so much. Those are photos of Cabaret and band from last fall. I did talk to Matt about what I saw up there a few weeks ago. Hopefully he can confirm and post about it.

      • Oops. I thought they were from this fall, but now I see that the date is “date posted”, not necessarily “date taken”. Still great pics and I hope you did see Cabaret and Fortunatus this year, too.

        Have moved my pics to Flickr. Hope to get a link up by Sunday.

  21. Hi Matt.
    this is an idea i had earlyer this year, but i am britty sure at this point. I think Polaris is Pregnant.

  22. I was finally able to get about half the better pictures from my Sept. visit to PMWMR on flickr. Here’s the link, for anyone interested. Enjoy. http://www.flickr.com/photos/lajd0523451/

    More coming when they allow me to put them on.

    • HI Linda and Sandy too.
      I was not able to click on the link toFlckr. I don’t know what is wrong but I could not access the photos.
      Thanks for trying.
      Maybe others could view it, but I couldn’t.

      Some really nice folks got some good pictures of Seattle, Sacajawea and Kemmerer. Thought you would like to know that Seattle still has his little Harem.

      • Very glad to hear about Seattle and family! I tried to find them when out there, but couldn’t.

        I’ll see if I can figure out the problem with the flickr link.

        Thanks.

      • Lori, try again. I had one of my photos restricted, and have fixed that. Sorry. Hope it works now. If not, let me know and I’ll ask for help with it.

        I could only upload about half, for now. The space is limited.

    • Hi .
      very very nice photos!good job.
      will you be putting up photos of this summer?

      • I was only there in Sept., which the pictures on Flickr now are from. I’ll post the others from the same week that I was there, when Flickr allows.

        I will definitely post pictures if I get to go again in 2012, and may possibly put up some from my trips in 07 and 09. It will be a while, tho.

        Glad you enjoyed them.

    • Linda—Wonderful pictures, thanks!

  23. Flickr
    We’re sorry, Flickr doesn’t allow embedding within frames.

    If you’d like to view this content, please click here.

    So that is what it says when you click on my link: http://www.flickr.com/photos/66585829@N08/

    So just click on the “please click here” and it should take you to it. Let me know!

    • Sandy—I’ve had no problem viewing your photos. Thanks, they’re beautiful!

    • I haven’t had a problem either. I just wonder if Lori’s problem may be that she’s clicking on the link on the same computer that originates the blog that we’re posting the link on. Anyway, we’ll get it figured out.

      I REALLY love your pics. Thanks again for sharing!

  24. Thank you Sandy and Linda for posting your awesome photos! You know so many of the individuals’ names it is very impressive! Some of the land looks dry, doesn’t it. . . ?

    • Thanks Janet. It is that time of year where everything drys up, regards of how much rain we get. Many of the native plants and grasses just do that. As for knowing the names, I have had a good teacher. 🙂 But I have really been proud of myself to be able to go there and recognize the bands right away this year! 🙂
      Linda, I have enjoyed seeing your photos too! Looking forward to seeing more of them! Thanks.

    • I’m very glad to share my experiences with these horses, thru photos and commentary, with people who are also interested in them. I also hope that I am helpful in increasing the awareness of what a national treasure they are and the importance of protecting and maintaining them and the Range they live on. As many boundaries today have expanded and become global, the boundaries for wildlife seem to keep diminishing. It’s sad, to say the least.

      I have thoroughly enjoyed learning about the Range, and the horses, from the very knowledgeable staff of the Center and local people, and also people like Lynne Pomeranz and Hope Ryden in their books, and all the shared knowledge that many concerned individuals like Rev. Schweiger, Matt and Tom Dillon, and others have provided for us. And, without the efforts of all those people over the years, the story of Cloud, so beautifully told by Ginger Kathrens, might never have happened.

      This blog, and the very patient and helpful members of the Center staff and the printed materials they provide, have made it possible for me to learn the identity of many of the horses, and that enriches the experience immeasurably. Knowing some of their stories is an EXTRA bonus and I treasure every one.

      That said, I’ll wish everyone Happy Trails…

  25. I am trying to view these from my home computer which has nothing to do with the Website or blog, and still cannot open it.
    I am going in to the Center this morning…remember all that I am now part-time through the winter.
    I will try viewing the link from the Center..and let you know what happens.
    I do click on the “click here” and nothing happens.
    Oh well…I will try from the center.
    If you have not checked out the “news” section of our website then do it. I am getting good at adding and editing the website. Still have not figured out how to add the newsletter though.
    I will get on that this week, and maybe Matthew can help me with that.

  26. I did get to see the photos Sandy….Great Job!! I am so happy to see that “little Lenape” is growing up, and of course all of the little babies that were born this year!. I have not been up the Mountain for quite awhile…maybe this week!! One of my favorites is Lander, and he looks so good in your pictures. Awesome!!

    I don’t know why I could not view them from home…maybe it has something to do with having XP and not vista…don’t know, but happy that I could view them from the Center!!

    Thanks so much for adding the link on our Blog!!!

    • You are welcome Lori. If there are any shots on there that you would like, let me know and the Center can have them, (just as long as you give me credit)! Do you have an email?

  27. Great Photo’s Linda! Of course I am the lucky one since I did get to see some of your pictures while you were here.
    Limerick is a cutie and handsome. Remember that Kerry who was missing then showed up with Durango is the daughter of Ireland and Prince. She is beautiful and is now in the Lower DryHead part of the Range.
    thank you all for your photos and your Love of these Wild Horses!!!

  28. Thank you Sandy! I will of course go through them and see if the Center wants to have some of your lovely photos. Of Course we do give all of the artist’s credit for the photos, and the people love viewing the photos taken by different photographers, whether amateur or professional!
    My email at the Center is: info@pryormustangs.org
    Thanks again everyone!

  29. Hey, I just came across your blog and figured you’d be the best person to ask, we went on a 4-wheeler ride through the Pryor Mountain Wild Horse Range on August 7th, and saw the most beautiful stallion ever, and I’ve been searching through your blog to figure out his name!


    That is the best picture I got of him as he decided to stay behind those trees, and the little foal in the trees behind him stayed hidden as well, but it had a full blaze. Also saw a couple other bands and was wondering what their names were as well, the best picture I have of them is

    The foal didn’t stand up until after I was too far away to get any more good pictures. Your blog is very fascinating and I will definitely enjoy reading more!!

    Thanks,
    Sara

    • The Stallion you saw is Bolder. If the foal/colt was with his band it is Lobo. Although he does not have a full blaze. That would have been Lancaster (he is with Duke’s band) The others look like they might be from Prince’s band. Maybe Lori can confirm that. They are all beautiful, aren’t they?! 🙂

      • To me,I think that the second photo is of Isadora,Rosarita Lemhi and Polaris

      • Yes, Maria, I think you are right. I did not see the little one on the ground.

  30. Because of Raven”s story and the following of Cloud”s birth and life …is why he is so popular. The story of the Pryor horses and the Cloud series brought national and world wide attention to the pilght of the American Mustangs and how they(all need to be saved) and protected.
    Instead of berating the horse, how about realizing that The Vet from Texas A&M stated the proper size of this herd to be viable . The people in charge appeared not to have listened and cut the numbers well below the suggested numbers for the herd. They want to reduce the herd again to numbers that are too low..We have seen through many round-ups that horses are born with problems in even large herds. I had no idea that their was so much anger towards certain horses. All of the Pryor horses are beautiful and have a story of their own. Clouds story just brought attention to this herd and the plight of the herd. Many in this herd are loved and are famous from the films Shamon(?) was one of the the much loved horses in this herd before he died. I believe people speak of Cloud because he is the Mesanger for the wild horses. Lets hope because of this…we can save our wild mustangs for future generations to see an love. I am sorry if I over stepped. I love all the horses in this herd and appreciate all the pictures of each and every one we see, but because of the Cloud story is why I know about this herd and the true plight of our Wild Mustangs.

    • Speaking for myself only, of course, I think what you may be interpreting as “anger toward certain horses” is ACTUALLY “dislike
      of favoritism”.

      As someone so aptly put it in an earlier post, Cloud is indeed one of the Pryor stallions, “just like all the rest”. My point is that he and his family should not be given preferential treatment just because he was chosen for movies and has become an animal celebrity. And according to opinions I have read, lots of people seem to think that’s what should happen here. All the Pryor herd families must face the same unpleasant realities and there should be no favoritism shown or pressure applied for such.

      He IS a beautiful horse, (altho far from exhibiting the old bloodline appearance characteristics), and part of the legacy of the original herd, but NO MORE SO than the others just because he is in movies.

      I may not be liked for saying it, but it would be good for a lot of the people who only know about this herd thru the Cloud movies to look deeper into the history of the herd, the Range and the people who made it a reality. The Pryor Mountain Wild Mustang Center website that this blog is part of is a good place to start to get the “whole” and “true” story of THESE horses and what makes them unique.

      • Documentary films created specifically for educational purposes to be released only through PBS can hardly be characterized as “movies”. The Cloud Series has raised awareness for ALL members of THIS specific herd and for all wild mustangs throughout North America. The Pryor herd in its entirety has served as a beacon to focus on the plight of our mustangs everywhere. The strong, unique family bonds of these horses is under assault daily by people in authority who refuse to acknowledge or appreciate the social structure of wild equines, much less their COMMON genetic bond. Cloud is an innocent animal who knows nothing of his “celebrity” status, but his life has greatly enhanced the importance of every life of every horse on the Pryor Range. Because of Cloud, many people now work dedicatedly to preserve and protect the “uniqueness” of ALL the deserving herds in America from the Great Divide Basin to the Pryors to the Shackleford Banks. Some people may, in fact, show favoritism toward Cloud in their own minds—that’s their privilege. I prefer to see him as a harbinger of the urgent need to appreciate and preserve ALL wild horses in this nation and to acknowledge the continued place of these animals in our ecosystem. By the way, as I recall, Cloud was released back onto the Range by the BLM after his first round-up in order to provide both his unique color and diverse genetics (through his dam) to the other members of the Range.

      • I don’t know who likes whom more–Cloud towards me or vice versa. I know the first time I saw his picture he semed to grab my heart right out of my chest and as of right now he still has yet to return it. maybe that’s anthropromozing it but its how I explain it.

        Cloud’s made me aware of what BLM is doing against our wild horses–not just in the Pryors but across this nation.

        So he’s my favorite. Big deal. Had I had a better experience in 2010 with the Center–I would know more about the horses. Maybe not all of them but a few. Sadly this was not my experience. I drove 21/2 days to experience people that I hope to never see again in this life. (that person knows who they are)

  31. . . . far from exhibiting the old bloodline? Is the DNA not there?

  32. Don’t forget that Cloud is the only wild animal that has been followed and filmed since its birth in the wild.

    That is a huge benchmark in our understanding and you really are not seeing how important that series is — just because you and the “insiders” have known all this over the years doesn’t mean the films haven’t picked up on realities of herd interaction, the importance of family bands, and especially bringing them to a wider audience as each generation comes along.

    It was an idea whose time had come and none too soon and we are lucky to have this Nature series on Cloud. There was really nothing like it before for everyday people everywhere about wild horses.

    How else would many of us even known Pryor Wild even existed?

    • How else? Newspapers, books/libraries, the internet….Hope Ryden, Lynn Pomeranz, Frank Dobie, Carol Walker, the Pryor Mountain Wild Mustang Center, talking to people, etc., etc., etc. NEWSFLASH—TV is not the only source of information available to us, and is not necesarily a preferred source to some.

      You DO NOT UNDERSTAND what I’m saying and I doubt you ever will, but let me try to explain.

      I repeat—The Nature Series on Cloud IS great and has done much good in raising awareness of the beauty and value of these animals, but IS NOT the ONLY way people have come to know about these, or other, wild horses. When I found myself with the time to do so, I researched the subject of wild horses and decided to visit the Pryors because of the uniqueness of this herd and their genetic connection to very old bloodlines, and because I was drawn to the terrain and history of this, the first declared wild horse range in the US. I don’t have the money or time to go everywhere and try to rescue every wild horse that so deserves it, so I’ve had to restrict myself to one choice. I had not seen the Cloud Nature Series movies (I guess I was working or doing other things with my family when they were on TV), before I visited Lovell and the PMWMR. It was at the Pryor Mountain Wild Mustang Center that I first found the Cloud movies and I didn’t watch the first one until I got home from that first trip. I loved it, and have purchased each one since.

      I am not, and have never claimed to be an “insider” and I only know what I know because I found ALL of the horses to be interesting, as well as the whole history of the herd and Range. I’ve just read all the info I could obtain from the Center AND other sources, much of which was provided by many local people who ARE “insiders” and who knew the people who first stood up and defended the right of these horses to remain on their range instead of being eradicated so cattle could have the forage on that land. The WHOLE STORY really is VERY INTERESTING, and I encourage others to look into it, too.

      And where have I EVER said that Cloud is not a Pryor Mountain Mustang with the DNA to prove it? I have NEVER said that. I have only said that his creamy palomino coloring does not (key word) EXHIBIT the dun or grulla color, zebra stripes, wither stripes, two-tone mane/tail and ears, etc, that harken back to the very old blood line APPEARANCE of the very early horses. It does make for a flashy movie star type animal, and that’s OK, but I PERSONALLY, like to see the old stuff. I have that right of preference, do I not?

      I don’t understand why it is so threatening to some people to have someone express something other than total adoration of Cloud!
      Sorry. I’ve outgrown idol worship, but I must say, some people do question my love of this whole herd. I just figure they don’t know what they’re missing, and I will continue to be very interested in them.

      • APPRECIATION of Cloud is not about idol worship. Whether one learned about the Pryor Herd through the PBS series or from newspapers, books, etc., the important concept is that he (Cloud) transcends the Pryor Range! He created activism in people who never considered themselves activists. It is great that the Pryor horses have the history and local support that they do, but they now benefit and will continue to benefit from the efforts of those of us who are aware of and fighting for the protection of ALL wild equines in America. Cloud is not a “flashy movie star type animal” any more than Ginger Kathrens is a flashy movie star type Hollywood producer! Cloud is a quiet, peaceful animal who is part of the natural setting on Pryor Mountain. It is not worshipping him to point out that he has become a symbol.

      • Ok you know what? Stop saying things about removal Cloud or any of his daughters. It’s not Dancer’s fault that Liberty died and it’s not Cloud’s fault either. Cloud doesnt have to be gelded at all. Dancer, Jasmine, Breeze, or Agate dont have to be removed from their home at all. You’re thinking of messing with wild horses and I think it’s wrong

  33. And, Janet, even tho we’re not on the same page on this Cloud thing, I will continue to find your comments on here to be insightful and informative. I’ve learned valuable things from some of what you have contributed here, and I thank you.

    • Thank you, Linda D. “Each one teach one” — I learn from you and all as well.

  34. The wild ones need all the help (well intentioned, certainly!) they can get from as many people who can do so and each finds their way here by different paths.

    We are learning at an alarming rate (for me! a C student on good days) and it has been a real life-changing experience.

    You appear more methodical than I could ever hope to be in your road back to the wild ones you describe, and TV is something a lot of families do together especially PBS Nature and others. Thank goodness Nature brought us Cloud!

    THANK GOD tha we have the authors, the filmmakers and especially the preservers like Pryor Wild who have been keeping these wonderful animals in our lives and thoughts.

    • Janet, your point is well taken, and my kids (and grandkids), and I have enjoyed and been enlightened by watching many TV shows on channels such as PBS, Discovery and more recently, Animal Planet. We ALL loved Sesame Street. We just didn’t happen to see the Cloud movie. (Come to think of it, maybe I can convince the staff at Animal Planet to do a special on what makes the Pryor herd so unique.) The power of television and movies (and TV movies), most certainly is great. No argument there.

      Or maybe Ginger would even consider doing some sort of documentary on the history of the Range. Her talents and influence would certainly be invaluable in getting a better understanding of the whole interesting story to more people, if she were inclined to do so.

      I encountered many visitors to the Range on the days that I was there, and they were all surprised and pleased to hear about the beginnings of the Range and the work and research that had been done and documented about the horses by people like Rev. Schweiger, Dr. Gus Cothran of the Veterinary and Genetics Dept. of the University of Kentucky, and many, many others. Getting that story out, that I learned mostly from printed materials obtained at the Mustang Center, is now my goal, one way or another.

      It’s interesting that you mentioned my “road back to the wild ones”, because I HAVE loved the West and wild horses all my life. I read every horse book my school libraries ever had available and used to write my own stories for the fun of it. I watched every movie I was aware of, as well, and now that I’m semi retired and have more time of my own, I’m trying to get caught up. Interestingly, one of my favorites was “Silver Star”, (can’t remember the author), a story about a spirited wild stallion, set in the hills and mountains of Montana or Wyoming, who overcame many natural obstacles in his life, but in the end, chose to jump from a high cliff into a river to avoid capture by the men pursuing him. (Maybe it was the Bighorn River and the cliffs along Mustang Flats.) I always believed that he survived and lived to lead another band far away from his pursuers.

      Signing off from the comments section of this blog now…

      Via con dios, and Happy Trails to all

  35. OK people…enough is enough! I feel that I must intervene here and put a halt to any negative feelings and/or thoughts on this Blog site.
    Any and all of the negative feelings only take the focus away from what is really important here, and that is to preserve, protect and educate ourselves and others about these Pryor Mountain Wild Horses and all of the Wild Horses in the United States of America.
    Thank God for Ginger and the Cloud movies which brought world wide attention to these Pryor Mountain Wild Horses. Thank God for the people of Lovell Wy. who fought for this herd many years ago. Thank God for Matt Dillon, Tom Dillon and many others(there is not enough room to list everyone) who fought and still fight for this herd. The PMWMC does not get to make the decisions for the management of this herd, we can only give our comments and recommendations to the BLM. In the end it is the BLM who make the final decisions on this herd and all of the wild horse herds in the West.
    Each and Every one of the Pryor Mountain Wild Horses has their own beauty and uniqueness. We all must treasure the gift of these horses and for those of us who actually can go up on the range to see them in all of their wildness and beauty…we are truly blessed!!
    The negative does not help the horses one bit. We must all stand together for the sake of these very special and captivating wild horses.
    I am blessed because I live here in Lovell and can go see these horses anytime I want. I am also honored that I am a part of the PMWMC and am involved with these horses. For all of this I am truly beholden.

    • I agree with you. This whole entire agrument has been going on far too long. Everyone should just leave Cloud and his daughters especially Dancer, alone. Dancer is probably going through a hard time with the death of her foal and she just needs her family to help her heal

      • Jonathan, that issue was settled in my mind by Matt’s post way back on Sept. 28. I don’t recall seeing any comments on here concerning that issue, by anyone since, so try to relax about it.
        As Lori said, it is the BLM that makes the decisions on the management of the Range and the wild horse herd, not me, or you, or any other individual who expresses their opinion on here.

        I know you love Cloud and his family, and I hope his story goes on for a very long time. I’ll enjoy that, too, along with the stories of the many other families on the Range.

    • You are truly fortunate that your paths in life have led you to Lovell, the PMWHR and the PMWMC… and the Center and the horses are just as fortunate. As time goes on, I’m sure your name will be added to the long list of people who have been instrumental in maintaining the existence of these very lovable animals who are also a unique living national treasure. Kudos to you and all the others.

      My intention certainly was not to cause you any difficulty by my comments, or any negativity, but merely to share my point of view. However, I will no longer share my observations and opinions in this forum to be sure I don’t upset the Cloud fans by not seeing things exactly as some of them do. I will, however, maintain my advocacy and express my desire to see equal consideration and treatment for ALL the horses on the Range, thru different avenues. On this blog, just seeing new pictures and reading the news will be enough for me, and that is as it should be.

      And, when it comes to negativity, I certainly hope that you, the Center, and many others involved with the horses will be spared the numerous misinformed comments and accusations that were rampant on this blog at the time of the last “Gather”, when the time comes for another, if (or when) it does.

      I will be in touch about pictures, and perhaps some additional historical information for use in my project, by email or phone, in the near future. Hope you’ve had time to get out and observe the horses some, now that the tourist season should be winding down. (Wish I could be there, too, when the snow starts falling, like I was in 07.)

      I, and others I know, would really like to hear about if many of the horses are learning to use the new water sources and grazing the good forage areas near them, if you should hear anything about that. I had heard when I was out there that some of them seemed to be doing so, intermittently, but can’t remember which ones it was and would like to know. Any info will be appreciated, as I know it’s not usually easy to get.

      • Can we please stop agruing about the death of Liberty and blaming Cloud cause it’s starting to get very old?

  36. We have Jonathan! In the end it is “Mother Nature” who is in control…it is in the hands of a higher power.
    So let’s all focus on the positive and the beauty of these wild horses, and all other wild horse herds!!

  37. Is Dancer(Damsel) doing ok? Im very worried about her now and I hope she doing ok after Liberty died.

  38. Linda go to the Cloud Foundation web site. You can see the may things they do for wild horses and not just Cloud. Many peple do not even know that wild horses still live in the wild. The series introduced many to the wild horses and has brought attention to their plight. Today they have film of the Wy round-up and info on those herds. Ginger and Carol Walker are there. Also on that web site they have been introducing one at a time the Pryor horses( also on face book). Ginger also has worked with Dr. Gus. regarding nubers for viability of the herd. Numerous people have saved the 10 and over horses that are sold not adopted and now live in Montana. (From the Pryors like Conquistador, Shane, Mae West. This was done for the love of the Pryor horses. Your information about the herd would help many people know even more about this unique herd and wild horses. Please keep sharing info about the herd. Thank you

  39. O.K. I fell enough is enough! We all enjoy hearing about the Pryor Horses, but apparently a single piece of bad news set a lot of folks off! Every year there are a few deaths in this herd, ranging from foals to every other age. This is a part of Nature’s Plan. While it is sad, most of the horses do just fine. It is time to go on. Hopefully the Pryor Mountain Folks will continue to keep us informed of what’s going on with the horses. Both the good and the bad are all part of reality. My fear is that if we can’t handle the “news” they will quit informing us of it! I hope we have all learned to”deal” with situations in the future!

  40. Hi Matt
    I live in australia and haven fallen in love the pryor mountain mustangs, I am very interested in there family trees would you have any info you could send me on there family trees.
    Thanks

  41. This is an old thread, so I am not sure if anyone still checks on it. I am thinking of going to see the horses this weekend or ont he way to Yellowstone or South Fork over Thanksgiving. Is the Burnt Timber road still driveable? Are the horses coming down pretty low, or still up a ways? We don’t have snow below the face of the Bighorns on this side, so I am hoping the range is fairly snow-free and worth a trip.

    • From what I know,horses started to go down on Sykes and Burnt Timber ridges.I don’t think they are very low.I hope you see the newest foal-Polaris’colt.

  42. It broke my heart to see little Liberty and to know what the probable outcome would be. I love ALL wild horses and non_ wild horses alike and would do anything to help their cause. Thanks to all who share your photos with us, who are unable to see these magnificent beings in person. Hugs… Sandy


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