December 4, 2011 – Sykes Ridge

Sorry for my delay writing here. Since I last wrote, the Billings Field Office released their Pryor Mountain Wild Horse Range Non-Helicopter Gather Scoping Report November 2011, which can be read by clicking here.  This document summarizes comments received during the scoping period for the proposed gather for the Pryor Mountain Wild Horses along with the BLM’s responses to these comments.

I’ve been able to go onto the wild horse range a number of times since I last posted. In the past month or so, we have had a cycle of relatively warm days followed by colder and snowy weather (it snowed here again last night). Last weekend was pretty nice, and I spent a day on Sykes Ridge. I drove up as far as possible and then started hiking once the road was too snowy to drive any further. On one of the ridges I hiked onto, I found Morning Star’s harem.

Morning Star





Gaelic Princess

Kelly (Gaelic Princess' yearling)


Lenape (Hataalii's 2011 filly)

As I continued walking, I looked down into a small canyon and saw Chino’s harem.

Chino, Topper Too, and Topper

Chino and his mares are pretty shy, and they had moved down the canyon a bit by the time I had gotten down into it. When I came to the other side of it, I found Mescalero’s harem.


Mescalero’s mare Polaris had a new colt at the end of October. He is dun and looks like he will have two hind pasterns. We have decided that a nice, strong name for him is Lincoln.



Though Lincoln was born later in the season, I think he has a very good chance at surviving the winter. Mescalero is a harem stallion that I think is very smart about finding good areas to spend time in during the winter. The other mares in the harem should also be helpful in ensuring Lincoln is taken care of. Rosarita, her daughter Isadora, and Isadora’s daughter Lemhi are doing well. I think that Isadora and Lemhi look better than I thought they would as we moved into the cold season.




Further up Sykes Ridge, I could see more horses; but I didn’t have time to walk further in. One harem was Bolder’s, but I only had a short glimpse of the other and couldn’t identify them. Heading back down, I found Fools Crow and Belle Starr.

Fools Crow

Belle Starr

Further down from them was Sitting Bull and his harem.

Sitting Bull


Jumping Badger


I could see Hickok, Hightail, Seneca, and Jesse James to the northwest of Sitting Bull’s harem; but I wasn’t able to get to them before the sun started going down. I would guess that there were some other Dryhead horses around in this lower Sykes area too as they haven’t been sighted too often in Bighorn Canyon lately. The weather forecast shows that we should have cold but sunny weather next week, so I may be able to get up on the Range again next weekend. I’ll try to post again soon with more updates as we continue to move into the winter.

Published in: on December 4, 2011 at 4:11 pm  Comments (17)  

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17 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. Is the BLM seriously going to geld all the yearling colts?

    • No, the public comment was to geld yearling, the BLM response was no, they will not consider it.

  2. Thanks, Matt, for the continued updates. They are much appreciated.

  3. Thanks for the update,
    I love Morning Star’s winter coat,the colour is stunning.Isn’t interesting how with the winter coats,horses’facial marking look bigger that in the summer.I thought Lemhi was solid but now I see she has small snip on her right nostrill.Maybe it’s a a little bit early,but why not to have our eye on the mares that were not given PZP this year(the one born between 2002 and 2006)I know that some of them will not foal,but maybe some of the mares that were given PZP will foal.Who knows ?

  4. Hi Matt,
    zHope all is well with you! Do you know what happened to the foal with the short lower jaw – can’t recall his name. Is he wtill with us? I believe Ginger mentioned in one of her visit write ups.

  5. Thanks for the update! I love hearing how all the horses are doing. I hope the winter is good to them. I look forward to your next update. Merry Christmas!

  6. The photos are absolutely delightful, and the horses look like they’re ready for winder. Thanks for sharing, I have been missing your updates!

  7. Thanks for the great photos. What is meant by ‘two hind pasterns’ of all things? Also I think Polaris looks awfully thin and so does Isadora.

    Do you expect any more deaths this winter at the new fence as last year the remains were found of horses trying to get to their ancestral grounds (they were barred by the brand new fence) and were caught by a storm and apparently starved or froze to death.

    Happy Holidays.

    • two hind pasterns means that he has white on his back legs

    • Polaris at least looks thin because she has a fairly new young colt. She doesn’t look too bad going into winter considering that he is only a couple months old at the most…but it would be nice if they would foal earlier in the summer.

      • Polaris doesnt look that thin. Her colt probably wasnt born in the spring or summer because she was bred last year in October and then this year her foal was born. Im sure she’ll fine enough food for her this winter and find nutrients for her foal.

  8. Did you see if Velvet(Scarlett) had gone back to Cloud or if Flint(Blue Moon) had won back Feldspar and Agate(Krystal)?

  9. Thanks for the update and pictures. So, Hickok still has his little harem at this point? Hope they stay grouped together for the winter.

  10. Hi Matt,

    Could you tell me what the coloring is for Adelina and Kayenta? I think both are beautiful.

    • Adelina is dun roan,and Kayenta is chestnut roan

      • Do you know who Adelina’s father is? I still wonder what color is Firestorm and Red Raven and Blue Sioux’s daughter Sand is. Did something happen to Sand when she was still with the Freedom Fund Horses?

  11. Is the turned out sorrel mare still on the range?

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