August 19, 2012 – Cecelia and Gather Updates

On Friday afternoon, I hiked out to find Sitting Bull and Cecelia. Finally, Cecelia had a foal at her side.

Sitting Bull

Cecelia and her foal

The foal is a colt. He will be dun or grullo and looks like he may have a snip.

Cecelia’s colt

On Saturday morning, I visited the horses at Britton Springs. Prep work (gelding the males, vaccines, freeze brands, etc) was done on Tuesday. They are a little different looking with their freezebrands and neck tags, but they are all looking great.

Kiowa and Jenny

Yearling Pen

Young stallions

Mare pens

Just a reminder – Please visit the BLM’s Pryor gather website for daily updates. Efforts to remove more of the Dryhead horses will likely be occurring this week. There is also a video on the website now showing some of the mountaintop bait trap operations.

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Published in: on August 19, 2012 at 5:10 pm  Comments (42)  

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  1. Thank you Matt! He is so amazing! Have you picked out a name?

  2. Reblogged this on Wild in the Pryors and commented:
    Photos from Matt of Cecelia and her colt! 🙂

  3. Thanks so much, Matt 🙂 He already has such prominent stripes!

  4. Do you know why the BLM has decided to geld the males? They haven’t done it in the past. And Cecelia’s colt is gorgeous especially with all the primitive markings! He’s definitely one that I hope will stay on the range and pass on his genes!

  5. BLM still thinks these are cattle. Cash crop. Sort by age, sex. Castrate. Gather. Gather. Gather.
    Sorry I am not too friendly but this is nauseating.

    • At least they’re not owned/controlled by ranchers and about to be taken to slaughter. I think you have missed most of the information that’s been circulating about the care and concern that has been shown by most of the BLM handlers during this gather. Just dropped in to get in a few jabs before it’s over, huh? You should check out a few of the websites you’re not in the habit of visiting.
      Like http://www.wildinthepryors.com. Never have been impressed by the results that negative thinkers achieve. I’m thinking things could be way worse—but then I’m a cup is half full, not half empty kind of person.

      • Thanks Linda! Here is an idea on why I think they gelded them, and I think it is a good thing. Probably 90% of all people are not experienced enough to handle stallions. Well, some of you may say, they seem fine and friendly on the mountain… True, but there they get to be stallions. Take them out of that situation and put them in a pen and no mares…different story. I do think that by gelding them it makes them more adoptable. What better horse for a good trail ride up in the mountains? A gelding of course.. Just my opinion, but I am okay with it. If you want to breed Pryor horses, adopt a mare, there are others that own Pryor stallions (with the experience) that you can breed your mare too.

  6. Sitting Bull certainly has the look of a proud and watchful daddy in your pic—and Cecelia looks a lot more comfortable. The foal is beautiful!!! Lots of nice markings. Thanks for the update:) And the horses do seem to look really good, altho I’d like to have seen a close up of how Jovianna is doing 🙂 Don’t want much, do I? Wish I could be out there to see for myself. I’m wondering about the gelding issue, too. What if a prospective adopter would like to have a stallion? Seems like a lot of trouble and expense to go to without knowing what adopters would prefer.

  7. I’m sure there’s a logical reason for the gelding—I’d just like to know what it is.

  8. I believe that Sandy is correct in what she said about a gelding making a more adaptable/adoptable horse for a person.
    Love your comments..both Linda & Sandy!!
    What a beauriful foal that Cecelia has Matt!!!! Thanks for the photos, and the updates!

  9. I do not know why they geld, but I could take a guess-
    Knowing quite a few people that have horses, I have heard the supply of horses is plentiful. what isn’t is land and hay etc to take care of them. There are many people like me that want a horse, but can’t afford to keep it. So I have heard there are more horses ( captured or domestic) than there is buyers. If I could get one of the wild mustangs, I would want to breed it like you suggested, Linda. Yet with so many horses already out there, I think it is similar to cats and dogs. I do not know of one pound that has dogs and cats that aren’t fixed, but there could be. For how many years did Bob Barker tell everyone to “spay or neuter our pet”.
    I know horses are not the exact same as dogs and cats, but there are plenty out there to adopt without breeding more. I realize that to some people those others are “just domestic horses”, but a horse is a horse, of course, of course.
    I do think that there is something to be said for keeping the potential of pulling from the genetics of the removed horses should something happen to the horses on the range, though. To me, it looked very dry up there yesterday. Some of the horses look great and others looked ok, but thin for what should be a better feeding time. No one knows what the weather or winter may bring, but the possibility always exists for a bad winterkill. Having more horses on the range would not help, it would just contribute to less for every one there. Having separate pools of the Pryor mustangs to go to, such as the Freedom Fund horses or some future groups, does make sense from that stand-point.

    I wish people would slow down and realize that a lot of these issues are very big and complex, and ask like you did. I may be wrong on all accounts as to why they geld and why not to, but there are always pros and cons on each side. Managing a herd that has a finite space is going to mean that tough decisions have to be made at some point. Maybe at 120 horses, maybe at 200, maybe 300, but at some point a means to control population size will need to be implemented. The predators aren’t there (there is currently a study of mountain lions being attempted, and I heard they can’t even get the 5 they need and 1 they had moved so far out of the area they had to remove the collar). Natures other answer is when you get over carrying capacity (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Carrying_capacity), it crashes the population.
    It was sad to not see some of the horses I am used to with their bands, but seeing a population crash due to overpopulation at some point would be even worse.

    • I agree that there are pros and cons to be looked at from both sides. But my thoughts also did immedietly go to preserving and expanding genetics.

  10. I’m glad this discussion came up — I had problems with the gelding, too, even though I know it calms them down. But I guess it was more emotional; I did not want it to happen to “our” horses… but it makes sense. We want them to have good homes with good people and some are not ready to deal with the emotions of a deprived stallion 🙂 I also have to remember it doesn’t mean they won’t still appreciate the ladies — we have friends who board horses, they board the ones who have literally been “put out to pasture”, horses who are old and owners feel they can’t or don’t have the time to take care of an older horse. But our friends said they will only take geldings. When I asked why, they said because even though they are older (the oldest is 26!) and don’t have the capability, as soon as a mare arrives, they all think they are young stallions again! I guess life is still good 🙂

  11. And here is another topic for discussion for those of you who visit the mountaintop often — why is it some of the horses there seem thin and so many in the Dryhead seem… fat. It’s something that points out that even though it looks so luscious up there, obviously it’s not all edible. While something down in that dry, rocky area IS luscious and delicious!

  12. There are some specific reasons for gelding the males this year as opposed to leaving them intact in 2009. It definitely is the case that there are some Dryhead horses looking better than their mountain counterparts. Most of the Dryhead horses regularly drift in to the Lower Sykes area. Many of the horses spend much of their time there, in fact. Some of the best range conditions exist in this area. That, combined with the guzzlers there, allow for these horses to do well.

    • Thanks Matt. When you have time — I know, ha-ha 🙂 — it would be nice to hear your observations on how it’s going with the horses on top since the removals. I would imagine some of the stallions may be a little on the feisty side without their mares… Are things getting back to normal?

      • Hey Joy, I’ll bet they’re no more feisty than Hidatsa was when he had Merlin’s family for 24 hours and then lost them to Corona! 🙂 I swear he was on testosterone overload that whole 10 days I was out there. Every time I was out there he was pacing back and forth the length of the Range, picking fights with every other male he encountered. And Sante Fe is the only one who doesn’t have anyone left, isn’t he? He worked so hard to keep Judith, and now she’s gone…

      • Hi Linda, Lori and I saw Santa Fe one evening when we were there. I was also thinking how sad it was that he lost Judith. But he was hanging with some other boys, Two Boots, Jasper and Garay and seemed to be doing just fine. Judith had him on the move a lot, maybe he is enjoying a little down time. It will be interesting to see who he might end up with next.

    • Can you share the “specific reasons”, for gelding the males, or are they not for publication? Sorry, but I want to learn about these things if I can. If not, I can deal with it.

      It has occurred to me that it is a definite savings advantage for the less experienced adopters to have had their horse gelded free of charge, and perhaps they would be easier to handle in transport, but I don’t think the change happens that quickly. At least it hasn’t in the ones I’ve been around. It also appears that how much of a change there is depends on how old the male is when it is gelded. Some stallions gelded when they’re older never do know things have changed. I just wondered if there might be some adopters who are experienced handlers and would prefer a stallion for their own breeding purposes, since there are some people who do still have breeding operations, and not everyone wants to, or can, travel extensively to achieve that goal. I also know that not all stallions are “unhandleable”, and they can be managed. My neighbor owned such a stallion, and I worked with him on a regular basis as a teen.

      I’m also aware that there are people like the Hartman’s who have Pryor bloods that can probably be bought, or bred to, as well as there being other mustangs in various locations. So, the bottom line is that the BLM has concluded that gelding is the thing to do, and there are some beautiful stallions whose “career” ends now. It’s a little sad, but better for sure than an overpopulation on the Range.

      I’m glad to read that some of the horses are taking advantage of the guzzlers and the ones who are, are doing well. If you get a chance, could you share with us your conclusions on whether the mountain horses are seeking alternative sources of water and forage, or just depending mostly on Krueger’s Pond and the nearby grazing, which must be starting to be pretty degraded. Seems like some of them were found to be starting to utilize some of the locations earlier this year. It’s always good to hear what you have to say Matt, but I know you don’t have much time to answer. Thanks, as always, for what you do share with us.

      • Hi,

        Re geldings. After having been around horses all my life, geldings are superior in my humble opinion.

        If you had a child and wanted to ride your horses to see the local rodeo, would you want to put your child on a stallion, no matter how well trained, and ride into the crowd of contestants and rodeo watchers both. I do not think so. The horse is still an animal, with animal instincts that it has to draw from to survive with us no matter where we take the horse, to survive as a wild horse, etc.

        Geldings in general have more of what I call ‘puppy dog’ behavior. They need a leader, more like a mare does. Have much more of a tendency to follow and be a ‘buddy’ horse. But, they still have to be trained. In the beginning, they need more of a firm hand and a whole lot of reward pats and hugs. Extra brushing with a nice soft brush. We were never allowed to give the horse any food reward for good behavior.

        Good behavior should always be rewarded with kind soft voice and pats, even if on the horse riding it.

        Mares will always fit in a harem or as an individual horse. The same is true of stallions, they group together, sort of, with other stallions or they strive to be the leader.

        Geldings are in ‘no mans land’. They fit no place as a wild horse. But they fit as a pet with a human. Always asking us silently, ok, what’s next. They will still observe other horses, just like we watch people cause we are one.

        If you own more than one, they will form friendships. But you will always be the ‘leader’. And when you approach the fence where they are, they may all want to be first to get closest to you. Then you may have to shout ‘HEY,’ really loud to get their attention so they learn that one is not more special then the other.

        Hope that this helps you a bit.

  13. Thanks for the update Matt
    Has anyone seen Inniq this year ? And how is Jicarilla doing ?

    • Inniq is doing well. When I have seen him this year, he’s been with Chief Joseph in the Lower Sykes area. It’s still any day for Jicarilla now, but she is doing well.

  14. So glad Cecelia had her healthy foal–and such a pretty one too. The gathered horses appear relaxed and well cared for. Here is my hope that they all find wonderful, caring, loving homes.

  15. Oh my…look at all those stipes! That foal will turn out to be a beautiful stallion. Beautiful! And the captured horses look good. Good luck to them in finding a loving home on Sept. the 8th. Thanks for the update Matt!

  16. Have there been any new foals born recently? I know there is still a few that haven’t foaled yet. SO glad the gather has ended and I’m hoping they’ll all get good homes. I wish one of them was coming home with me though.

  17. The latest foal is indeed beautiful. I see how gelding the stallions could be more opportune to their being adopted. I”m not happy about it, but I accept it. Please tell me that our latest foal will be able to run free and be able to procreate. He is one of the greatest example of what most of us think of the Spanish Mustang that we have seen lately

  18. I share your feelings teresa! He sure is a beauty!!!
    I wanted to let everyone know that Exhilaration is now at the Center.
    He is so beautiful and full of wild spirit! I thank Nancy for letting him live there. I do believe he will be wonderful with our two newly adopted Pryors after the 8th of September. Should be interesting!
    If you check “recent news” and news on our site I have posted a photo of him at the Center.
    We have met, and he snifffed my hand, I touched his nose, but so far that is it.
    We all have a big challenge ahead of us, but it will be fine. Hopefully by next spring they all will be gentled and they will love people!
    I for one know that the visitors will Love them!!!

    • I can’t wait to see them! So this is permanent for Exhilaration? He still looks great. This will be so good for him — a little herd of his own, finally 🙂

      • I sure hope so Joy! It is up to Nancy, but I think he will be so happy here at the Center and like you said a little herd of his own!!!
        We will see, but I do believe he will a permanent fixture here!!

    • It is good to see Exhilaration! He looks really good and seems to love the new shelter! 🙂 It is going to be so exciting to see the three Pryor Horses there together soon!

  19. That is very exciting Lori! I’m sure everyone will fit in beautifully there at the Center. Can’t wait to meet them. 🙂

  20. I expressed my exhileration about the new home of Exhileration on the PMWMC site, but will reiterate it here. I am thrilled with this turn of events, and am thinking that he is going to love the company of the horses, and all the admiring two-legged visitors!!! Talk about a cloud with a sliver lining… I sure hope I get to see the “chosen ones” close up” in 2013, but in the meantime, I’ll look forward to everyone’s postings. My thanks to Nancy and all the people of the PMWMC and their supporters for all this great news. 🙂

  21. Thank you Linda and Lola!! We are excited too!
    I am sure you will all see photos of our horses on our blog and of course the news!!! Hopefully we will be putting our newsletter together in September and mailing them out.
    Matt is not doing a calendar this year as we have about 150 of this years left. Don’t know why, but they just did not sell. Sorry folks!

    This Saturday morning we are going to finish our corral and it will be ready by the 8th. We have to make the corral 6 ft high and that means about 17 post holes to put the posts into, then bolt the corral panels to that, raising it up. Lots of work, and thanks to my wonderful husband, this would not be possible without him!!! Diane, Dillon (Brianna’s brother) John, Max & Aubry…they have made this possible! Thanks all for your help and support!!!!

    • Lori, that IS a lot of work and kudos to everyone for volunteering. Please share our appreciation. The next week-plus is going to be filled with so much anticipation (insert Carole King lyrics here 🙂 ) Wish I could be part of it, but at least I will be there in spirit!!

  22. How great for Exhileration to be living at the center. I cant wait for all three horses to be living together. I’m sure they’ll be very happy there with their own little herd. And I just think little Liesl is going to excel at this new phase of her life!

  23. Yes Joy, I know you will be here in spirit! and I will certainly pass along your appreciation!! I do love that song by Carole Kind “Anticipation”. Those were the good old days!!
    Thank you Sarah and Joy..we are so excited and I can’t wait until this is all over and we have our little herd at the Center. As it is now, the visitors coming through love the horses at the Center, and now I show them Exhilaration and they cand definately see the difference between the quarter horses and the Pryor Mustang. It is a big part of the Center since we had him there. They take pictures and seem to think our Adoption is a fantastic part of the Center. We have recieved some x-tra donations just for this adoption in the last couple of weeks!
    Thank you to everyone!!!

    Sandy and her daughter made it to the top yesterday. She let me know that they made it safely! I wish I was there too!
    I will see her tomorrow at Britton Springs!

    I will add a picture after Saturday so that everyone can see the totally finished corral & shelter. Oh…BTW…the hole in our shelter is patched, now we have to paint it.
    Hope I don’t go in this morning to find another hole kicked in! HA HA

  24. Not sure what you were planning on naming Dove’s filly but I was trying to think of bird related names today. Her grandfather is Raven, her grandmother is Pheonix, her mother is Dove, and her father is also widely know as Red Raven as well as Coronado so I thought a bird related name would fit. Anyways I thought of the name Mockingjay. It’s a bird in the book/movie The Hunger Games. The book is set in the future where this breed or bird has developed and the bird ends up being an important symbol through the series. Since the movie was so big this year and it’s an “M” year for names I thought it might be fitting. Just thought I’d throw it out there 🙂

  25. Is a Mockingjay a cross between a Mockingbird and a Bluejay?

    • It’s a cross between a Mockingbird and a lab created bird called a Jabberjay. The Mockingjay’s are able to mimic melodies they hear and sing very beautifully in the book. They’re very pretty birds too 🙂

  26. Congratulations on the adoption of Liesl and Kaibab! The weeks ahead will be busy, but enjoyable, getting them used to their new home. Hope all goes well 🙂

  27. Thank you Joy!
    I believe Matt will be posting something sometime today on the adoption and our two new additions at the Center!
    I put a photo on the news section so until Matt posts something you can see Liesl and Kaibab at their new home!!!!
    They are so beautiful!!!

    • Enjoyed the photo… it’s great to see them relaxed — Did Exhilaration have a reaction to new horses in his area? I assume he is separate from them for now.


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