Winter Update: Unseen Bands

Another Arctic blast is currently hitting the Pryor Mountains . This winter has definitely been one of snow, wind, and cold. The Pryor horses have endured winter for hundreds of years. However, when a year like this hits, we can only trust in their history and their perseverance for them to endure. Several organizations have been out observing the horses this winter. This post will use the information gathered and reported by The Mustang Center, The Cloud Foundation, and Wild in the Pryors. A special thanks to Ginger and Sandy for providing this information on The Cloud Foundation newsletter and the Wild in the Pryors blog.  The Mustang Center has used their information, along with our own observations, to do an informal survey to determine the horses seen during these winter months. This post will report the bands of horses not seen. Typically we don’t like to make speculations about the horses, but this post does make some predictions on where the horses might be based on past winter behavior.

Duke: Duke is a strong, bay stallion with a large band. During other winters he has been spotted in Area Q (aka Hell n Gone) and/or on Jim’s Farm. These are extremely difficult areas to access in the winter (or any time of the year for that matter). Chances are this is where Duke and his band are spending this winter.

Duke's band at Kruger's Pond.

Duke’s Band (l-r): Madonna, Naolin, Graciana, Aurora, Meriweather, Noble, Duke, Helenium

Gringo: Gringo has taken after his sire (likely sire), Duke, in color and strength. Gringo has assembled a band of mares including Jacinta, Beulah, Galadriel, and Ketchikan.  Stallion, Tecumsah, kept close to Gringo’s band all through the summer.Since he grew up in Duke’s band, it may be possible that Gringo is in Area Q as well.

Gringo's Band

Gringo’s Band (l-r): Tecumseh (satellite bachelor), Jacinta, Beulah, Galadriel, Gringo, and Ketchikan

Garay: Garay has been with the mare, Quelle Colour, and her 2010 filly, Kohl. Garay is one of the Forest Service stallions that managed to move into the horse range before the rest of the Forest Service horses were removed. Quelle Colour is a seasoned mare and definitely has years of winter experience behind her. As a bachelor, we had spotted Gary in Area Q during the winter months.

Garay's Band (l-r): Garay, Kohl, and Quelle Colour

Garay’s Band (l-r): Garay, Kohl, and Quelle Colour

Horizon: Young band stallion, Horizon was last seen with Juniper, the buckskin filly, and older mare, Tonapah. Chances are Horizon is on Sykes Ridge.

Horizon's Band (l-r): Tonapah, Juniper, and Horizon

Horizon’s Band (l-r): Tonapah, Juniper, and Horizon

Fiesta and Horizon: Fiesta spent much of the summer close by Horizon and his band.

Fiesta and Horizon: Fiesta spent much of the summer close by Horizon and his band.

Custer: This one I’m not 100% sure on. It seems that The Cloud Foundation saw him in early winter (maybe around November). We have not spotted him yet. Last we knew, Custer had the veteran mare, Winnemucca and the young mare, Fiasco, with her 2013 colt, Nodin. Winnemucca, born in 1988, will  be 26 this year. In past winters, Custer has been spotted out on the big island in Big Coulee, Burnt Timber, or Sykes.



As you can see, the majority of the bands have been spotted this winter. There has been some interchange, which is not highly uncommon in the winter months. A number of bachelors have been seen, but have not been included in this survey. We will continue to monitor the range and will keep you posted about the herd dynamics. If you have spotted any of these bands during the winter months, please contact the Mustang Center through email or Facebook.

Published in: on February 28, 2014 at 10:24 am  Comments (11)  

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11 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. Reblogged this on Wild in the Pryors and commented:
    A report one what bands have been seen and those that have not been reported being seen. These horses are amazing in their survival. While I was there last week, I looked towards Jims Farm (with binoculars) several times over the course of my 4 days on the mountain. I did not see any horses, but that does not mean they were not there. There are so many areas where they could be and most likely just weren’t in clear view when we looked for them. Thank you to the Pryor Mountain Mustang Center for giving this report.

    • Thank you, Sandy! Your blog posts are invaluable as we continue to monitor the herd. Two questions for you…Was Tonapah with Horizon the last time you saw them? And have you seen Lariat since July?

      • The last time I saw Tonapah was in September, and yes she was still with Horizon. Lariat was back with Dukes band (after having been with Garary on and off) in September, which was also the last time I saw Duke’s band.

      • Thanks for the info!!

  2. Thoroughly enjoyed this post! Thanks.

    • Thanks Joy! I know you you like to keep a good “eye” on the horses too!

  3. There are so many places for them to be at any given time, whether there is someone there to spot them or not, on that very vast Range. I hope they are ALL safe, finding something to eat, and able to keep warm. They are amazing in their ability to survive. THANKS for the report.

    • You are 100% right Linda! The Range is vast and sometimes it is like looking for a needle in the haystack! The horses can simply disappear!

  4. Thank you for this survey and for the great collaboration between the Center, Wild in the Pryors and TCF!

  5. I just found this blog… absolutely love your photos. Have always wanted to see mustangs and now know for certain I must visit (drove through Montana last summer and am kicking myself for not stopping in). Thank you for this blog, such an inspiration!

    • I’m so glad you found our blog. My son, Matthew, maintained it for a long time while he was the director at the Mustang Center. As he got busy with a new job, I have picked it up. We try hard to present posts that are informative as well as educational. Please come back and see these horses for yourself. Until that time, check back here often as we share our visits to the range.

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