Maelstrom and Niobrara

The stories of the Pryor horses are often of a bittersweet nature. Such is the story of Maelstrom and Niobrara. Upon the break-up of Jackson’s band earlier in May, these two young horses have had their lives changed. Both are the offspring of mare, Firestorm. Maelstrom, a colt, was born in 2012. Niobrara, a filly, was born a year later in 2013. Both are beautiful bay roans. In addition, to the change with Jackson’s band, their lives were altered with the birth of their new brother, Okomi. The “bitter” part of this story is the two young roans were separated both from Jackson’s band and their mother.

The “sweet” part of the story begins as the two young horses are accepted into Hernando’s band. During the winter, Hernando, had successfully challenged veteran stallion, Teton (Diamond), to become the leader of the band consisting of two mares, Phoenix and War Bonnet. This was quite a feat for the young stallion, Hernando. Phoenix and War Bonnet are both strong, wise mares.

Shortly after the changes with Jackson’s band, Maelstrom and Niobrara became “adopted” by Hernando and his mares. It was a bit of a surprise that Hernando would be so accepting of the young colt, Maelstrom.

Stallion, Hernando, with Niobrara and Maelstrom

May 31, 2014: Stallion, Hernando, with Niobrara and Maelstrom

There is something pretty special for these two horses to come under the care and protection of War Bonnet and Phoenix who are truly among the finest of the Pryor mares. War Bonnet seems particularly “motherly” to the two.

May 31: War Bonnet, Niobrara, and Maelstrom

May 31: War Bonnet, Niobrara, and Maelstrom

On June 3, the weather on the mountain was ominous. Dark clouds had built up in the west and were moving quickly over the upper meadows. Hernando and his band had been grazing west of Pen’s Cabin as the storm approached. They wasted no time in heading east towards the forested area east of the cabin. The two young roans were clearly a part of the band.

Maelstrom with the mares

Maelstrom with the mares

Niobrara was filled with exuberance as the band trotted to the east. On several occasions she took flight with all four feet off the ground!



Hernando paused to check out the horses on the hillside below. For now, Maelstrom and Niobrara have found a new family to help them grow up in their Pryor home.



Published in: on June 14, 2014 at 8:17 am  Comments (13)  

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13 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. So much change and many new stories unfolding on the mountain. Great photos!

  2. This gave me goose bumps as well as a few tears. In reading about these Pryor Mountain horses my appreciation for the intelligence and sensitivity of all horses has been enhanced. What amazing animals they are! Lovely photos and essay. Thank you!


  3. what a wonderful out come! i have a soft spot for these 2 and I’m glad that they are with there great grandmother Phoenix! 🙂 love the photos!

  4. Thank you for another lovely story from the Pryors! Even though I don’t always comment, I read every post you make several times:) I am so grateful that you make us a part of their lives! It’s so sad that they got separated from their mom, but they ended up with two amazing mares! I’ve had a crush on Hernando for some time now, and I saw what Ginger wrote about him and how gentle he is as a band stallion. They ended up in a good herd for sure!

  5. It’s so cool that these two are together, which may have softened the blow of separation from their first family. And great that they have the protection of a stallion and wise, matronly mares. I, too, love to hear the stories of the horses as they unfold. Thank you. 🙂

  6. Love these two guys and so glad that Hernando, War Bonnet and Phoenix are being so kind to them 🙂 thanks for the update on them-have all the members of Jackson’s band been accounted for?
    Are Firestorm and Okomi still with Doc?

  7. Thank you very much for posting this and previous photo illustrated updates! There have been so many changes this year and I am looking forward to my visit to the Range this summer.

  8. Thanks for the post! I found it interesting too that Hernando has been so accepting of Maelstrom. It’s nice that Maelstrom gets to spend some more time in a band before he becomes as young bachelor. So far this year Doc has sent 3 two year old colts into the bachelor world. His stepson Mandan/Malpais and then Mica and Moorcroft when he broke up Cloud’s and then Jackson’s bands. So I guess Maelstrom has lucked out. I had wondered if Firestorm returning to Doc’s band (after Hernando briefly had her and Okomi) would effect Hernando’s attitude toward Maelstrom, but I guess not. So glad that Niobrara ended up in a band. I was worried when they were initially “missing” that Niobrara might end up in the same situation as Nimbus. But I’m so glad she didn’t! And yes, definitely two of the best mares they could have ended up with! Pheonix and Warbonnet are great mothers as well as motherly figures! I wonder if Pheonix realizes these two are her great grandkids. I like to think she does 🙂 I know those two mares will take great care of them. It’s nice to see that Hernando seems to be a nurturing band stallion. While I am sad for Diamond that Hernando took his band (and I hold onto some hope that maybe he could get Pheonix back) I look forward to watching Hernando in this next stage as a band stallion.

  9. Thank you everyone for your thoughtful comments. I just got down off the mountain about an hour ago…another gray and cloudy day!! We saw lots of horses, but not Hernando’s band. We did see Doc with the rest of Jackson’s band, even Aztec was with him today. So it looks like the only one displaced with the change with Jackson’s band is Moorcroft. But last time I saw him he was looking good!

    • I wonder where Aztec has been hiding out all this time since she wasn’t with Cloud either. I guess she will keep that secret to herself! Although I wasn’t very worried it’s nice to hear that she was spotted. Any sign of Quelle Color?

      • Aztec seems to drift between Cappuccino’s band and what is now Doc’s band. She has done this for awhile. No sign of Quelle Colour.

    • Glad to hear Aztec was accounted for and that most of the girls are back together 🙂

  10. Reblogged this on Paula Todd King and commented:
    Great update from Pryor Mustang Center

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