Half Moon: A Mother’s Love

Never underestimate the power of a mare and her instinct to protect her young. This is a story from the life of Half Moon, a Pryor Mountain mare.

Half Moon

This quick snippet of time happened on Sunday, October 5, 2014. Half Moon, like most of the mares, play a quiet, but powerful role in the success of the family bands. She is the daughter of Starman (now deceased) and Rosarita. Rosarita continue to share their lives together in the same band.

At this moment, Horizon, showed such an interest in walking straight down a grassy slope overlooking Mystic Pond. Something was definitely catching his attention.

IMG_0626 HorizonIt didn’t take long to realize he was interested in Missoula grazing quietly down the hill with his mother, Half Moon. The mother/son pair are in Mescalero’s band.

IMG_0615 Half Moon and Missoula

Horizon went down to check out the two-year old colt.

Horizon and Missoula

Horizon and Missoula checked each other out for a moment; nothing too dramatic, just some sniffing and a little squealing. It didn’t take long for Half Moon’s maternal instinct to kick in. She watched quietly for a moment, then raced over to the stallion pair.

Half Moon takes action.

She wheeled around and promptly double-barrel kicked Horizon!

IMG_0643 Half Moon AgainHorizon, was stunned by the blow.

IMG_0644 Horizon StunnedAnd then he walked away. Half Moon and Missoula walked off in the other direction. This was a very unusual scenario to see a mare take on a stallion like that.

Half Moon walks off with Missoula

Horizon walked off a short distance, then turned back to check things out.

IMG_0647 HorizonFinally Mescalero realized something was happening with his band and he charged at the interloper, Horizon. The two mature stallions engaged in more classic stallion action.

The Face-Off

Both go up

IMG_0655 Mescalero and HorizonA squeal in the distance catches Horizon’s attention.

IMG_0664 AttentionAnd off he goes running.

IMG_0665 Off and runningAll of this action happened in a matter of minutes. No changes happened as a result of the interactions, other than the new knowledge of a mare’s willingness to take charge when it comes to protecting her offspring.

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Published in: on October 9, 2014 at 8:13 pm  Comments (12)  

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12 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. ha ha! I love this story 🙂 The look on Horizon’s face, like “What the heck just happened?!” Thank you for sharing.

    It’s stories like these that teach us much about the dynamics of these horses… and what makes watching this herd so special.

  2. What a privilege to witness this episode! I think maybe the mares do more than we think in determining how things go on the Range. It seems that some of them are not very scared of confrontation when it comes to their “kids”. Half Moon sure wasn’t. 🙂 Thanks for sharing.

    • Linda, I agree that the mares have a huge impact on the band compositions. Sometimes they just fly under the radar…

  3. Thank you for this nice story 😀

    • You are very welcome!

  4. Waw thank you so much for such an interesting post! Mother’s dedication and the risks one may take to stand up for her offspring are truly amazing! its incredible how just one little event like this has a huge meaning! 🙂

    plus its nice to see quiet little half moon bring out her tough side! Horizon will think twice before trying it again haha! 🙂

    • Alex,
      I’m glad you enjoyed the post. It was such an interesting and unusual event to watch unfold. Half Moon is such a pretty mare, and now we have seen her strength as well!

  5. Another great blog entry. Thanks Nancy 😀

    • Thanks Kim! It was such a fun thing to see!

  6. Ihave noticed that the mares from Spring Creek Basin dont have colts in 2014, have all the mares been treated with PZP or something similar?

    • There is a PZP plan in place for the Pryor mares with a certain age group left untreated. This year 19 foals were born with 16 surviving. In a non-PZP year there are around 30 foals born.

  7. Thanks Nancy its so nice to read something good about the Mustangs with all the sad round ups going on in other parts of Wyoming!!


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