Makin’ the rounds; checkin’ ’em twice

29 09 2008

Almost every weekend in the basin this year, I thought I had it covered: the June gnats, the July cheat grass, the September nasty-prickles (I don’t know what it’s called, but it’s everywhere). But there’s something else to September that I learned last year, after a day and night in the McCullough Peaks Herd Management Area (outside Cody, Wyo.): I am apparently allergic/uber-sensitive to September sage. Zowie. It hit me like a bull.

Grey/Traveler and his band were way up on the north fenceline/ridgeline in the morning. There’s water in the pond down near last August’s gather site, so they might be getting water there. It makes me happy to see the boy back on home ground.

I had seen Steeldust’s band to the east on a saddle north of Lizard Mesa the night before, so I reasoned they might be in the same area. I wondered if Duke, Hook, Chrome and Kreacher were back with them or still off on their own adventures. Also haven’t seen Poco, Bones and Roach for a while, and it’s been a couple of trips since I’ve seen Bounce’s or Seven’s bands. Cutting to the chase, I still didn’t see Roach’s, Seven’s or Bounce’s bands, but the four wayward boys are still off on their excellent adventures (way up in the north hills), and everybody else in Steeldust’s band looks fabulous. Mouse, Comanche and Aspen are still with the band, but they must be going crazy – or be completely resigned. Hollywood, meanwhile, seems to have added to his harem; Baylee is still hanging out close to Piedra and, coincidentally, Holls. Consider this theory: Piedra may be Mahogany’s daughter (it’s all in the ears), and if so, she’s Baylee’s big sister.

Adding to the harem?

Adding to the harem?

The rest of the band – and the three bachelors – were over to the right. A situation that bears watching.

Bachelor 3

Bachelor 3

Bachelor boys, playing calm and detached. Comanche, left, Mouse and Aspen.

Who's who?

Who's who?

Name those boys … Butch, left, and Sundance, right. (Pinon playing peek-a-boo!)

Double trouble!

Double trouble!

These boys just make me smile every time I think about them. 🙂 Even Ember was getting into the act of playing with them the other day. She’s usually the “grown-up” one! Good thing both Mahogany and Alpha are seasoned mamas. These two characters are bound to keep them busy.

Daddy's girl

Daddy's girl

Speaking of Ember, there’s the girl, looking remarkably innocent after provoking Daddy Steeldust into nipping at her (!). She’s holding her dark red color, but you can see (maybe not in this small image) the greying all around the edges of her ice-cream-cone star and strip.

Parting shot

Parting shot

Left to right, little to big: Storm, Pinon and Baylee.

A rumble of thunder hustled me out of the basin, but I don’t know if the ponies actually got rain. Hope so; it’s dry out there.

On my way south on the county road, I stopped to scan the big open area south of the county line, and voila! There were the spotted girls with their beaus on the far hill, on the bench that runs around the west side. Mama Kiowa and yearling filly Reya were so clean I barely recognized them! I hope that means they’ve had a “shower,” but I hope it doesn’t mean their mud spa has dried up. Didn’t see David and Shadow or Cinch and Bruiser again.

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Sweet sunset

29 09 2008

Shouldn’t we be slowing down as we head into autumn? Hmm. I thought so, too. What happened?

Jif at sunset

Jif at sunset

Fortunately, the ponies don’t know about la vida loca outside their world.

I made a quick trip to the basin late last week for a much-needed reconnect with the wild. Almost right in the door, I got a surprise – two boys a long way from their ‘hood.

Bruiser and Cinch

Bruiser and Cinch

Bruiser, left, is the former band stallion, and Cinch is one of the bachelors. A report from last weekend had these guys north of Round Top, which is at least one hill north of their normal stomping grounds. Cinch, with the other single guys, had made regular forays into other parts of the basin, but I had never seen Bruiser out of the southern end of the herd area. The stallions are standing right on the road below Filly Peak. I thought I could tell by Cinch’s body language that other horses were nearby, and sure enough: Grey/Traveler’s band was just up and over the hill farther north.

Itchy scratchy

Itchy scratchy

Sisters Iya and Two Boots took time a couple of times while I watched to give each other scratches. Lovies. By the way, check out Iya’s serious hugeness! She’s the one on the left. Two Boots, her yearling sister, is the one on the right.

Filling the tank

Filling the tank

Big, active babies need plenty of fuel.

Tumble-ball

Tumble-ball

Two Boots found this still-green tumbleweed and had a good time playing with it.

I wanna play!

I wanna play!

Then Jif wanted in on the action.

Me, three!

Me, three!

But when Twister wanted to play, too, Jif got grumpy. Boooo.

A boy with a girl

A boy with a girl

Traveler and first mare Houdini.

Same boy, another girl

Same boy, another girl

Traveler and Jif at the end of another beautiful day.

Beautiful boy

Beautiful boy

More beautiful every day.





Wild magic

16 09 2008

Some days I go to the basin and enter this sort of magic bubble. (OK, a lot of days that happens.) Part of the magic is that I KNOW it’s magic as I’m experiencing it. Sometimes, I can come right home and go through photos and post them to share the horses with all of you … sometimes, it’s an experience I just want to keep all to myself.

On the surface, there was nothing particularly special about Sunday. It was sunny, with a light breeze; hardly a cloud in the sky. But the light was enveloping rather than harsh, even in the middle of the day. At one point, I sat on a rock, Grey and Two Boots and Jif peaceful right in front of me, and I just marveled at the bliss of it all. I’m still overwhelmed by it.

What a year this has been, and it’s far from over. Blessed am I to be able to feel that wild magic on a regular basis. How can I possibly bring to the horses what they bring to me? Maybe a little protection … maybe sharing their stories helps. If you can spend time with wild horses, whether in Spring Creek Basin or elsewhere, do it. You will never forget their special magic.

New family

New family

What to call this new family? Copper’s band, which he stole from pinto stallion Bruiser, includes Kiowa, Reya, Spook and Chipeta … and his bachelor pals Corazon, Ty and Mesa. Copper does seem to be still in charge. I hiked in from the road without seeing them and found them where they were a couple of weeks ago. Copper is a little ribby but looks otherwise fine. The mares don’t seem too impressed with him …

Spook, Kiowa and Copper

Spook, Kiowa and Copper

What a mudball! But just on this side. The only ones NOT covered in mud were Spook and the bachelors, Corazon, Ty and Mesa. Yearling filly Reya was so covered in mud she looked grey.

Can't be bothered

Can't be bothered

Chipeta, in particular, didn’t hustle to obey her new stallion. Copper was trying to snake her back to the band, to the left, but her attitude here clearly shows her indifference. She stood there, even as he walked right up to her with his nose practically on the ground; she snoozed; she looked at me; she wiggled her ears at him. …

If you insist

If you insist

Finally she decided to go back to the band. I doubt Copper is a whole lot older than she is.

I didn’t see Bruiser and Cinch; I hope they’re still together. Neither did I see David and Shadow.

Right after I drove in the main entrance to the basin, I found filmmaker James Kleinert and a friend saying their good-byes after a weekend camping trip. James told me Grey/Traveler and his band were out in the open near the water catchment. After most of the day looking for them last Sunday, this past Sunday, they were waiting to welcome me!

They were just at the southeast corner of Filly Peak. Most of the band were just west of the road, but baby Iya was on the other side of the road, rubbing and chewing on one of the uranium claim stakes (you go, girl!). I stopped and walked up to almost the base of the butte, where I found the perfect rock to sit on. There I sat and watched and happily composed photos while they (Grey and Two Boots at first, then Jif) wandered quite close, grazing all the while.

Iya at lunch time

Iya at lunch time

Iya finally abandoned the stake for a snack.

Grazing

Grazing

Water was close by (the road and water catchment are down to the left), and they had good grass there.

Scratching post, err, rock

Scratching post, err, rock

Iya investigated this big boulder and decided it was most perfectly suited for heiny itches.

Peek-a-boo

Peek-a-boo

Big sister Two Boots also investigated this big boulder and decided it was best suited for a game of hide-n-seek.

Beautiful from any angle

Beautiful from any angle

You wouldn’t know unless I told you, but this is one shot in a short series where he looks normal; in most of the others, he was chewing, which gave him a pretty funny expression. He looks up so briefly, it’s hard to catch him at it.

Watchful

Watchful

I had been sitting with them about 15 to 20 minutes when this truck appeared on the road. Two Boots saw it first and turned around to watch. Grey/Traveler walked down to her, and Houdini, Iya and Twister walked away from the road a short distance toward them (they’re to the right). I was worried they’d bolt away, but the guy drove slowly, and I talked to them, and after the truck passed, they went back to grazing. Jif had come around the boulder toward me while grazing, then looked up at me, then walked down and around Grey and Two Boots where they had turned back toward me, then looked at me again, then went back to grazing. Funny girl. She has filled out and looks pretty good. After another 15 minutes or so, Grey started grazing back down toward Houdini. TwoB and Jif followed him, and when they had gone back past the big boulder, I got up and went back down to the Jeep. Wow.

Luna and Mahogany

Luna and Mahogany

Two great broads for wildness.

I found Steeldust’s band around the loop in the east, right off the road, napping in the end-of-day sunlight. Mouse (eternally yearning for Piedra) and his buddies Comanche and Aspen were with the band, but Duke and Hook, Kreacher and Chrome were off on some adventure of their own.

Sleepy time

Sleepy time

Comanche and Aspen napping near the band.

More sleepy boys

More sleepy boys

The little dark butt Butch is rubbing on is Pinon’s. He wandered over to take a nap with his big buddies and his daddy.

Big softie

Big softie

Don’t let the tough-guy act fool ya. Steely Dan is a sweetheart! I imagine Butch is one of his sons, 2 or 3 years old, and I’ve been waiting to see if he was going to kick him and Sundance out of the band. Maybe with the other bachelor boys hanging around, those two youngsters will enjoy the family a little longer. You can see Kestrel at back left and Ember’s face.

Boys 'n' babies

Boys 'n' babies

From left, Steeldust, Mouse in the background, Butch, Sundance, Pinon and Ember (the only girl in the pic!).

Pinon, Storm and Alpha

Pinon, Storm and Alpha

Here’s Alpha looking after the boys. I keep marveling at how gracious she has been, allowing me such access to her baby. Not only does she graze (with her head down, not always watching me), like she moved off to do right after I took this photo, but she doesn’t seem to worry about keeping Storm right with her. Thank you, my beautiful girl!

Little man

Little man

Our baby Storm is growing like the proverbial weed!

Queen of the hill

Queen of the hill

When everybody woke up, they walked down into an arroyo and up the hill on the other side. Sisters Kestrel and Ember liked this little outcropping.

Storm on the ridge

Storm on the ridge

I didn’t even realize I had this photo until I was going through them on the computer. Although it looks like I’m right next to him, I’m down the hill and across the arroyo. Power of the (long) lens.

They wandered up the side of the hill onto the top, and I bid them farewell and went back to check on Grey’s band. James had said he got some fantastic footage of the horses the previous night with the moon coming up behind them. Wow?!! So I thought I’d hang around a little and see if I could get that lucky.

Curious girl!

Curious girl!

Iya is one curious baby! She likes to check everything out, including the water tank by the water catchment. She walked all the way around it, sniffing and licking the edges and checking out the water.

Jif

Jif

I don’t think you can see it in this small photo, but she was looking in the direction of the setting sun, and she had a little sparkle in her eye. Does she look serene or what? She may be sporting the world’s longest dreadlock there.

Basin moonrise

Basin moonrise

Sometimes you just have to let the magic speak for itself.





Magnetism

10 09 2008
Piedra and Hollywood

Piedra and Hollywood

Maybe something in the air, maybe some good karma. It took me all day Sunday to find Grey/Traveler’s band, but when I did, they came right up to me, just like Piedra and Hollywood here. Actually, Mr. Tough there just followed his gal; Piedra was Little Miss Curiosity.

I got into the basin early Sunday morning. It was a beautiful, clear day, but signs of rain a week ago were abundant. Spring Creek was down enough to drive across, but the two biggest rain-related things to report are that the water hole off the doubletrack in “east park” is full again (yay!), and the loop road is no longer passable by a full-size vehicle like my Jeep. If not for a big rock too solid for me to budge, you’d be able to hug the hillside and get by, but the hole created by water running down the wash there makes it just too narrow because of the rock. If you’re going around the loop clockwise, it’s the third bad spot past the washout (which is, ironically, still just barely passable).

Alegre, Gaia and Bounce

Alegre, Gaia and Bounce

Bounce was the first horse I saw through the binoculars after I drove into the basin – way up in the north but right by the road. The grass is marvelous up there, and a water hole nearby has some muddy water in it. I’m pretty sure Grey/Traveler and his band were just a hill or two to the west last Sunday when I spotted them. It was kinda cool to go over there because the horses hadn’t been in that area most of the year, so I haven’t been in that area most of the year.

Pretty girls

Pretty girls

Alegre and Gaia. I was standing on the road, shooting through a couple of trees. They were in a little meadow not far from the northern boundary. They were so accommodating for photos that I left them after a short time and took the trail away from the water hole, around the nearby hill, hoping to find Grey/Traveler. I didn’t find his band, but I had a great time exploring the hills and valleys in that part of the herd area. I ended up back on the ridge above the valley where I had first seen Bounce’s band, and to my surprise they were still there. By that time, it was close to noon, and I wondered if they were still there because it was close to the water. I found a seat in the shade of a juniper and watched them through the binoculars for a while. Sure enough, Bounce finally trotted over to the water, where he drank, then stood on the “dam” side and waited for Alegre. It took her a little while, but she finally walked over with Gaia. She drank while Gaia stood with Bounce. I guess Gaia gets enough water in her mother’s milk. One thing I’ve noticed with wild horses is how long they drink. Both Bounce and Gaia did spend a lot of time drinking. Then they took the trail I took earlier. I waited until they’d disappeared, then walked down the hill toward the trail. I spied on them to make sure they wouldn’t see me, then dropped down onto the trail and took it back to the pond and the road and the Jeep. I’d see them later in the day all the way back over at the second intersection.

Steeldust's band

Steeldust's band

Next stop: Steely Dan. I’ve started calling him that as a sort of nickname. It’s sort of a joke because he’s really a big softie. I actually took this pic as I was leaving the band (they look disturbed, don’t they?), mostly to show our terrain as compared with that of the Little Book Cliffs range. In the background is Filly Peak. The horses were up on top of the east side of the east-west hill, which starts as the “finger hills” to the west, right near the dugout intersection. I hiked out to them from the east side to check Storm and make sure everybody was present and accounted for. I still kinda expect the bachelors to “shrug off” sometime?

Bachelor boys

Bachelor boys

From left: Kreacher, Hook, Duke and Chrome. They also walked toward me before they stopped there where I took their picture. Comanche and Mouse – as usual – were hanging out closer to Piedra and Hollywood, and Aspen was behind these guys.

Chrome

Chrome

In the next post about the Little Book Cliffs horses, I showed a photo of Chrome, a sorrel and white pinto mare in Phantom’s band. This – above – is our Chrome!

Ember-girl and Pinon

Ember-girl and Pinon

The babies were curious enough to walk toward me, too. Ember’s closest in the photo. She, like Gaia, is still holding onto her reddish baby coat, but she has started to get a little darker while Gaia is still pretty bright.

Pinon and Storm

Pinon and Storm

Cutest baby boys in the basin! OK, they’re the only baby boys in the basin, but how cute are they?! It’s so amazing to watch them grow up!

Storm and Alpha

Storm and Alpha

Curious Storm checks me out from the protection of mama while Alpha pretends to ignore me.

Mouse and Comanche

Mouse and Comanche

When I walked away, these two boys came in for a closer look. Or, I should say, Comanche did. Mouse followed and tried to distract him. A few weeks ago, I watched Mouse take out on best-bud Comanche his frustration over not getting past Hollywood to Piedra. Sunday, he was all sweetness. In the background is Aspen.

While I was watching these guys, I saw Seven, Molly and Roja walking downhill toward the arroyo that runs below the south part of the loop road. Too far for pictures. They look good, but it seems so odd not to see the filly with them. Speaking of her, posthumously, I gave her the name Starla. A long time ago, I heard about a Native American legend or tradition that says the stars are the campfires of our ancestors who have gone before us. I like to think baby Starla is one of those bright stars now.

I was on my way out of the basin toward the end of the day, then, profoundly disappointed that I hadn’t found Grey. In a perfect world, I’d braid some tiny GPS unit into his raven mane so I could find him! But it’s not a perfect world, and I try to remind myself that finding him is part of the fun (when it doesn’t wrack my nerves!).

I did finally see him heading toward the water hole (or so I thought) near Flat Top. I had planned to drive past it on my way out to see if it, too, had filled up from last weekend’s rain, but I didn’t want to get between the band and their evening drink. I waited out on the main road, hoping they’d come that way on their way up to grazing by Filly Peak as they have in the past. They did, but I later realized they weren’t coming FROM water. They must not have found water in that pond because they ended up going TO the water tank at the catchment!

Coming toward me

Coming toward me

Because I thought they had just all had a drink, I couldn’t figure out why they were coming right toward me. I had parked back from where I thought they would come out, and I was standing out in the open, not on a trail and not on the road. And because I’d had a couple of encounters already that day where the horses came toward me and Grey’s band is pretty tolerant of me, I wasn’t too worried. They broke off right before they go to me and went past me, to the road … then up a trail to the water tank. Uh oh.

Drinking at the water tank

Drinking at the water tank

They went right to the water tank and drank. That’s when I realized they must not have found water at the pond. That was dumb of me, to be between them and their path to another water source. Fortunately, they didn’t hold it against me.

Beautiful boy

Beautiful boy

Diamond Rio, bay stallion in the Little Book Cliffs, is about 15 years old and looking handsome. I thought about him while I was watching Sir Grey, my formal name for Traveler, who I believe also is around 15. So full of vim and vigor, these boys!

A face everyone can love

A face everyone can love

It’s getting harder to get photos of this boy looking up; he’s so worried about me, half the time I can’t even see his face because he’s grazing and ignoring me.

Unconcerned

Unconcerned

In fact, this view is becoming more and more common. And I love taking pictures like this. 🙂 My beauties; calm, cool and wild. And this is the view with which I left the basin. Left to right: Jif, Two Boots, Twister, Iya and Houdini. You can just see Grey/Traveler through Two Boots’ front legs in the background.

Remarkable day. Remarkable weekend. Remarkable horses.





Whirlwind weekend

8 09 2008
Bandit

Bandit

What a weekend! I had the great fortune of visiting some of the wild horses of the Little Book Cliffs range near Grand Junction with two women who know them best: Billie Hutchings (see her blog, listed under the blog roll) and Marty Felix, both with Friends of the Mustangs. Part of my inspiration for documenting our Spring Creek Basin herd has come from the meticulous documentation of members of this group (Marty has been doing it in LBC for 30-some years!). At their roundup last September, less than a month after ours, I got to see firsthand how that documentation has played a role in them being able to conduct gathers that are less stressful on the horses but still get the job done of removing excess horses so the ones that remain have better access to forage – the BLM’s goal.

The Little Book Cliffs range is about 36,000 acres (Spring Creek Basin’s is about 22,000), their appropriate management level is 90 to 150 horses, and they have 119 currently on the range. Their horses are fat and shiny and uber-healthy (like ours!). One of the biggest things that struck me was the sheer challenge of finding horses because of the geography of their range. Lots of tree, lots of canyons, lots of rocky country. There’s no place where you can stand and scan a 180-degree arc looking for horses – and in our basin, there are several such places. But if anyone can find horses, it’s these two eagle-eyed women. And even with 119 horses in their charge, they know every single one … but sometimes it takes awhile to find the newborns!

Billie and Marty also get paid a little by the U.S. Geological Survey’s Biological Research Division for their work on the fertility control study in the Little Book Cliffs. The study is in place there, on Pryor Mountain and at the McCullough Peaks Herd Management Area just outside Cody, Wyo. In fact, the main reason I went north and got to see their horses was a talk Marty gave about the immunocontraception drug PZP. She and three other people (including their wild horse specialist) are certified to dart their mares with the PZP each year. I think the study has been going on since 2002. The biggest thing I learned from her talk is that the PZP-22 drug our mares (Alpha, Kiowa, Chipeta, Molly and now-dead Slate) were given – the 22 means 22 months – is basically effective only one year, I think because they were all pregnant when they got the drug. So it will keep them out of the foaling business for just one year, not two.

Interestingly, we were supposed to get three mares from the Little Book Cliffs herd last year after their gather to boost the genetics of our herd (with an AML of just 35-65 horses, it is not a naturally genetically viable herd). But we didn’t get those mares, and the reason I heard was because they got the PZP for just one year – as opposed to our two. Now that I find out our “two-year” drug is good for only one year, I’m a little frustrated. The compromise is that we’d get mares from one of the other herd areas instead. We were told Sand Wash had planned a gather, but it wasn’t funded. This weekend, all news seems to point to Sand Wash’s gather going on as planned.

I had a fantastic time on the Little Book Cliffs range, and it was awesome to “meet” some of their horses and listen to Billie’s and Marty’s stories about them. We were able to get out of Billie’s truck several times and approach quite a few bands. We saw about three others from a distance. Thank you, Billie and Marty, for such a wonderful day! I hope you’ll let me return the favor in the future by going out with me to Spring Creek Basin!

Buttermilk

Buttermilk

His band was the first we saw. He was out in a little meadow on a hillside, and his mares and 2-year-old colt were napping already under a tree.

Diamond Rio

Diamond Rio

This beautiful boy (photo cropped) has two mares and a foal. When we first saw them, his yearling filly had hooked up for a brief time with Ruger, a youngster from Gunsmoke’s band.
Sorry, sir! I'll bring her right home next time!

Sorry, sir!

Diamond Rio watched Ruger (the colt) with Rocket (the filly) with his other mare, Beauty, and her foal, Choca, for a while, then went to collect her. In the foreground is Rocket, hustling back to Beauty, and at right is Ruger.
Chaca

Choca

Beauty’s dun colt, Choca. I found out from Billie that Beauty is the black mare that evaded capture last fall by going up the far side of the canyon, where she entertained observers. She was to have been taken off the range, Marty said. (I was one of the ones on the other side of the canyon cheering for her!)
Gunsmoke, Kiva and Spook

Gunsmoke, Kiva and Spook

Gunsmoke, left, is this band’s stallion and Ruger’s daddy. They were right near Diamond Rio’s band while the two youngsters had their little tryst. Check out the country in the background.
Spook

Spook

They have a “Spook,” too! I knew that when I named Kiowa’s filly Spook, but we also had a pinto stallion a few years ago named Spook. Something must have stuck in my head. As it turns out, we have a couple of same-name horses.
Chrome and Phantom

Chrome and Phantom

Like Chrome. In the Little Book Cliffs, she’s the sorrel and white pinto mare above; in Spring Creek Basin, our Chrome is a grey with a blaze and four stockings!
Phantom

Phantom

Pinto stallion Phantom has the COOLEST face marking!
Phantom's band

Phantom

I took this photo to show more of that rugged country. We first saw the band from across the way on that far cliff – across Paradise Valley (right?).
Skylark

Skylark

This beautiful girl is in Phantom’s band. She’s Billie’s favorite, and now she’s one of mine, too!
Chablis and Illusion

Chablis and Illusion

Our last sighting of the day was a band Billie and Marty particularly wanted to see: Cabin Boy’s band. The dun filly was born in early August, and while they thought she was a filly, some other observers thought she was a colt because of a slight umbilical hernia. We were able to determine for sure that she’s a little girl. She’s absolutely as cute as can be!
Cabin Boy

Cabin Boy

Another handsome boy! I do love those rich, mahogany-bay-colored horses!
It was a gorgeous day, too. Perfect temperature and sunshine. Thank you again for showing me some of your horses!
I went to Marty’s talk at Stirrup Cup Farm just south of Delta the next day, where I learned some more about the PZP. We also “met” Lonnie Aragon, who is a trainer at the U.S. Air Force Academy, where they have some 19 mustangs. He participated in a past Extreme Mustang Makeover with a horse named Pino, but he was in Delta with a handsome little sorrel named Rico. What a nice guy. We didn’t get to see him ride, but their good relationship was obvious; Lonnie had to keep pushing Rico back, as he wanted to stand right at Lonnie’s shoulder! After the whole thing was over, I went to Lonnie’s “booth” to read more about him and picked up a postcard for the Mustang Heritage Foundation (http://www.mustangheritagefoundation.org). Wow – they used one of my photos on the card! The really weird and confusing thing is that I have no idea how they got it. I don’t sell photos, and that photo has never been on the Internet (I don’t think). It was taken several years ago (2003 or 2004), so it’s not on this blog. It shows Grey/Traveler and Alpha with their then-2-year-old filly, Flash, and a bay mare. Grey and Alpha were much darker grey then than now! The photo is in one of my “portfolios,” but I really racked my brain for how it might have ended up on the Mustang Heritage Foundation’s postcard. Kinda cool, but kinda weird …?
(Update to the postcard photo: I may have a memory for horses, but I clearly don’t for photos. I had shared that photo with a friend some years ago, who in turn shared it with her sister, with the foundation, which I didn’t know much about at the time (maybe it was new then?). In any case, I had given them permission to use the photo. I think the majority of my confusion stems from losing touch with the friend and not following the photo! In any case, they love the photo, and some of our ponies are rock stars!)

I’m out of time, but I went to the basin after all my other travelings, so I’ll post some pix from Sunday soon.