Wild horse chase – Sunday, Nov. 9, 2008

13 11 2008

Think “goose,” think Seven, think more than a month since I’ve seen the boy and his girls. The gauntlet has been thrown, and I’m on the trail of Seven, Molly and Roja. My trail has been cold so far, and this weekend wasn’t any different. I’ll keep looking – it’s half the fun!

Since a report a few weekends ago that Seven had been spotted near Brumley Point, I’ve been concentrating my searches in that area. Last weekend, I hiked in and went around farther south. This weekend, I hiked in and made a loop up to the northwest to Round Top and around westish and southish back to the road. Did see the pintos and their solid pals. Did see Bruiser and Cinch. Did see the Glynns riding between Flat and Round tops.

Waiting

Waiting

Have I mentioned these spotted creatures of habit? Hill. Pintos. Check. Call it my natural stair-stepper, that hill. Copper, Kiowa, Reya, Spook, Chipeta and Ty were toward the top of the hill – Mesa and Corazon out of sight – and they saw me coming from a mile away (maybe literally). But they were calm, and I set a diagonal course to reach the top of the hill south of them. When I poked up at the top edge of the hill, Spook-girl spotted me right away, but Chipeta – seen here – and Kiowa (at least) were standing so they faced down the hill. Watching for me? Surely. I waited until they noticed Spook’s attention and saw me, then walked on up. I had a fairly single-minded goal of looking for Seven’s band, and I wasn’t necessarily going to take any more photos of this band, but who can resist? Not me.

Stallion action

Stallion action

With Mesa and Corazon presumably in the trees – out of my sight, anyway – Ty decided to make his move. It was not a move well received by either Copper or the girls, however. You can kinda see Chipeta – far left – at the lower end of a kick to the boys. I’m not sure she was aiming for either of them particularly, just both of them.

Mama and babies

Mama and babies

Resistance is futile?? Who can resist those faces? That’s Mama Kiowa with baby Spook in the middle and yearling Reya.

Around then, there was a whinny from the trees – Mesa or Corazon? It turned out to be a “where are you guys” call from Corazon. One thing I’ve noticed is that the ponies rarely whinny, and the message seems fairly urgent when they do. Mesa came out later.

Having seen Cinch and Bruiser between Flat Top and Round Top on Saturday, I didn’t expect to see them there again, but I had seen David and Shadow there a few weekends ago, so that area was my northernmost goal. When I first saw the boys, they were looking at something, but all I could see was something red through the trees. It turned out to be the Glynns, watching the boys from the other side. They rode up to where I was, and we chatted a bit, then they rode on south to see the pintos (still out on their hill), and I headed southwestish. Soon after I watched David and Doris ride over a ridge east of Round Top, I spotted Poco and Bones way, way far away against the far grey hills. Roach must have been nearby. Not another horse did I see – except the pintos again as I approached the Jeep.

Seven, pony, where are you?

Into the basin on the main road. Binoculars helped me spot the new girls – still on THEIR hill. I stopped at the water catchment to check the level of water in the drinking troughs; I turned off the flow of water Saturday. Still good.

Didn’t see Grey/Traveler and his band on my way in, but I did see them on my way out – still near the catchment. They’re definitely staying close to that fresh water.

On the loop road, as I approached the Round Top intersection, some of Steeldust’s horses, then Bounce came into view, looking at something. Then I saw Doris and David, so I stopped so I wouldn’t interfere with their observation of the horses. I was within view of that old enclosure right off the road but pretty far from the horses and at least partially blocked from their view by hills. I thought the horses would head west and low, toward the arroyo, and I’d see them appear out in that “valley.” So I took the time to write some notes on my earlier adventures … then looked up to see horses coming right toward me!

Alegre and Gaia

Alegre and Gaia

Bounce’s girls stopped ahead of and east of the Jeep.

Bounce

Bounce

Bounce stopped behind them and looked back for followers. What a handsome boy he is. They trotted on down the hill, out of sight, and ended up out in the open to the east.

Two mamas, two babies

Two mamas, two babies

Storm and Alpha, Ember and Luna.

When the band realized I was there and saw the Jeep, they stopped, milled around, then started grazing – or just standing around like cool cats.

Three boys grey

Three boys grey

Kreacher, Hook and Chrome.

More boys

More boys

A wider view of more boys: Comanche at left and Aspen and Duke in the center (Aspen standing sideways to the camera). Knife Edge in the background.

Pals

Pals

Hook and Chrome. Sometimes I wonder how long some of these bachelor boys have known each other. Did they grow up together, like Storm and Pinon?

Hollywood and girls ... and one little boy

Hollywood and girls ... and one little boy

Hollywood with Piedra and Baylee – sisters, I think – with Pinon in the background. Pinon is definitely Baylee’s little brother. If Piedra’s dam also is Mahogany, he’s her little brother, too! You can see the road behind him.

Around this time, the Glynns had ridden up on a far ridge, and I realized we had the horses trapped between us. Plus, the horses all turned around to look at them, so then I had only butt shots! I started moving around them toward the Glynns so the horses didn’t feel squeezed and could continue on if they chose. They were very calm, though, and had mostly started grazing again.

Snack time

Snack time

I’m not sure if Alpha here was looking at my Jeep or at Bounce, Alegre and Gaia as they moved away from the ridge and horses and humans and excitement. Steeldust had walked around Alpha as Storm nursed and stopped right in front of her, as if to keep her from going any farther.

Auntie Luna standing by

Auntie Luna standing by

Again with the wider view, here to show “Auntie Luna” very close by.

Little boy, little girl

Little boy, little girl

Storm and Ember

Like mother, like son

Like mother, like son

Striking similiarity, eh? Mahogany and Pinon. Ember and Storm were just to the left, and they tagged along in Pinon’s wake as he passed them with Mama.

I walked the road down to where David and Doris were watching from their hill. The horses stayed in the area for quite a while as we talked and watched them. When they started to move on, so did we, both taking the road back toward the dugout intersection.

Heading out

Heading out

This may actually be the photo I was thinking of when I wrote this morning’s post about Saturday’s adventures. That IS Flat Top in the background. So many landmarks … so many ways to present them!

Closer look

Closer look

Zoom-zoom.

Uneventful, the rest of the day. We woke up to snow Monday morning in Mancos, so I hope the basin got some more of that moisture. It melted right away here, so I’m sure it did there as well. We’ll take all the moisture we get after our recent dry spell. Weather is certainly turning toward winter. The ponies are all fuzzy and look great.


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