Bad news first

25 08 2009

Because there’s more good news, and I want to get this out and move on.

After a truly marvelous weekend, the very last thing I saw – that I didn’t see, more accurately – put a damper on the whole thing.

Low visibility

Low visibility

On my first pass down the Disappointment Road, showing our visitors the herd area boundary, I saw Cinch and Bruiser, then what looked like the pinto band walking away out of some trees … except that as they got into a more open area, I could see that Chipeta, her colt, Ty and Mesa were not right with the band. It became apparent that they weren’t just lagging behind, either.

We got to the cattle guard where the boundary ends, turned around and went back. I stopped at dysfunction junction to hike up a hill overlooking the road to see if I could see Kiowa’s group better and get a broader look downward.

Kiowa, Milagro and Spook

Kiowa, Milagro and Spook

They were heading up this ridge when I caught up with them, and yes, that is a stormy sky in the background. I’m hopeful the basin got more rain (part of the good news). Milagro got his name this weekend, simply by being a tiny, minor, extraordinary miracle. They all are, of course … Spook is Kiowa’s yearling daughter. Also with this band is Kiowa’s 2-year-old daughter, Reya, bay band stallion Copper and black-and-white pinto bachelor Corazon.

At the top, they disappeared into the trees. Chipeta and her beau “appeared” close to Cinch and Bruiser – who had wisely moved up a hillside on the other side of the arroyo to watch the goings-on from a safe position – and David and Shadow … and finally Mesa. The first picture is how I first saw them, mostly obscured by greasewood and other brush. So I still didn’t know at this point where her colt was …

Then David, in the background of that picture, crossed the arroyo, and when he came up, Chipeta spooked … and I could see that the foal was not immediately at her side. And then it was just a matter of confirming he was not there at all.

Chipeta

Chipeta

And that confirmed it; her colt is missing, presumed dead. Now I know I didn’t see him last weekend in the one quick flash of open ground they crossed because he wasn’t there to see.

Chipeta and her colt

Chipeta and her colt

He was likely 2-3 weeks old; this photo was from my only sighting of him, on Aug. 2. Chipeta got the PZP; she wasn’t supposed to have a foal. But she did, and so his was a life to be valued as much as any of them. Posthumously, I named him Joven, which simply means “young.” Rest in wild peace, little one.

Honeymoons over

Honeymoons over

Ty chased David away – and Mesa – then “urged” Chipeta away across the hillside. Moments later, Mesa was with them, and they were perfectly calm. My gut feeling is that with all the stallions around, little Joven may have been accidentally trampled. As far as I know, he was Chipeta’s first. She’s a terrible flirt anyway, and she probably couldn’t protect the youngster in the chaos. Now she seems to be in heat.

As you can also see from the first pic, Ty is definitely grey in the face, but his body is still remarkably dark.

Cinch and Bruiser

Cinch and Bruiser

The spotted pair were back in the south – they’re on the hill, watching the action below. All the horses were in this area because of a tiny seep in a corner of the arroyo that is part of the drainage down from the (dry) pond behind Round Top. Never much water in that area – WSA – of the herd area.

David and Shadow

David and Shadow

These two followed Ty and Chipeta and Mesa, and in this pic, they’re looking on while Ty drank at the seep, guarded by Mesa. Chipeta stayed in the arroyo next to Ty after she drank first.

So we’re back to 10 foals … and I’m spoiling the next post.


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6 responses

25 08 2009
Melanie

Oh…that’s really too bad. Poor Chipeta! Do the wild horses change bands and stallions a lot, or is it just because the young boys are trying to challenge the older ones right now?

25 08 2009
TJ

We have some turnovers among bands here, but if you read Matt’s Pryor Mountain blog, it doesn’t seem like we have quite the activity among our bands that he sees with the horses there. We do have several bachelors, though, and all but three “bands” have at least one bachelor as at least a semi-permanent member.
The post-gather history of the pinto band is that they had a band stallion that was later kicked out by, apparently, the entire six-member “southside boys” bachelor band. One of those six waffled between the band and the former band stallion, then went with the former band stallion, and they are still together (that’s Cinch and Bruiser). One stallion (David) stole then-yearling filly Shadow, and they are still together. Bachelor Copper rose to the band stallion position, and bachelors Corazon, Ty and Mesa stayed with that band. Apparently, it was just sometime in the week between my parents being here and this past weekend that they split, though I think Chipeta’s colt had died by then (last weekend). Corazon stayed with Copper and Kiowa and the youngsters (all Kiowa’s offspring), and Mesa is following Ty and Chipeta.
The newest bachelor activity has been with Grey/Traveler’s band – Chrome and Aspen. And something may change there when/if Jif tries to leave the band to have her foal. It was when Raven left her band (Kreacher, Mona and Kootenai) to have Corona that previous bachelor Duke found and claimed her.
Part of the chaos with the pintos could have started when Chipeta came into her foaling heat the week or so after the colt was born. That certainly would have triggered all those stallions to think possessively! And Grey will have that “problem” with Jif as well – if he manages to keep her and her foal immediately after the foal is born.
TJ

25 08 2009
Billie

TJ,

That is too sad about Chipeta’s foal. It is always hard to lose one of them, but such is the law of nature, unfortunately. Now, onward to Jif’s foal! Can’t wait to hear about that one.

26 08 2009
TJ

Agreed, unfortunately … And yes, I can’t wait to see (!) Jif’s foal, too! But you’re going to have to wait past the upcoming post! 😉
TJ

26 08 2009
Lynn Bauer

This lady sure is taking her time! We just hope for a healthy baby and mama and that everyone sorts themselves out without anyone getting hurt!
L & K

26 08 2009
pnickoles

Ahh little one – I know you’ll have good news to balance the sad, right?

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