Pryor Mountain

30 10 2009

My vacation to Yellowstone happened to coincide with adoption day at Britton Springs for the Pryor Mountain mustangs, so for the second time – and less happy circumstances – I visited this area and its unique Spanish horses.

Matt Dillon at the Pryor Mountain Wild Mustang Center in Lovell, Wyo., has been an inspiration to me with his documentation work, leading me to first document the Spring Creek Basin horses after our August 2007 roundup in the hopes that we can do it with less stress to the horses next time. If you talk to Matt about the horses, you cannot help but be immediately impressed by his knowledge and passion for the Pryor Mountain mustangs.

I arrived at Britton Springs on Friday, Sept. 25, and was able to walk around the pens with Matt and trainer Ken McNabb, who grew up on a private inholding on the range (please correct me if I didn’t word that right?) and now lives nearby with his family. I also watched Ken’s first training demo that day with a big bay colt named Hipshot before going out to find some of the Dryhead horses (after Matt and a HSUS rep emptied my can of fix-a-flat into my tire, which had gone nearly flat from a screw! I got it fixed in Lovell and still had daylight left).

I drove through the Bighorn National Recreation Area as the sun sank closer and closer to the horizon, stopping in some of the places Matt had shown me two years ago, but I didn’t spot any horses on my first pass. I do recommend stopping at the Bighorn Canyon overlook – wow! I’m not used to seeing canyons like that outside Utah!I saw bighorn sheep two years ago but not this year.

I can’t remember the name now, but I turned around at a historic ranch (?) … and that’s when I spotted them – on a hillside right below the road where I couldn’t see them from above. I drove back up and parked on the side of the road and walked across to a hillside that gave me an open view of the horses where I wasn’t too close to them.

0925dunstudband

Matt later identified them for me: Dun stallion Cappuccino and his roan mare Guinevere – who were together before the roundup. They were released with the other two mares, blue roan Damsel and bay Galadriel. Pretty roan Guinevere is 19!

0925dunredroan1

These two stayed very close together.

0925baybluroan1

And these two stayed close together.

0925dunstud

Classic Pryor mustang!

I saw just two more horses that evening, down by the lake, but I’m not sure which horses they were.

0925blackdun

I didn’t see any other horses with these two, but the next morning, I saw two that looked like this, plus a foal and a young bay mare. Could these two have been Sam and Hightail?

The next morning, I went out early, hoping to find horses to photograph in early morning light before it was time for the adoption. I don’t like crowds of people, and I don’t like to see wild horses in pens. So getting out to find horses was equal parts joy and fortification.

0926pheasant

My welcoming committee to the wild horse range were pheasants.

0926senecascolt

Then I found this little guy’s band right beside the road. He looks like Hannah, too (are you seeing a theme?). I saw him first and stopped to shoot from the Jeep …

0926admiral

… then I saw Admiral crossing the road behind me!

There was also a young bay mare, Halo of the Sun, and …

0926senecacolt

… the colt’s dam, Seneca.

Don’t you love that light? It’s really heavenly on dun horses.

0926senecacoltpeek

Peek-a-boo! I think this is the colt Matt has said is Exhilaration’s little brother – they look so much alike!

I drove on to Mustang Flats and saw a few different bands that Matt later ID’d as Durango’s (apricot dun roan), Seattle’s (black), Cappuccino’s again and Blizzard’s (apricot dun). Most of them were a fair distance away, but I was able to walk out a short distance and visit with beautiful Blizzard.

0926sachid

Sacajawea and Hidatsa (I’m going off Matt’s description list, and I could be completely wrong, so help me if so?!)

0926jemez2

This little guy, Jemez, is CUTE!

0926jemez

And very curious. The horses didn’t seem to mind me sitting with them for a while in the warming sunshine. I certainly loved it.

0926blizzard2

What a gorgeous boy! Blizzard

0926hidatsajemez

Jemez greets Hidatsa, a 2-year-old.

Jemez’s dam, Strawberry, napped behind a tree the whole time I was there.

Have you seen a common theme in these horses? They look fantastic.

Then I headed to Britton Springs for the adoption. Trucks and trailers lined the gravel road a considerable distance away from the facility. I saw a license plate from West Virginia, and Matt said some folks came from as far away as Florida. Maybe the fact that all the horses were adopted should have been perfectly well expected. I arrived in time to see the last part of Ken McNabb’s training demo that morning with a yearling colt named Isildur.

0926kenmcnabb

Ken McNabb talking to the crowd.

0926mcnabbisildur2

I liked him. He had a really nice, gentle way with the horses.

0926mcnabbisildur

Isildur seemed to like him, too.

0926holsteritascabo

In the pen: 2-year-old Holster, yearling Itasca and 13-year-old Bo

0926isletagrumpy

Yearling filly Isleta – probably my own favorite – and 21-year-old Grumpy Grulla

0926ghostdancer

Ghost Dancer and her grulla filly. Note the crowd gathered for the adoption in the background.

0926adoptcrowd

There was, indeed, quite a crowd gathered.

I stayed only through the first round of bidding, and you all know the rest of the story – that all 57 horses found homes.

By then I needed some wild magic (call it medicine), so I headed up the Crooked Creek Road to the top of Pryor Mountain. It’s a rough road, but according to what I’ve heard, it’s the easiest! ๐Ÿ™‚ More pix will come in a Part 2.





McCullough Peaks

30 10 2009

No, no, it hasn’t taken me a month to post these photos; you folks just live at the speed of life, and I live somewhat slower (behind) … Well, better late than never?

On Sept. 24, I visited McCullough Peaks Herd Management Area east of Cody, Wyo., with friends Lynn and Kathy. During my first trip to the area two years ago, I saw horses WAY far away that I just couldn’t seem to get to; it was a visit between trips to the Pryor Mountain Wild Horse Range and Yellowstone. This time, I did it between Yellowstone and the Pryors, and having Lynn and Kathy (and you know who!) was the magic ticket!

I had gotten some tips from excellent wild horse photographer Pam Nickoles (be sure to follow her blog, listed on the blog roll), and sure enough, her suggestions were right on! From a ridge not far from the highway, we spotted three groups of horses: four fairly nearby (maybe bachelors), a group of at least 40 that we could see were right along the road farther out and another very large group that was farther away. We headed toward the big group by the road.

McCullough Peaks has a distance rule: You have to stay at least 500 feet from the horses. Even without that rule, we wanted to be good visitors and not disrupt the horses, which seemed “exotic” to me after spending so much quality time with my Spring Creek Basin ponies! So we inched up on the horses in our vehicles, stopping at least three times to allow them to see us and allow us to make sure we weren’t causing them to break their behavior – they were right in the middle of their afternoon naps, after all. ๐Ÿ™‚

0924sleepybutts

Fortunately for our excited selves, they didn’t seem too concerned about our approach.

Our slow creep toward the horses also gave us some time to study them: Was it really one gigantic band, as it seemed? I decided there were at least five different bands gathered together. During the whole time we spent watching them, we saw just two stallions have a little conversation. Otherwise, they were all calm with each other, with horses from different bands walking past each other – including foals. Quite a bit different than I’m used to in the basin.

0924kenyafar

This guy caught our eyes immediately, because of his solo distance from the group, because of his striking good looks and because, with his head so low, I wondered at first whether he might be hurt (he wasn’t).

Finally we decided to stop the Jeeps and hike out to watch and photograph and video the horses.

0924sealstudband

The pretty-pretty sorrel mare with the foal ended up being one of my favorites, and her colt looked just like Hannah! Who does the black mare at left remind you of? She might be a 2-year-old? The stallion is the glossy seal brown/dark bay boy grazing.

0924kenyawalkfar

We angled out toward the far side of the group to keep our distance from the bachelor, who seemed to take an interest in us.

0924whistlecrkbands

Lots of sorrels and bays and pintos.

Meanwhile …

0924kenyawalkclose

The striking bachelor had dropped his stealth approach and was actually walking right toward us!

Before this, we had not been paying a whole lot of attention to him, as he was grazing all the while, other than to occasionally wonder, uh, is it us, or is he closer now than he was a few minutes ago? He kept getting closer, and we kept trying to get farther away.

0924kenyabands

Pretty soon we decided we didn’t want to continue on toward the bands, and we didn’t know what to do about our curious visitor (when we were the real visitors!), so we headed back to the Jeeps. (I found out from Pam after I got back home that this is Kenya, and Pam’s photo of him and his dam was on a cover of Back in the Saddle catalog!)

I really am fairly distance challenged, whether I’m trying to figure out if something is a mile away or 500 feet away, so I totally relied on Lynn for distance judgment! I guess that just means we’ll all have to visit together again!

We decided to try to slide by them in the Jeeps, especially now that the bachelor, who had been very close to the road, was farther away, but at about that same moment in time, the horses decided they were sufficiently rested from their naps and it was time to head to water. By the time we realized that, though, they were coming up over a little rise beside the road – and beside us. I’m pretty sure we broke the distance rule or came darn close at that point, so we just froze in our tracks and let them go, taking only pictures of this group of beautiful horses!

0924blkstdband

This gorgeous black stallion had the two bay mares and the palomino filly – and who does SHE remind you of?

0924palfoalhorses

Another pic of her with more of the other horses around her. She’s a shade or three darker, but doesn’t she look a lot like Corona?

0924buckseal

I loved all their colors – so rich and glossy – and they were in phenomenal condition – dare I say, almost downright fat!

0924baymarescolt

That little guy got a little left behind, but no worries …

0924baymarecoltnurse

He very soon found mama, and all was well.

0924baymareblkfoal

This black boy was pretty big – maybe a yearling? Mama was taking a power nap.

0924sorrelmarefoalwalk

This is the sorrel mare and Hannah-look-alike colt from one of the previous pictures. Isn’t she lovely? Except for the lack of stockings, doesn’t the colt look so much like Hannah?

0924baycoltnurse

I would hate to know that these two were removed during the recent roundup, so, if you’re in the know, tell me only happy news or just not (that goes for any of them, really, but I just fell in love with this pretty girl) …

0924sealstudwalk

Who knows I am a sucker for bay horses?? Especially the dark bay/seal brown handsome ones?! ๐Ÿ™‚

We had a break between the majority of the horses and the band of a pinto stallion bringing up the rear, so we drove on up to an intersection where we could take another road to get out of their way and at the same time watch them walk to the water hole given away by the cottonwood trees, which always look so out of place on the sagebrush flats.

0924baymare

I thought this was a pretty girl, too.

0924buckskinpintos

Not to mention these colorful lovelies!

0924rerunfam

Pinto color patterns don’t usually do much for me, but I was ga-ga over this gorgeous black and white stallion! Pam later told me his name is Rerun.

0924rerunsfoals

There’s the littlest baby we saw, with his very pretty (bay) mama. Some of these horses had a very refined look to them; very beautiful. This little guy or gal is just a week or (more likely) less older than Hayden (this was Sept. 24; I think Hayden was born around Sept. 22!).

0924rerunband

More of his mares were ahead of those in this picture; I think Rerun had one of the biggest bands in that group. I do know that he was gathered during the roundup – and released, thank the pony gods and some angels. He’s just stunning.

0924horseswater

A lot of horses, no? This shows a lot (not all) of the horses ahead of Rerun’s band going toward the water hole as seen from our vantage on the side road. And you get a little sense of the terrain out there.

When all the horses were headed toward water away from the road, we went back to the intersection and continued on – sort of north or northwest, I think. This was definitely not the part of the herd area I had visited on my previous trip.

Up on a hill close to a fence, we spotted our final band of the day, a striking group of blacks and palominos.

0924blkpalfar

Now THAT’S some country! Wow, huh?? You can see the change in terrain from where the horses are and the red hills beyond – the “bench” they’re on drops off pretty dramatically there. Do you see all five horses? There’s a black stallion (the left of the three black horses), black mare and black foal, and two palomino mares – one is in the bottom right corner, butt to the camera.

0924blkpalbig

A little closer …

0924blkpalclose

And there’s all five horses. Pretty striking band, eh? Check out the dapples on the palominos.

We stayed up on the hill (thank goodness for long lenses) to watch these horses, which also didn’t seem bothered by our presence.

A couple of other visitors were in the herd area when we went back the way we had come, including a man from Washington state who later asked me how the aspen looked in Colorado as he was headed to the Red Mountain Pass area (north of Silverton) to shoot fall color.

L&K headed on out, and I went a different way to look for the other big group of horses we had originally seen, but except for a single dark horse, I never found them! I think L&K took that horse-finding mojo with them! ๐Ÿ™‚

But I’ll be back to see the beautiful horses, and I thank a very special mustang angel and Pam, who is a very special mustang angel in her own right, for their help. Pam has made numerous visits to these horses, and I encourage those of you reading to view her photos and read about her visits to McCullough Peaks and elsewhere!





Duke

26 10 2009

He’s OK. ๐Ÿ™‚

I know people are worried about him, so although I don’t have any photos, I did see him yesterday, way up high above and north of Spring Creek canyon. I don’t think he’s 100% yet, but given where he was and where the water is, he’s at least mobile. He was looking down on Steeldust’s band and grazing.

Some other updates: It really is too bad the BLM never got around to digging out the ponds because as soon as the Flat Top pond was holding some water, some bands started using it again (been dry a year and a half at least?!). Cinch and Bruiser have been hanging out in that general area consistently for about a week. Grey/Traveler’s band, Chrome’s little band (Iya decided to stay with her mama), and Seven’s and Steeldust’s bands also have been using the pond as their hub. Unfortunately, it’s very shallow and drying rapidly from the edges.

Seven has a story to tell … about how he ended up without Molly. Never fear – she’s OK and with Bounce’s family – and Liberty, too. She looks pretty rough, the tough ol’ gal, but she is raising a spunky baby girl, and she’s hanging in there. My interpretation is that she decided she was done walking all over kingdom basin and just stopped – back by the roller-coaster ridge pond. When I finally saw her (see how I spare ya’ll the panic?), I think it was on the tail end of her intro to Bounce and his kidlets … From a distance, I thought she was Poco or Roach (who remain the elusive-ites), but I couldn’t figure out why Gaia and Whisper were trotting TOWARD them if it was Daddy and another stallion. But it was Molly and Liberty, and I was relieved beyond belief. Guess I’m not quite ready to let go of the old girl. Big-girl Gaia was very interested in baby Liberty, who would pin her ears even as she trotted to the safety of mama’s side. Year-mate Whisper tried to show some interest, and Liberty showed him her butt! Well, she did grow up with a big brother (Ze), after all!

Bounce and his family members and everyone else looks fabulous. Winter coats are in, and the ponies are fuzzy and furry and ready for the arctic wind that’s forecast to coming barreling down on us tomorrow. Little Hayden is sooo little, but he’s tough. Wrap your prayers around the little mister.

There’s evidence of recent campers in different parts of the basin, but I’m amazed and thrilled to report that of all the trash I’ve carried out on my last couple of visits, it’s all old! (Except for pieces ofย  a broken tail light.) People are cleaning up after themselves and (mostly) respecting the new sign to stay on designated routes.

Speaking of campers, there’s a great, big, new addition to the corrals off the Disappointment Road. Don’t know what that’s all about. I wish we could have gotten the ponds dug out as easy as that fencing seemed to go up. There’s still plenty of room to ride in through the wire gate, and you 4CBCH folks will be able to get in next spring, though it takes up a good chunk of your traditional parking/camping area. Wish I knew how the BLM chose its projects … (although it wasn’t BLM people building it)

I do have photos from previous visits that I’ll be working on to get posted, but those couple of updates were important to get out, I thought. ๐Ÿ™‚





Catching up

22 10 2009

“There are 85,000 apps that can do almost anything.”

I have two questions: Wasn’t it just 75,000 a week ago? And … what the heck is an “app”? Or is it ap? Appy? Appaloosa? OK, now we’re talking my language. (If “almost anything” will select and cull my photos, download them, pick ones for the blog and tweak ’em and upload ’em … just tell me how to get one.)

Nope, no appys in this post, but I think it gets me up to just a week behind (it’ll widen again in a couple of days, no worries).

L&K beat me to the basin that morning. They know the ponies like nobody’s business, and it’s awesome having them out to visit. We were both optimistic and worried when we didn’t find Mr. Duke where they had seen him the day before. Unfortunately, none of us have seen him since.

Our first visit was with Steeldust’s band, who were drinking at the catchment. The three misters (Aspen, Hook and Twister) were there, too, drinking from the smaller trough.

100909sdcatchment

Big band at the big tank; misters at the little tank.

We stood at the road and took pictures … and after drinking, the horses wandered up to say hello!

100909alphagraze

Alpha, Butch, Ember and Hannah

100909stormnursing

Look at that big little guy! I don’t know whether he’s getting anything … but he’s still nursing – and mama Alpha is still letting him! Steeldust at left; Hannah at right.

100909stormtwister1

Then he goes over and pokes at Mr. Twister, who is hanging out with the big boys now. Twister’s getting his licks in now …

100909stormtwister2

Storm chases Twister …

100909stormtwister3

Twister flashes his heels (which I was too late to catch), and Storm-chaser backs off. Works every time.

100909boys

And then they were friends. There’s Comanche on the left, Mouse on the right, Aspen at far back right and Hook behind him.

100909sdbandlook

Sisters Ember (near) and Kestrel. Notice Storm (and Hannah) coming up behind them and young Pinon, also looking at something in the background.

100909lunalook

What are they looking at?

100909lunalookclose

Right to left: Ember, Kestrel, Luna, Butch and Hannah. Could be five generations there if Butch is, indeed, one of Luna’s brood.

L&K saw Cinch and Bruiser later when they drove to Flat Top to check the pond, so in hind sight, I wonder whether the ponies were checking out those boys out yonder.

100909kesemsthan

After Storm got his fill of boy time, he remembered his gentlemanly manners by escorting mistress Hannah back to the band … which she clearly didn’t appreciate – look at those ears! And big sisters Ember and Kestrel are posing prettily for the camera.

As the horses moved closer and closer to the road, we decided we might be blocking their route, so off we went.

100909mahogsable

On the way down the hill, I saw Mahogany and Sable looking down from the ridge, so I stopped the Jeep and grabbed a shot.

While L&K went to check the pond, I went on to check the Wildcat boulders.

100909wsbouldersh

100909wsbouldersv

Fabulous!!

While I was going clockwise around the loop, L&K were going counter-clockwise. Not a single pony was in view for me. Both the pond right by the road in the east and the east-pocket pond still have water. I was looking hard for Poco and Roach – and L&K saw them right before they saw me – but I never saw the boys. In fact, when I spied the wandering elusive-ites, L&K were already watching them … and worried about the one they didn’t see.

Seven’s were down on the southwest side of the roller-coaster ridge, out away from the pond, which also still has water. Seven, check. Roja and Ze, check. Liberty … all alone … where’s Molly? Liberty was by herself a short distance from the other horses, and while we watched, she turned and walked away. Seven and Roja and Ze followed, and they all dropped down into a wash out of sight. Every once in a while, we could see somebody’s back, but none of those backs were Molly’s. There were a few dead junipers out there and one alive. Knowing Molly-girl’s penchant for napping under trees, I thought she might have hung back while the other horses moseyed on, grazing. My theory was that when Liberty got out away from her, she decided she wasn’t going any farther and went back to Mama. Given Molly’s known condition – even though we also knew she had been seen recently by J&K – not seeing her worried us.

There was nothing for it but to walk out to get the scoop, for better or for worse. When I got to the edge of the wash and saw Liberty nursing from Molly, I was able to flash L&K the thumbs-up!

100909mollyliberty

It is what it is.

100909rojaze

Roja, little chow-hound that she is, never even looked up at me, and that in itself was a surprise. She’s usually the first to “alert.” Maybe I’m growing on her. ๐Ÿ™‚

100909seven

Silent sentinel. He also was very relaxed with me there.

I took just a few photos and left them – no worries from me, ponies.

Bounce and his band were on the other side of the ridge.

100909bounceband

Whisper, Bounce, Gaia and Alegre. They like this bend of the arroyo (and not just them – Poco and Roach, Hollywood’s … ), which is weird (?) because there’s no water in that section, but there is water farther west.

On the way back to the west-side loop road, we spotted Grey/Traveler’s way – WAY – off yonder under some trees sort of eastish of Round Top – between RT and the weird guzzler. I figure sometime between then and Sunday was when Chrome “acquired” Jif and Hayden.

100909hollsband

Hollywood had his band out on the east-west hill; that’s him at right. Then Piedra, Sage and Baylee.

Am I right, or was it warm?

Out on the flats east of the catchment were the misters and Steeldust’s band. (Keep that in mind.)

We got back to Filly Peak, and I hiked out “behind” the hill to check for Duke, and L&K went on down to the trap-road pond to look for him. We all came up unlucky. But guess who I did see from back yonder?

And that jogs the memory – on our way into the basin, they were out on the corral hill. So when I saw Kreacher’s band – traitors included – they were heading north toward – I thought – the catchment. I reunited with L&K and gave them the report, and sure enough, the band popped up and went to the big catchment trough. They drank, then headed back the way they had come and dropped back over the edge. We drove back over and were able to see them down on the flats south of the catchment.

L&K had a drive back to their home away from home, and I had a “date,” so we headed toward the entrance.

But the ponies had other ideas (don’t they always?). I guess they weren’t quite ready to say good-by to these fans-of-theirs … Remember I said Steeldust’s band had been out on the flats east of the catchment? By the time we got back around to just past Filly Peak … they were blocking the road!

100909rd-stormalpha

Mama Alpha and big-baby Storm (he had just finished nursing – again).

100909rd-sablenurse

Muddy brother Pinon, Sable and Mahogany. You can see the road above/behind them.

100909rd-kessabmah

Lovely Kestrel and Sable and Mahogany

100909rd-hannahluna

Must have been that time of day. Hannah and Luna (road again behind them).

So pony time intervened, and there was nothing to do but watch and admire and take pictures and smile and smile and smile. ๐Ÿ™‚ A minute after I figured I had to be leaving, the ponies were across and off the road, and we were on our way.

Can’t have a much better fare-thee-well than that! ๐Ÿ˜‰





Breakin’ it down

21 10 2009

http://www.americanherds.blogspot.com/





Visitors

20 10 2009

No, not aliens (is it my faulty memory, or has there already been a “Visitors” movie?). The weekend after I returned from Yellowstone, Joe and Kim of Boulder came down for a three-day visit of the wild horses of Spring Creek Basin.

It was great to meet them, but I wish the weather had provided a better introduction to the herd area and horses. Rain threatened but held off long enough for quick drive into the basin and brief orientation. If you haven’t yet figured out my extreme caution in the face of rain in the basin, I think Kim and Joe will attest to it!

Right at the entrance, Grey/Traveler’s band and Chrome found us, with Kreacher and Mona just to the east. An impressive welcome! Steeldust’s mountain goats, err, horses, were up on the very top of one of the “twin buttes” northeast-ish of the entrance.

When the first wave of rain came rolling up from the southwest, we headed out to the safety of the Disappointment Road … where we met up with Lynn and Kathy, who were also out to see the gang! The waves of rain proved to be short-lived, so L&K went on into the basin to see the horses at the entrance at least, and J&K and I went down to see David and Shadow, who L&K confirmed were still by the road.

While we were watching D&S, the pinto band came down for a very quick trip to the seep. We talked about hiking in to get a better look at them, but almost as soon as they came down for a drink, they headed back up again. L&K had joined us by that time and got to see the pintos as well.

Then another wave was coming, and it was damp and chill. J&K still had a couple of days to wait out the rain and explore the basin and meet the horses, but L&K and I eventually decided to head back to civilization.

J&K camped outside the herd area that night because of the weather, and they had the extreme good fortune of spotting Seven’s band up on a ridge from the road! Here are some wonderful pictures Joe took of the horses.

jaz2-72

Magnificent Seven

jaz5-72

Fat little Roja and her big boy, Ze

jaz4-72

Ol’ Molly-girl, hanging in there with her baby girl, Liberty

jaz3-72

jaz6-72

Didn’t Joe take some great photos?

(As an aside, can you see the resemblance to Grey/Traveler??)

J&K, wonderful to meet you and hope you’ll return in better weather! L&K – always enjoy your visits, especially when it wasn’t and won’t be the last!! ๐Ÿ™‚





Stop, time

19 10 2009

If anyone has a device to stop time or put more hours in a day, I could sure use it.

There have been some changes in the herd, and as it’s taking me so long to process photos, this will be a words-only post.

Only one change is worrisome: All three introduced mares (and baby Corona) are back with Kreacher, and Duke is alone – and hurt (left hind). I’ve seen pictures and a video clip of him, but I haven’t seen him for myself since I got the report from two of the herd’s biggest fans, Lynn and Kathy from New Mexico. Hard to judge the extent of his injury, but I have great hopes that he will heal and be just fine.

Chrome has finally had success after dogging Grey/Traveler’s band for a couple of months: He has Jif and her baby, christened Hayden as a nod to him being born while I was in Yellowstone, and Iya wandered over while I was there Saturday, so we’ll see whether that lasts. I think the “acquisition” happened last weekend, and the horses seem to be staying near each other, for the time being, at least. The horses themselves seemed perfectly fine with the new arrangement – very calm and relaxed.

There is one – singular – horse that qualifies as bony: 20+-year-old Molly. The old girl is definitely skinny. Her 4.5-month old filly, Liberty, looks great, though, as do Seven, Roja (who is the absolute, extreme opposite of bony!) and Ze.

Aspen, Hook and Twister alternate between hanging out by themselves and latching onto Steeldust’s band. Twister can most often be seen very close to Hook.

Cinch and Bruiser have been most often in the north and were seen Saturday drinking from the Flat Top pond, which held water after that big rain right before I left on vacation but is already drying from the edges.

Poco and Roach went back “home” and are not with Hollywood’s band right now, and Hollywood’s have been roaming all over the basin – including in Poco and Roach’s home territory. They all look great.

Bounce is keeping a low profile, and his lovelies all look lovely.

David and Shadow and the pintos seem to be staying close to the one reliable water source I know of in the south – which, by them hanging out in that location so consistently is what makes me think it’s their best/most reliable water source.

Steeldust’s big band still includes bachelors Mouse and Comanche and the young stallions Butch and Sundance. The interesting thing in this band is that one-year-and-almost-3-month-old Storm is still nursing from still-tolerant Alpha!

Everybody – except the aforementioned Molly-girl – looks very healthy!

We could use some more rain (I suspect I could type that phrase as part of every post). The reclaimed “road” to Wildcat Spring is now even better protected with a line of boulders. There’s a new sign up telling people to stay on designated routes. Thanks to D and B, K and Rย  of the National Mustang Association, Forest Service, San Juan Mountains Association and Bureau of Land Management for completing these projects.

Someday soon, I’ll get some more pix posted of my fabulous beauties!