Pryor Mountain – Part 3 (Updated)

26 11 2009

I apologize in advance for the backwards-first nature of this particular post, but for goodness sake, my visit was two months ago! So I’m trying to get the rest of the photos from that day (Sept. 26, after the adoption) posted … but the order is going to be a little funky (time, time … give me more time …).

To recap a little, I drove up the Crooked Creek Road and first encountered horses near Krueger (?) Pond. After a wonderful visit with a few bands there (Bolder’s, Lakota’s, Doc’s and Jackson’s), I drove on and took the fork toward Penn’s cabin. There were a lot of horses in that area, down in a sort of draw and then by a little pond. I walked out and sat on a rock outcropping above the pond for most of this visit and took pictures of the horses as they grazed around me and came to water. From “yonder” at what seemed like the edge of the mountain, horses kept appearing and walking toward the pond. I was so focused on the horses while I was there that I never actually saw the cabin. Someone – Pam, maybe – said she was surprised I didn’t see the cabin. As it turned out, I *was* in view of it – it showed up in at least one of my pictures! I swear, I never saw the cabin for the horses! šŸ™‚

I took so many pictures during my time on Pryor Mountain that I used two memory cards (all of one 8 gb and most of another 8, and maybe that helps explain my delay in processing and posting pix??). The following pictures are from the second card, so the end of my time there. Again, sorry for the order. Also, there were SO many horses up there, and they were so close to each other that I wasn’t entirely sure which horses were with which band – and I didn’t have Matt’s list at that point, so I was looking just at the horses and their behavior/interaction with each other. Our Spring Creek Basin horses don’t gather in such proximity – and definitely not as calmly as these horses! Another noticeable difference: In the basin, I go to the horses; on Pryor Mountain, I went to their general area, and they came to me. I walked out from the road to sit on the outcropping with some horses grazing out in the open toward the cabin (where I now know the cabin is) from the pond and more walking from quite a distance beyond that to the pond, and I ended up literally surrounded by horses. Talk about magic. I was in heaven.

As always, Matt and Pam and others knowledgeable about the Pryor horses, please correct me if needed. Even with Matt’s list of colors and descriptions, it wasn’t easy to figure out these horses because it was hard to figure out the “delineation” of bands!

I’ll start with Baja’s band, walking to water.

Baja, to me, seems to be one of the stallions that epitomize the Pryor mustangs with his dun color and “Spanish warhorse” build. Followed by Washakie, Bacardi and Bacardi’s lovely filly. Band members Graciana and her colt were bringing up the rear out of this image. The filly was feeling her oats on this beautiful evening; she would gallop up to near the head of the line then stop – for a scratch – then burst into a gallop again when the band seemed to “leave her behind.”

Here she is catching up to Baja and grandma (?) Washakie. Matt’s list indicates that Washakie is Bacardi’s dam, and Bacardi is Graciana’s dam.

Graciana’s colt was following the band ahead of his dam, but they were a fair distance behind. He kept stopping and looking back at his dam, but then he seemed to decide that he was tired of waiting for mama and missing the fun his sister (and aunt?) was having, so he hustled on after the band … and then Graciana broke into a trot also. šŸ™‚ It was fun watching them.

Now here are two horses I’m not entirely sure I have right (it was hard to see some of their lower leg markings because of the grass): Felina (right) and her filly? In Morning Star’s band? They were toward the road when I first got there and walked out to the outcropping, then they walked down to water past/below me, then back up to where they had been before.

I really liked this mare’s striking color (Felina again, if I have her correctly identified), sort of darkish buck-dunny! And loved her shoulder and neck stripes, which you can see in the previous picture and which her filly seems to have inherited. The dun beside her must (might?) be Hataalii? If so, she’s a 2-year-old filly out of Sapo, the grulla dam of the buckskin filly in Bolder’s band (pix in part 2).

Prince. Matt wrote about this guy on his blog awhile back, noting that lip injury. It looks pretty ragged but doesn’t seem to bother him much; he’s very stout, hale and hearty and has a mare, red roan Ireland. He’s 16.

Cloud, one of the horses I could recognize without Matt’s list (really, is there anyone who couldn’t recognize this handsome stallion?), and his band came from “yonder” way out shortly after I sat down. At about the same time, Baja’s band was coming from a slightly different location “yonder.” Baja’s band went directly down the trail to water, but Cloud’s broke off the trail and came up down (sorry, I’m finding it hard to describe the directions!) where the outcropping followed the line of the hill below me.

He was completely uninterested in me, and in almost all the pictures I took of him, he’s grazing. I finally got this shot – one of my favorites – when he saw (I think) Baja’s band coming up from water. He took an interest in them and took a few steps toward them before just going back to grazing! Supremely confident, this lad. šŸ™‚ (This was cropped into a vertical image from a horizontal picture.)

Quite a significant crop of the original pic … I loved the light on his shining forelock.

And then there was the dainty little nearly newborn baby girl … Halcyon’s filly. Truly, one of the most adorable babies ever (said she who knows every baby born is the most adorable ever)!

Soooo tired … head sooo heavy … Did I lie??

She and her mother (Halcyon) and grandmother (Blue Sioux) and another mare (Adona) are in Coronado’s band, and I think this might be the little one that was born just before the roundup and left on the mountain because she was too little to come down? (Thank goodness!)

My favorite moment/picture from the entire day. Absolutely and positively. Halcyon is just 2 years old, like our Two Boots. There will be an interesting little surprise in the next batch of pictures – from just a short time before this picture was taken.

And now, a little series:

After her dinner, mama and grandma walked away grazing, leaving baby momentarily behind. So she burst into dance …

… She got to mama, but she galloped on past …

… When she got to grandma Blue Sioux, she slowed down but kept going …

… She finally stopped when she got to daddy (?) Coronado! Daddy’s little girl! He paused in his grazing to shake his head, then went right back to it, completely unperturbed and leading by example. šŸ™‚ Loved this!

Here’s one of her from earlier, after she got up from her nap. She was scratching with a back leg (that’s what you see in the very lower right corner), but I found her curly little mane fascinating! What a doll!

By this point, I was at least half an hour past the time I had told myself I needed to leave to head back down the mountain. How I would have loved to have stayed there on that magic mountain that evening, all the way to night darkness.

This is one of the last pictures I took that evening. I don’t know the horses. They were yet another band coming up from “yonder” at the “edge” of the mountain. Check out the country beyond! That’s looking eastish, I think – maybe eastish-southeastish? – toward the Bighorn Canyon National Recreation Area/Bighorn Mountains? Matt will have to help me with the geography. It’s one of the unique attributes of Pryor Mountain, that when you’re on top, you’re really on top of the world, and there really are “edges” (OK, not *really*) below which the rest of the world seems so far removed … and you wish it really was sometimes. Pam has a phenomenal photo of a Pryor stallion rearing on the mountain with a rainbow over him and seemingly all of Wyoming spread out at the bottom of the mountain below. When I think of the Pryor Mountain horses, I think of the horses “at the top of the world.”

Hopefully, I’ll finish this post by just adding new pictures – from before these (again, sorry) – here (and it may take me another little while). Magic is without order, after all. šŸ™‚

OK, these pictures conclude my Pryor Mountain visit – these were taken before the ones above (sorry, again!).

From my perch above the pond … Morning Star’s band? You can see the road continuing on in the background (I parked back up the hill behind this vantage).

I included this one to give a little glimpse at how close some of the bands were to each other. Front left: Ireland and Prince. Morning Star (I think) behind them, and I think those are his mares and foals at far right (but I’m not entirely sure that foal is Felina’s now?). In the middle is Custer and his mare grulla Winnemucca and (the list says black) colt Irial … who is Ireland’s colt. Goodness.

Ireland and Prince … Irial and Custer?

Something caught Winnemucca’s eye, and she walked up the hill behind me. Such a pretty, feminine mare.

It wasn’t long before Custer was hot on her trail! Look at that long trot!

Happily reunited.

The trees kind of ruin the “edge of the world” look, but there’s Cloud taking in the view of his world.

As his band was appearing, so was Baja’s, from farther right. It was a crazy kind of thing … horses kept coming up from that “edge”! It was like they were coming up from Neverland and just appearing at the top of the mountain.

And there it is – the cabin! (Far upper right.)

I think these are in Cloud’s band: grulla Aztec and filly Jasmine and … and black …? Bailey’s or Pococeno?

This was the water hole below my perch. Morning Star’s band, I think?

And remember the little surprise regarding Halcyon?

Here’s her baby nursing …

Then, after her baby had nursed, Halcyon went over to HER mother, Blue Sioux, and nursed! And I thought our boy Storm nursing was weird! He’s 16 months old! Matt’s list says Halcyon was born in 2007.

Really, a lovely day. šŸ™‚


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6 responses

27 11 2009
pnickoles

Gorgeous pictures TJ. I haven’t seen Prince up close since his lip injury. Glad it doesn’t bother him. And, I just knew you had to have seen that cabin! šŸ™‚ I look forward to seeing more from your visit.

27 11 2009
Lynn Bauer

Great job!! – can only imagine what it must have been like to be so close to such wild beauty! Thanks for posting these – They’re really, really GOOD!
Lynn

27 11 2009
TJ

Pam – that’s the thing – I did NOT see the cabin … until I was cozy and comfortable in my own chair here at home looking through the pix! Ha! And I’m pretty sure I had gone through the pix once … and didn’t see it then … not till this most recent time going through pictures! Prince did look very good and healthy except that poor lip! Did I get the horses’ IDs right? Felina?

Lynn (& Kathy) – oh, it was just wonderful. You really must make plans for a trip some day soon. šŸ™‚

TJ

29 11 2009
Lea Williams

How could you have missed it. When we were there that water hole was full. That was in August. A couple of years ago. Love those horses.

30 12 2009
Rochlia

Is Winnemucca also known as Waif? I know Custer has a mare named Waif- and Winnemucca looks quite a bit like her.

30 12 2009
TJ

You know more about the Pryor mustangs than I do! Contact Matt at the Pryor Mountain Wild Mustang Center – he’ll know.

http://pryorwild.wordpress.com/ or
http://www.pryormustangs.org/

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