Memorial Day

31 05 2010

Freedom is never easily attained. It should never be taken for granted.

I am the granddaughter of two World War II veterans. I am the daughter of an Army veteran. I am the niece of a Navy veteran. I am the cousin of a Navy SEAL. I am an American by the grace of birth. I am free by their service.

Thank you to all who serve, to all who sacrifice and have made the ultimate sacrifice, to those who sacrifice time with loved ones so they may serve to protect us.

Hollywood’s band

30 05 2010

Handsome Hollywood, pretty Piedra and nursing Tenaz

Now that her baby boy is a wee bit older, she’s more willing to show him off – and show off, he did! What a doll!

I went out and sat, and she grazed her way closer …

… and he stayed right at mama’s side at first … Look how big and beautiful he is.

Iya also came to see. Look how silvery she has turned as she sheds out. She’s 2 this year.

And Sagey-m’-boy. He has a bit of a boo-boo on his left hind cannon, but it looks like it’s healing just fine.

Baylee, 3 this year, and Iya. Interestingly, Baylee doesn’t appear to be pregnant, despite the fact that she’s been with Hollywood for more than a year now.

That Sage is a little love bug. (He’s pretty good-sized, by the way, but Iya is a pretty big girl. See in the previous pic how she’s almost as big as year-older Baylee. Sage is a yearling.)

But he usually has an ulterior motive!

Which is probably how he got his boo-boo!

They always forgive the little rascal. 🙂

And take a little revenge!

I was taking pix of Piedra and Tenaz when Sage walked into the frame – mama and her boys.

If I have *definitely* not figured one thing out (and there are many things I haven’t!), it’s why they eat what they eat. Here, Piedra is nibbling on saltbush or greasewood – I can’t quite tell from my pix because it’s not nearly as “leafed out” (do you call that stuff on greasewood “leaves”??) as the others in the area.

Now some pix of the happy little ham:

He’s a little past a month old now.

Maybe he’s going to be bay? I guess we’ll know for sure when his legs darken. I’d love to see Hollywood sire a dun foal, or grulla like I think his mama was. His mane is pretty dark, but you can see how light his tail is at the top before it darkens to black. Gideon is just about the same color. And Spring, too … though a little more obviously bay … a shade darker … not as “reddish”? (I’ve seen her several times but too far for pictures. Have not seen Wind and his family for a few weeks.)

Walking over to see what the “big babies” are looking at.

Still trying to manage those long-long legs!

Love this one … surrounded by family.

Bye for now, my lovelies!

We haven’t seen the last of Hollywood, who, when I saw him just a little bit later, seemed at least as surprised to see ME there as I was to see HIM there! Ha!

Stallion action

29 05 2010

The following series of pictures are of stallions – Steeldust and Mouse – fighting. Editor’s note: I seldom take such pictures let alone post them because such events are fairly rare – though not during this particular time of year (mares foaling, then coming into heat to be rebred). But so many people seem to have this Hollywood idea that stallions fight all day long that I do my best not to play to that particular misconception. But as with most of what I try to convey, there’s more to this kind of behavior than simply trying to steal a mare. Steeldust was NOT going after Mahogany; he was protecting his band, which has the rather odd makeup of another stallion (likely at least 4?),  two mares, a foal and an almost-2-year-old stallion who is clearly maturing sexually – and Steeldust seems to now be playing the lieutenant role to the other, younger stallion (Butch), who, I’m more convinced than ever, is his son (the resemblance is showing itself more and more). Luckily, Alpha is now out of heat, so all the attention was on Mahogany.

My other aim is to simply show the strength, power and agility of these horses. This all happened in a matter of seconds while I was sitting slightly uphill with Kestrel and sleeping Winona and guardian Comanche, and I didn’t “see” what you’ll see right away until I looked at the pictures on the computer.

Steeldust postures between Mahogany, Sundance and Mouse – in front of him – and his small band – behind.

Clearly a message to stay back. Notice his ears. At left: Sundance in front and Mouse behind him. Mahogany is out of the frame, but SunD’s attention is mostly on her, while Mouse is clearly now focused on Steeldust – perhaps a challenge he can conquer? (As he’s not having much luck getting between SunD and Mahogany.)

Look at Steeldust’s hind hooves – completely off the ground.

My impression of the incident was of Steeldust rearing very high and Mouse also rearing and then bulling into him like a freight train. The momentum must have been tremendous.

Sundance kicking at them … Didn’t connect.

Look again at Steeldust!

As hard as Mouse must have hit him, I’m surprised Steeldust didn’t go down.

The elder won … for now … Notice his ears now.

Neither seemed any worse for wear, but I’m sure there were at least bruises left behind.

Chrome’s band

28 05 2010

There’s such a calm that seems to come over the boys when a baby arrives. They seem to “settle.” I can’t really explain it.

Young mama has the hang of it. She looks pretty great, doesn’t she?

Another gorgeous mama – doesn’t she just epitomize “wild and beautiful”? Jif and Cuatro.

Hayden makes mama stop so he can nurse.

Followed by a nap in the sunshine and breeze. (It was a pretty hefty wind, actually, but he looks like such a peaceful babe, asleep, all right with the world, eh?) He’s shedding … slowly but surely.

Baby going down …

Baby coming up! This cracks me up because he’s getting up butt first. 🙂 This demonstrates his keen intelligence – not waiting for big brother to get close enough to pull a big-brother prank!

Mama Two Boots and her boys. She also was already in heat.

Cuatro napping …

Rio napping …

Being a daddy – even a stepdaddy – is hard work. Chrome napping. 🙂

Hayden still sleeping while Chrome starts to follow the others.

Such a stretch!

All in the family.

The end. 🙂

Meet Rio

28 05 2010

In honor of water and how precious it is – and what a disappearing resource it is every year – I named the newest addition to our herd Rio.

He’s Two Boots’ colt and Cuatro’s brother, and his sire is either Grey/Traveler or Twister … He’s sort of smoky black like Whisper was, and I’m sure he’ll go grey, too. He has just a wisp of a star and a clean little right hind fetlock.

Tall, dark and handsome!

Big brother Cuatro checks out the baby.

Do you remember that Cuatro was sort of an indeterminate brown when he was born? This little fellow is much darker, but Two Boots herself was coal black when she was born!

The Pryors have lupine … we have prince’s plume.

Some favorites to tease you with until I can go through more photos. This is our good news to counter the bad …

Bad news … with a silver lining

27 05 2010

To get it out of the way, because there’s good news coming, here it is: Mahogany obviously has had her foal. That foal just as obviously is nowhere in sight … with the resulting obvious conclusion that s/he didn’t survive.

Here she is with Sundance immediately behind her – he seems to have claimed her and is guarding her against all comers – and Mouse beside her at right, as close as he can get without being overtly challenging. Aspen also is vying for her, and they’re both protecting her from him …

… as well as still-nursing, almost-grown-up, almost-2-year-old mama’s-boy Storm. (Yes, the bands were back  “together” in the sense that they shared the same geography, but Steeldust is now acting as Butch’s lieutenant, protecting him, Luna, Gideon, Alpha and Storm (except when he goes on his hopeful breeding forays) and keeping the others at bay. Comanche has Kestrel and Winona – pictures to come – and they were close but far enough away that they were insulated from the chaos.)

Mahogany is definitely in heat (definitely no foal seven days ago), and Sundance has mounted her – as well as Storm – though I don’t know how successful either has been yet. And compare these pix with those from last week; she’s definitely no longer heavy in-foal.

So the loss of the foal is the bad news (it hit me hard, like they all do, but I’m trying not to dwell …).

The silver lining is that Mahogany – an older mare, though I don’t know how old (likely at least 10) – will have a year of rest before her next foal …

Happy birthday, Liberty!

25 05 2010

Our little Liberty-girl has known tragedy in her short life, but like most wild horses, she has adapted and persevered.

She was a tiny little thing from the beginning – Molly leading Liberty and Ze, Roja’s colt.

As an aside, I recently saw a picture in a local artisans gallery that showed both Molly and Roja with a sorrel stallion and three other horses – obviously before the roundup. I’ve wondered whether Molly is Roja’s dam … at least now I know they were together before the 2007 roundup.

She grew fairly well, though, eh? This was in August.

… and by November, she had lost her mama (that’s Gaia (2 now) in the picture above, who seemed to take on a bit of a mothering role to the girl) …

… and been adopted by Bounce and his family.

Just as orphan Twister found a home with Houdini and Two Boots and first Seven, then Grey/Traveler, so Liberty has found a family with Bounce and his youngsters (only Whisper is biologically his).

Whisper doesn’t feel sorry for her in the least. 🙂 (And maybe he has a little crush on her.) Whisper was born a couple of weeks before Liberty, but notice how much bigger he is. He’s his mama’s second foal … Liberty was Molly’s who-knows-how-many”th” foal …

Liberty and Whisper

Alegre makes no bones about favoring her own babies over Liberty, but I think she’s growing on her.

Happy birthday, tough, beautiful girl! Your mama would be proud of you!