RIP Indy

14 07 2011

Hook’s band is missing two … At around a week old, Ember’s colt is likely missing permanently. 😦

The band is quite a distance from where they were last week. I have no idea what happened to the little guy … Twister’s no longer with the band, either, but I’m sure he’ll turn up.

It’s nature … it’s tougher when you’ve met them. Going with Teresa’s name suggestion, rest in peace, little Indy.

Bounce’s band

13 07 2011

First to arrive, last to leave the east pocket … Bounce’s band is still there. They have it – and the Sorrel Flats pond (east-pocket pond is dry) – all to themselves now, as far as I can tell. Storm’s band (Baylee and Tenaz) may still be back in the area, but they stayed out of my view both days.

I caught these handsome ponies about to head into the shade. Nice overnight – and a few sprinkles – but it gets hot fast, and the bugs are bad.

Baby girl Aurora watching me with daddy Bounce – mama Alegre uses son Whisper to shed some bugs.

This was not planned, just a random catch of the camera. 🙂 Those lighter specks against ‘Rora’s dark coat are gnats – mama’s tail is handy!

Family portrait – sleepy mama!

🙂 Bounce giving me the horse laugh – and keeping an eye on me to boot!

Daddy Bounce with son Whisper …

Whisper with mama Alegre. Alegre’s 3-year-old daughter, Gaia (her first foal, as far as I know), is with Cinch and Liberty. Two-year-old Whisper is still with mama and daddy and baby sister. Gaia was an excellent babysitter for baby brother, and he is now an excellent babysitter for his baby sister!




Baby Aurora 🙂

Chrome’s band

13 07 2011

Chrome’s band is the current welcoming party to the basin, hanging out in the area of Filly Peak.

Who wouldn’t be welcomed by this sight?

Mama Jif is growing wider.

Hayden is a good big brother to Rio and Boreas.

Boreas and Rio

Boreas and mama Two Boots

Little Mr. Handsome!

Littlest Mr. Handsome! 🙂

Comanche’s band

13 07 2011

Kestrel and baby girl Juniper were among the first to greet me last week.

Hiya, handsome!

Yearling Winona and stepdaddy Comanche

Juni and her daddy, Comanche

Juni with daddy Comanche and big sister Winona

Hiya, beautiful! She looks a little rough while she’s shedding her baby coat, but isn’t she cuuuuuuute?!



Growing up gorgeous!

By the next day, the band was way up in the northwest, visiting with Hollywood’s band (and Duke)!

Boy band

13 07 2011

Is there anything as fun as watching bachelors? 🙂

Most of our older bachelors have found families, and we have a new generation of bachelors. They’ve been together, they’ve paired up, they’ve split, they’ve found older boys, they’ve found boys slightly less old. During last week’s visit, all the young boys were with Aspen and Sundance (who have their own history), and they were all hanging out close to Luna’s band, which has Lt. Steeldust (formerly the band stallion) and satellite Mouse (and those two have gone back and forth in recent weeks). This visit, Mouse was entertaining the boys while Steeldust and Butch stayed close to the girls (Luna and Alpha).

Bachelor boy butts. 🙂 Might as well start with a chuckle, eh? In back is Milagro, then left to right: Sundance, Cuatro, Ze, Sage and Aspen.

Luna’s band: Steeldust at back left, Butch, Gideon barely visible, Alpha, Luna and napping Varoujan. He kept lying down … and the girls would graze away, and he’d get up and follow … and lie back down … and they’d graze away …

The little with mama Luna and “auntie” Alpha.

Sage, Cuatro and Mouse

Butch finally decided to leave the girls (and Steeldust) and come check out the competition, all of whom were politely respectful. That’s Sage he’s stretching toward, Ze to Sage’s left, Mouse in back and Aspen at right. Who spots napping Varoujan?

Varo napping while Cuatro grazes.

Ze walking past napping Varo. He was followed by Aspen – most of the boys are to the left, and Varo’s band is to the right. None of the stallions made so much as a threatening flick of the ear toward the little boy.

Sundance mostly ignored the goings-on. Milagro tended to stick back with him. He’s quite a bit smaller than the other colts, as you can see in the first pic of their butts toward me. He, Sage, Ze and Cuatro are all 2 years old. Sundance is probably about 6; Aspen and Mouse are probably about 6-8ish.

Mouse, right, and Cuatro.

Mouse, front, and Sage.

Ze – that’s Cuatro, grazing, at right.

Ze and Cuatro again – comfortable with each other. They’ve been together and apart … the pal-pairs are Sage and Ze and Cuatro and Milagro.

Just makes me smile. 🙂 From left: Cuatro, Aspen, Sage and Mouse.

And wider, to show some of the beautiful background – looking eastish.

Varoujan napping, framed by grazing daddy Butch.

Can you even stand how cute he is?! Just a tired little boy who’s been playing in the mud and is now all tuckered out. 🙂

Taking steps to convince mama it’s lunch time. How DO little boys get so covered in mud?! 🙂

I caught up on some pix of ponies today – more coming.

Shout out

11 07 2011

Thank you to all who commented on our preliminary EA for this fall’s roundup in Spring Creek Basin. Your support of our mustangs is very much appreciated!

Juniper & Winona

Down to the wire

10 07 2011

Comments on our preliminary EA for this fall’s roundup are due tomorrow – Monday, July 11. Comments from this preliminary document will form the basis of the final EA. If nothing else, and if you haven’t already, please send comments in support of “Alternative 1 – proposed action: Helicopter drive trap and capture up to 60 wild horses in order to remove 50 excess animals. Apply the contraceptive porcine zona pellucida (PZP) with annual boosters over the next five years, and establish a 60% male sex ratio.”


Details: Mail to Tom Rice, BLM Associate Field Office Manager, 27501 Highway 184, Dolores, CO 81323, or email to For more information, call Tom Rice at (970) 882-6843. Comments are most helpful if they are specific to Spring Creek Basin Herd Management Area and to the proposed gather activities described in the Alternatives section of the EA. Comments received in response to this solicitation, including names and addresses, will be part of the public record.

Hacho & Maiku

We have worked hard – almost four years, since the last roundup in 2007 – to get to this point. Is there more work to do? Of course there is – management has goals, but good management has no end point – it evolves. Right now, this is the next step on the path to sustainable management for the mustangs of Spring Creek Basin. Do we wish bait trapping was being used over the helicopter? Of course we do. We worked on that, and for a variety of reasons, that plan did not come to fruition for this roundup. We’re also working on the gender skewing issue. Sixty percent stallions is actually better than it was after 2007 – and now we know the exact makeup of the herd to ensure it’s no more than that.

Whisper & Aurora

But annual PZP darting is a huge, integral part of the new management plan – and that IS being implemented at this roundup. This is a giant step, and it represents numerous steps in a process that at times has been massively frustrating, and it heralds a valuable new partnership between our advocacy groups (National Mustang Association/Colorado, Four Corners Back Country Horsemen, Mesa Verde Back Country Horsemen – as individual groups and collectively as Disappointment Wild Bunch Partners (which also includes San Juan Mountains Association)) and the Dolores Public Lands Office, managing agency for Spring Creek Basin Herd Management Area. Representative volunteers from these groups will be actively involved at both the roundup and adoption.

To clarify some concerns I’ve heard from people: We are NOT using PZP-22 here again; we are using native PZP, delivered annually via dart. No stallions will be returned to the basin as geldings. Cattle grazing in the basin is NOT part of the current EA – which pertains to the roundup only.

Sustainable management means managing wild horses in the wild. Doing that means reducing population growth. The means to do that is within reach. Please support Alternative 1.


Rules of the road

9 07 2011

Chrome teaching his boys about the finer points of stud pile etiquette. Baby Boreas is his son; yearling Rio and almost-2-year-old Hayden are his stepsons.

Saw some great displays of stallion affection (and annoyance) this week, including the bachelor boys tiptoeing ever-s0-carefully around napping Varoujan and Kreacher needing all his patience to deal with cheeky son Apollo while he was trying to get sips from the trickle.

Just because, a cropped shot of the boys together:

Rio and Boreas have the same mama (Two Boots) – and an older brother, Cuatro – and Hayden and Rio may have the same daddy. Hayden’s sire is Grey/Traveler; Rio’s sire is Grey/Traveler or Twister. (And I know I’ve said this before, but the resemblance between Twister and Grey is astonishing. Twister is still with Hook’s band.) They look like they’re plotting something, don’t they? This was right before Chrome came down to the stud pile you see in the background (out, out darn pile!).

OK, here’s one of Boreas and his mama:

He’s already greying out over his hindquarters and back. Long-legged handsome little thing, isn’t he?

And it wouldn’t be complete without a pic of mama Jif … expecting …

Grey(‘s) girls

9 07 2011

OK, they’re not *all* grey. 🙂 From left: Terra, Corona, Deniz, Gemma and Houdini in back. Terra, Gemma and Deniz are Grey’s and Houdini’s daughters. The black clearly visible on Corona’s legs is mud from Wildcat Spring. Corona is pale, pale, ever-so-pale palomino (genetics she inherits from her sire, Corona, of Sand Wash Basin).

The beloved boy himself. So I’m biased … aren’t you?!

Preliminary roundup EA – comments due Monday

8 07 2011

A reminder that comments for the preliminary EA for the scheduled roundup this fall of Spring Creek Basin are due Monday, July 11.

Here’s a link to my previously posted thoughts about this preliminary EA and a request for folks to get their comments in. Again, this roundup and the removal of some horses IS necessary this year. Visitors can attest to how dry it is in the basin, and we’re nearing capacity for what this range can sustain in numbers of horses. Please support “Alternative 1 – Proposed Action: Helicopter drive trap and capture up to 60 wild horses in order to remove 50 excess animals. Apply the contraceptive porcine zona pellucida (PZP) with annual boosters over the next five years, and establish a 60% male sex ratio.”