13 10 2011

These are the hardest posts to write, and we’ve had maybe more than our fair share now.

Kiowa was put down at Canon City because of rapidly deteriorating condition from an infection that started with a leg injury. I spoke with Lona at Canon City for quite a while. Don’t know how the original injury occurred. Hacho is doing fine, and she is soon to be on her way back to the area with most of the other horses that are being adopted or bought (according to age).

Kiowa was an excellent mother and alpha mare. She’s one of three mares that had a surviving foal each year between 2007 and 2011, and at least two of her foals (Reya and Maiku) carry on her legacy in Spring Creek Basin.


3 09 2011

While I was tweaking photos of the pintos for the ID book last night, I couldn’t resist pulling these also to tweak for the blog.

Reya, Kiowa’s 4-year-old daughter. She was released with Kiowa after the 2007 roundup. Kiowa’s 3-year-old daughter (Spook) and 2-year-old son (Milagro) have left, but Reya stays with mama …

Kiowa, matriarch of the pinto band. All her babies since 2007 have survived, and until Milagro left to join the bachelors (Spook left this spring), they were all with her.

And the newest of Kiowa’s babies: Sweet Hacho.

Kiowa’s band

21 08 2011

Some pix from the short visit with Kiowa’s band:

Bachelor Corazon. I have a pic of him running with Mouse and some others in the spring of 2007, when I guessed they were probably young, 2 or 3 years old. If I was right, they’re about 6 or 7 now.

Corazon showing the “heart” that gave him his name, band stallion Copper behind him and 4-year-old filly Reya at right. Ty, Chipeta and Puzzle are down the hill to the left.

We had some gorgeous cloud-filled skies while it was raining to the south and west, and I couldn’t get enough of photographing cooperative ponies against it! Corazon again with bachelor Mesa. He’s probably about the same age as Corazon … low man in the pecking order.

Yearling colt Maiku with half-sister Reya (Kiowa is their mother).

Kiowa and her baby girl, Hacho. Kiowa has been prolific and protective. All of her offspring since 2007 (at least) have survived. She and Reya were released after the 2007 roundup (with Chipeta). Until this year, all her babies were still with her. Spook, 3, is now with Cinch (after being with Bruiser for a while), and Milagro, 2, is with the bachelor boys. (Referring to a recent comment on another post, you can see Kiowa’s “DC” brand clearly here. It designates that she was given the PZP-22 at our August 2007 roundup. It did not work on her other than – possibly – to delay her foaling from May 2008 to July 2009 … then June 2010 and May 2011.)

This is everybody but Corazon and Mesa: from left, Reya, Maiku, Hacho, Kiowa and Copper. This view is looking basically north, and you can see the top of Knife Edge (the nearly horizontal line topped by bits of dark trees) and the northern boundary hills/ridges in the background.

See how sweet are Hacho and mama Kiowa?

It’s the small things that matter most.


5 07 2011

Some more pix of Hacho and her mama and some of her family. Smoky again in Southwest Colorado … Las Conchas Fire south of us still burning, only 19 percent contained as of yesterday’s news. But the massive Wallow Fire (burning in eastern Arizona and into western New Mexico) is apparently about 95 percent contained.

I’ll start with stalwart bachelor Mesa. One of the original Southside Boys, he has lingered with the pinto band even as it has split. One of three solid bays in the basin. Handsome guy.

That wind was just whipping – this is where witchy knots and dreds come from!

Kiowa and Hacho. That wind was a tiring beast for the little girl.

Doesn’t this have the look of a diorama in a museum? Where the background is painted and lacks dimension? It was that crazy dust and smoke in the air. Band stallion Copper at left (he looks a lot like Mesa, but he’s redder, and he has left fetlock markings), Kiowa and Hacho, and big sister Reya at right.

I hope everyone had a wonderful and safe Fourth!


2 07 2011

Last year, I named Kiowa’s son Maiku (“my-kuh”), which, I found on an Internet search, is a Ute Indian word for a friendly greeting. Nothing really came to me for Kiowa’s daughter this year, until I did some research and found that hacho (“hah-choh”)Β is a Kiowa word for a friendly greeting.

So meet Hacho, daughter of Kiowa and Copper:

With mama Kiowa …

And daddy Copper.

This tells the story of the day – wind-blown tails and hazy background. Brother Maiku in the back, mama Kiowa directly in front, and sister Reya at right.

Another to illustrate the smoke and dust – that’s the unnamed promontory in the background. Right to left: Reya, Maiku, Hacho, Kiowa and Copper. Bachelors Corazon and Mesa are still with the band.

Yearling Maiku, left, and big sister Reya (4). Reya, for reasons I’m not clear about, is extremely protective of her family. Mesa, as low man, is tasked with guard duty, but it’s most often Reya who seems to stand guard. The horses also will guard the littlest members of the bands … Maybe it’s because she’s the oldest of Kiowa’s foals since the last roundup (Reya was released with Kiowa, and though 3-year-old Spook and 2-year-old Milagro have left the band, Reya remains) – Reya seems to guard all but Corazon and Mesa. I’m certain she was pregnant this spring … I don’t know what happened to her foal.

Kiowa and Hacho (Maiku in back).

(Past) Time for rain dances …

Pinto foal

8 06 2011

More of Kiowa’s baby and the pinto band.

Kiowa and three of her babies: Newest baby, yearling Maiku and 4-year-old Reya (who seems to also have lost the foal I’m sure she was carrying). Her babies Milagro (2) and Spook (3) are out on their own this year.

Kiowa was on her foaling heat, and Copper (band stallion) was quite interested.

Copper, Kiowa, Reya and Maiku

Because of Kiowa in heat, the stallions were roiling, but it makes for a fun picture!

Kiowa has a baby!

2 06 2011

I wasn’t expecting Kiowa to foal until the end of the month … which makes for a couple of realizations: She conceived last year on her foaling heat, and she’s now foaling within a month of when she was foaling before she got the PZP-22 in August 2007. Makes ya go hmmm.

From this side, baby looks a lot like big brother Maiku with that white slash over her withers …

… but a little more white on this side!

The wind today was brutal. By early afternoon, the La Sals were visible only as a bare outline against the horizon. The dust in the air wasn’t as thick as I’ve ever seen, but it was a rough day. That said, I saw almost all the horses, including this newest treasure!

What a sweet little spotted baby! Maybe a filly … but maybe not!

Kiowa’s in heat, and Corazon is not happy being odd man out …

With that kind of chaos, they didn’t need me around, so I got some documentary photos of the new baby and left the ponies to the wind.

A little light, a little glimpse

19 03 2011

The air this week was warmer, the wind just as stiff, the sun mostly losing its wager with the clouds. I forgot to apply sunscreen but managed to avoid sunburn despite some nice, long hikes and wonderful pony visits.

The biggest news of the “weekend” is that not only is Bruiser alone, Spring is MIA. Seven’s were very near Bruiser; not with them. I spotted the pintos andΒ  visited them later; not with them. David’s? Nope. Chrome’s? Nope. Luna’s? Hook’s? Those are the bands in the area or close to that frequented by Bruiser and Spring when I saw them together and Bruiser otherwise these last few months. Nope. Didn’t see Cinch’s or Poco and Roach this visit, but in the last two visits, I’ve seen everybody but Spring.

When I walked out to the pintos – very close to the road but in a place where I wouldn’t have seen them if I hadn’t known they were there (I saw them originally from above!) – Milagro was the first to see me … then bachelor Mesa. Neither of them raised an alarm but went on grazing, so I was able to watch the other horses for a while before the others started to become aware of me. When Puzzle saw me, she looked around for mama, who was a little distance away. She broke into this flamboyant little trot …

Then stopped again for a look!

Shortly after, she was reunited with mama Chipeta.

Chipeta wasn’t too worried …

Kiowa, even less so!

The light broke though the clouds just before sunset, but the horses were so relaxed, they weren’t even facing me, let alone looking at me! Oh the hardship! πŸ™‚ (The next day, I’d take a pic of six horses – all facing me, all ears pricked! Oh, the joy!) It was nice just to visit with these guys; I hadn’t spent any time with them all winter.

Corazon and Ty had a minor disagreement over sniffing rights on a manure pile. It always amazes me how high they can strike.

Moments later:


I got my first close look at the pintos in quite a while – enough to be fairly sure that both Reya (foreground), almost 4, and Spook, almost 3, are pregnant. So we’re looking at the possibility of four foals in the pinto band this year (with Kiowa and Chipeta). For new readers, Reya and Spook are Kiowa’s daughters. Interestingly, all her foals (since 2007 – Reya was released with her after the last roundup) are still with her … No other mare in the basin holds that distinction. Then again, the pintos stay fairly well isolated from the other bands (and there are three bachelors plus the band stallion with the band), so it’s not that surprising.

Last gasp of sunlight … I loved how they are so softly illuminated – along with the hills in the background.

Not a chance of seeing the not-quite-full moon come up because it was so cloudy. Anyone going to watch the supermoon come up tonight? The official time of moonrise – in Durango, at least – is 7:49 p.m., according to our story. That never seems to account for the fact that we’re ringed by mountains – or at least high ridges – but there it is. Get out and enjoy it, coming up over land I hope you love.

Catching up

16 12 2010

You’ve been working hard to select photos the last week or so, now I have some new photos to share of gorgeous ponies!

Taken last week – hasn’t Puzzle grown?!

Aw, Mom!

Maiku and Kiowa

Checking out a tendril of mama’s mane.

Today … sweet Chrome and baby Rio


He makes me smile. πŸ™‚

Extended family

20 09 2010

No one’s curious about Mona and Shane and their new band? No one at all?

Good – because this post is not about them. πŸ™‚ It’s about the wonderful little family of spots and solids and very black-dark turning grizzled grey: The pintos.

Minutes before sunrise, looking toward the unnamed promontory (left) and Brumley Point (right); the pintos are grazing on the hill behind me.

Mama Chipeta and Puzzle

Band stallion Copper and 2-year-old Spook

Mama Kiowa and baby Maiku

Isn’t she adorable?

I’m not often confident enough to pan with a slower-than-normal shutter speed, even though I love the effect. In the shade of pre-sunrise, the ponies gave me a good opportunity: Maiku and Spook and Chipeta ran a short way down this little finger of a hill when Mesa popped up behind them.

I watched the rising sun light the hills to the west in a slow creep … then the valley below … but when it hit our hill, it seemed like it was all at once – wow!

Milagro – and yes, I think that’s a prickly pear spine in his little face. He looks so much like daddy Copper.

Milagro is Maiku’s yearling big brother (probably full). Spook, pictured here with Maiku, is his 2-year-old big half-sister.

Big girl loves the little brother.

Maiku had been napping in the sunshine while mama and his sisters grazed around him. Here he’s stretching as Puzzle walks past, following mama.

She’s a little too little yet to interact much with him, but I’m sure they’ll become great pals, these (likely) half-siblings.

Once upon a time, in the wilds of Spring Creek Basin, Colorado, there lived a beautiful spotted princess and her mother and daddy and extended family.

She was strong and beautiful and well-adapted to her hilly home.

Her mama knew the importance of feeding the princess well to build strong bones and muscles so she could run with the wind in her curly little mane on strong little legs and flinty little hooves.

Mama also made sure there was plenty of time for baby to nap in the lovely warm sunshine.

The little princess knew the value of appearing graceful and poised at all times.

She knew she was so well cared for she could sleep safely in the presence of her mama, a princess in her own right, and the queen and her brother, and that all would be well when she awakened.

So the little princess slept soundly on her bed of grass and earth on the hill near the top of her beautiful world.

And when she had awakened and stretched and turned for mama, there she was, watchful and protective and waiting for her daughter, the littlest princess of Spring Creek Basin!

Not the end. πŸ™‚ Some more:

Baby girl nursing surrounded by family: Kiowa and Maiku at left, Spook and Copper right of Chipeta and Puzzle, and Milagro at bottom right.

Ty and Copper – do you see the little sunflowers in front of Ty?



Kiowa and Maiku grazing while Puzzle naps.

Puzzle and Chipeta, Maiku and Spook

Family: Left to right: 2-year-old daughter of Kiowa, Spook; band stallion Copper, sire (likely) of Milagro and Maiku and Puzzle; Maiku, baby son of Kiowa; Kiowa, dam of Reya, Spook, Milagro and Maiku; Reya, 3-year-old daughter of Kiowa; and Milagro, yearling son of Kiowa and Copper, in the background. Milo’s ears are up, but he’s half-asleep, but how’s that for getting six pairs of ears up at the same time!

The gang’s all there. Mesa at lower left. Chipeta and Puzzle, then Corazon, then Spook, Copper (you can just see his face), Maiku now lying down, Kiowa, Reya and Ty, and Milo in the back. This was their after-sunrise nap, and they enjoyed that wonderful sunshine as I bid them another “thank you” and farewell – only until next time!