Pati & Sherwood

30 10 2011

I have all these great photos of Pati and Sherwood (Rio) from a few weeks ago … and I just don’t know where to start to share them all! That they need to be shared – Pati’s great rapport with this colt, son or grandson of Traveler – there is no doubt.

I posted a few awhile back with every intention to get to more … best intentions!

Another preview …

One of my favorite moments of watching them:

Pati brought in a tarp, which would send most domestic horses running for the hills. She placed a little bit of hay on it – that’s what you see that Sherwood’s so interested in.

Here he is, standing right on the tarp eating his hay.

And picking it up off the ground – notice he’s still standing on it. Scared? Not this wild boy!

More to come of this fabulous pair. I promise.

Pati and Sherwood

14 10 2011

Some well-deserved praise after …

and …

How gorgeous are they?

I got to spend some time with them this week (Sherwood is my “godchild,” Pati says, and I couldn’t be more proud!) and am just thrilled at the sight of them. I mentioned before that Sherwood isn’t Pati’s first mustang, but he’s certainly her latest challenge. Smart as the proverbial whip, this boy. Good thing she’s a great teacher!

Rio – now named Sherwood

7 10 2011

Good friend of the mustangs (and adopter of burros!) Ann took these pix last week of NMA/CO’s Pati and the colt she adopted, yearling Rio. She has named him Sherwood. That name has some history, so I’ll let Pati explain it!

“Sherwood is a year-and-a-half-old colt named in honor of Sherwood McGuigan, who was president of the National Mustang Association/Colorado for 10 years.”[Sherwood was one of the founding members of NMA/CO, and we owe a great deal to her for shepherding NMA/CO into the organization it is today.]

Pati is an amazing woman herself. I first met Pati shortly before the 2007 roundup, and from then forward, I have come to rely heavily on her knowledge of mustangs in general and Spring Creek Basin mustangs in particular. She and her husband, David, are my ultimate support pair, anchoring me always on this journey of the horses. They have been involved with NMA/CO from nearly the beginning. Our beautiful Pati is one of the strongest women I’ve ever met.

Here’s what she says about her training process with Sherwood: “The first day home, I followed him slowly around the round pen for two hours, stepping back each time he turned toward me and/or approached and being careful to never block his forward movement. The next day, I hand-fed him fresh grass and began brushing his nose, then sides of his face with strands of grass or hay. By the third day, I could reach up and scratch his forehead while feeding him and then introduced a strand of baling twine and moved it up and down his face and ultimately over his ears. By holding the two ends, I encouraged him to come forward to pressure and step over his hindquarters. Later, I replaced the twine with a thick cotton rope and continued to move it about his body, being careful to slowly desensitize him to the new feeling.”

Ann described these photos as a series in the dance between Pati and Sherwood. I think she’s right.

Little guy is doing so well! Mr. Sherwood is just the most recent mustang Pati and David have adopted. He couldn’t be in better hands.

Boreas and family

15 08 2011

Chrome’s were on the first hill as you drive into the basin when I saw them last week and realized Jif was no longer pregnant. Part of the time, there was a nice view down to Spring Creek Canyon with its gracefully arched rimrock border.

Two Boots

Boreas playing by some big rocks. Wild babies have the coolest toys!

Big brothers (Rio) make good play things, too!

And there are always ready-made fly swatters courtesy some obliging family member.

Mr. Chrome

Hayden with the Spring Creek Canyon background.

Chrome also is an easygoing, calm stallion.

Boreas and band

15 07 2011

I almost didn’t walk out to Chrome’s band during last week’s visit, but then I decided it would be rude to just drive on by! So I went out for a quick howdy.

Hayden and stepdaddy Chrome. They were napping, Boreas was napping, and the girls and Rio were grazing.

I think of Chrome as a stallion of few words. A very solid, calm and reassuring presence to his family.

Mama Jif, grazing for two as she grows ever wider.

Baby Boreas enjoying the kiss of sunshine while he naps.

Big stretch …!

Then he’s off to find mama and other mischief. 🙂

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 …

Worth the wait

26 06 2011

Mama Two Boots grazed while Boreas napped and Rio guarded, and I watched and waited. When the little guy was tired, he laid down literally in the middle of the road – dirt softer than pricklies! Chrome and Jif and Hayden came down from their rock climbing to nap beneath a tree, and when Boreas got up, mama started grazing her way up the hill toward them.

Yearling Rio, baby brother Boreas and mama Two Boots, on the flanks of Filly Peak with nearly the whole of Spring Creek Basin stretching away before them to the dominating eastern ridges of the far boundary.

Chrome, Jif and Hayden under a tree right at the base of Filly Peak. Jif is showing obvious signs of her bundle-to-come. She (her belly, to clarify) looks bigger than Kootenai, but she’s also smaller and has had a foal (Hayden). My best guess for her is August-September. There was a question last year of who the sire of her foal was, but I would have known by the timing of the foal’s birth. Unfortunately, she’s one of the mares that lost her foal last year, and I’m not exactly sure when (I was also gone in late August for PZP training). Hayden will be 2 on Sept. 22.

Big baby boy Boreas and his sweet mama.

Hook’s band was just around the corner – also on the road – so I stopped and waited for them, too. They very graciously grazed off the road on the driver’s side of the Jeep, so I just aimed my camera right through the window. The best photos I got, though, were later that evening as I was leaving, with the sun rimming their handsome selves with layered hills and rocks in the background. To come. 🙂

Boreas … and a chill

5 06 2011

Some pix of Chrome’s band from a week ago …

Chrome’s band was so calm when I originally parked and walked out to them that Rio laid down.

He looks like such a *pony* now with his still-fuzzy coat and thick mane and forelock …

Handsome Chrome surveying his domain while his family grazes and naps.

Pretty Two Boots and big-boy Boreas

Striking little mister, isn’t he?

Showing off his mustang walk …

Snack break …

Tending an itch …

Prince’s plume  and globe mallow are plentiful this year. The paintbrush isn’t quite as plentiful as years past.

Pretty in a desert …

Hayden and Rio, playing as brothers will. Rio is a yearling, and Hayden will be 2 in September. They may be half-brothers … or maybe not?!

And then things changed …

The horses started looking at something …

Something I didn’t see until a flash of white a long way away caught my eye – a truck.

And then they were running, and the truck wasn’t even close.

After I sadly watched them go, I had time to walk back to the Jeep and drive down the road a bit and walk down to the troughs at the water catchment before the truck crested the rise. The horses ran, the truck followed. It stopped a couple of times, but the horses kept running. Other visitors, coming in, saw only the horses running, the truck behind them, before the horses were gone, all hopes of their enjoyment of that band gone.

That kind of thing makes me sad and angry. Respectful visits not only benefit individuals at the time but all those who come later …

Birthday catchup

19 05 2011

Still can’t get to the basin. Snow and rain and graupel, oh my! Moisture is good!

So it’s a good time to get caught up to a couple of youngsters whose birthdays have passed – not unnoticed but unremarked. To remedy!

Happy birthday, Pinon! May 13

Pinon is one I don’t often focus on, but he is a presence. His mother is Mahogany, and he and Ember (mother: Luna) are year mates – they’re 3 – and likely half-siblings (sire: Steeldust). Last winter, he stuck close to Ember, even as Hook began to stick close to Ember. At the time, Hook was a bachelor – and lowest bachelor on the shrinking Bachelor 7 totem pole. (Oddly, the highest ranking bachelor on that pole is the one still without his own band …) Eventually, Hook, Ember and Pinon split away from Steeldust’s band … then joined by Hannah … then joined by Sable. Ember’s little full sister is Hannah. Pinon’s little full sister is Sable. Are you following? Pinon has always been fairly low-key – a youngster. This spring, all that started to change. He’s now quite an aggressive mister. Hook has chased him, and every visit for weeks, I’ve expected to see Pinon in the ranks of bachelor boys, but it has not yet happened. On the day this photo was taken, Hollywood, Piedra and Briosa were in the area, as were Sundance – who had just been with Sage and Ze when I saw them from the east end of the valley. Sage and Ze wisely kept their distance. Pinon, though he’s not quite old enough, big enough and/or strong enough to take on Hollywood or Sundance (even a little wounded), it didn’t stop him from testing his mettle.

This must be what it’s like for a mama to realize her baby has grown up …

🙂 Do you recognize mama Mahogany and her foal’s “ahh, mom” look? That’s the little mister, just a wee coupla-few days old.

Just when DID he grow up into such a big strapping boy?!

He meant to snake Winona here, something Comanche immediately put a stop to in just a few more steps.

I couldn’t quite figure out why Mahogany looked different in this pic, then I realized – her mane is a lot shorter now.

Pinon and buddy Storm in September of their birth year. Though Storm was born two and a half months after Pinon, he caught up quickly.

Yearling Pinon

His sisters (Hannah, back, and Sable) adore him.

Maybe I’m so surprised to see him suddenly so aggressive in the protection of “his” band because he’s always been such a laid-back, easy-going guy.

Can’t deny he has grown up into a handsome boy!

Happy birthday, tall, dark and handsome boy!


Happy birthday, Cuatro! May 16

Young Mr. Cuatro was a surprise. He’s his mama’s firstborn, and she was just 2 when she had him. I had no idea she was even pregnant. I found him toward the end of the day – the day of that year’s 4CBCH wild horse count. So I asked the members if they’d name him – and they came up with Cuatro, in honor of his stockings and socks. His sire is either Grey/Traveler or Twister, who I’m sure is a son of Grey’s, so either way, this youngster is a descendant of basin royalty. Since he was about a yearling, he’s been out in the bachelor scene WITH Twister, so daddy-or-big-brother is showing him the ropes. Every now and then, they’re joined by elder Duke, so they have his good influence, too. 🙂

Cute little guy! He’s also Houdini’s grandson.

Flashy trot to match his flashy legs!

Showing off his love of snow.

He was a great big brother to Hayden.

You might remember this as “February” for the calendar.


Cuatro with little brother Rio … Rio’s daddy also could be either Twister or Grey/Traveler. Mama Two Boots was pregnant by the time Chrome stole her the previous fall.

Cuatro and Twister

Happy birthday, little prince!


Happy birthday, Rio! May 20

Rio’s birthday is tomorrow, but I’m on a roll, so I’m including him here – plus, as Cuatro’s brother, he fits right in!

Prince’s plume always says “spring” to me in the basin, and the little mister was born right in the heart of it.

Sweetheart – like all of them. 🙂

Flying effortlessly!

Mama’s little lovebug.

Horse as bird whisperer 🙂

Happy birthday, little spring wonder!

Boreas and family

15 05 2011

Here are some pix of Boreas and his family. He was still so new to the world that when daddy Chrome woke him up from his nap, he was a little confused about which big body he belonged to. But mama Two Boots got him sorted out, and all was fine.

Big brother Rio greets his little brother.

Hayden was fascinated by the little guy, who wasn’t at all intimidated by the big red boy!

The little guy checked everyone out while mama hovered a little anxiously.

Two Boots’ oldest son is out on his own (that’s Cuatro, 2), but here she is with her other two boys. I love capturing these families … so important to the horses.

And there he goes, our little baby-god of the north wind … marching into the sky.