Sage, Cuatro, Hannah and Briosa

5 10 2011

Update about Sage, Cuatro, Hannah and Briosa. They look like they’re settling in and doing very well!

Briosa
Hannah
Hannah
Briosa and Hannah
Cuatro and Sage
Cuatro (left) and Sage

Don’t they all look great? And even some nice fall color from our corner of Colorado.

Photos by Alice (who is going to adopt Liberty). Neighbor Dana adopted these four beauties.





Boy band

13 07 2011

Is there anything as fun as watching bachelors? πŸ™‚

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. πŸ™‚ 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. πŸ™‚ 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. πŸ™‚

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

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





Miscellaneous

12 06 2011

If you haven’t checked out the preliminary EA for our upcoming roundup, please do (give it a little while to come up – I’m on a fast connection, and it still took a few moments to appear). I’m still wading through it – so far, the first half-dozen pages are already littered with my sticky notes.

“Alternative 1 – Proposed Action” (Page 10) is what we want to support at this time. The information to comment by the deadline – July 11 – is here.

“Alternative 2” is a waste of money given the timing of the roundup and the lack of efficacy of PZP-22 here in the past during the same relative timing.

“Alternative 3” is simply unviable and would cause more harm to both the horses and the environment on which they depend.

We will continue to push bait trapping rather than helicopters for the future – as we have the last almost-four years – but for now, and with no movement on that front, we’re nearing a critical point between population and limited resources. At least five of our ponds are already dry, and the remaining ponds are shallow, which will eventually leave 80+ horses trying to get salty water from trickling seeps and springs or the one fresh-water source – the catchment. After the roundup, with a fertility-control plan firmly in place (for at least the next five years), we’ll continue to push bait trapping (and figure out the infrastructure necessary) as well as more and better quality water sources.

BLM plans a 60% stallions to 40% mares gender-skewed ratio. While we do not agree with this avenue of management, particularly in light of the PZP plan to be put in place, given everything else, it’s not a battle we plan to fight right now. Because of lack of knowledge on BLM’s part, it was 56%/21% after the 2007 roundup. All things considered, 60%/40% doesn’t seem so bad. Over the course of the years of PZP application, we’ll watch to see how that evens out and what it means to the herd as a whole, and perhaps in the future, we can nix that particular demand.

If anyone has questions, please leave a comment or email me at mtbgrrl (at) fone (dot) net.

Now some pix, in no particular order:

Juniper and mama Kestrel looking at daddy Comanche.

Handsome young Twister. He’s hanging out with Hook’s band now. He looks so much like Grey/Traveler, it’s amazing.

This was taken the next day and shows Twister, butt to the camera at left, with Hook’s band – that’s big grey Hook standing by Sable, heavy-pregnant Ember (due around early July), Hannah and Fierro. Pinon also is part of this band (he was off to the right, I think). In the background, Spook and Bruiser. A bit to the left were Seven’s, out as far as Spook and Bruiser but to the right were Bounce’s, and behind and leftish were Sundance and Aspen. Rarely are so many of our horses in the same general area except in the spring, when they’re back here with good forage and fairly good water. In fact, two of the remaining four ponds with water are back in this general area. Another reason to have good, scattered water sources – disperse the horses’ grazing.

Cuatro watching after his bachelor pals, a new generation of bachelors now that many of our bachelors have found mares. By pushing back the frequency of roundups by using PZP, I hope to see a clearer, more settled pattern of band dynamics emerge without the interruption of devastating roundups. We have several small bands now; I’ve heard people say there used to be just a few bands, but the were much larger (more horses). I wish I knew then the number of bachelors floating around. Most bands now have at least one foal, but only one band has two foals.

Look at these two handsome, oh-so-innocent devilishly sweet boys. That’s Ze, Seven’s son, on the left and Sage, Hollywood’s son, on the right. they’re hanging out with Cuatro and Milagro now – minus Duke. Milo stood either with his butt to me or nearly out of sight behind the bigger boys. They’re all 2, born between early April and early July; Ze and Sage are clearly the leaders, and between them, I tend to think Sage has a bit of an edge. Both going grey (as is Cuatro), but Ze’s holding his brown a lot longer. Sage clearly favors his beautiful mama, Piedra, but he’s stout like papa Hollywood.





Contact

24 05 2011

A couple of “miscellaneous” and several from an evening.

Piedra and Briosa looking south … I think that vibrant green cottonwood makes the whole scene. πŸ™‚

Ties of family are strong, blood or no. Liberty and her mother, Molly, spent time with Bounce’s band shortly before Molly died in the fall of 2009. Afterward, Liberty went back to the band … then ended up with Cinch in the fall of 2010. Gaia ended up with them over the winter (January 2011?). Gaia is 3 (Alegre’s daughter, Bounce’s stepdaughter), Liberty is 2 (Seven x Molly). It’s not a huge surprise these girls ended up back together. πŸ™‚

Sundance and Hollywood in sync.

I ended up right on the road in a great position to watch some awesome dynamics playing out. From a distance, I had seen Sundance (recently separated from Mahogany, Eliana and Aspen) with Sage and Ze, two young (2 years old) bachelors. Hollywood’s were close – as were Hook’s band.

Hook

Hollywood

Double trouble on the bubble – Sage and Ze wisely kept their distance, but all the boys – and girls – were well aware of them.

Sisters Hannah (bay) and Ember

Part of the magnificent background of Spring Creek Basin – Knife Edge, McKenna Peak and the unnamed promontory …

Hook’s band – Brumley Point in the background …

Fierro, Hannah and Sable. Hollywood actually stole Hannah briefly when she was a yearling (by briefly, I mean around an hour or so). That was shortly before she followed sister Ember and half-brother Pinon to Hook’s band … followed shortly thereafter by Sable.

Hollywood about to greet Pinon …

Hollywood left Piedra and Briosa for quite a long while during this melee … He later chased Sundance far to the east, and Hook’s and Sage and Ze eventually followed, and Holls eventually went back to his girls.

What a day!





Rounding out the split

2 05 2011

Bringing more details to the “As Spring Creek Basin Turns” opera, let’s recap the biggest “story line” lately.

Hollywood’s band once included Piedra, Baylee, Iya, her new colt, Sage and Tenaz. Then Comanche snapped up all but Piedra and her even newer filly, leaving them with down but not out Hollywood.

Then Comanche lost them – or let them go? – and he was back to normal with Kestrel and Winona.

But Baylee, Iya, the colt, Sage and Tenaz didn’t stay together – and why did they split and/or who stole whom?

Baylee (possibly Piedra’s sister … ever-so possibly … possibly not) and Tenaz (Piedra’s and Hollywood’s yearling son) are now with Storm.

This all happened within the last two weeks.

This, unfortunately,Β is the “best” image I have of Storm, Tenaz and Baylee all together. Baylee seems comfortable with Storm – as long as he keeps his distance. But the angle does show that, even with her being 4 years old now, I am not expecting a foal from this girl this year! Storm will be 3 in late July – his first band! I’m so proud (we’ll see how long he keeps them)! (Though Storm’s ears look a little back here, he’s just sniffing the youngster, who very soon after this wandered off with Baylee to graze together, while Storm stood and watched after them for a few moments, then wandered off in his own direction.)

Iya and her colt – Hollywood’s baby son – are now with Sage – Hollywood’s 2-year-old son – and those three are with … drum roll please ………..

Sage, colt and Iya at left … who’s that bay guy?

A better look … Does something tug at you, seeing that solid bay with a big-blaze grey?


And there’s the giveaway – Roach, Poco, Iya, baby and Sage.

Wow, huh? Roach in his customary lieutenant-stallion spot … Poco guarding the mare and foal … and Sage. He baby-clacked to Poco earlier, but given his repeated attempts to breed Iya the week before – and still with her and the baby – how easily will he give up his “role” in this little family? And how long will this association last? I like seeing Poco and Roach with company (and I like seeing Roach back with his buddy, Poco).

Sweet mama with her firstborn. I do have a name in mind for him … just holding it for a little bit longer …

To come: Pix of Hollywood, Piedra and Bri.





Happy birthdays

1 05 2011

This spring will go down in record books as busy. Just darn busy. So I’m behind with birthday wishes for not one but a few – I’m sure they won’t mind.

April 26 – Corona

About a week ago. I still don’t know quite what her color is – I’m calling her pale palomino – but it’s a little “richer” this year with a bit of an apricot tinge.

As a baby with mama Raven … Daddy Corona from Sand Wash Basin is a handsome palomino.

Here’s a link to Nancy Roberts’ blog and a post about Corona’s band that includes pictures of our Corona’s newest little half-sister, who looks a lot like her!

She has a few of those darker “red” spots (her neck just above her shoulder) on her body and legs like tiny birthmarks. She definitely gets her wavy forelock, mane and tail from daddy, nicknamed “Fabio”! She’s now 2.

April 27 – Iya

I thought it was appropriate to celebrate Iya’s birthday with a photo of her and her firstborn, whose birthday was just two weeks earlier than her own!

Iya was born the spring after the roundup to mama Houdini (still in the basin, of course, with Grey/Traveler and their three youngest daughters) and, I think, the stallion she was with in the spring (with baby Two Boots) but escaped capture with – Junior. Iya is now 3.

With mama and sister Two Boots (who is now nearly unrecognizable from this photo!) two days after she was born.

Before the baby. Strong, curious and brave – and carrying on the tradition of being an excellent mama!

April 27 – Tenaz

Taken Wednesday – his birthday. πŸ™‚ The little mister is the son of Piedra and Hollywood, and he’s now 1 year old. His band had some recent upheaval, and he’s now with “auntie” Baylee and young Storm (who will be 3 this summer).

As a baby with mama Piedra. She guarded him tenaciously, even more so (it seemed) than she did her firstborn, Sage. Hence his name Tenaz.

My camera adores him … I can’t begin to understand why … πŸ™‚

*HE* clearly adores mistress Winona!

From birthday-day again.

Soooooo much like daddy!

April 29 – Sage

Sage is Piedra’s and Hollywood’s firstborn, now 2 years old.

He’s changed a bit. πŸ™‚ He takes more after mama than he does daddy – the reverse of his little brother Tenaz.

He’s been a very good big brother.

Pondering his next move back in February.

With brother Tenaz at right, daddy, Iya and littlest brother in the background.

May 1 – Spook

Nothing like birthday look-backs to tell you how you’re doing on easily-accessible photos of certain horses. Once she has her baby, I’m sure that number will increase by leaps and bounds!

These were taken in March. I’ve seen the band most visits since then but mostly from afar as I just check for new little bodies. Here, Spook – black and white – is with Puzzle, Maiku and Milagro.

With little brother Maiku, who will celebrate his birthday in June. Spook is 3 today. She shares her birthday with Terra and my “little” brother, Jeff! (Happy birthday!!)

Her mama is Kiowa, and she was born the year after the roundup, so her sire is unknown. Kiowa and Chipeta, the two released pinto mares, both ended up with Bruiser – also released – after the roundup. From my photos of the roundup, the mares came in together in a large group – but not with Bruiser. (Yes, I removed that old bit of fence.) Spook, like older sister Reya (released with her mother), looks pregnant, so between anytime now and September, I’m expecting four foals in this band! If they stick together, Kiowa will have her foal and two grandbabies all together! This will also be Kiowa’s fifth foal since I started documenting … and she holds the distinction of still having most of her foals with her; almost-yearling Milagro recently took up with elder bachelor (and former lead stallion of this band) Bruiser.

A baby pic of Spook …

Spook, right, last summer with big sister Reya. Spook and Corazon – and Raven, from Sand Wash Basin – are our only black-and-white pintos. The others range from very dark bay to red-bay.

May 1 – Terra

Gorgeous 2-year-old daughter of Grey/Traveler and Houdini.

With little sister Gem in the background.

From March, with Mama in the background …

Also from that day in March, with Daddy.

Baby girl with Houdini

*********************************************************

All beloved wild beauties of Spring Creek Basin. You are loved, always.





Wha-huh? Oh! … Uh …

24 04 2011

Changes happen all the time – that’s nature. Because foaling season and re-breeding season in horses happens one right after the other (no separate “rut” like with deer and elk) – and usually (but not always) in the spring – ’tis the season of changes. I like to focus on the behavior and all the “other” going on. So you’ll rarely see “fight shots” on this blog unless I can use them to illustrate the behavior behind it (such as the play fighting with the youngsters awhile back). Also, because images of stallions fighting are so prevalent, some folks then have the idea that the stallions just fight constantly, and that’s simply not the case. Stallions do fight to protect their mares and families – but they don’t fight all the time – and what else is going on?

When I first saw Hollywood’s band last week, I was confused. Kestrel and Winona were nearby – that has been fairly typical lately – but not Comanche … and not Hollywood. This was all from a distance through binoculars, by the way – and then realization hit me: Comanche WAS there – WITH Hollywood’s band – WITHOUT Hollywood …

Comanche stole Hollywood’s band – minus Piedra and, as I found later that day, their new daughter. (So much for the belief of the visitor who was adamant Hollywood could “kick that grey stallion’s ass.”)

When I finally figured out what I was seeing, it looked like the band must have been new because there was a lot of chaos swirling – and Kestrel and ‘Nona were staying apart from it.

As it turned out, I found Grey/Traveler’s band with their new filly and, late in the day, Hollywood and Piedra and Bri, and I never walked out to Comanche’s new band until the next morning.

By then, Comanche was sort of bridging the continuing gap between “Hollywood’s band” – seen above – and his original girls, Kes and ‘Nona. And except for one brief bit of interest in Baylee, Comanche seemed to be leaving them alone – and I didn’t quite understand that, either …

I’ll skip the graphic details, but Iya was clearly in her foaling heat … and it was SAGE trying to breed her! The little guy is just 2 (end of this week), and he was pretty awkward. Add to that his “auntie” Baylee, who has now fully switched her allegiance from Sage and his brother Tenaz to Iya’s little boy, and it left this human feeling confused. Why wasn’t Comanche filling that duty?

They went round and round, and Sage still found gaps in her defenses and tried to breed Iya several times while I was with them. I don’t know whether he was successful … and we won’t know till next year!

Baby was NOT hurt, I want to make very clear, and he was never in direct danger from either Sage, his half-brother trying to breed his mother, OR from Comanche, who just stole his mother and the others. Anything can happen, of course, and have foals never been trampled by a stallion trying to get to a mare to breed her? I’m sure they have been. But I know the “cult rumor” has reached epic proportions that “a stallion will kill any foal that’s not his” (I have BLM as well as non asking me this all the time), and I want to make it clear: Even in his zeal to get to Iya, Sage avoided the baby, and, as I’ve said, Comanche almost completely ignored them altogether.

What really confused me was Comanche’s behavior.

He was completely calm. Other than following them and making sure Kestrel and Winona followed him, he seemed to mostly ignore Sage AND Iya. That was the most confusing part. With her so obviously in heat (she stood for Sage patiently every time he tried), why was Comanche ignoring her? Wasn’t that probably the catalyst for Comanche stealing them in the first place? (Hollywood did not emerge unscathed from their apparent encounter, but he’ll be OK.)

Comanche at right, Sage in the middle, Tenaz, Iya and the baby in front of him and beside Baylee. Sage is in a rather tentative “stallion” position here, between Comanche and his band/family … but in the next moment:

Baby clacking!

Sage then went to the mares, and Comanche went back to grazing. Comanche showed no outward sign of injury, though he certainly could have been bruised. His attitude – in very human terms – seemed to be one of just biding his time.

Kestrel seemed to ignore the new additions even more completely than Comanche did. Here, the horses are behind her and up to the right. She’s looking long down the hill, possibly at Seven’s in the far distance (very visible this week).

Tenaz tried to take advantage of the situation by sticking as close to Winona as she would allow, but she wasn’t too interested in playing with him.

I was so hoping ‘Nona would turn her head and present me with a lovely shot of Tenaz, her and Kestrel all in a row … but she wasn’t so accommodating. πŸ™‚ Comanche is just behind them, and the others are in the arroyo beyond.

Iya – the eye of the storm – seemed exactly as calm, taking everything in stride, focused almost completely on grazing and her baby.

No mistaking these two!

Comanche watched Iya, baby, Baylee and Sage in a wide arroyo before he led Kestrel, Winona and Tenaz down to join them.

Sunrise was almost completely cloudy (and storm-cloudy) except for this bit of softness.

Always changes … always more to learn … ALWAYS more wonder!