October 11, 2009
The day before the Pryor Mountain roundup ended, Tom and I made a quick trip down to the McCullough Peaks HMA to see the horses – their gather is scheduled for this month and I wanted to visit with them one more time before that took place. We didn’t get to spend nearly enough time there – only one evening and the next morning. We missed seeing several bands, but it was still so good to see the ones that we did manage to find.
The first band we ran into the next morning was Indigo’s.
This is Kenya – a young stallion who’s family was disbanded when the stallion Spirit Walker went missing and presumably died. A photo I took of Kenya and his mother a couple of years back made the cover of the catalog Back in the Saddle last year. I was really pleased they featured wild horses!
Next we came upon a snoozing Bridger. Last year, Bridger had a family. I noticed he was hooked up with a small band of bachelors on this trip.
We left the Whistle Creek area and drove west to see if we could locate the Red Point Band. We did, but we never even got close to them as something had them “bugged” (literally – they were running from bugs I was told) and they ran back and forth across the range. Sometimes seeing a large band of horses running in the distance is the best way to enjoy them.
I had run into Jen, (the USGS gal that helps monitor both the Pryor Mountain and the McCullough Peaks horses) at Britton Springs during the roundup. I asked her about the Peaks horses – Utah in particular. She told me all about Utah’s new babies (I never got to see them last year). She told me that one of last year’s babies was the spittin’ image of him. A black Sabino with four white stockings. I really hoped to see them for myself. Luckily, I was able to. Just a couple of distance shots, (minus last year’s foals unfortunately) but satisfying nonetheless.
It was strange not to see Hooter amongst all the colored horses. I even caught myself looking for him a couple of times. Whether it’s to a roundup or a death, losing the horses is the hardest part of getting to know them as individuals.
July 19, 2009
I just learned that a stallion from McCullough Peaks that I had come to admire over the years, is gone. Hooter, a red roan tovero colored horse, was approximately 15 years old. Not the most handsome boy or even a very big, impressive horse. What I admired so much about Hooter was just how scrappy he was in his efforts to claim a family. It seemed that almost every time I saw Hooter, he was either fighting to keep a family, or fighting to gain one. I always saw him as a bit of an underdog, but never lacking in courage. At least he died as he lived – wild and free with offspring that will carry on his legacy.
March 29, 2009
Meet Utah – a black, 1999 Sabino stallion from the McCullough Peaks Herd Management Area. I’m going to fess up and admit that Utah is one of my favorite mustangs from any area. There’s just something about him that both my husband and I love and admire. Well, and he’s a handsome fellow. He was part of the first group of horses that we saw on our initial trip to McCullough Peaks. He was a bachelor stallion at that time, trying desperately to steal a mare and start a family. When we saw Utah last spring, he was in the company of two young mares, Shakira (a black Tobiano) and Two Bears (a bay Tobiano). Though we were too early to see them, both mares had little Utah babies last year.
March 10, 2009
Major is a gorgeous, grey band stallion from the McCullough Peaks Herd Management Area (HMA) just outside of Cody, WY. Born in 2000, Major maintains a large band that he keeps on the Eastern portion of the range area. Major is one of the very first wild horses I saw at McCullough Peaks as his band and several other horses were very near the highway when we arrived. They were pretty much oblivious to our presence as they were busy chasing or sparring with one another, trying to steal mares and change or maintain the pecking order. Being new to the wild horses back when some of these photos were taken, I wasn’t sure what to expect and regretfully, I didn’t know what an opportunity I’d been handed. I didn’t stay as long as I wish I had to continue taking pictures. Instead, Tom and I drove on to find more horses. As many times as I’ve been back to see Major, I’ve never had a similar encounter present itself. One of those live and learn lessons…