Wyoming Cowboy – Update on Nub Ear

September 19, 2009

I’ve mentioned my Aunt Peggie a few times before in my posts. She and my Uncle Wil live in Wheatland, Wyoming and a trip to the Wyoming/Montana horse ranges just wouldn’t be complete without a visit with these two. Aunt Peggie has extensive knowledge of horses – Spanish breeds in particular (they raised Spanish Barbs), so of course she appreciates and loves the Pryor Mountain horses. (A couple of her favorites are Duke and Hildalgo). If she could still travel, I know she’d be joining me on some of my wild horse adventures to the mountain.

Hildalgo as a foal

Hildalgo as a foal

Band stallion Duke - 2008

Band stallion Duke - 2008

Duke (far left) and his band at the Britton Springs holding facility - September 8, 2009

Duke (far left) and his band at the Britton Springs holding facility - September 8, 2009

Several weeks ago, Aunt Peggie told me that she’d met a young cowboy who was into photography and owned a Pryor Mountain Mustang mare. Of course, that got me into the conversation (Aunt Peggie is one of my biggest fans/supporters) and before I knew anything about this new friendship of theirs, I’d gotten a nice e-mail from that Wyoming cowboy, Donnie Norvell. We corresponded back and forth and when it came time for Tom and I to head north, we made arrangements to not only stop off at my aunt and uncle’s, but to make an additional stop in Douglas, WY to meet Donnie and his mare.

Donnie Norvell and his Pryor Mountain mare Maggie

Donnie Norvell and his Pryor Mountain mare Maggie

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Donnie explained to us that he got Maggie when she was six (she’s nine now) from a friend who’d been diagnosed with cancer. Donnie’s friend Jeff wanted Maggie to go to a good home and had Donnie start riding her when he no longer could. After Jeff passed, Donnie made arrangements to buy Maggie.

Maggie (who’s registered name is Encantata Morena De Oro) is the offspring of a wild PMMBA stallion, El Morro and mare, La Estrella de Oro. She is a first generation domesticated Pryor Mountain horse. She was raised on the Carnahan ranch near Ft. Laramie, WY. Both of Maggie’s parents were captured in the wild from the Pryor Mountains.

Donnie says that despite the fact that Maggie is small and stocky, she’s fast and loves to run in the NPEA Re-Rides she and Donnie participate in each year. She’s great on the trails (has the smoothest trot in the world – that special Pryor Mountain gait), works cattle and even jumps a little. Maggie is an easy keeper, possesses those amazingly solid Mustang feet and a lovely temperament. Donnie really seems to appreciate her special qualities – and, she’s pretty as well. I look forward to photographing these two during next year’s 150th Anniversary of the Pony Express Re-ride.

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PEx

After leaving Douglas, we continued northwest through Wyoming in hopes of getting to the Fifteen Mile HMA before nightfall. By the time we got close, we knew we’d have less than 2 hours in the herd area, but I just had to see if I could find Nub Ear. There is a round up scheduled for his area next month and I longed to see the magnificent boy in all his wildness at least one more time. Of course I’m hopeful that when/if he’s rounded up, the Range Specialist will see that his torn ear will not make him a likely candidate for adoption and leave him out on the range for the rest of his days. Judging by the size of his band, I would think Nub Ear may be an older stallion as well and that would automatically place him into long-term holding/sale authority status. It’s hard to even think about.

Luck was on our side that afternoon as we noticed a large band of horses way off to our left and then found a 2-track road that took us pretty close to them.

As soon as I saw his head peek over the ridge, I knew we'd found Nub Ear!

As soon as I saw his head peek over the ridge, I knew we'd found Nub Ear!

Part of Nub Ear's band which included about 12 horses

Part of Nub Ear's band which included about 12 horses

And here he came to check me out - Hi boy!

And here he came to check me out - Hi boy!

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I just stood there quietly and didn't move much in hopes Nub Ear would, as he always had, allow me to observe his family for a while

I just stood there quietly and didn't move much in hopes Nub Ear would, as he always had, allow me to observe his family for a while

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They went back and forth a bit but never moved off. They actually worked their way a bit closer to me. What a privilege.

They went back and forth a bit but never moved off. They actually worked their way a bit closer to me. What a privilege.

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Coming right towards me - I stayed very still

Coming right towards me - I stayed very still

He's not quite sure what to think of me - I tried to project peaceful thoughts to him

He's not quite sure what to think of me - I tried to project peaceful thoughts to him

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I was never able to get his whole band in a photo, but this is pretty close to all of them

I was never able to get his whole band in a photo, but this is pretty close to all of them

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It was hard to leave that night wondering if this was hello and goodbye all in one visit. Nub Ear is a proud, handsome stallion and I hope that he will be allowed to continue to live out his days as the wild boy I’ve come to love and appreciate. He has given me several glimpses into his life to share with others and I will always be grateful for that gift.

Nub Ear amongst his family

Nub Ear amongst his family

10 Responses to “Wyoming Cowboy – Update on Nub Ear”

  1. Judy Says:

    Once again, a great wild horse chapter.

  2. pnickoles Says:

    Thanks for taking the time to read and share your thoughts about our adventures Judy.


  3. Pam~ These pictures practically bring tears to my eyes…Oh Nub Ear is beautiful as were the family!! I so wish I could experience being in their presence, it’s so awesome to see I couldn’t imagine how it must feel.. Please keep us updated about them. Thank you for taking us on your journey..


  4. Hi Pam,
    I love your photos of Nub and his band, and the foal with the stripes and low tail. THe beautiful black mare is so sweet. Lucky are the owner and the mare. What a treat to see.
    Thank you,
    Karen Day


  5. Funny, Donnie Norvell just became my friend on Facebook this morning and I just found this post. Co-incidence? I think not.

    The image of Hidalgo as a foal is truly lovely. One of your best of the “kids”.

  6. Nancy Roberts Says:

    Another wonderful story! Now I feel really bad about that comment about cowboys! I just meant the ones that loaded Oda at the Craig fairgrounds last fall! I’ve been researching the Red Desert. Really want to be there. I’ve got a good car, some time and a will to help these horses. Nub ear is so cool. They look a lot different then our local herd! Keep up the good work!

  7. Brandi Turner Says:

    Pam that those are beautiful pictures and I will pray that his band and Numb Ear will be able to remain on the land that they love.

  8. Darcy Says:

    I am at work sitting crying after reading this, I sincerely hope they get to remain free & beautiful, happy & strong. I don’t want to see them with sad captured eyes ;(

  9. Kim Michels Says:

    Beautiful Pam, as always 🙂


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