Cloud the Trouble Maker

My friend Lauryn reminded me that I have been remiss in my blogging. Sadly, I did require someone reminding me that I have a blog and was quite startled to see just how long I’ve gone without a post. So many thanks to Lauryn!

So I love it when stallions fight. Now I know it’s tempting to read that and wonder what kind of a depraved individual would enjoy seeing animals hurting each other. Well hello there! I’m Rachel, and I am a horrible person. It’s okay though, since I suspect that 99.9% of my readership are also horrible people in this respect.

It’s okay to be terrible, though. The fighting is going to happen no matter what – it’s just a part of the horses’ heirarchal society. I just want to be there to see it is all. Every band and every individual horse has a place in the herd at large, and for stallions those positions are determined through a lot of posturing and dramatic fighting. Mares, being the more sensible sex, don’t waste time with the looking pretty and violenIndigo Kid and Cloud strut – wild horse equivalent of a measuring contest?t because they’re too busy running the show. No matter how dramatic a stallion may seem, don’t think for a second that the boys run the show in these families.

I am going to try to post a few different wild horse fights I’ve witnessed this week. Try is the operative word here. As in all things, one should always begin with the ridiculous. Childish behavior is underrated, after all, and not all wild horse fights end in blood and scars. Sometimes studs just want to have a little fun.

Unless you’ve been living under a wild horse shaped rock, you’ve probably heard of Cloud. Let’s assume for a moment that you haven’t anyway. Cloud is a palamino palomino? pale- yellow stallion who lives in the Pryor Mountains of Montana, a herd known for its heavy Spanish influence. Cloud has been filmed by a lovely lady named Ginger Kathrens since the day he was born, and has three Nature programs in his name. So yeah, pretty famous guy.

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The fame has gone to Cloud’s head, if you ask me – such a drama queen!

So Cloud has been there and done that and seems content with a lovely little band of mares including my personal fave, Feldspar.

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Feldspar – sweetheart and my favorite hussy!

You would think at seventeen, Cloud would be relaxing into his older age. Nope. He’s too busy being obnoxious.

I spent Sunday morning following around a trio of bachelors – Indigo Kid (the blud roan), Jasper (the grulla), and London (the most adorable bay yearling in a sordid history of adorable yearlings). These guys had been on the wrong side of the fence the days prior, so I was thrilled I could get shots of them interacting with other horses as opposed to sleeping. Maybe I just had bad timing, but these three all really liked to nap.

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Jasper and London chillin’

After a brief scuffle in which Indigo Kid and Fiddle debated who was prettier (ulimate answer: He Who), the trio ambled down for water. Just another peaceful morning on the mountain as it were.

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Fiesta and Indigo Kid

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He Who nips at Indigo Kid

Except Cloud was apparently bored. He left his band grazing to the south and trotted up with the sole intention of picking a fight with Jasper. Why Jasper? I have no idea. The play was decidedly gentle, as you would expect from a bit of play between a band stallion and a three year old.

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Jasper was a reluctant participant in Cloud’s games at first. Here, Cloud takes a second to make faces for the camera. (Did I mention he’s a camera whore in addition to being a drama queen and all around too cool for school?)

Eventually, Cloud got bored with Jasper and moved on to London. Or did he? Cloud sort-of played with London, but mostly seemed to be pushing London towards his son, Lynx. For some reason, this inspired Indigo Kid to throw himself into the mix. Bolder also showed up (Confused with the plethora of names yet?), sniffed a few rumps, and then went back to his band. It would seem Bolder is above such shenanigans.

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It turns into something of a light-hearted mele

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Echo and Jasper, with Cloud as ref

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When Echo starts to play with Indigo Kid, Bolder decides that enough is enough and breaks up the fight sending the rabble rousers in different directions where they won’t cause anymore trouble. What a party-pooper! I don’t know if horses can feel embarassment or not, but if they can, then I really feel sorry for Echo!

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Echo, wiley little brat that he is, immediately runs off from Dad and picks another fight. Well , I guess he is in his terrible twos…

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Echo takes off again

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Echo and Garay

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Poor Indigo Kid. Just when he thought he ditched gramps and the kid, Echo turns up to bug him some more.

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See that yellow rump in the background? That’s Bolder going to fetch Echo for the second time.

And thus ended one of the sillier “fights” I’ve seen. Perhaps sparring would be a better word. Or even training? In any event, there was no clashing teeth or violent kicks. Just friends playing without a care. As it should be.

I think I’ll close this out with a photo of Jasper looking pretty for the camera. Why Jasper? Because I’m the boss and I do what I want, that’s why. Also, I think he’s pretty.

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10 thoughts on “Cloud the Trouble Maker

  1. Kerry Becklund says:

    Super fun read Rachel! Almost felt like I was there. Your photos are gorgeous, gorgeous!

  2. Deborah Prichard says:

    You’ve captured some beautiful shots, Rachel. BTW – they’re ALL pretty – it’s hard to pick a fave. I watched the recent PBS special on “Cloud” and it was a great documentary. I thoroughly enjoy reading your blogs. Would you be so kind as to email me the location of that Wyoming herd. We would love to head out there and get some photos. Thanks, and keep up the good work. 🙂

  3. Nora Suppers says:

    its the first time I’ve read your blog… but won’t be the last. I loved it. The photos are stunning and the commentary made it feel like we were watching the action in person. Oh how I wish I could….thanks so much for sharing with an adoring and appreciative “public”…

  4. Annie McHale says:

    love your writing and great photos. had to share.. Bless

  5. Linda Ha says:

    I love your humor and story with all the players. Great photos too Rachel!

  6. Linda says:

    I had kinda wished OUR Mustangs were better than these real life series people! But Nope, a bunch of drama queens!!! Whod a thunk it! Nothing to believe in anymore!!

  7. rlebt says:

    Very nice story, wonderfully written and so many AWESOME pics!!

  8. Anonymous says:

    I don’t want to sound rude, but Lynx is not Cloud’s son.He’s the son of the deceased stallion Ferdinand and Ingrid. By the way I love your blog.☺️

    • You are correct. Such a shame we lost both of Ferdinand’s sons to the removal later that summer. Anyway, sorry about that! I would have meant to put stepson, but my editing has never been my strong suit and I was even worse back in 2012 than it is now. :-/

  9. chris1055 says:

    Such beautiful horses. Love Jasper and Garay’s dorsal stripes. That’s part of being grulla? BLM never checks to see if a famed deceased stallion’s offspring are wiped off the mountain as with Ferdinand’s? I really enjoy your pictures and narratives. Thanks,

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