A Cougar Amongst Them

There is no male equivalent for the word “cougar”.  The kind of cougar I’m talking about is a euphemism used for an older woman who enjoys spending time with younger males. Tonopah in the Pryor Mountains, would be an example of a proper cougar. At 27 years old, she took off from Duke, a stable & well-established band stallion, in favor of hanging out with the youngest band stallion duo on the mountain – He Who & Fiddle.  Tonopah has not been spotted this winter and may well have passed from old age.  If that is the case, and this past summer was one last hurrah for her then man, what a way to go!  Talk about a great role model for all the ladies.

Tonopah, a cougar in her natural habitat

Tonopah, a cougar in her natural habitat

When an old female sows some oats, it’s empowering.  When an older man preys on the young, he’s generally considered a creeper and the young female a gold digger.  It doesn’t really seem fair.  Why can’t older males be like… mountain lions or something?

Fuego

Bet that title had you concerned we were talking about a real cougar. Nope. Just Fuego.

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That Thou Canst Never Once Reflect

Ah New Years Eve.  I think it’s supposed to be a time for partying.  Or possibly reflection.  Or reflecting while partying.  Me? I’m watching Blackfish.  Netflix recommended it, and it frightens me how well a computer knows my weaknesses.

Last New Year’s Eve I talked about foals.  I thought it might be fun to do that again this year.  Most my opportunities to really observe and photograph foals in 2013 were in the Pryors.  The foal count in White Mountain was quite low this year.

I believe that the 2012 drought was the main cause for fewer foals in White Mountain.  Nature takes care of her own, so it makes sense to me that there would be biological safeguards in place to ensure that the horses don’t increase beyond what their surroundings can handle.

In any event, here’s a few very brief annecdotes of foals being adorable:

Navigator

Navigator

The first time I met Navigator he was busy courting Morning Dove.  There was a violent afternoon storm coming, lightning flashing to the northwest.  Navigator had to work fast.

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Love Is A Battlefield

So Nebraska lost to Georgia in the Capital One Bowl. What does that do with horses? Absolutely nothing. But this blog does not believe in starting any posts on topic. Ever. It’s practically a rule at this point.

Husker football, or rather, the emotions it evokes in its fans is tough to explain to non-Nebraskans. Lots of teams have “super fans”. Husker Nation has an entire state and then some full of wack jobs like me. As euphoric as a win is, a loss can cause a typical Nebraska fan to go into a week of mourning. It’s going to be a long wait for spring training, cupcakes.

Let’s relieve my frustration and sadness, shall we?

I could spend the rest of my life studying wild horses. I hope that I can. There is one thing in particular that I fear I may never understand: the art of war.

Blizzard CPR

Heartbreaker

Dream Maker

Dream Maker

Love Taker?

Love Taker?

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I Got 99 Problems (But A Mare Ain’t One)

Finally! Inspiration! Earlier today I had the opportunity to meet one of my favorite authors, Hilari Bell. I like her stories so well that I cannot bring myself to be even a little ashamed of openly admitting how much I love Young Adult novels. Hey, I can’t spend all my time reading nothing but America’s Last Wild Horses or The Wild Horse Conspiracy, people! I would end up in a perpetual cycle of crying, drowning my sadness in ice cream, gaining 100 pounds, feeling really guilty and trying a fad diet that would work for a while but ultimately fail, and repeat. Actually, I think I would be okay with all that but it might make it harder for me to have enough energy to spend as much time with the wild ones.

Anyway, after a lovely conversation, I finally felt like I got my groove back to write something other than a quick Breeze & Whatever-the-heck-I’m-Gonna-Name-Him update. Let’s hope I can get through this before giving up and digging into a book.

Wait. What was I going to talk about? Oh yeah. Bachelors.

Everyone loves bachelor stallions. What is it about bachelors that is so fantastic? It’s pretty simple: they are just too darn fun to hang out with. It’s like being in a frat house. Everytime is party time.

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Brave Sir Ziggy -or- Bay Is More Than Just Okay

Once upon a time there was a beautiful Mustang named Brave Sir Ziggy. Brave Sir Ziggy was loved and adored for his kindly ways and his rock solid courage. You see, he was not at all afraid to be killed in nasty ways. Oh Brave Sir Ziggy!*

Brave Sir Ziggy laughs at the evil ner-do-wells that surround him!

One day Brave Sir Ziggy was steadfastly watching for potential enemies who might threaten his castle and all who lived there. He most defintely was not standing around letting his peasant clean out his hooves because that is just not what heroes do. Suddenly out of nowhere an invisible, horse-eating monster appeared in a terrifying and non-visible fashion! Oh how dreadful!

Oh no! Watch out behind you, Noble Sir!

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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.

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