Aww, Mom! Not in front of company!
If you placed your bet for Mahogany to foal this week, you hit it right on the money. The bay girl has this beautiful “bay” foal (maybe a colt). Legs aren’t black, so I’m kinda expecting him to turn grey like Comanche, Mouse and Piedra … although all of them have black legs …? His left hock is slightly swollen, but he’s already dancing, so it doesn’t seem to bother him. Based on his level of balance, I’m guessing him to be about two days old here, which gives him a birthday of May 13.
The Four Corners Back Country Horsemen’s annual spring count was this weekend, and I drove out Thursday to see the horses, participate in the count and write a story, both for my paper and for The Durango Herald. Durango photographer Claude Steelman was there already with Durango videographer Rich Fletcher, with Inside Durango TV, and they were photographing/filming the horses, who were grazing high up on the north side of the “finger hills” (just northeast of the dugout intersection).
This pic was taken from the road, just north of the dugout intersection. I had seen Claude’s vehicle from way back at the entrance to the herd area, and I had spotted Grey/Traveler and Houdini, shining like spotlights farther east on the north hills. I figured Claude’s vehicle was close to horses, but they were tucked away on this hillside, so it wasn’t until I was around the west side that I spotted them. Claude and Rich were below the road filming, and I didn’t want to risk causing the horses to move away from them, so I drove on around to where Grey’s band was grazing. I asked Claude to name the baby, as he was the first one to see him!
A note: I got to preview Claude’s new book, which I’ve mentioned before on the blog. It comes out in August, and it’s just gorgeous. I cried, OK? Got to the first pic of my boy Grey inside and just burst out bawling with pride. (He’s also on the back cover! And there are several pix inside of him, too, including the glowing photo Claude took on the day he was released back into the wild.) The book is titled Colorado’s Wild Horses, and it features photos of horses from every one of Colorado’s four wild horse herds. It also includes sections about gathers and adoptions, the training facility at the Canon City correctional facility where inmates train mustangs for the BLM, and interviews and portraits of people who have strong connections to wild horses. A Telluride poet contributed a spiritual poem, trainer Leslie Neuman contributed one that is sure to bring the tears and touch everyone’s heart, whether you’ve been privileged to touch a mustang or not, and Claude even overflows with verse in a wonderful poem at the end of the book. Consider this a shameless plug for my friend Claude and our magnificent wild horses, which he captures so beautifully with his camera! Check out his Web site – Wildshots – by clicking the link to the right under the blogroll.
Rich left that evening, but Claude was out all weekend, and even rode a borrowed horse during the count!
This pic was actually taken Saturday morning, as Claude and Tanglefoot, Kathe Hayes’ big Tennessee Walking Horse, were whizzing around the parking area at the corrals ready to go!
Grey/Traveler had his band way to the eastern side of the north hills. He has been migrating ever farther that direction. Until this spring, I had never seen him that far east. There’s grass up there, though, and I think they’re still going back to the arroyo north of the finger hills for water.
Here, he’s looking back at Jif, Houdini and Iya and Twister. Check out who’s playing peek-a-boo in the background.
I drove on around the loop road and saw Alegre and Gaia and Bounce. Alegre’s being a great mama. They ran at the sight of the Jeep – she’s one of the ones that doesn’t like vehicles – so I waited for a little while, then went on. They had gone into the canyon north of the ridge I just learned the name of this weekend: Knife Ridge. Farther south, near the dry double ponds, Roach was standing in the middle of the road. Poco and Bones were just on the east side of the road. Bones was between Roach and Poco, and everything was calm until Roach nickered at Bones, which brought Poco flying. They scattered behind some trees, and I drove on.
It had poured rain in Cortez earlier in the day, and the day was what I’d call mostly cloudy. Clear sky was waiting under the cloud bank to the west, though, and I figured it was just a matter of time before we got the gorgeous light (it was around 7-ish by then).
Seven and the girls were back in old stomping grounds south of the southeast loop road, and they stood quietly as I rolled past. The *other* bachelor band was on the east end of the east-west hill that starts in the west with the finger hills: Corazon and Cinch, Ty and Mesa and David and the muley bay. Muley has a name, as of Saturday. Rachelle Davis, a member of the 4CBCH, said he looked copper. We were in the group of “walkers” on Round Top helping to spot horses, and the bachelors were right below us south of Round Top. So the muley bay is now Copper.
I drove back around to Steeldust’s band. They were all up just to the west of the second intersection – with Duke. Duke has been by himself for three weekends now, and when I saw him on my first trip around, he was limping on his right hind. People who saw him Saturday said he was NOT limping or BARELY limping. He has been in the same place, so I guess he has food and water within easy reach. Steeldust’s band seems to come and go from his location. I hope his forced rest will heal whatever ails him and that he’s following after the band soon.
The sun did fall out of the clouds, but the timing and location didn’t help me. But it also didn’t stop me from leaving the basin with a Cheshire-Cat-grin. What a beautiful day!
Curious Ember doesn’t seem to be bothered by much. In the background, you can see the new foal just dancing out of the frame …
This little guy is going to be a handful for mama, I think.
I’m not sure if Mahogany was walking away or she was just following after baby, but Steeldust eventually went after them and “asked” them to return to the band.
He doesn’t have any problem with balance! That’s Piedra and Alpha at left.
Alpha, left, is still pregnant (bets?!), and Ember, right, is the oldest foal in the basin – now a month old.
When the band headed down toward the intersection to go back out into the big valley, the bachelors went running. This is Aspen.
And this is Hook.