Thursday, August 16, 2012

Pryor Bait Trap Ends on Mountaintop

Horseback Magazine

August 15, 2012
By Ginger Kathrens, The Cloud Foundation
COLORADO SPRINGS, (The Cloud Foundation) – Thankfully, bait trapping atop the Pryor Mountains is over and Echo is free! He is with his father, Bolder, and his doting mother, Cascade, who still lets the strapping two year-old nurse!
Echo & Bolder at the trap site
Also free is Echo’s sister, Jewel, the only buckskin on the mountain who is with the smashing reddish dun stallion, He Who. They made a handsome and obviously loving couple. Jewel is three and He Who is only five. He Who’s ace in the hole appears to be his lieutenant stallion and first line of defense, seven year-old Fiddle, Cloud’s brother. It is an odd threesome, but one of the most colorful on the horse range.

Jasper was not caught which is a huge relief to many of us who have enjoyed watching this striped up, grullo son of Flint and Feldspar grow up and now romp through bachelorhood. Jasper reflects the pure joy of being free as did Cloud as a young bachelor.

For the most part, BLM stuck to removing only Tier One and Tier Two young horses—those whose removal would do the least genetic damage to this unique herd of Spanish Colonial type wild horses. We were disappointed that  Kayenta, my Trace’s little sister, was removed. I consider her one of the finest fillies born on the Pryor Mountains. She has lots of size, wonderful conformation and color, and is the only daughter of Cloud’s brother, Diamond and War Bonnet, Trace’s mother.

We were present for the last day of bait trapping on the mountaintop and it elicited a wide range of emotions for both Lauryn and me. We watched as BLM captured Jackson’s band, sort out those to be removed, and load them (Kaycee and her foal, LeDoux, Lander, and Kiowa). The crew of three quietly, carefully, and skillfully encouraged the horses into the elaborate corral with its multiple gates and side corrals. We were sad that 38 wild horses lost their freedom, but relieved that there was no need for a dangerous and costly helicopter stampede down the mountain to the Britton Springs corrals as in years past.

Goals for trapping atop the mountain were met in a matter of a few weeks and prove that a helicopter stampede should never again be used to terrorize and endanger the Pryor Mountain Wild Horse Herd. Thanks for the success of this operation should go to Jared Bybee, the BLM Wild Horse and Burro Specialist, and his crew.  Jared understands horse behavior well and “takes the time it takes” to do a good job.
The one to three year-olds will be offered for adoption at the Britton Springs Corrals on September 8, 2012 at 10 am. The adoption will be a competitive bid auction. We encourage all prospective adopters to submit their adoption applications as soon as possible to the Billings Field Office adoption coordinator, Nancy Bjelland.

Click here to see the wonderful fillies and young stallions available, including Cloud’s daughter, Breeze (Kierra); and grandkids, Absarokee (Klamath), Kicks-A-Lot (Kiva), Lady Jane (Kalahari), and LeDoux. For those of you who are fans of the Cloud films, you will remember Shaman and Plenty Coups. Both of these beautiful stallions have grandchildren offered for adoption. If you have questions about any of the horses available, do not hesitate to contact us.
Thanks to so many of you for speaking up for Echo! You don’t know how much this means to me. No horse could replace Cloud, but his grandson is the closest visual reminder we will likely have on the Pryor Mountains. Having said this, Echo’s grandfather still “rules the roost” atop the mountain. But that is another story. Stay tuned!

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