Friday, January 6, 2012

Action Alert: Cloud's Echo

Erasing the Memory of Cloud

Dear Cloud Friends;

I know many of you have already sent in your comments to the BLM regarding the planned permanent removal of 30 young Pryor mustangs, but I’d like you to consider adding a special plea for Echo, Cloud’s little grandson (BLM name is Killian).

In April 2010, Bolder’s black mare, Cascade, gave birth to a pale colt. It was early May before Makendra and I could get up on the Pryors to look for the colt that supposedly looked like Cloud. We spotted Bolder and his family far out on a still snowy, finger-like ridge on Sykes. We could see a little colt lying in the snow under a juniper tree. He looked snow white but, on closer examination, I could see his stockings and the blaze on his face. On the tip of his nose he had a pink snip, just like his great grandpa Raven, his grandpa Cloud, and his father, Bolder.

A young version of a familiar sight

I named him Echo because he looked so like Cloud. But, I was to learn that his resemblance to Cloud was much more than skin deep. We laughed as he ran and lept off the ground. Here he is playing on Sykes Ridge when he was a few weeks old.

His dun sister had been born in the snow on the day Makendra and I hiked out to photograph the band. Here is footage of curious Echo meeting Kicks-A-Lot (BLM name is Kiva) when she was just one day old.

Echo & his new sister, Kicks-A-Lot

Outgoing is an understatement for Echo. In the months that followed I watched him develop into quite a precocious little fellow. He played with yearlings when he was just a foal. As a yearling he would march right up to band stallions. Well, I thought, you’ll become a great band stallion if you don’t killed first. His brave, yearling exploits usually ended with him running back to his mother to nurse!

Echo playing with the yearling, Shaft, in summer 2010.
Both could be removed in 2012.

Cloud & his grandson (Photo by Carol Walker)

Echo has unusual genetics (his mother is perhaps the only off-spring of Cloud’s rival, Mateo) and he is the only young palomino on the mountain. He is a powerful, athletic colt who will pass on his strength to his offspring—if he gets a chance.

The removal of Echo will be a personal tragedy for me. Although I believe that Cloud will live for many more years, he will not live forever. When he is gone, we will still have Echo as a physical reminder of the great stallion who inspired me, and so many of you.  

Three generations left to right: Bolder, Echo, Cloud
(Photo by Deb Little)

I ask you to speak up for Cloud’s Echo. Thanks so much for fighting for his freedom!

Happy Trails,

P.S.  The Cloud Foundation does not support the removal of any young horses from the Pryor Mountains—certainly not at this time of year, and certainly not 30 youngsters, which will leave the herd under populated and vulnerable to eventual die-off.

Echo - Dec. 2011

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