June 10 was marked on our calendar about two weeks ago–we were again invited to ride with the group heading to the Pryor Mountain National Wild Horse Range in Wyoming/Montana. It’s been so long since we were out in the CanAm–all three of us were so excited we didn’t even mind the early departure hour!
The following paragraphs were taken from the blog written last year after our visit–
In 1968 an effort by a group of citizens resulted in the establishment of the Pryor Mountain National Wild Horse Range. These horses have roamed the Pryor Mountains for more than a century and blood typing has indicated the horses are closely related to the old type European Spanish horse. Their unusual coloring points to their Spanish lineage too–dorsal stripes down their back, wither stripes and zebra stripes on their legs. So–where did these horses come from–unclear but it is a common belief the horses escaped from Native American herds finding a home in the Pryor Mountains.
The BLM manages this herd and tries to keep the numbers between 120 to 160 horses. Genetic diversity of these horses is high and thus the current level of inbreeding is low. Natural and man made barriers confine the horses to their current range so the yearly foal population of 20-30 per year is the only source for new horses. Every two to three years the BLM gathers and removes animals in order to maintain the desired number. One of the ways horses are removed is through adoption by the general public through application. (This information was obtained via a BLM pamphlet dated April 2000)
We didn’t see as many horses this year–only about 60+–last year we saw over 100 horses. The gray skies didn’t make for good photos.This group of bighorn sheep was hanging out by the road and didn’t seem to mind having their photos taken–
Again, this next paragraph is taken from the blog I wrote last year when we visited the range–
The bighorn sheep have an interesting story too–these sheep are originally from a small herd which had been reintroduced into Wyoming’s northern Bighorn Mountains. In the mid-1970’s they migrated across the ice of Bighorn Lake and remained on the west side of the Bighorn Canyon where their population has increased. These sheep have persisted where several deliberate attempts at reintroduction have failed. (From the BLM pamphlet)
Saturday was very warm and windy–Sunday it was still windy but very cool. As we climbed in elevation it became windier and colder. We had dressed warmly but by the end of the day I was wearing every stitch of clothes we had packed in our gear. To add insult to injury, it even rained on us for a bit!
Looking for horses.Lesley and Bev.
The wildflowers were simply stunning–I couldn’t stop oohing and ahhing.
Our day started with sunshine but it wasn’t to last!Greg and Phyllis have a new rig–a four seater so their dogs–a rottweiler and a lab will have a place to ride–we do take care of our pets, don’t we! My Cowboy The Bighorn Canyon
A fabulous day to be out with friends!