In June we joined our friends Linda and Vic Hanick for a week-long camping trip to the Pryors, a life-changing excursion. Since our return, I’ve been busy working on campaigns for The Cloud Foundation, so I’m long overdue in posting some pictures and thoughts. As I looked through my pictures today, memories flooded me – a mini return to that wonderful trip.
Our second morning on the mountain we soft footfalls and munching woke us up. We crept our of our tent to find Cloud and his band grazing in our campsite.
The peacefulness of the scene overwhelmed us. Cloud, followed by Feldspar, little Encore just born in May, Ingrid, Aztec and Mato Ska, a yearling. Cloud wandered close and checked out the car while the rest of the band grazed nearby. They weren’t interested in us but even so we crept silently, in awe of their majesty.
The Pryor Mountains cast a magical spell on those who come with open hearts and peaceful minds. You’re awakened to your deep earth connections – the connections that tie you to all living things, and to the heartbeat of Mother Earth, Herself. It isn’t just the horses running wild and free, it is the horses in their natural setting, the birds and trees, the coyotes howling at night, the lupine covered hillsides that seem to overlook Earth from another dimension.
Encore grazed, hiding among the trees, confident of her place in the world. She’s a sturdy little filly, who will hopefully take after not only her father, but also her grandmother Phoenix who is still gorgeous at the age of 22. We hope she will grow up free on the range where she was born and never experience the horror of being rounded up by helicopter. Thanks to the work of people like Ginger Kathrens, the Pryor BLM will shortly issue an Environmental Analysis calling for no roundups. By successfully treating mares with the fertility drug Native PZP, the number of foals born has decreased.
While we watch, Encore goes to her mom, Feldspar for a breakfast drink to wash down the grass she’s been grazing on.
Will Encore some day nurse her own foals and become a matriarch of this mountain? Not unless we are able to bring change to the way our wild horses are managed. Every voice is needed in this urgent plea to keep our wild ones safe and free.