Welcome to the blog by Marylu Weber

This blog contains dozens of posts and photos of the wild, feral horses from the park and some of the people involved with them. These horses are owned by the park and not managed by the BLM. To see most of the photos, scroll to the bottom of this page. To find earlier posts of interest go to Blog Archive on the right and follow this guide:

For some of the history of the horses and people involved:

Wild Horses of Theodore Roosevelt National Park
Tom Tescher's Story
The Boicourts
The Roundup

The Sale

For some of the special horses' stories:
Fire's Story
Whisper's Story
Our Boys Come Home
Dancing with a Wild Horse
Whit's Story

The Dance Continues
Training Update

More Dancing with Hawk
More Training for Hawk
Bashful, the Steps of His Life

Post of Interest:
Four Stallion Fight
Hazards, Did I Mention Hazards?

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

The D Band

For many years a band ran in the area of Wind Canyon, feeding on the plentiful grass covering the rolling hills and river bottom of the farthest north western corner of the park. For a time, a stunted black stallion we called Tiny Tim had the band, but he was soon replaced by a pretty bay roan, Wind Canyon.

Until the late 1990's, Wind Canyon ran unchallenged, but in 2000 a plain black stallion picked up a few of his mares and fillies. We called that stallion Black Brutus, because he was a heavy chested, rather homely brute. He and one of his fillies were struck by lightning on the river bottom the week before the 2000 roundup.

Wind Canyon escaped the lightning but not the roundup that fall. He and his band were captured, but he was turned back out with three of his mares and two fillies.

The next roundup, in 2003, he was not so lucky. After that roundup, only three horses remained of the Wind Canyon band, Big Blue, who was the largest mare and one of the largest horses in the park at 16 hands, her bay roan overo son, and her loud bay overo colt. That colt, Little Shawn, a favorite of one of the temporary staff and named after him, was left behind when the rest of his band was run in with the helicopter. It was feared that he would not survive whatever caused him to be weak in his hind quarters or that he would be killed by a predator before his dam could find him after the roundup, but Big Blue found him and he recovered. He is no longer "Little" Shawn, because he has become a handsome big bachelor.

Big Blue refused to be taken by another stallion, so stayed with her young son, Wind Canyon II, who eventually became the band stallion. They had two offspring, one in '04 and one in '05 and added a new mare in '08.

Saturday, August 9, 2008

The C and F Bands

These bands have both been fairly stable for the past 3-4 years. What makes them so interesting to observe is first, that the F band has a subordinate stallion as well as a band sire and second, that both the C and F bands and their three stallions have run together for the past several months. The three stallions keep control of their individual mares though the mares intermingle freely.
After the 2003 roundup, Singlefoot, ( F stallion) a four year old gray stallion, picked up most of the remaining mares that had run with Lindbo Blue in the Lindbo Flats/Boicourt Ridge area.
With Singlefoot are Lightning, a black overo mare, her loud colored daughter, Sweetheart, and several of their offspring. Sweetheart is so named because of a perfect black heart on her left side. Another older mare who has produced several foals for Singlefoot, is Frosty, a pretty bay roan.
In the spring of 2006 another gray stallion was observes following the band at a distance. As far as we know, he has never taken or bred any of Singlefoot's mares, but he continued to follow the band throughout that year and has become an accepted part of the band. Singlefoot never allows him to come in close contact with the other members of the band, but apparently has accepted him as a sort of body guard. When there are other stallions to be chased away or intruders to investigate, it is Satellite who does the work. Singlefoot stands calmly with his mares while Satellite chases off and threatening band stallions or bachelors.
Curiously the F band had two foals earlier this spring, but both were missing in May and their bodies were found in June. A new foal was born to Lightning in June.

Red Face ( C stallion) took control of what remained of band that Embers had once had. By the spring of 2006 several of that band were missing and Embers had joined the bachelors. Red Face is very protective of his mares and foals and always puts on a good show, running toward any intruders to check them out and then wheeling away to drive his band to safety.

With Red Face are Strawberry, a rather homely red roan overo, and Flame, his lead mare, a beautiful, big sorrel who has produced some pretty fillies. Two younger mares had come to him from the J band in the interior of the park. None of his mares had foaled as of July of this year.