New face/old friends

There is a new face in the lower canyons. We saw this little filly on the stealth cams but have never seen her in person. Now, I am not positive this is Acorn, but pretty sure.  It could be Yuma though. I don’t know if we will ever know for sure. I will post pictures of both of them from last year and you can tell me what you think. Anyway, she is with Snoopy Jr. and his group. His group consists of him, Jaggs, Acorn, Miracle and another stallion, Ajax.

If this is Acorn, her parents are Kite and Durango, although, she and her mother, Kite, were last seen with Whitewash.  If it is Yuma, her parents are Sunkist and Lucky.  We will probably never know for sure which one it is, but we will just love her and watch her grow, not matter who she is!

Here are the photos. We were unable to get a full face photo of Acorn, but I don’t think the face mark on Yuma is quite right for this new face to be her. They just look so much alike!  What do you all think?

Yuma and her mother Sunkist

Acorn, Kite and Whitewash

Ajax,Acorn, Miracle and Snoopy Jr.

Snoopy Jr. and Acorn with Miracle in the back


Snoopy Jr. and Acorn

Acorn, Miracle and Snoopy Jr. sharing a pocket of water

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He’s alive!!

Imagine my surprise when I look across a small valley and see a “ghost”.   Well, I thought it must be a ghost and it was Halloween, but he turned out not to be a ghost after all. This horse was last seen at the end of last winter/early spring and he looked bad. It was said that he was painfully thin and did not look well at all. Then, we have not seen him all summer long.  This is a horse that, while not highly visible, is at least seen several times a year. He is alone, which is not good, but he is alive and looking well.  Can you guess who it is? Do you give up? Okay, I will tell you ……….GUNSMOKE!!!

Now, he still looks every one of his 19 years, still a little thin, but does not look bad at all.  He is getting his shaggy winter coat and you can see a few ribs but, all in all, he looks pretty darn good. I was really excited to see him.  There is a tree that he likes to stand under and every time I went by it this year, I would say how sad it was that Gunsmoke wasn’t under his tree.  Then I would wonder who would eventually take his place under that tree.  While, I didn’t find him under that tree, he was close by. He was on the gas pad, which is another place he likes to hang out.

As I said before, he is 19 years old and not sure who his dam was, but pretty sure that Buckskin Jake was his sire.  He is missing the tip of his left ear and his right eye has gotten “cloudy”.  He has a daughter who looks a whole lot like him and he has sired many others through the years. His genes are pretty well represented on the range.  Below are some photos of him and his most recent band that he has lost. One of his favorite mares, Spook, is missing and I would not be surprised to find that they find one another again.

Gunsmoke from a few years ago

Gunsmoke and Spook

Gunsmoke and some of the mares he has had

Gunsmoke surprising us in Main Canyon one winter

Gunsmoke (taken on Halloween)

Gunsmoke now

Josie (on the left) and Jolie(on the right)- Jolie sure looks like Gunsmoke


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Diamond Rio

A request came in to blog about Diamond Rio. He is one of the first horses I “met” when I started going to the range and learning about these horses. He is one of my all time favorites!

Diamond Rio was born in 1993 to the Craig Mare and Buckskin Joe. He was born in the North Soda area.  Both of the parents were introduced to this range rather than born here. That worked as an advantage to Diamond Rio when there were  lots of bachelors off the range in 1997, which he was one of!  When it was decided to do a gather of these off the range bachelors, Diamond Rio got to stay because of his “transplant” blood. His genetics were needed for the good of the horses on the range. So, he got to stay but  it was decided that he be moved to Main Canyon.  He stayed there for many years, but about five years ago he decided to head to the upper ranges again. He hasn’t made it over to North Soda again, but he does travel to the Indian Park area in the summer.  He does come back down to Main and Coal Canyons in the winter though. He is one of the few that we get to observe through all seasons.

He has been a successful harem stallion for many years. Even though he lost all his mares at different gathers throughout the years, he has always managed to regain more. He did spend one winter as a bachelor, but has had mares since.

Currently, his band consists of Beauty and her three-year old colt, Choca. That boy should be leaving the band soon!! Diamond Rio’s daughter, Bonita, just recently left the band and is now with her own stallion.

Diamond Rio in Main Canyon

His band before Bonita left

So calm, yet wary


Running Magnum off

Sleek and healthy


Such a handsome face

Surveying his world




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Next up we have a request for Chief.

Chief was born in 1996 to Moose and Tobiaque.  Unfortunately, I do not have any pictures of either of his parents.   Moose was removed and adopted and Tobiaque
died on the range before I was involved with the horses. He was named for the “Chief’s head” on his side. Chief is a bachelor right now, but has been a successful harem stallion for many years.

I remember a few years back that he and Ringo were swapping mares back and forth constantly!!  There was one day when I was watching these two bands and they reconfigured at least 6 times in an hour!! Chief would have both groups of mares, then Ringo would take them, then Chief would get a couple of them, then Ringo would take
them back and lose a few more!! This went on for over an hour and I finally
left.   The next time I saw them they had settled down, but each time I saw these two bands that year it was with different mares.   What a wild summer that was!!

Chief started off this season with several mares but lost them at the end of June and has been a bachelor all summer.  Sometimes he is with other bachelors, sometimes he is
alone.  He has had a few minor injuries this summer so he has been healing from those.
Hopefully, he will get a mare or two again soon.





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Wow! Two of you wrote and asked about Onyx. That boy is getting mighty popular! Ok, Cindy and Chris, here is Onyx.

Onyx was born in 2003 in Main Canyon. His parents are Howdy and Spook. Howdy disappeared last year and Spook is still around. He is black with a right rear sock and a left rear pastern.  His mane, tail and forelock have a bit of a wave in it. He became a harem stallion in 2008.  That is pretty young to become a harem stallion and keep the mares as he has done. He stepped in when Ringo disappeared and got his mares. He started off with two mares and a colt and has since increased his numbers. He currently has Cloud, Butterscotch, Sunshine, Drummer, Shoshoni, Chrome and Sunny. He just lost three mares to another stallion (not sure who yet, haven’t seen them). They are Mystery Paint, Tumbleweed and Concho.  Since acquiring his mares, he has not returned to Main Canyon. When he was a bachelor he moved back and forth between the areas. I fell in love with this boy when he was a two-year old and have been fortunate to follow his actions.  He has done so well as a harem stallion.  He is definitely a favorite among many.

Onyx's original family band

Spook - his dam

Howdy - his sire

The band he has had most of the summer, now slightly smaller in number

Cloud - his current lead mare


Sunshine - his only offspring



Sunny (not his foal)



That is Onyx. He is a young stallion, but has managed to keep his mares. He should be fun to watch in the coming years with all of our aging stallions. I wonder how many more mares he will acquire in the coming months and years.

Keep those requests coming!

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In my last post I asked if anyone wanted to know more about any specific horse. Well, Amy has asked to know more about Bandit. Thanks Amy, Bandit is an easy one and lots of fun too!!

Bandit was born in 2001 and became a harem stallion in 2007. His parents are Shoshoni and Gunsmoke. He was originally from the lower canyons but was moved to the North Soda area when he was a little older.

He currently has three mares and a foal. His mares are Chipeta, Deja vu and his lead mare, Cat who has the colt foal Banjo. We believe that Bandit has also sired a couple of other foals in the area, but one can never be sure with these wild ones!!

Bandit has always been a fun, gentle stallion and a real crowd favorite with his unusual coloring. He is definitely one of a kind, at least on this horse range!! We keep hoping he will sire another one that looks like him.

Below are some pictures of Bandit, his parents and his current band, with the exception of Firefly who is his offspring but has since moved to another band.  His dam, Shoshoni, is still alive and well but we believe his sire, Gunsmoke, has passed. There is another foal on the range that looks almost identical to Firefly so we believe that Bandit is also the sire to that little filly.



Cat and Firefly-one of Bandit's offspring

Firefly all grown up


Deja vu

Banjo-this years foal from Cat

Gunsmoke-Bandit's sire


Shoshoni-Bandit's dam


Gunsmoke and Shoshoni

Thanks Amy, for choosing Bandit. This was fun to do! Okay, now who is next!!

I hoped that you all enjoyed this feature. I had a good time doing it. What a great way to get to know these horses better!

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This and that

This time of year it is hit and miss when trying to find the horses. They seem to shade up really early and are going deeper into the canyons and such to find good grass. We have been blessed this year with higher than average rainfall and that has helped the grass supply.  While it is starting to get a bit sparse, there still seems to be enough for now.  The horses are looking great right now too.

Went to North Soda the other morning and actually found horses by the road instead of in the big field! What a special treat that was. Rico Boy and his girls were right there and looking oh so fine!  Misty is growing up to be a beautiful mare and Mystic is such a gorgeous color. Then there is Jill….what can I say about this amazing old girl. Twenty-eight years old and with only one eye and she is still looking fantastic. She has such a sheen to her coat. When people describe horses that they have seen and wonder who they are, it is quite easy to figure out Jill when they mention her sheen.

Also saw Bandit and his band. Cat was quite camera-shy and Chipeta was not  into photos either, but Bandit, Banjo and Deja vu were posing quite nicely. What a beautiful band.

Indian Park is really looking like a ghost town these days. It is difficult to find horses over there right now.  Did manage to find two bands and they were together. Diamond Rio and Flame. Both boys are getting older and they have let their adult sons stay with them.   I have to wonder if it is to help with protection.  On a side note….Choca is not Diamond Rio’s offspring but has been with the band since shortly after he was born.  Both Flame and Diamond Rio are starting to show a few ribs and just have that “older” look about them, but they are still going strong!!

Here are a few pictures from this trip.

Bandit and Deja vu


Rico Boy

One-Eyed Jill




Brumby and Sonoma


That is all for now. If anyone wants to know more about a particular horse, let me know and I will do a post on that one horse.

As for the fire in this area, it did not affect any of the grazing areas for the horses. What it did do was burn a lot of the pinyon/juniper forested areas and opened up more grazing space for the horses in the future. My understanding is that the burned areas will be reseeded.

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