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02 November, 2014

A visit to the Pryor Mountain Wild Horse Range

The weather in Montana has been very mild this fall and as a result there has been an absence of wild life. As we discussed where we should go to visit, the Pryor Mountain Wild Horse Range got our votes.  The range is closer than Yellowstone and a day trip is easily done. The risk is that the wild horses may or may not have journeyed to the main road, however the site is in the Big Horn mountains which is very scenic.

We had just entered the wild horse range, when we spotted a couple of the wild ones within the range of our binoculars and the 400mm lens on my camera. A beautiful site.
We drove all the way through the range and although we saw plenty of horse manure on the road, we didn't see another horse, so we turned around hoping we might see something on our return. We had the dogs with us, so we knew we needed to stop somewhere so they could go to the bathroom. As we rounded a curve, I spotted a horse standing on the side of a hill (in other parts of the country you would call it a mountain). Out with the zoom lens, stopped the car and this is what we saw.
We were there for at least 15 minutes and during that time the horse was eating on the top of the hill and occasionally would stop and pose for use. This is Marty's favorite image of the day, she said it reminded her of an Arabian.
Marty had suggested that we climb the hill to see if there were more horses on the other side. It was a bit chilly and the hill was very steep, and I voted against the hike. Then, guess what appeared, another horse arrived on the scene.
Would there be more as we returned toward the entrance. We would wait and see. Soon after we departed these 2 horses, we rounded another curve in the road, and right in front of us were 3 bighorn rams, the first one was across the road by himself. He was majestically standing there watching his buddies and perhaps determining where he would go next.
His buddies seemed to be discussing their friend across the road and based on this image, they could have been whispering to each other something they didn't want their friend to hear.
It was time to stop and let the dogs get some exercise. There is wonderful place overlooking the Big Horn Canyon about a mile from the main road. We stopped, put the leashes on the dogs and went for a walk. Marty suggested I take a picture of them as we returned to the car. This has to be one of the best photographs we have ever had of these two. Obviously, they were happy that we decided to let them make the trip with us.
That's Baxter on the left and Emma on the right. They were under control most of the trip, however, they did acknowledge the Big Horn rams and rocked the car with their barking as we passed them. I didn't take any photographs of the canyons, but here is one that I took with Marty's friend Mary Cummins when she visited us in September. The dogs did get to look through the fence and see the canyon. I will mention, that Mary did not get to see any of the wild horses, therefore, we took a lot of photos of the landscape on that trip.
Hopefully we'll get to Yellowstone before the end of the year.