South Steens Wild Horses (Oregon) - Part Two

May 26, 2013  •  10 Comments


South Steens Wild Horses – Part Two

Now be sure you are up to date before you plow in.  You want to be up on the front half of this blog.  That said, this one will stand alone, though it is only part of the Hollywood Herd.  Be sure you catch up on Part One at some point.


On we go.  The Hollywood Herd…


Warning!  Warning!  I can’t possibly do *every* horse in the Hollywood Herd, but I will do my best to do the favorites and the big players.



Ranger is a remarkable stallion.  He certainly isn’t a beautiful guy on the outside, especially with that big nose of his, but while I may love the outside of a horse, I love the inside much more.  He is beautiful inside, and that is all that counts.



We first saw Ranger in 2008.  It was very hard to tell, but if I had to guess, I would say he was Jack’s lieutenant.





In 2009, he was with Charm.  While you can never tell (yeah, I know.  I keep saying that!), this foal is a rubber stamp of Ranger!





















He completely endeared us to him by standing by the foal for 45 minutes while Charm took a break.













After the gather in the fall of 2009, Ranger did not have a family band.  As testimony to his easy going nature, he just hung out with everyone.  He wasn’t in a bachelor band, though some of the bachelors would have loved to hang out with him.  He was patient – up to a point!



Ranger and Arrow playing nice







 Ranger & Arrow playing not so nice!













Ranger & Cortez









                                           Ranger & Yellow Boy








Finally!  In 2011, Ranger had a family again.  In fact, it was one of the flashiest family band around – three gorgeous pintos.





I’m generally very good about documenting individual bands but this spring, the horses were very tightly grouped.  This is the best I could do…














Of course, he was very protective of his band.  Not many horses would take on Honor back then, but Ranger didn't bat an eyelash...



While I have your attention....I do have your attention, right?  This photo is a good example of why you should keep your distance from wild horses,  even wild horses like Honor and Ranger, who are very used to people.  I was not close to either one but when they decided to tangle, they got in *my* space.  Even though this was taken with a large lens, this was plenty close enough for me!  If I'd been closer, I could have easily been injured.




His band was larger and more colorful in 2012.  




And he was doing a marvelous job.  I knew he would!  He is a calm, pretty unflappable stallion.  He takes good care of his family and is not overreactive.  







However, he *will* take care of business, when business needs taking care of!














Oh boy, even a big serious stallion likes a good scratch on a tree!














We were disappointed to not see Ranger this spring.  It’s the first time in many years that we haven’t.  I suspect he took his band to the high country where forage and water was more plentiful.  Smart guy!




Do you remember from last week that Sox and Shaman were in the same natal (birth) band?  Shaman’s brother?  Isn’t that interesting!


There almost couldn’t be more contrast between these two.  Shaman is shy and reclusive and Sox very confident.  While the average age for a stallion to acquire a mare is about 10 years old, Sox had a very large band at the tender age of six or seven years old. 


We didn’t see Sox early on, while we did see Shaman.




The first time we saw him, Sox was hanging out with Chokotay and another stallion in a small bachelor band in 2010.  Of course, we were taken with that wonderful mane of his.




Sox and Chokotay




This is one of my favorite stallion photos.  You might remember it in our wild horse DVD.










One year later Sox had a very large family band with him, complete with his own lieutenant, Cascade.  How such a youngster arranged that is beyond me, but he did.  I’m sure his stocky build and self confidence didn’t hurt a thing.



We had seen his old lieutenant Cascade around for a couple of years but I don’t recall him ever having a band of his own.






















                                     Sox snaking
































                                              Sox has some of the most beautiful mares.




                                His girls…














Aided by Cascade, Sox was even stronger in 2012.  Even an older stallion would have a hard time holding on to a family band of this size without some help. 






2012   Is it possible that he just gets more beautiful every year?




He may have lost a mare or two this year but his band is strong.  There seems to be a bit more conflict between him and his lieutenant, Cascade, who both want to have rights to his lead mare.  I can only tell you that there is absolutely no way to tell who the sire of next year’s foal will be.



Sox's band, May 2013



Oh yes.  Cortez!


Cortez is an up and coming stallion.  He has worked his way from one of those marauding stallions to having a very respectable family band of his own.


We may have seen him sooner, but our first significant memory of Cortez is in the spring of 2010.  He showed up in the Hollywood Meadow with a huge chip on his shoulder. 






He took an instant dislike to Jack.  Jack couldn’t even be within sight and Cortez was after him.
















I have to admit to not being overly fond of this cranky, pushy, reactive stallion.  Yes, he was just doing what stallions do when they are looking for their first family, but he was giving all my favorite stallions a very bad time!




















2011 brought a family band for Cortez.  Suddenly, he was in possession of Phoenix’s mare Noelle and yearling, Holly.  Oops. 



With a new family band, Cortez settled down.  Well, let’s say he settled down a little.  He was still feisty and edgy, in full defense mode of his newly gained family. 



























2012 brought more changes for Cortez.  He was still with his two buckskin mares, Noelle and Holly.  He had also added a very thin buckskin mare and a pinto mare to his harem. 




Still easily agitated, he seemed to be picking on Arrow, who just couldn’t seem to do anything right as far as Cortez was concerned.  Sound familiar?



























In late June 2012, when Golden Boy was severely injured, Cortez showed up just in time to acquire a couple of GB’s mares and foals.  Initially, he had just Delight and her foal.  It didn’t take long for him to change that.























                    Cortez and Blue, fighting for Golden Boy's mares, 2012




        Fall 2012, after acquiring Clover and Delight, along with their foals



Just a day or two after GB was euthanized, we watched Cortez casually stroll over to Domino’s band and walk away with a mare (Delight) and her foal.  Mr. Nonchalant!  LOL



This spring, Cortez is an old hand at the family band thing.  Delight and Clover disappeared this spring, but their offspring are still with him, as well as Holly, Noelle and Whisper.  All three mares have foals this year, and it’s a good bet they are all Cortez’s.  There’s no way to know for sure, of course, but it’s hard to imagine anyone sneaking in on Cortez!





What a feisty little stallion, Ditto is!  I have loved this stallion for a long time and I suspect I am not alone.


Ditto was the head honcho of a band of stallions for several years. 





















Though several of the other bachelors towered over him, he had no problem whatsoever keeping them all in line.  It was amusing to watch!


Ditto snaking Four Socks, 2010












In 2011, Lupe and her foal joined the bachelor band.  We’ve seen this before.  Perhaps, it’s because she felt safe, or maybe one of the bachelors in the band was in her natal band.  It’s hard to say, but she seemed quite content there.  It was a strange little band, but it worked!





Red Vogue, Yellow Boy, Lupe and her foal

Spring 2011














Later that fall, Jingles left Majesty’s band (perhaps she got left behind when the band moved on) and with Juniper in tow, joined the bachelor band.


Jingles died at the ripe old age of 27 in the winter of 2011-12.  




The spring of 2012 brought many changes.  Nearly all the bachelors in the band has acquired a family band.  All but Ditto and Juniper, that is.


I absolutely loved watched Ditto take care of Juniper, who was now a year and a half old and an orphan.  He was very affectionate and protective of him.




Just a couple weeks after this photo was taken, Golden Boy was gone.  Ditto was among the stallions that divided his mares up.  Juniper joined a bachelor band (he is still with them).




Ditto and his flashy band, May 2013















Just as he was with his bachelors, Lupe and her foal, and finally Juniper, Ditto is very affectionate.  I loved watching him interact with his little band at the mineral lick last week. 





Have I said yet how much I like this feisty little mustang stallion?











Ditto vs Dibs

I am just like you.  I have had a terrible time telling the difference between Ditto and Dibs.  I finally had some time to watch them together this past week, which helps tremendously.  Maybe this will help.


Ditto has a blue eye on the left and two white socks on his hind legs. 


Dibs has two brown eyes and four white socks.


Both have a pinto marking on their right side.  Ditto’s is more defined, while Dibs’ mark is more “swirly” (is there such a word?).


Ditto has a family band.  Dibs badly wants a family band and is currently tailing Jack and his band, along with three other bachelors.


                                                                                 Ditto (rear) & Dibs (front) 2011                                




Arrow is proving to be another very likeable young stallion.  He is moving up in the ranks and has a lovely family band.




We first saw Arrow as a young stallion in Ditto's bachelor band in 2010.
















He was still in the bachelor band in 2011 but he was becoming very feisty.  It was apparent he was ready to break out on his own and get his own family band.















Sure enough, in 2012, he did have a family band.  Interestingly (or maybe predictably), he had the mare Lupe and her colt, who had been living with the bachelor band the year before.













Doing what stallions are supposed to do –protecting his band.  He was certainly a busy boy!


                                                                                  Turnabout is fair play!




Has Arrow settled down this year?  Well…not really.  He is still one of the most reactive stallions in the Hollywood Herd.  He is *very* protective of his pretty family. 








Yellow Boy

Another member of Ditto’s bachelor band, he has come into his own. 


Yellow Boy isn’t yellow at all, but is a gorgeous light red dun.



Yellow Boy and Ditto have a "discussion."

Spring 2010



















                                                                                                                     Spring 2011

















Yellow Boy finally got his own family band in 2012 and has another one of those monochromatic band – all sorrels and one palomino.  They are very color coordinated!













Yellow Boy seems pretty mellow this year.  Not that he won’t confront any other stallions, but it takes something real to get him to react. 


Yellow Boy and his 2013 band




I have always loved Domino.  Not to diminish him at all, I am only going to post a few photos of him as a youngster and adult.  


He is a new band stallion and (I think) still struggling with the role.  He is young for a band stallion, having acquired three mares from Golden Boy last summer (the average age is 10 and Domino was about four when he got his mares).  He immediately lost one to Cortez, leaving him with a yearling and two mares.


He is pretty watchful of his two mares but ignores his yearling.  She wandered off twice in as many days and her dam doesn’t want to leave her.  The other day, Domino wasn’t paying attention once and was almost all the way to the mineral lick (and out of sight) before he realized his mares weren’t behind him.  He came tearing back over the hill at full speed.  Even then, he didn’t go down and snake his yearling back.


We watched her approach Shaman and his mare and foal and all Domino did was splash some water.  I think if Shaman had wanted to, he could have walked off with her and Domino wouldn’t have done a thing.


He certainly needs to learn more about being a good band stallion.  It wouldn’t surprise me at all to see him as a bachelor again this spring.


He’ll get it right.  It just might not be this time…




Domino as a two year old, babysitting his brother.  He was in Honor's band at this time.











                                    Sparring with Chokotay after winning several of Golden Boy's mares and foals


                                                                          Domino’s band 2012






                Domino's band, May 2013
















Red Vogue

Red Vogue is another stallion who has his first mare.  Well, a mare (Saige) and a yearling that he stole from Shaman just last week.



Red Vogue is a beauty!





2010 with Little Brother

















          Still in the bachelor band














                                                  Red Vogue & Domino in the aftermath of Golden Boy's death






Red Vogue & Honor, May 2013

















Red Vogue with his new family band; Saige (center) and yearling from Shaman's band















I was really, really hoping I could offer another video this week, but after trying to load a neat one of five bands at the waterhole for over two days on slow wifi, I had to give up.  I'll try to make it up to you next week!



I am going to have to end this and I guess this is as good a place as any.  I have missed many horses, particularly those that don’t live with the Hollywood Herd.  A couple of those left out are favorite horses too; the silver bay, Cherokee, Renegade, the big blue roan we’ve seen only once.  The bachelors weren’t mentioned though Juniper is close to my heart, having seen him the first time when he was just a few days old.  I also didn’t talk about the four bachelors giving Jack such a hard time; Blue, Four Sox, Dibs and the palomino pinto.  There is Phoenix and Obsidian and the beautiful golden palomino stallion that is new to me.  Cooperhead and other horses we’ve seen through the years, some just once or twice.  What about the palomino youngsters that are in Jack’s band (Chardonnay’s offspring)?  Oh yes, there are at least a couple more blogs in there!


The biggest miss is Jack.  Not to worry.  He will have his own blog next week.


Then I’ll move on.  We have places to go and horses to see.  Surely, I’ll find a source for another blog in Utah.  Or Idaho.  Or Nevada.  Or Wyoming.  ;-)



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Barbara Joseph(non-registered)
As always, BEAUTIFUL work & I love the stories that go with them.
Thank you for your hard work & for sharing this with all of us.
Beverly Robb(non-registered)
I enjoy meeting the players, along with the gorgeous pictures you take. And your insightful commentary is so helpful. Now if I could only remember all their names from one week to the next! LOL! Thank you for your time and work, Barbara, I look forward to next blog.
Sherry Iriarte(non-registered)
Once again I have enjoyed "meeting" the horses and your stories.
marilyn wheeler(non-registered)
Love the Steens horses-your pictures are awesome! I have learned so much about wild horses from your postings.
Judy McMillon(non-registered)
Truly enjoyed the photos and the stories. Thank you for taking the time to do this for us. I look forward to many more.
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