As we continue with our series, today we will talk about everyone’s favorites – the babies!This is a photo of 2021 colts Cody (Frosty) and Beau (Pretty Girl) – half-brothers in Stallion Red Face’s band. From 2015-2018,
TRNP removed 94 horses between the age of 4 months old to 3 years old. The only 8 that still remain from that 3-year period were left were only because TRNP park management could not get to them because of where their bands stayed within the park and the rugged terrain that surrounded them.
There are a lot of ways this conversation can go, but what we want to focus on is how this has changed the behavior of the horses in TRNP. You can imagine that over the course of 6 years, we have not seen many horses over the age of 1 years old in the park. 2-year old’s have been even more scarce and a horse making it to be 3 in TRNP has been pretty much unheard of.
Then Covid hit in 2020 and we fought to have them cancel any roundups. In 2021, the park was only able to remove 4 horses due to the extreme drought conditions.
This means that we now have 2 horses that are 3 years old, 18 that are 2 years old, and 31 that are 1 years old. The herd may NOT be done foaling yet for this year, another thing that is “normal” for this herd, but not for the majority of other wild horse herds. This herd will foal through October/November, and we can expect the first foal to be born in January/February of 2022.
Before Covid hit, the “babies” in the park were all of the reaming 23 horses that were born in 2014. We watched some of the mares CLING to these babies: Shale leaving Teton’s band when he successfully kicked out Nicols, Cowgirl coming between Thunder and Xander and staying on the outskirts of the band many times with her baby. Taylor & her mom Spotted Blue as well as Snip’s Gray and her “Baby” Valentina, are usually very close to each other. We also watched as Mare Opal and Mare Emmylou wandered “visiting” other bands. Eventually Opal would be scooped up by Arrowhead, presumably as she wandered near his band. Emmylou still visits other bands from time to time but always ends up back “home” with her natal band.
So how has suddenly having so many young horses in the park changed the behavior of the TRNP horses? There is no blanket answer. Because each horse and each band is unique, we thought it would be best to look at each band and the dynamics happening within each band.
Again, no one is in the park 24/7, so these are just conclusions from our observations and research.
We will begin talking about the impacts of having so many young horses with each individual band in the park again tomorrow so be sure to check back.
Thank you for your support and have a great day!