- The Wild Stallion
Throughout the seven years that filmmaker Ginger Kathrens has followed Cloud, she's come to learn more about wild horses and their deep need for family. As a foal, Cloud had the love and affection of his parents and his many siblings. Now on his own, Cloud must challenge other stallions in order to win his own mares and claim a family.
In this slideshow you'll meet Cloud's parents, siblings, and, later, his own mares and children.
- Cloud's mother: The Palomino Mare
Ginger Kathrens first spotted Cloud in May 1995 when he was just a few hours old. Kathrens describes the moment she named him: "As he slept at the feet of his watchful mother, thin clouds sailed overhead. In that instant, his name came to me. The wispy clouds reminded me of the upright hair on the colt's mane. I decided to call him Cloud."
- Cloud's father: Raven
Raven, a black stallion with a star on his forehead, was one of the most dominant stallions on the Arrowhead Mountains. His many offspring include: Red Raven, Diamond, and their half-brother, Cloud.
Here, Cloud, now with a family of his own, warns Raven off from his mare, Sitka, who is in heat. Family ties not withstanding, Cloud will not allow Raven or any other stallion to get too close to Sitka.
- Cloud's brother: Diamond
As a young horse Cloud mimicked his older brother Diamond. When Diamond roughhoused with a yearling, Cloud did the same. As bachelors, Diamond and Cloud remained close friends and roamed the region with other horses like rowdy teenagers. The group of bachelors became separated after a roundup by the Bureau of Land Management (BLM). The BLM, hoping Cloud would breed and pass on his unusual coat color, released him. Other horses were auctioned, including Trace, the blue roan Kathrens adopted.
- Cloud's brother: Red Raven
Red Raven and Blue Sioux are reunited after Cloud stole his brother's family. Blue Sioux disappeared from Cloud's band when she was about to give birth. She took that time -- the only time Cloud would let her go freely -- to search for Red Raven in the mountaintop and have their baby. As Kathrens describes it, "Red Raven and Blue Sioux seem to share a special devotion."
- Cloud's mare: Sitka
When he was just four years old Cloud tried to steal a stallion's band. Four-year-old horses are rarely strong enough to become band stallions but that didn't stop Cloud from trying. He would finally get his family after getting a hold of Sitka, the pregnant mare of Shaman, a robust stallion. Cloud became stepfather to Sitka's yearling daughter and, later, her colt, Flint.
- Cloud's son: Little Cloud
When Plenty Coups, a blue roan band stallion, became injured and lost his mares, Cloud bred his black mare. But Cloud, not yet strong enough to hold onto her, lost the black mare to Shaman, a veteran stallion. Here, Shaman, Little Cloud, and the black mare graze. Little Cloud was a frail foal but as he approached his first birthday, he became stronger, earning him a new name, Bolder.
- Cloud's stepson: Flint
One late summer afternoon Cloud stole a mare and two yearlings, doubling the size of his band. Flint, named for the rocks so common in the Arrowheads, quickly claimed the bay yearling as a playmate.
- Set Free
In 2001, Cloud and his family, as well as Shaman's band, were captured in another Bureau of Land Management roundup. All the captured horses had blood drawn, including Cloud and Bolder. The samples were analyzed by world-famous equine geneticist Dr. Gus Cothran, who confirmed that the two horses were father and son.
Cloud's family remained confined for weeks because of Flint's injured foot. After Flint received treatment, Cloud, Flint, Sitka, and her daughter were set free. The mare and two yearlings Cloud stole just weeks earlier were auctioned off.
- Cloud's son: Storm
A week after Flint was born Sitka went into heat and Cloud mated with her. Sitka became pregnant and later gave birth to Storm. Kathrens describes the moment she discovered the new foal: "In a sunny opening I find Cloud's band plus one. A sturdy foal with a big star. A dark version of his father. A storm cloud. I'll call you Storm."
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