We were able to find Cloud this past Sunday on his 16th birthday!
May 29th was a blustery day on the Pryor Mountains as we bounced up Tillett Ridge Road in a gale force wind blowing out of the north. Icy rain fell in intermittent sheets—the polar opposite of the weather on the day of Cloud’s birth.
Sixteen years ago the sun was shining. It was warm. Light clouds floated overhead. I set up my camera and was filming a brash, young stallion who was flirting with his father’s newly acquired filly when I spotted a flash of white moving through the trees and panned the camera. A pale colt tottered out of the forest beside his palomino mother. The rest of his family followed—Smokey and Mahogany, his sisters; Diamond, his yearling brother; and the other mares, Isabella the pale buckskin, and Grumpy Grulla. Pulling up the rear was Cloud’s stunning father, the unforgettable Raven. The foal struggled to keep up with his mother on their trek uphill to snow drifts under the canopy of Douglas firs.
Sixteen years later, here I was again, bumping up the road and emerging onto the ridges of Tillett. We spotted Cloud and his family nestled in on the south side of a cluster of firs—sheltered from the cold wind and rain. By the time we set up the camera, Cloud had raced out of the trees and disappeared over a hill. When we began filming, I could just see the top of his head bobbing up and down and I could hear the screams of the stallions. Then Cloud trotted into a clearing with a trio of bachelors, including Jasper, the nearly two-year old son of Flint. He is the little grullo you see with the big mark on his face. The other two are Galaxy, the black, and Gringo, the bay—both five-year olds.
After giving them a playful warning, Cloud drove his family far away. You can see little Breeze, his dark daughter, born last July who joins her mother, Aztec, and the rest of the family. The three-year old dun filly is Ingrid—the newest addition to the Cloud band. Velvet is not with Cloud but with Bolder. I think that Velvet may have become irritated with the new addition to Cloud’s stable family and left. I hope she might reconsider and come back home when they reunite on the mountaintop in a few weeks. Time will tell.
Considering how terribly cold and snowy winter was, and how incredibly wet and blustery spring has been, I think the horses all look wonderful, including Cloud. We wished him a big “Happy Birthday” from all of you.
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