Who are the Freedom Families?

ConquistadorTributeIn September of 2009, the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) removed an entire sub‐population of wild horses from the Custer National Forest lands in the Pryor Mountains. The older horses in four family bands were acquired by the Cloud Foundation (TCF) to prevent the horses from being permanently penned in feedlot style facilities, and to prevent the family bands from being separated and the stallions gelded. 
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TCF also acquired the horses as a genetic reservoir for the main Pryor herd, which is a small, isolated herd in danger of suffering irreparable genetic loss. The Foundation horses or their offspring could be released back into the Pryors to rejuvenate the main herd if needed. One of our four band stallions, Shane, stole Bo’s band and Conquistador, our 22 year-old band stallion died suddenly in May 2012 perhaps from a lightning strike. This leaves us two bands led by Shane and Trigger. There are 15 horses in our care and they live on pastures leased by TCF north of Livingston, Montana. 

The horses owned by the Foundation are representative of the small but sturdy, Spanish‐style horses of the Pryor Mountains, one of the only Spanish Colonial herds remaining in the West. 

MaeTrigJosThey include the flashy bay stallion, Trigger (first documented by Ginger Kathrens as a newborn for the 1997 BBC production “Spirit of the Mustang”), his mares, Mae West and Evita, their two-year old son, Pistol, and newly acquired filly, Lily, the daughter of Shane and Moshi; the dun stallion, Shane, and his mares, Sierra, Mystery, Grumpy (seen in the first Cloud film), Moshi and Chalupa, and their newly acquire filly, Josie, the daughter of Trigger and Mae West. The mares who have reproduced are on the one‐year infertility drug PZP and, while no foals were anticipated in 2012, Mae West and Trigger decided otherwise! The drug is reversible unless applied remotely each year and works 90% of the time.

Click here to learn more about each of the horses!  

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