Mare Profile: Encore

It honestly looked a bit more like Encore was sniffing Knight.

It honestly looked a bit more like Encore was sniffing Knight. (June, 2016)

Allegedly, Knight and Encore are the cutest love story ever told on the Pryors. I say allegedly, because I beg to differ. While they have their moments, I think people romanticize Encore’s situation. It’s true, they have their moments, but in my experience, their age shows in their interactions with one another. Do I think they have potential once they get older? Sure, but until then, they have a lot to learn. I also think people conveniently forget what it took for Encore, and Knight to develop their relationship. My own first hand experience of Encore is limited to 2013, and 2015, but I think there are enough people who visit the Pryors that I can still do a job of summarizing the rest of her life. As usual, I’m hoping if I give people what I feel is an objective take on the situation, people can come to their own conclusions.

For those days that taking two steps back to graze are too hard.

For those days that taking two steps back to graze are too hard. (May, 2013)

Encore was born to Feldspar, and Cloud in 2013. Like her mama, she was independent, and like her daddy, she was full of spunk.

Even Ingrid has her sassy moments. Ingrid, and Encore were pretty inseparable.

Even Ingrid has her sassy moments. Ingrid, and Encore were pretty inseparable. (July, 2013)

In the May, 2014, it was reported that Cloud was receiving a lot of pressure from the stallion Doc. You can read the Mustang Center’s report here.

I have a lot of photos from when Encore was a foal. I'm guessing no one minds?

I have a lot of photos from when Encore was a foal. I’m guessing no one minds? (July, 2013)

That spring, Cloud lost his band to Inniq. Feldspar left almost immediately for Mescalero. Ohanzee stayed with Inniq, and Ingrid before becoming a bachelor. Ingrid, and her daughter Orielle are now with Flint. There are more details to the timeline, but it’s a little out of scope for the purpose of this post. There are a lot of people who follow the Pryor herd, so I’m sure there are detailed accounts of what happened. If specifically Cloud is a horse you’d like to learn more about, then I’d recommend starting with The Cloud Foundation.

I'm pretty sure Encore learned that look from Cloud.

I’m pretty sure Encore learned that look from Cloud. (May, 2013)

During the time Cloud lost his band, Encore (BLM name Nimbus) as a yearling got separated from Feldspar. I don’t think anyone can know for sure, but considering she ended up with three bachelors, I’m guessing it wasn’t sunshine and rainbows. There are numerous reports of it being a stressful situation for Encore, one from the Mustang Center can be found here.

I'm told those baby coats itch.

I’m told those baby coats itch. (May, 2013)

I’m not sure about the exact timeline, but Knight became more dominant over Inali, and London. That’s why it’s tempting for people to call him her Knight in shinning armor, but think it also had to do with Inali, and London growing up a bit. They’re both starting to reach a point where they want their own mares.

Ingrid is pretty equal opportunity when it comes to foals.

Ingrid is pretty equal opportunity when it comes to foals. (July, 2013)

Through the experience Encore, and Knight became a little more bonded. Since then, they occasionally have other horses with them, but they usually keep themselves away from other bands. Occasionally Encore will nuzzle Knight, but mostly they are grazing in the same proximity. One of them might wander off, and the other might follow, but I’m not convinced it has to do with Knight being a strong band stallion, or Encore a strong lead mare–yet.

Visiting friends can be overwhelming, even for the most outgoing filly.

Visiting friends can be overwhelming, even for the most outgoing filly. (July, 2013)

I’m not saying they don’t have potential, but I think people forget that both of them are very young. There’s already people who are eager to see Encore’s first foal. I’d like to pause, and point out she’s only three, but then I’m getting digressive. There’s potential for Knight to keepĀ another mare, and if she’s older I think she can help Encore out. In time, I think they can have a strong band together, but I would like to request that people think about the situation before they romanticize it.

How dare Cloud wake Encore from a nap!

How dare Cloud wake Encore from a nap! (July, 2013)

To potentially help, I want people to use their imaginations. If these were any other horses, would people have the same reaction? Even if Encore would have ended up with Inali, or London? What if the horses didn’t have names at all, and we just used their ID #s? What if these were animals more uniform in color, without the ability to be domesticated like deer?

Knight lost his dam when he was a foal, and taken in by Lakota's band when he was a foal, so he does have tenacity on his side.

Knight lost his dam when he was a foal, and taken in by Lakota’s band when he was a foal, so he does have tenacity on his side. (June, 2016)

The point I’m trying to make, is mustangs are wildlife. If we want them to be managed like wildlife, (or at the very least the BLM to respect the opinions of advocates, because let’s be honest, the way most prey animals are managed is via hunting) we need to treat them like wildlife. If your experience has led you to a different conclusion than mine, have that different opinion, but I think it’s important to tell everyone the full story, and let them come to their own conclusions. To quote The Doctor: “We’re all stories in the end. Just make it a good one.”

Although Encore is maturing into a lovely mare, she gets a lighter build from both sides of the family. I'm personally ok if she waits a few years before having her first foal.

Although Encore is maturing into a lovely mare, she gets a lighter build from both sides of the family. I’m personally ok if she waits a few years before having her first foal. (June, 2016)

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4 Comments »

  1. sp Said:

    I also agree that the romance between encore and knight is overly romantised , blue souix and red raven are better, i do want to see a foal from her however and i am worried because the blm treatment might make her infertile, i mean the black never had a foal because of the drugs and its unlikely she ever will, and i don’t want that to happen to encore

    • PZP is not designed to cause permanent infertility. Giving the full dose at a young age, at the wrong time of year, and for too many consecutive years does. When mares were first being made infertile due to PZP it was being treated more as an experiment. Now the BLM pays more attention to bloodlines, and each mare has always been given time without being treated to have foals.
      Cloud was a prolific stallion, and Feldspar is a prolific mare, so Encore has some pretty strong genes. She also gets a lighter build from both sides of the family. I don’t think we have to worry about Encore having foals, but I’d rather make sure she has a foal when she’s filled out enough, and mature enough to be a good mama.

      • sp Said:

        Thanks for answering, its comforting to know that even with treatment , things are better for the mares, , i also prefer encore to have foals a few years later because she maybe have other mares with her , For now the only cloud daughter with enough offsprings is firestorm who reminds me a bit of electra, but its comforting that encore and the other cloud mares like Jasmine or orrielle will eventually get the chance to foal later on and of course all the other mares too. People may emfasize more on Cloud but i think they do care for all the bloodlines , its just that he is like an ambassador for mustangs across the country

      • There’s pros, and cons to any management, but I do think PZP is the most humane. Even if Encore does not have a foal, Cloud’s line will always be a strong one. As much as I’d like to think people’s preference for Cloud doesn’t impact management, I think the fact that his line is so strong, but Washakie x Baja only has one foal currently doesn’t reflect it.
        I have huge respect for TCF since they use Cloud to raise awareness for wild horses, but I think management should show an entire story of a herd.


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