Mare Profile: Phoenix~

At age 24 Phoenix is currently the oldest mare in the Pryors, and best known for being Cloud’s mother. The daughter of Phoenix, and possibly Flash* Phoenix spent time as a young mare in Raven’s band. Most people think Cloud was Phoenix’s first foal, but he’s actually her second. Despite being young, Phoenix was a good mom, but her colt unfortunately died in the 1994 roundup. Briefly, the band was with the stallion King when Cloud was a foal, but Raven was able to get the band back within minutes.

I’m pretty sure she had more foals with Raven, but she had the sooty palomino Mariah (Blanca) in 1998. I’m not sure when she ended up with Diamond (Teton), but in 2001 she had Bella (Beluah). Since I’m not sure when she joined Diamond, it’s possible she more, but I do know she had Dove in 2003, Fiddle (Fiesta) in 2005, and Sax (Himalaya) in 2007.

Also in 2007, Phoenix got a wound on her flank. I guess there’s a few theories, but the only one I’ve ever heard is that it’s an abscess to  the PZP dart. In August 2007, she and Sax temporarily went to Britton Springs so the wound could be treated, and I don’t know why the BLM would take the time to treat her if it didn’t have something to do with management. I’m not making a statement on PZP, nor do I know exactly what the cause was. By the end of August, Phoenix was back with her family.~~

Wounded Knee was the other mare with the family, and the stallion Stiles pressured Diamond for the family. I’m not exactly sure about the date, but I think Diamond did get injured, and Stiles (or another stallion) did have the band briefly.**

The band stayed the same until 2009 when Wounded Knee passed away. During the 2009 roundup Sax was removed, and is now living with Ginger Kathrens. I’m not exactly sure when these changes happened but sometime in 2009, or 2010 War Bonnet, Half Moon, Brumby, and Jill (Jenny) joined the band. I think Brumby and Jill went back to Jackson quickly, but War Bonnet and Half Moon stayed in the band for a few years.


Diamond kept on trying to woo Half Moon, so Phoenix pinned her ears. (June, 2011)

Both War Bonnet, and Half Moon had foals, but Kayenta may or may not be Diamond’s daughter (Lakota is the other possibility I’ve heard), and Kiowa’s sire is Lakota. Both fillies have since been removed, but have good homes. Half Moon also had a colt named Missoula. Half Moon has since moved on to Mescalero, and Missoula is a bachelor.


Phoenix (June, 2011)


Diamond’s band. (June, 2011)


Phoenix is a strong lead mare. (May, 2013)


Sometimes you just gotta frolic. (May, 2013)


Diamond wasn’t as into it as his mares. (May, 2013)


Diamond’s band in the fog. (July, 2016)


War Bonnet, Phoenix, and Diamond (July, 2013)

During the winter of ’13-’14, Hernando stole the band from Diamond. Although I knew Diamond was an older band stallion, it still surprised me that Phoenix and War Bonnet were with a first-time band stallion. The Forest Service boys are all big, and although gentle with younger bachelors, I worried that the life of a band stallion would take adjusting to.

By spring 2014, the band had acquired Maelstrom, and Niobrara when they got separated from Firestorm. Maelstrom was already 2, so it reflected well on Hernando that he was able to stay with the band.


Phoenix was on the move. (May, 2015)


Hernando dutifully follows. (May, 2015)

It looked like it was turning out to be a really good fit, but I still looked forward to seeing the dynamic for myself. By May, 2015, Maelstrom was a bachelor, and Niobrara had joined Hamlet’s band. Phoenix wasn’t keen on having her photo taken, so the band was on the move, and I didn’t get as much time to see the dynamic then as I’d like.


Phoenix, Hernando, and War Bonnet all rest together. (June, 2016)


War Bonnet was pretty relaxed. (June, 2016)

I had more time to see the band June, 2016, and really enjoyed it. Hernando gently wooed War Bonnet, but for the most part let her graze. He ambled to Phoenix, and initiated mutual grooming. The mares moved off, and he followed without a fuss.


Phoenix, and Hernando mutually groom. (June, 2016)


War Bonnet grazes nearby. (June, 2016)


Mr. Hernado is a bigger build than his mares. (June, 2016)

This post has been as much about Phoenix’s stallions as it’s been about her. It’s a lot of fun seeing Hernando with his first band. For the sake of having a younger mare, and more potential for offspring, I would have liked for Niobrara to stay with the band, but for now Hernando is learning from two really great mares. There not going to live forever, but until then Hernando has time to add to his band. He’s already showing signs of a strong band stallion, and I think there’s only room for improvement.

~Information about her early years is mostly from the Cloud series. Information about time spent with Diamond and beyond is mostly from The Mustang Center.

*Although some mares stay with the same stallion year after year, it is not always possible to guarantee who the sire is. For some older horses, parentage is completely unknown.

~~For more information visit the Mustang Center’s blog.

**Diamond had a bigger band then, using context clues from the Mustang Center blog, I think two of his other mares were Demure, and Broken Bow, but there’s a lot of grulla and dun mares, so it’s just a theory.



  1. […] This post comes with the disclaimer that I don’t know much about War Bonnet’s early history. This will probably be a short post. I don’t anticipate it varying much from Phoenix’s post, which can be found here. […]

    • sp Said:

      Now that i think about it, it would be nice if Hernardo could add Encore to his band, so she can learn for those two elder mares how to be a mare when the times come, because as of now Encore is acting way too much as one of the guys since she and Knight hang out with bachelors a lot, so if she were to have a foal someday she wouldn’t know what to do with it

      • I do agree that if Encore stays with Knight she would need another mare around before she has her first foal.

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