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Only once in my lifetime have I seen a wild stallion as spectacular as Painted Desert. A red and white tobiano paint, he is the kind of horse an Indian chief might ride to heaven. He is the son of the beautiful wild mare, Painted Lady and is now a herd stallion. His wild foals will preserve her bloodlines for eternity. Raised in the rocks and on the steep ridges flanking the Cheyenne River, his hooves are black iron, and even the prairie wind cannot catch him as he races across the prairie.
Up on the high reaches of the Sanctuary, summer winds are a constant, sending light clouds scudding across the sky, and their shadows racing across mountain meadows. This land was Ghost Dancer's domain and is where we are most likely to find her daughter, Ghost Dancer's Shadow, a dun and white paint born on the open range, is as shy and elusive as her mother.
The filly had a hat of black atop her head and a shield of the same color across her chest. She was of that rare color known as a medicine hat. Native Americans believed that if one rode a medicine hat into battle, one would be impervious to arrows and bullets.
When first I saw the champagne filly she was a jug-bellied little orphan whose old and weak mother had been killed by a mountain lion. My friend Susan saw her first and came running to tell me she had seen a strange yellow mustang baby with green eyes. We brought the little animal into the corrals, where we happened to have a wild mare who had lost her foal.
Suddenly, I saw movement-the flick of a horse's tail against a pester of flies. Prairie Lark stood in the shade of a giant juniper, and stretched out at her feet was a lovely black and white foal, It was my first glimpse of the pretty filly we now call Prairie Lonesome.The old mare nudged the baby to its feet and with wobbly uncertain legs it chased after its mother. Prairie Lonesome lives on the open range with her friendship band.
Friend An American Mustang
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