A group of students enrolled in the “Pryor Mountain Study” course had the opportunity to study wild mustangs first-hand in the Pryor Mountains of Montana at the end of August.
The Pryor Mountain range, located on the Wyoming border in eastern Montana, is home to America’s first wild horse range. The range is unique because the mustangs that roam it freely are genetically related to the original horses the Spaniards first brought to the Americas hundreds of years ago.
The wild horse range consists of 39,650 acres and ranges in elevation from 3,660 feet on the valley floor to 8,776 feet at the top of the mountains, offering the horses a diverse and robust environment.
“If there was ever a place wild horses would roam, it was there,” stated student Kendall Brandenberger.
Nancy and Steve Cerroni served as the tour guides for the trip. The couple shared their insight and vast knowledge of the Pryor Mountain herd with the students. With over 30 years of experience studying wild mustangs, the duo offers tours of the range to the public.
Students spent time watching bands of horses as they grazed the landscape, learning more about how the animals interact with each other. Some on the trip expressed how surprised they were by the different leadership styles embodied by the individual stallions.
“The learning opportunity I got from this class and being out in the field is something a textbook, movie, or lecture could never teach me,” stated Erika Neffner.
Class participants left the Pryor mountains with a new understanding of horse behavior and agree that the experience offered them a new perspective on how to interact with their own horses.
“I would highly recommend this course to any level of horse enthusiast,” expressed Neffner.
For more information about Montana Western’s Natural Horsemanship program, visit the Equine Studies website. To explore the range of the Pryor Mountain wild mustangs, visit the mustang center’s website.