Horse News

Ginger Kathrens: Happy Birthday Cloud!

Open letter from Ginger Kathrens, volunteer Executive Director of the Cloud Foundation

17 Years and Going STRONG!

Cloud, May 23, 2012 ~ courtesy of the Cloud Foundation

Today, May 29th, we celebrate the birthday of Cloud, son of the stunning, black stallion Raven and Phoenix, the palomino mare, who is 21 years young this spring.

Seventeen years ago today, Anni Williams and I were on Tillett Ridge in the Pryor Mountains engrossed in filming a young stallion trying to breed his father’s newly won mare. His father, Opposite, was off playing with nearby bachelors. The filly had successfully fought off the two year-old when his father returned to sniff his son, and I guessed that this young son would soon be “asked” to leave the family.

That’s when I noticed a flash of white in the trees to my left and had the presence of mind to pan my camera just as Phoenix led her newborn, nearly white son in front of us. The band followed close behind with Raven protectively pulling up the rear. As the newborn colt tottered by I whispered to Anni, “Do you know how special this is?” At the time I had no idea that the fragile colt would become an ambassador for all mustangs in the West.

Last week, Lauryn and I were elated to find Cloud and his family (Aztec, Jasmine, Breeze, the Black, Dancer, Agate, Ingrid, Lynx, Feldspar and her foal) in intermittent rain and snow.  All 11 were looking fabulous. The gray colt at Feldspar’s side instantly won our hearts. As we watched him play with Ingrid’s yearling son, Lynx (son of the deceased stallion Ferdinand), I sensed a band stallion in the making—if he survives. Cloud’s only living son is Bolder, but he was not raised by Cloud. The gray colt represents a chance for Cloud to raise a son. We laughed when the colt tried to mimic his father. Cloud had defecated on the spot where one of his mares had urinated. The gray colt sniffed the area and tried to urinate on the same spot. He missed the mark by about three feet, but he tried nevertheless!

Cloud himself looks grand as you can see. We watched him drive the band stallions Mescalero and Morning Star away. At 17 years of age, he has not missed a beat and still moves with the easy grace of his father and the fierce determination he first exhibited as a bachelor stallion. Cloud tried to start a family at the tender age of four and nearly died trying. At five, he succeeded in winning a mare in a most unorthodox way. Since that time his family has grown, and he has consistently led one of the largest bands on the Pryor Mountains

We hope you’ll share with us a birthday wish that Cloud might remain a powerful leader in his mountain stronghold. You go big boy! PBS is celebrating his birthday too with a short video update we just completed before heading up to Montana last week. Check it out on PBS Nature’s site.

Happy Trails!

P.S. Cloud’s legacy includes his lookalike grandson, Echo, who could be removed in the upcoming summer bait trapping in the Pryor Mountains. Please send a message (or an additional message if you have done so already) to BLM asking them not to remove Echo, or any of the young 1-3 year olds that have been identified as genetically critical to the future survival this small, vulnerable population of Spanish-style mustangs.

Click (HERE) to view the dynamic, current photos of Cloud and his family

13 replies »

  1. Happy Birthday, Cloud! You are a magnificent inspiration for all Americans who are fighting for the rights of our beloved wild horses. May God bless you with many more years of good health, and a lifetime of freedom!


  2. Cloud!! Happy 17th Birthday! ❤ I watched the new PBS video by Ginger of Cloud and his family. Oh such ~*~JOY~*~ to see all so healthy, happy and close together as FAMILY! Cloud is so noble and magnificent. Truly a horse sent from above for a purpose as Barbaro was. Cloud has given us a present. He has brought together so many FOR THE WILD ONES. Forever with you Cloud. Nickers. 🙂


  3. Happy Birthday Cloud ~ You are special indeed! Thanks for discovering him, Ginger, 17 years ago! What a fine ambassador he’s been for all wild horses.


  4. Happy Birthday Cloud–from all the horses in America–wild and domestic. We congratulate you on 17 years of freedom. May your life be long and peaceful. We have watched you since your birth–thanks to Ginger and PBS. Happy trails to you……


  5. Happy birthday to Cloud. Wish Cloud and his family their continued freedom. Thank you to Ginger for telling his story to the world.


  6. Happy Birthday Cloud!!! I hope you have many more and keep your family growing..I pray that you all continue to roam and stay free. It is only through the love of people like Ginger that we are able to enjoy the beauty of these God given creatures.
    enjoy the peaceful


    • Thank You! Louie for the Slideshow , As i viewed I thought, it was like looking at a Awesome Family Album Americas Family Album ,my family , your family , our family !!! these Mustangs as with all the rest of the Mustangs belong to all of us, When the BLM attacks them they attack us, Yes this is personal very personal …… I am so ashamed of the powers that be , BLM stay away from Americas Family !!!!! Let Our Family of all Mustangs live free That is how America wants it ……………..Listen up !!!! Americas decision in 1971 still stands as deemed unanimously by Congress…….. Americas Promise to the Mustangs will not ever be broken by liars and demented greedy people…………………………………Please all remember the Black Stallion who we named Freedom, this is how important our Promise is………….to the Mustangs it is everything !!!!!


  7. Arlene, I’m so glad that you got to see it. I didn’t know whether anyone would, as I was rather late in posting. There’s a lot going on and we’re all going in different directions at the same time. Share with everyone that you know. Americans need to know what a treasure they have. Your are SO RIGHT….this is America’s Family Album.


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