Cloud: Wild Stallion of the Rockies
Filmed in the mountains of Montana, this poignant, engrossing chronicle focuses on an extraordinary stallion, whose life has been recorded since his birth in the wild in 1995 by Emmy-winning filmmaker Ginger Kathrens.
A stallion is a male horse that has not been gelded (castrated). Stallions follow the conformation and phenotype of their breed, but within that standard, the presence of hormones such as testosterone may give stallions a thicker, “cresty” neck, as well as a somewhat more muscular physique as compared to female horses, known as mares, and castrated males, called geldings.
Temperament varies widely based on genetics, and training, but because of their instincts as herd animals, they may be prone to aggressive behavior, particularly toward other stallions, and thus require careful management by knowledgeable handlers. However, with proper training and management, stallions are effective equine athletes at the highest levels of many disciplines, including horse racing, horse shows, and international Olympic competition.
The term “stallion” dates from the era of Henry VII, who passed a number of laws relating to the breeding and export of horses in an attempt to improve the British stock, under which it was forbidden to allow uncastrated male horses to be turned out in fields or on the commons; they had to be “kept within bounds and tied in stalls.” (The term “stallion” for an uncastrated male horse dates from this time; stallion = stalled one.)”Stallion” is also used to refer to males of other equids, including zebras and donkeys.
A spectacular mountain range the span from the Canadian Province of Alberta down to the American state of Colorado. The 4 state that the Rockies include are Montana, Idaho, Wyoming, and Colorado.
The Rocky Mountains are huge: in length as well as height. Ranging over 3,000 mi (4828 km) from British Columbia to New Mexico, and reach as high as 14,440 ft (4,401 m) above sea level (Mt Elbert in Colorado). For the past four centuries, visitors have come to encounter from the long flat plains in the east to the shocking and iconic wall of the Front Range just east of the continental divide—the Cheyenne aptly called the mountains, “Rock on the Horizon.”
Getting around the Rocky Mountains can be tough. Mountain passes freeze in the winter, as you might expect, and many roads are risky, if not impassable under heavy snow. Moreover, you’ll run through more gas per mile in the high altitudes. Flying is often a very good alternative in the winter, since Denver offers flights straight to ski slopes off in the mountains, as well as to virtually all the cities in the region.
During the warmer months, however, driving becomes a great way to explore the region. Some of the most spectacular drives in the country are located here among the high mountains and endless wilderness. It can also be the only way to get to destinations off the beaten path, since, as you might expect, there’s not a lot of public transportation in this vast and lightly populated section of the country.
The sights here are not urban in the slightest. With the exception of Denver, there are no really large metropolis. Wyoming has less people than Alaska, and is proudly America’s least populated state! Colorado boasts the highest overall elevation in the USA. Come here to admire the wildlife and spectacular vistas in the National Parks. Many of North America’s most renowned parks are here, from the geysers of Yellowstone, to the glaciers in Montana, to elk and bighorn sheep wandering among the high peaks of Rocky Mountain National Park. Black and Grizzly bears, wild cats, and buffalo are also found in the region.
Also of interest are the old mining and cowboy frontier towns that once comprised of most of the region’s population. Many old gold mine towns have transformed themselves into a tourist economy destination, with tours leading right down into old gold mines. The cowboy towns remain, however, and that way of life has not yet died out. A good example is Leadville, Colorado. In addition, regional cultures including the indigenous Hispanic and American Indian populations, add long and proud heritages to the mix.