Tuesday, August 11, 2009

National Wild Horse Adoption Day -- September 26, 2009

Mustang horses are the love of my life, aside from my significant other, of course! That's why I'm so pleased that a coalition of wild horse and humane advocacy groups from around the nation are banding together to promote the first National Wild Horse Adoption Day.

The goal of the National Wild Horse Adoption Day is to find adoptive homes for 1,000 mustangs. Wow! I'm jumping for joy. There is truly a mustang out there for every horse lover, and having a day dedicated to finding homes for the wonderful creatures is amazing. You can learn more about this special Adoption Day at the BLM website.

Let Me Name the Ways I Love Mustangs
In case you're not familiar with the mustang breed (and hence might be wondering why the hell you should consider adopting one), let me name just a few of the reasons that make the mustang breed unique.

In my experience, mustangs:
  • can be among the most loyal equine partners you'll ever find
  • have the toughest feet of any breed, come hell or high water
  • are adaptable enough to do almost any job (not every mustang can do every job, but there's a mustang out there for every job)
  • are either totally beautiful or so "ugly" they are adorable
  • each have personality enough for a dozen horses
  • are tough, tough, tough
  • eat very little but give a lot
  • can survive in almost any circumstances
  • will teach us different aspects of horsemanship than domesticated horses
  • may take longer to train but forget almost nothing
  • compare quite nicely with mules in terms of sure-footedness
  • are a true part of American history
  • are inexpensive to adopt and keep, even in this crazy horse market
Enuf said?

Having adopted five mustangs now, and having started four them under saddle myself, I can personally attest to the versatility and talent of the mustangs. I show my mustangs in hunters and jumpers, team penning, team sorting, barrel racing, pole bending, and trail classes. My mustangs will also tackle any mountain, high or low, and do ranch work with ease. Two mustangs in particular have been champion jumpers, jumper horse of the year, winners in the hunter ring, and money-earners in team penning and sorting. The mustang pictured in this post is Valentine, a money-earner in the jumper ring and a "jumper horse of the year."

Because there are not many mustangs competing publicly, people are frequently surprised to see my mustangs competing. They often say, "I had heard that mustangs were untrainable, yet you are competing yours successfully."

It's true that training a mustang is a very different process than training the domestic horse, but the journey is immensely rewarding. I find that while the domestic horse wants to get along with humans, the mustang simply wants to survive. Getting along with me isn't usually at the top of the agenda, so it takes a lot more persuasion and discussion to accomplish certain training tasks with a mustang than with a domestic horse. Mustangs always ask "Why?" before complying with a new training request. But the end result is that a mustang never forgets a lesson learned.

Want to know more about mustangs? Feel free to drop me a line, leave me a comment, or visit BLM and learn more about the breed. Also, drop by the Colorado Correctional Industries website to see the mustangs up for adoption in Colorado. This facility is where I have adopted all of my mustangs. To access the information on mustangs, simply click on the Wild Horse Program link in the left hand navigation bar.


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