Mustang Magic

Yesterday we went to the Broken Arrow facility as this is a holiday weekend and visitation was rescheduled.

The weather was a interesting mix of sunshine to hail and wind. After using moms bodies for shelter during the hail the foals gave us a nice “show” of playful activity when the storm passed. We are working on a youtube.

Mom is a "port in a storm"

Mom is a "port in a storm"

We were given more info about the adoption event. Mares with foals (or mare/foal pairs) will not be available until foals are weaned. Pairs will be kept at the Broken Arrow.

Aprox 400 animals are slated for adoption events around the country. 82 have been shipped to PVC for the Internet adoption. That adoption event includes the horses advocates have expressed interest in. Another group has already been sorted for an event in Montana.

If you are interested in adopting a mustang please visit the BLM adoption pages and read them carefully.

Some of you have adopted Mustangs… some of you have not. I’d like to just take a minute and address “relationship” with “horse.”

Many of us have watched abused horses learn to trust. To overcome their fear of the human hand because they have been treated so badly. A mustang has no knowledge of the human hand.

Curious beginnings (photo Laura Leigh)

Curious beginnings (photo Laura Leigh)

Bringing a wild horse into your life is a unique opportunity. You are (for the most part) a complete unknown. Mustangs are really smart… they have to be. Survival depends on instant decisions.

I have heard so many say the same thing… “It’s all about Trust. If you can show them they can trust you a bond forms as strong as that of herd. If you break the trust they don’t forget.”

A relationship developed over a commitment of time, slowly… lasting.

When a wild horse makes the decision to approach you they have invited you to a beginning. Remembering it is their space that you walk into… the space where wild meets human… it reminds us how very precious these animals are. We can learn so much from them.

Calico Filly (photo Elyse Gardner)

Calico Filly (photo Elyse Gardner

Wait for the invitation… if you are patient and still it will come. Learn to listen to their voice… they have one.  They will guide you. But remember you are a guest. Watch closely… if there is any discomfort they tell you, at first quietly. If you are a clumsy guest they get “louder.”

Remember they truly need nothing from you if left to be what they are. Their society exists in it’s own order. We have decided we need more land, more resource, more, more, more. In our history we needed them to carry our burdens, expand our ability to travel and win our wars. But they needed nothing from us. We are fortunate to share this planet with a being so willing to give us what we need.

That moment of first touch… if you wait for it, is their choice. They decide I want to touch you…. it is magic. It is a gift that should be honored. And in truth perhaps a moment we can truly learn to appreciate the relationship of “horse.”

The next person to approach this girl and wait for an invitation will most likely receive her permission to touch her legs. She is an amazing ambassador to the bravery of a wild horse. Every horse that watches her gains confidence… let us not break the trust they are willing to give.

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4 thoughts on “Mustang Magic

  1. Jan Eaker says:

    Laura, my 20 year old mare is not and never was a “wild” horse, but when I first met her, she was a feisty, frisky, unanppoachable 2-month old. She was still with mom, and whoever had owned her at birth had put a newborn halter on her that was now ingrown into her face and head. Needless to say, she was in pain and not too happy with people, also, needless to say, the halter needed to come off. everyone tried whatever they thought would work, usually noisy chasing techniques that just confirmed her opionion that 2-leggeds were crazy. As a last resort, I used to go out to the pasture in the vening all alone, when the bugs came out and drove everyone else inside. I would crouch down and make myself as small as I could, and this filly would look at me out of the corner of her eye; I could “see” her working this through her brain. As long as I kept still, she watched me, when I moved, she was gone. Eventually, she came to me ,and placed her tiny muzzle against my head, and whiffled at me. It took 2-3 weeks, but eventually I was able to get that halter off of her, and she has been with me ever since. But I know the wonder of that first touch, when a horse allows you to to be in their world. It is amazing, and this mare is the MOST amazing girl. She is the queen of my barn and the queen of my heart. SHe alerts me to problems, greets me every morning and evening, keeps the boys in check; she is slowing down now, and I have no idea what I will do without her in my life. SHe has been the constant in my life for 20 years. SHe is the best.
    Thank you for sharing the awesomeness that is the horse.

  2. Linda says:

    Laura, you’ve given so many good tips, no only for mustangs, but for and horse that is new to your life and hasn’t had much of a relationship with humans.

    I just adopted Amigo, a beautiful bay gelding, through FCER. He was surrendered under threat of seizure, and the former “owners” (no bill of sale) said they got him “off the range.” He has many of the characteristics of a Barb.

    When he came too the Rescue, he was about 250# underweight, with a dull eye and coat, and was food-agressive. Once he regained his health, he became pretty wild and headstrong. As you say, we had to let him come to us and determine if we were trustworthy. After a while, we began a somewhat tentative horse/human relationship. Thankfully, he was fostered for 3 months with a young woman who trains using Parelli techniques, and he returned a different horse.

    He’s spirited, and can still be a handful on occasion, but he has Mustang intelligence and calms down pretty quickly once he remembers people are okay. I’m continuing Parelli (with an instructor), and Amigo is a great partner. He knows much more than I do, but he’s patient and forgives my screw-ups when I fail to speak “horse”.

    At 62, I don’t know if I’ll ever ride him, but I’d like to have him trained to both ride and drive. He’s gaited, and when he moves, he seems to float on air. I guess it’s never too late to fall in love with a horse!

  3. Suzanne says:

    Linda ~ Of course It’s never too late to fall in love with a horse! I was 57 – with a totally replaced right hip – when I got Indy. He was 3 years old, had 30 days under saddle the year before and hadn’t been ridden since. Oh yeah, he’d only been a gelding for 4 weeks.

    I can’t believe it’s been 8 years! Today was his 12th birthday. He is the smartest, most laid back horse I’ve ever known – even if he does have a Puckish sense of humor. And does he LOVE humans! Talk about a “pocket pony,” except at 15.1h, he’s no pony! LOL!

  4. Anna says:

    Excellent photos ! The mustangs are not “wild beasts ! geeze
    they are simply Wild Horses that have adapted to the land;
    where does the blm get off making them look “dangerous ?

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