Tuesday, February 8, 2011
Just got the news...
Welcome everyone, I am happy to inform you that this blog is officially up and running! Last month I sent in an application to the Mustang Heritage Foundation to compete in this years Extreme Mustang Makeover in Fort Collins, CO, and today, my participation in the competition became official. I'm pretty sure most of you are thinking "what the heck is Extreme Mustang Makeover?" so let me first make myself clear, it has nothing to do with cars.
According to the BLM (Bureau of Land Management), about 29,500 wild horses still roam public range lands in the Western United States (technically they are feral horses, as their ancestors were either released or escaped from early explorers, native tribes, etc.). These horses are managed by the BLM under the Wild Free-roaming Horse and Burro Act, which protects the mustangs both on and off public lands. Part of the BLM's job is to periodically round up these horses to control herd population which helps protect and conserve the land that they roam on. Mustangs are then adopted out to approved homes. Extreme Mustang Makeover, put on by the Mustang Heritage Foundation and the BLM, aims to increase awareness and adoption rates of these special animals. All of the mustangs in the competition will be adopted out in an auction to approved homes after the competition. If you are interested in reading more about Extreme Mustang Makeover or the mission of the Mustang Heritage Foundation, there are links to the all of the related organizations at the right hand side of this blog page.
As many of you know, I've had a strong drive to work with animals my entire life. I grew up riding horses and bringing home whatever stray/sick/injured animal I found. In high school I began working with young horses and ex-race horses which helped me develop a calm, patient approach to working with equines. The most valuable training experience I've had however came from my bosses and mentors in Honduras, where I learned about and trained Bottlenose Dolphins. I always knew that I preferred a positive approach to training, but I had never realized its power until I experienced the intense bond I developed with the dolphins I worked with. Not only was training and learning fun for me, but it was also fun for the animals, and I've become a strong proponent for positive training methods ever since.
Enough background information now, this blog is about horses, and one horse in particular. I have not met him/her yet. I don't know what he/she looks like. He/she has been untouched by human hands. I have created this blog to allow everyone to follow our journey from day one at the BLM holding facility to day ninety of training and trust building. I have no experience with wild horses, and will seek help/guidance along the way when I need it. I am always open to suggestions and happy to answer questions, and basically, I am just thrilled to have this opportunity. Please spread the word and send this blog to anyone you think may be interested, because come June 10th, all of these mustangs will need good homes.
For now, I will update when there is news about the horses and with details about the pick up as we get closer. The pick up date is scheduled for March 11th as of right now, and starting then I will try to post daily training updates, videos, and photos of the entire process.