When we started out the horse search, the breeds we were considering were Arabians, Arabian crosses, Morgans, and Mustangs. Both my husband and I really like the idea of adopting a Mustang and training it. However, we’re not entirely insane and recognize that we’re not at all equipped to do that. At least not from scratch. So we found a trainer to work with. We also aren’t planning to go to a holding pen and pick one out. Instead we’ve been looking at TIP horses, Mustang Makeover horses, and Carson City prisoner-trained horses.
If you’re not familiar with it, the prisoner program is a joint venture between the prison and the BLM that rehabilitates the prisoners by having them learn to train wild mustangs. Here’s an article from The Guardian. Here’s a blog/article on the training program and adoption procedure. Putting aside whatever this program does or does not do for Mustangs, I love what it does for the prisoners. All the street swagger and bullshit attitude in the world won’t win over a Mustang. You have to learn how to control your temper, you have to work hard every day, and you have to follow through. And the statistics prove it: “A five-year study by the NNCC administration found that inmates who participated in the program were less likely to be reincarcerated. They had a 15% recidivism rate, almost half the broader average of 28%” (according to The Guardian). Seriously, go read this article and watch the video and then come back. I’ll wait.
Some of these prisoners don’t even know how to ride when they start this program so it’s not like I think these horses are fully trained. We’re not taking one of these horses home to hop on. If we adopt one, we’re taking it straight to a trainer where it’ll be in full training with my husband taking lessons with the trainer.
The really cool thing about this program is that they post descriptions, pictures, and videos of the horses in advance of the auction. Seriously, the federal government is doing a better job of selling horses than most of the private owners I’ve been dealing with. Unfortunately, the pictures aren’t awesome as they’re not truly from the side and are more in-between a 3/4 view and a side view. This is great for photography, but not so awesome for looking at conformation. The videos are much more helpful and I’m sure seeing them in person will let me actually see conformation. It would just be nice to have better pictures in advance.
The Carson City prison horse auction is this weekend and we are theoretically going (there are many things that may change between now and then including snow, but it’s the plan at the moment). We are not committed to buying a horse. We’re going to go look and we might come home with a horse. But if we don’t like any of them in person or the bidding goes too high, we’ll come home empty-handed.
I’m curious which mustang (here’s the catalog) appeals to you. This is really just for fun. I already have ones I like and ones I discussed with the trainer (we actually have a spreadsheet with notes and even ratings). But I’m curious what other people would pick. And there are some nice looking horses that we aren’t even considering because of height. Comment below with which would one you would want to take home.
so that was fun. Here's who I like:
Dago Red: I like his height, I love his legs and his face is adorable. they also said that he's smart.
Jericho – he looks solid and safe
Zephyr- he has clean legs and I think could be very very pretty cleaned up. I also like how happy the guy on his looks
Winston- so I'm a sucker for a bay but I just like how he's put together.
I can't wait to hear about he experience. Interesting that they said 'no blue denim'. What will you wear?
I'm a bit fan of the Zephyr gelding. Very cute, and sounds like a good boy. It also sounds like Dago Red has had a lot of experiences others may not have! Interesting to note!
I also like Zephyr and Winston. I wish the photos of McFly were better so I could see how his hind end is put together.
I also agree on Winston, but I also liked Eugene as well. At first glance, I liked Jericho as well, but when I scrolled back up, it looked like he's slightly over at the knee.. probably wouldn't hinder him at all, my friends TB mare is WAY over at the knee & she does PSG movements! :/ So you can never tell! 🙂
Johnny Cash, Sancho and Eugene.
That is a SUPER cool program! I like Dago Red, Squirrel, and Zephyr.
Zephyr is my favorite! I agree, wish the photos were better. Exciting!!! 😀
It is fun, right? I honestly may have to go buy pants and the only pants I own are dress pants, jeans, and riding pants. The sucker part of the rules is no phones or cameras.
I agree. I think McFly might be cow hocked. But he also might just be standing weird and it's an awkward angle.
I noticed the over at the knee with Jericho. I do like that he already knows his flying lead changes though.
I really wish the photos were better. The videos help a lot for picking which ones to focus on, but the conformation is still hard to tell without a decent photo.
I really like this program. I feel like I want to donate to this program even if I don't take a horse home. I love what they're doing.
Would love to see O'Malley in person! Also Winston and McFly!
Did you watch the videos? Sancho actually isn't on my list, but I was watching all the videos anyway and his rider pulls out all the tricks with him. Like has him stand on the raised wheel and then gets off and climbs through his legs. Which is unnecessarily risky and stupid. But it does seem like his trainer really worked hard on training him.
Actually I take that back- hard to tell if it's the riders or the horses, but I didn't care for the videos of Winston or McFly- on the other hand, I would take O'Malley home! He's got super quick movement, looks smart and has a sweet expression 😀 That's my .02!
Apparently when we go to the auction, they will do some riding in advance and then each trainer will ride the horse during their auction. In the past, some trainers will do roping, tarp work, and other tricks at this time so we'll see what else they can do then.
I agree. The videos are simultaneously really helpful and really confusing. There are some videos where I really think the horse is probably fine, but the trainer just doesn't know how to ride and is flopping all over and yanking on the poor horse and confusing it. But it also could be the horse. I agree that O'Malley has one of the best videos. But I think part of that is his rider looks like he actually knows what he's doing or at least has nice quiet hands that don't make me wince.
Sheesh, how do you choose?? Jericho gets my vote just because he's a buckskin like my Flurry!
Wow, so many beautiful horses! I'm drawn to Jericho or Zephyr.
I should add that I did not watch the videos.
The pretty colored horses tend to get the highest bids. I expect him and Gunner to go for the most.
You should check out the videos when you get a chance. We started with the pictures weeks ago, had a list of ones we liked and the videos really changed our opinions.
I really like Squirrel, Zephyr, and Handsome Ransom <3
I like his presence and his eye. I think a lot of the tricks they teach are counterproductive. Interesting that he sold for the most at the auction. And you came home with one of my picks. 🙂
I actually don't really like the tricks either. At least, they don't really tell me much about the horse. I'd rather see them w/t/c, side pass, do skills I will want them to do.
Playing major catch up! We were up near Carson that same weekend too! Wish I'd known this was going on! Congrats on your new project!