BLM mustangs make great horses, that's not what I'm saying. I really don't agree with how they are systematically removing them for asian cattle, I REALLY hate that. I LIKE them, I will probably will end up with one at some point. HOWEVER, there are 30,000 in holding pens (which is stupid since most of their rangeland is now abandoned) ALONE, plus the wild ones. They're not going extinct any time soon. The old genetics found in Colonial Spanish Horse could the population is probably less than 3000. Those genetics are unique, they are free of genetic diseases and are very different than modern breeds.
That being said nothing slow or stupid survives in the wild, mother nature is great breeder and that's why getting a mustang is so awesome, plus the experience of bonding with this feral critter. I'm not saying don't get a mustang, by all means get one or twenty, but they're not the same horses that the spanish brought over or that indians bred for generations, they aren't the pony express horses, this vaqueros mount, the first cow pony or the blood that helped shape every american breed. What they ARE is: intelligent, courageous, often friendly, capable and loyal mounts of varying type and ancestry. They're still awesome, just not the same horse. Two separate things that overlap. Spanish horses were the first mustangs they numbered in the millions, they were nearly wiped out to extinction. These new mustangs would also being wiped out slowly if no one cared.
Mustang today might be a nice way of saying mutt, which is true, but before it was an ownerless (not necessarily even feral) Spanish horse in a sea of old spanish horses. Mesteno was of pure origins.
You all have some gorgeous mustangs! I have one myself and I absolutely love him.
I have been involved with a horse rescue and volunteered when I could. Last year things changed and I began at first volunteering every other weekend and couldn't bear waiting til my weekend to go down. So, I started going every weekend. I started in May...
And that very first evening there, I met Milo.
I never believed in love at first sight until I laid my eyes on him. He's a BLM mustang and was donated to the rescue by his previous owner. He is 11 this year and has went through all the gentling and as far as training, a ton of ground work. And this spring, I'm finding a trainer to saddle train him.
Long story hopefully short. I have a bombproof 26 year old mare at home. I'm used to riding my mare that I can do 'wrong' things with, but she does things right lol. I fell in love with Milo and wanted him badly, but with my lack of experience, I didn't feel that I was ready for something so green. And I sure didn't think the rescue would think I was either. So, Milo was a dream. Every weekend that I was down at the rescue, I would spend time with Milo. He knew my call. I got him to the point where he would hear my whistle and he would come out of nowhere in his stall and have his shoulder pressed to the gate waiting (demanding lol) for me to scratch his shoulder. We had some guys come down to work with and ride horses that needed updated on the website. It seems once someone sees pictures of a well broke horse actually being ridden, that horse is adopted in no time. One particular day, Milo was worked with. My heart was broken because I knew once someone seen him being worked with, interest would be drawn to him and he would be adopted:( I made the comment to the coordinator and she laughed and said, "You may as well adopt him then." She does her best to make sure the right horse goes to the right home. She would not joke about such a green horse going to a greenie like myself. And that particular day, I have to add...I had to hide from Milo. When Milo couldn't see me, he would join up with the guy, but if he heard or seen me, he was all about paying attention to me. Bond, yes?
I started having nightmares of Milo being taken from me. I told the coordinator and we had a talk. Milo obviously had chosen me. I do have horse knowledge. My horse taught me a TON. Milo can teach me in other ways. Honey has shaped me and Milo can mold me. And alas, Milo was mine:)
Milo is just amazing. And that just doesn't come from me. Everyone loves him. I board him here and he's a star lol. We have had people inquire about horses and ask about him. Nope, sorry!
So, to the point of mustangs. I love watching Milo. He is domesticated, yet still has his wild instinct. For example, one afternoon a storm was brewing. We were outside doing something and knew we had to get it done quick. I watched the pastures. No horses were going into shelters. Milo was different. He was pacing the fence rows trying to herd the pasture next to his into their shelter. He would run into his and stand there and run back out and try to get his herd. We decided to listen to Milo and went to the office. No sooner than we got inside, it started to storm bad. I have seen weather changes and Milo reacts. It rained one day and was getting cold. The next thing we knew, Milo was running his pasture mates around the pasture. He is the boss and can be a punk, but this particular time, he was not chasing some horse to be bossy. He had a job to do. He was running his herd to dry them off and keep them warm because it was getting cold. Just like it would be in the wild.
One thing I was asked to do was desensitize him when climbing up on a gate. He would shy away from it and we joked that he thought we were mountain lions. He was stalled the first time I tried and he shied to the back of his stall. He came back up and I started to scratch his favorite spot, climbed up on the gate, laid on it and he nuzzled me. "Scary" things will scare him, but one time only and he's so over it.
I just can't wait to find a trainer and get him saddle trained so I can begin our next chapter:)
(Milo misses nothing that happens at the farm lol)
Thanks Ray! He is such a cool horse. And most days, he knows it too LOL
He has been worked with by two different people with two different methods. What works best for Milo is small slow steps. He has to investigate everything being done to him. Go too fast and he's not cool with it. The first time he was saddled up, it wasn't done in baby steps and Milo wasn't absorbing it. He was a bucking fella once he had the saddle on. A different guy worked with him a few months later and was able to get on him bareback...mount from the gate (go me for the desenitizing!) and sat on him for quite some time while we chatted. Milo didn't mind at all. Next step was the saddle and it was the same thing all over. When the guy first started working with Milo, he told me to just do ground work and desensitizing...no getting on him. By the end of the lesson, he told me..there is no reason why you can't try working with getting on him. Milo started off being nervous and wondering what was going on to being so cool with everything going on. I really do think it will be easy to saddle train him...as long as it is done in steps and that Milo can absorb everything before going to the next. People looked at pictures of both sessions and couldn't believe it was the same horse.