Archive for the ‘Youth Employment Program’ Category

The fight for the American Mustang has been going on for decades with endless political conflict over various issues, however, perhaps one of the most important issues with the plight of the Mustang has never seen the floor of Congress nor has it encompassed the front cover of a newspaper. This clandestine affair is too often disregarded and thus causes further, more extreme issues in the industry. Every day, Mustang advocate groups persist to promote the adoption of theses horses to people across the nation through showing them the finished product of a trained Mustang and displaying how trainable the horse is. However, scarcely do those groups explain that Mustangs require a raised level of knowledge in order to accomplish a successful partnership.

While it is of the utmost importance to try to raise the number of Mustang adoptions in order to keep the horses out of holding facilities, it is of equal importance to explain to people that it is essential to seek the knowledge it takes to communicate with a wild prey animal. When people with a limited skill set adopt a wild horse with the intent to help the horse, it can end in disaster as the people do not understand how to communicate with the Mustang in an effective manner.

Clouded communication can lead to confusion for horse and human which can lead to violence and injury for both parties. At best, the horse is stuck in a pen with the halter and lead rope from the adoption still hanging on their head weeks or even months after the round up while the human is stuck on the fence wondering how in the world they are ever going to touch this wild animal. Often times this is the start of a negative opinion of the breed. People see that they couldn’t train this horse so all Mustangs must be untrainable and stupid. However, it needs to be understood that it is the lack of knowledge and skills in the human, not the brain of the horse, which is the root of the negative response. (Sponenberg)

Programs such as the Extreme Mustang Makeover go so far as to “showcase the beauty, versatility, and trainability of the American Mustang.” (MHF) What this showcase tends to forget is the high level of skills instilled in the successful trainers. Equine educator and expert, Karen Scholl, offered her enlightened opinion on the situation in an informal interview. “What exactly are the requirements for adopting or training a Mustang other than facility and trailers? I think the problem I see most with Mustangs is that people get them and just don’t know how to handle them. They don’t have a high enough skill set to communicate effectively and the end result is the horse and human stuck and confused.” She went on to discuss that Mustangs can be the easiest horses to train and are wonderful horses in the right hands. (Scholl)

To solve this problem, if the Bureau of Land Management and organizations such as the Mustang Heritage Foundation are going to display how trainable the Mustangs are, they equally need to advocate the importance of gaining adequate skills and knowledge before adopting a wild horse. With the age of technology at full bloom, there is anything but an absence of available information. Today it is not uncommon to see a plethora of videos, audio clips, clinics, classes, books, and television shows all about training horses on the market. The information is entirely available for any dedicated horse owner and should be sought after by anyone who is going to take on the responsibility of adopting and training a wild Mustang.

It is the absolute truth that the American Mustang is one of the most versatile, intelligent, trainable breeds in the equine industry. However, these qualities can go downhill very quickly when a person with inadequate skills attempts to interact with a thousand pound wild prey animal. The fault of this downfall is not upon the shoulders of the horse, but rather the human’s lack of knowledge. The solution to this problem is not to give up on the entire game, it is merely to read the directions and learn how to play!


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Hello everyone, as the competition gets closer and closer it’s just about time to start thinking about my freesyle.

I have 3 minutes to display whatever Renaissance and I can do for the audience and judges.

The specific content of the routine will be kept secret until the competition due to the fact that it is a public blog and I’d like my routine to be as original as possible!

However I would like your opinion on the song to perform to!

Let me know what you think by clicking on the poll. For any elaboration or suggestions, comment!


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           For centuries, horses have affected the lives of human. However, for decades, the focused trend has been the feral horse of the West—the American Mustang. Mustangs have become a trend, a root of sociopolitical conflicts, and a nation wide point interest. When trying to manifest the complexities and situation of this breed, it is important to understand the history as well as the current stature of the Mustang.

            In the 16th century, when Spanish exploration of the New World was in occurrence, horses were also discovering North America. Mustangs (originally known as mestenos or mestangos) developed as a feral group of horses that escaped from the Spanish missions and subsequent populations which brought horses to America. (Mustang4Us) For hundreds of years, these Mustang herds grew to vast numbers roaming throughout the West. The contributory breeds included everything from Morgans and Thoroughbreds of the U.S. and Spanish cavalries, to the working drafts: Percherons and Belgiums. Through natural selection and genetic diversity, a whole new breed of horse with many specific qualities developed and thrived. The new era of the hardy American Mustang was beginning. (Dines)

            During the 1700’s, there was an abundance of grasslands stretching over the Plains, and consequently, wild horses held their own niche in this ecosystem. When Americans began settling in the west, they often released their own domestic stallions and mares into the wild herds in attempt to improve the quality of the next generations of horses. Horses continued to be released for various reasons and because of this, by the middle of the next century, it is said (but not scientifically proven) that over two million wild horses roamed free in North America. (Dines)

            When ranchers began settling the lands in mass quantities, Mustangs became an inconvenience as they took away from available grazing lands for the ranches. Due to this hindrance, people began finding ways to rid the land of the wild horses. Rendering plants sprang up to turn Mustangs into fertilizer and pet food. Ranchers also began fencing in their properties which blocked off access to food and water sources for the wild horses. During the early 1900’s it was also legal to shoot Mustangs that were interfering with ranchers’ grazing lands. The populations of the wild horses which once roamed without conflict plummeted. (Dines)

            When the future looked dim for the wild spirits of the West, a young woman named Velma Johnston (famously known as Wild Horse Annie) stood up for the silent oppressed after witnessing the tragic scene of a truckload of suffering Mustangs. For 12 years she spread the word to Americans across the nation and headed the legislation known as The Wild Free-Roaming Wild Horse and Burro Act of 1971. (Cruise) This act declared the American Mustang a national icon and pioneer spirit of the West and thereby protecting them from unnecessary capture, branding, harassment, or death. The United States Congress stated that the Mustangs “are to be considered in the area where presently found, as an integral part of the natural system of he public lands.” Wild Horse Annie’s continuous struggles paid off with the passage of this act and the protection of the iconic horses of the West. (US Congress)

            The Wild Free Roaming Horses and Burros Act of 1971 granted the Bureau of Land Management the responsibility of protecting and managing the Mustangs. Part of this responsibility also entitled the BLM to determine when and where overpopulation occurs and to remove excess animals to control the overpopulation. (US Congress) Methods of fertility control such as the Porcine Zona Pellucida (PZP) vaccine are also administered by certified individuals to help prevent overpopulation.(Deveraux)

            Today there are approximately 38,400 wild horses and burros residing in BLM managed areas in 10 Western states. The BLM continues to manage and protect the herds with assistance of public adoptions, fertility control, and non-profit associations in alliance with the BLM such as the Mustang Heritage Foundation. In addition, various organizations strive to publicize the positive assets of the beautiful American icons.(Mustang Heritage Foundation) With the support of the public, the wild horse of the Wild West can prevail regardless of an arduous history.


Cruise, David. Wild Horse Annie and the Last of the Mustangs: The Life of Velma Johnston. New York City: Scribner, 2010.

Deveraux, Brad. “PZP expert to talk about horse fertility control.” 23 July 2009. The Lovell Chronicle. 20 July 2010 <http://lovellchronical.com/Read/AllStories/tabid/754/articleType/ArticleView/articleId/2439/PZP-expert-to-talk-about-horse-fertility-control.aspx>.

Dines, Lisa. The American Mustang Guidebook. Minocqua: Willow Creek Press, 2001.

Mustang Heritage Foundation. Mustang Heritage Foundation. 20 July 2010 <http://mustangheritagefoundation.org/foundation.php>.

Mustang4Us. Mustangs 4 Us. 20 November 2004. 17 July 2010 <http://www.mustangs4us.com/mustang4.htm>.

US Congress. “The Wild Free-Roaming Horses and Burros Act of 1971.” 1971. BLM.gov. 18 July 2010 <htto://www.blm.gov/pgdata/etc/medialib/blm/wo/Planning_and_Renewable_Resources/wild_horses_and_burros/sale_authority.Par.69801.File.dat/whbact_1971.pdf>.


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Hello everyone!

Today, I was unable to play with my horses due to my need to do homework for the Youth Employment Program. I finished writing my Mustang History report and my “My Horsey Life” article that I’ll be submitting to the Young Rider magazine. I thought I’d share them with you! They will be in the following two posts. 🙂


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I finally got my Introductory video done. This was designed for my Mustang partner, Cyanna since I can’t meet with her face to face. It was taken on an extremely windy day so the quality isn’t excellent. But here is the link to view it on Youtube! http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZtInU_S0Ohc&feature=email

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This week my main task is to get started exploring and researching the history and plight of the American Mustang for a research paper. I will of course have to use reputable sources of all different media types so if any of you come across a good book, magazine, website, etc., let me know and I’ll check it out to use with this paper!

I’ll keep you all updated and keep the photos and videos coming!

Thanks again!


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Today starts my employment with the Mustang Heritage Foundation’s new Youth Employment Program. I am a Mustang Representative II which entitles the responsibilities of gaining knowledge on the history, plight, and current issues surrounding the wild American Mustang while training a yearling Mustang through a Mustang Heritage Foundation program (in my case, the EMM). I then have to share this knowledge with others in order to promote the awareness, training and adoption of this horse.

I have been assigned a Mustang partner whom I will connect with this week and then her and I will work as a team to achieve our goals.

I believe I will also be assigned a Wildfire partner who is another youth interested in helping the program but is unable to train a horse at the time.

My other responsibilities throughout this employment will involve writing a couple research papers and presenting information to various groups as well as doing a press release to a media source in the area. In addition to this, I will have to keep a weekly journal in which I will reflect upon my experience.

I hope that you will all join me throughout this whole journey and I’ll try to do my best to represent a true American Legend, the wild Mustang!

Thank you!


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