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Mustangs 4 Us

Home   l   Mustang/Wild Horse History   l   Mustang Heritage   l   Adopt a Mustang! (Wild Horse, not the Car!) l   
How to Read a Brand l Wild Horse & Burro Watching   l   Gentling and Training Wild Horses   l   Burros   l   Mustang Mules   l    Wild Horse & Burro Herd Areas/ Where the Wild Things Are   l    Mustang * Horse Colors   l   Genetic Testing Helpful Videos   l   Events   l   Links   l  l "Working With Wild Horses" Book l Mustang T-Shirt

Adopt A Mustang l Where to Adopt l Selecting the Right Horse for you  l  Housing and Fencing  l  Sale Authority Horses   l   Adventures in Halter Training l How to Read a Brand l Mustang Link to History

Our Family's Equines:

NEW: Video Clips of some of our critters - just for fun


RUBY
Wild horse adopted
October 22, 2000


SPARKY
Mustang colt adopted
April 18, 2001


Dawn & Bert
Burros Adopted October 25, 2003


BENNY
Mustang colt adopted
October 5, 2001


SILVER
Domestic half-draft
born here May 8, 1975
"Our Master Trainer"


Eleanor
1/2 Mustang Mule


Mr. Pine Nut Pony

Adopted as an 8-month-old colt in November, 2007


Max
Mammoth Donkey
Mike's birthday gift, 2004


Lewis & Clark
Older horses purchased under the new (2005) Conrad Burns Sale Law

BLM PROJECT HORSES & PMU RESCUE HORSES THAT WE HAVE GENTLED AND STARTED WITH TRAINING:


RED 2-YEAR-OLD COLT


BLACK FILLY (Now EVIE)


BAY 2-YEAR-OLD COLT

3-YEAR-OLD RED FILLY

ROOT BEER, PMU Foal

HOW WE GOT INTO MUSTANGS:

Sometime back in the 1980's, we saw a notice in the paper that the BLM was bringing wild horses & burros, fresh off the range, to the Solano County Fairgrounds, near us. It piqued our interest, so we went to watch.

We found rows of pipe panel pens set up in the parking lot, and the pens were filled with scraggly-maned, skinny critters that milled about - some kicking & biting, and others trying to hide from the kickers.

Still, there was something so exotic, so Primal, about these horses - we were hooked and we knew it. We wanted one! Still, it seemed like total fantasy, that ordinary people like us could possibly tame one of these wild beauties. A ranger at the event assured us that many of the most successful adopters sometimes start out with very little horse experience. Like wild horses, people without past horse experience have nothing to unlearn, no bad habits or misperceptions to correct.

We were fascinated and very excited, and resolved that "someday" we would adopt a mustang.

But years passed and we never did. Maybe we were afraid -  what if we got one and couldn't tame it? Plus, our fences were old and not up to BLM specs for new adoptees. It would take some planning and forethought. Maybe next year, we'd say...

We weren't really COMPLETELY new to horses. Back in the 1970's and '80's Michael had a team of Belgian draft horses. The last colt from one of them, Silver, lived his 33-year whole life with us. As directors of Vine Village, Inc.(a non-profit program for people with developmental disabilities) we also were in charge of  horses kept for the clients: Cheyenne, Miss Red, Flicka, and Dapples. But these horses have long since "gone to horse heaven" and, with kids in sports and school, our own lives became more suburban.

In the fall of 2000, our now-grown daughter, Saanen, started to think about wild horse adoption in earnest. And that got Michael and I interested again. When the BLM Wild Horse & Burro Adoption came to Vallejo in October, we drove over - again "just to watch." 

A plain brownish-black little mustang filly caught our eye. She was young, and comparatively plain-colored, compared to the flashy buckskins, bays, roans and pintos that were with her. But she was exquisitely put together, graceful and delicate, with an almost regal bearing.  She pranced so lightly on her feet, she reminded us of a deer or gazelle.

And she would look right at us! As we wandered around from pen to pen, we noticed that whenever we glanced over at the weanling pen, she would be there, looking back at us. It was uncanny. Once when I was all alone, she took a few steps toward me, as though she might like to come be petted. 

I really wanted to get her, and I knew Michael did, too, but he kept saying No, we weren't ready, we didn't have a proper pen built, we didn't this and we didn't that. 

He did, however, want to go back on Saturday to watch the adoption process. 

I said that no way was I going to stand there all day looking at that little filly only to watch somebody else take her home. I pointed out that we weren't getting any younger, that life is short, and that he always says "wait 'til next year." Well, since he  wasn't ever going to actually do it, I wasn't going to waste any more of my time thinking about it. End of subject.

Well, not really: 

Saturday Michael and Saanen (our daughter) did go to Vallejo, and I did stay home. About 10 AM I got a phone call: The little filly was still available, and he was placing a bid! Then the call came that he had gotten her! Later he confessed that he had awakened suddenly at 4 AM, and that little filly was staring at him. He couldn't get back to sleep after that, just kept thinking about her.

Now we had a new problem: It was true that we were not prepared, and did not have a proper pen for her. We have an older horse, Silver, but his pasture did not meet BLM standards for ungentled horses. I spent the day on the Internet and telephone, trying to locate a boarding stable. No one wanted a Mustang at their facility.

At the adoption center, someone gave Michael and Saanen the name of a feed store up in Dixon that had livestock panels at a reasonable price. We called and reserved 7 plus a gate panel. Since Michael and I had already promised to go somewhere else that afternoon, Saanen came to the rescue and drove up to Dixon to get the panels.


our new mustang gentling pen

Sunday morning we were just tightening the last bolts when the truck came up the drive with our new filly inside it.

Now the adventure began. We finally had our Mustang! 

NEXT: RUBY, OUR FIRST BLM MUSTANG, COMES HOME

OR CHOOSE: SPARKY (Our 2nd Mustang), BENNY (Our 3rd Mustang), SILVER (Our Dear Old Man), ELEANOR (Mustang Mule) BURROS Dawn & Bert Burro, Max the Mammoth Saddle Donkey, and Lewis & Clark, the aged Oregon stud horses