I rented The Mustang Movie today. Some of my horse friends strongly disliked it, and others praised it to the sky. The movie got very good reviews, and naturally I wanted to see it. It was a very emotional movie. Having spent time with mustangs I think that they portrayed the horses excellent. They are wild horses. You need to be in control of yourself, body and mind, to succeed. (That’s one of the things I love about them!) I think the movie showed that. It’s not rocket science, but mustangs are not like our domesticated horses either. Once you gain their trust they are extremely loyal.
In the movie you follow one prisoner that participates in the prison program, where inmates get to train a horse for three months, until the horse auctions out to the public by the end of the training period. I’ve been to a couple of the auctions at the prison in the movie, and I’ve met several horses that’s been through the program, I think it’s an excellent program, and I hope it continues. One can not spend three months with a mustang and not change.
The first mustang I had the pleasure of getting to know.
I had met other mustangs briefly, but Rebel was the first one that was born wild, that I spent thousands off hours with. He was my best friend in a trying time.
If you have the opportunity of getting to know a wild horse, take it. It’s something that can’t be described with words, or pictures, it has to be experienced with your heart and soul.
I’m hoping that I one day can be in the position to adopt a mustang again. It’s a big responsibility, but definitely worth the time and effort. For now, I find pleasure in watching them play in the wild. Which is of course where I love to see them the most. The horses that are being adopted out have already lost their freedom for one reason, or another.
The rounding up of wild horses is very controversial. Both because of the stress it puts on the horses to lose their freedom, and the ethic in taking the freedom of an animal that helped the civilization to where we are today. Then there’s the fact that we (humans) have fenced them out of precious grazing land and water. Then there’s the cost of keeping thousands of horses in holding facilities (taxpayers pay nearly $50 million every year to maintain these facilities). ..and the question of enough food for the horses in the wild. According to 2019 numbers Nevada has 40,394 wild horses, almost two-thirds of the nation’s wild horses. When I wrote my book about Nevada Mustangs, we had around 50% of the nations wild horses in the State of Nevada. The numbers have increased a lot the past few years. I often see horses that are way to skinny when I’m out and about in the Nevada desert. I’d say a higher number of skinny horses now, than it was 5 years ago. That is very sad. I try to stay objective, since I don’t see an obvious solution to this challenging situation.
All things considered, for the horses in holding facilities, they benefit from programs like the prison program. If a horse that already lost its freedom has training, it is more likely to have a good life. If you’re interested to adopt a wild horse, visit BLM’s online auction where you can see a big number of available horses, or visit a physical facility. The biggest adoption center in Nevada is Palomino Valley, outside Reno.
Have you seen The Mustang Movie? If you have, please tell me about your thoughts! If you haven’t, it’s available on iTunes now, that’s where I rented it. I hope your weekend is fabulous so far!