MUSTANG – A LEGEND OF THE WEST

Part Three of Three:

A woman at the rail of pen four at the BLM wild horse corrals in Hines, Oregon, pointed to the two-year old female red dun and said, “That’s my horse. I want that horse.”She wanted to adopt her at a previous auction, but the horse was withdrawn because of an injury. The woman owns seventeen mustangs at her ranch near Seattle and needs another horse “like I need a hole in the head, but I want that horse!”For $125 she drove the red dun away in her trailer.

Her friend, who owns nine mustangs, lucked out on a real bargain: a seven-year old Kiger black female with her four-month old female grulla sired in the wild for only $250.

Mustang

A seven-year old Kiger black female with her four-month old female grulla.

Mustang

Another five-year old Kiger dun female and her three-month old male also sold for $250.

Kitty Lauman is a third generation horse trainer at the Lauman Training Facility near Prineville, Oregon (http://old.laumantraining.com). She placed second in the 2007 Extreme Mustang Makeover in Forth Worth, Texas. She prefers mustangs because of their stamina and endurance from surviving in the wild. “A mustang is sure-footed, very careful, and won’t get worried,” she said.

Riding a mustang on a trail, Lauman saw a log across the trail ahead and braced for a reaction from the horse. “No problem,” she said. “The mustang never missed a step and easily crossed the log.”

During a group trail ride, someone accidentally disturbed a bee hive. The domestic horses bolted and threw their riders. Lauman’s mustang stood its ground, lifted its front leg and brushed the swarming bees off its head. Living in the wild, mustangs learn to deal with distractions.

Some domestic horses refuse to enter a trailer. “You lead a horse into a trailer,” Lauman said. “A mustang is cautious, putting one foot on the ramp and peering inside. Once it sees nothing in there to hurt it, inside it goes.”

Lauman motioned me to follow her into a corral of gentled mustangs at her training facility. “Turn your back to them, and slowly move away. You are in control, but the horse thinks it is.”

Sure enough, over my shoulder I saw a shadow approach and felt a gentle nudge in the middle of my back. I turned to face the mustang. It nuzzled my cheek.

“I feel passionately about the wild horse adoption,” Lauman said. “Mustangs are wonderful, intelligent horses and should be used as companions.”

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About Lynne Schaefer

Lynne Schaefer has written two newspaper columns ("The Schussboomer" about skiing in California, and "Notes from Lynne's Journal" about Oregon wildlife); travel and garden articles for regional magazines copy for DVD tours of the High Desert Museum and the Newberry National Volcanic Monument, both in Bend, Oregon. She has published three non-fiction books, A Traveler's Guide to Historic California, Christmas Trivia Quiz, and His Daughter's Remembrance.
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