There are many people that are in love with the wild horse and there are many people that want to help them. Unfortunately there are times that the best of intentions transform into very negative situations and the Mustang is the one that suffers. You would be amazed by all the calls of desperation that come in, stories of Mustangs that have been adopted out to the public, no longer under care of the BLM and now in very sad situations. Often times what has happened is an adopter originally had every intention of helping. They want to help a BLM Mustang that has been gathered from the wild and so they adopt one. Often times, thinking they are saving the Mustangs life. They get this new wild Mustang home and [sometimes] find that this wild horse is more than they can handle. Yet now, this wild horse is no longer in a facility designed to manage wild horses, like the BLM holding facilities have. At these BLM holding facilities there are squeeze chutes where wild horses are vaccinated and even have their hooves trimmed if need be. In the wild, the Mustangs are moving across enough land that their hooves naturally self trim. But now, in this new adopters home, they have neither the space of the wild, nor the facilities of the BLM holding corrals to manage a still wild horse. This is when it can become really dangerous for the Mustang. And this is when we do our best to help, if we can. The fact is there are way more Mustangs in this situation than we can take in at one time. Our vision is to expand the I AM HERD Mustang Sanctuary so that we can help many more Mustangs that find themselves in these situations. One wild heart at a time.
We currently have a brand new special Mustang deeply in need of Rehabilitation that will be taking sanctuary with us in April. To read more about her story visit –> New Mustangs <– or scroll to the bottom of this page …
These stories are of some of these rehabilitations and some still in the works …
This is Dance. He is the first Rehabilitation Mustang we took on and this is his story. (above image by Jan DeVos)
In 2012 we received a message from a fellow Mustang lover. There was a small dun wild Mustang in need of help – and he needed help fast. He was currently standing in a small corral paddock with cows and a few other horses and he was scheduled to be loaded up and taken to a livestock auction where the animals are weighed on a scale before they enter the pen to be bid on.
This little dun Mustang had been adopted by a very kind hearted, well intended family. They had adopted two Mustangs and tried to gentle them, but fell on hard times themselves and found that they were not able to follow through on their commitment to their care. They tried to find someone to take them in, but no one would help. A neighbor cattle farmer finally rose to the occasion, seeing the situation these people were in and wanting to help them out. He agreed to come get the wild Mustangs and let them stay on his property with his cows.
But, once he got them home, he realized this might not be such a great idea. One of the Mustangs was naturally pretty calm, but this little one was – WILD! It took them 3 whole days of chasing him with the four wheeler to finally get him corralled up in their holding pen. The cattle farmer felt the only option he had, was to take him to auction. This Mustang lover had heard about these two Mustangs and was willing to take in the calmer of the two. She thought that maybe we would consider taking in the really wild one and so she reached out.
We went to pick up the little wild Mustang, the day before the cattle farmer had planned to take him to auction. We ran him through the cattle chute and into our trailer and he stood there shaking like a leaf. But he was safely inside and safely on his way to a brand new reality.
It would take a full year for this little Mustang to really trust us like the others do. What took some Mustangs one day, took this one months. He was more like a deer than a horse it seemed and was afraid of everything, even his own shadow.
Dance was born in the wild of Sulphur, Utah. This particular area is known for deeply sensitive, highly intelligent and sometimes very fearful wild Mustangs. Due to the topography of the land in their wild home, this herd of Sulphur Mustangs had stayed very isolated over the years. Having much more pure Spanish lineage than some other herds of Mustangs across the west. And breeding through natural selection over the years for only the survival of the wild ones that knew how to make it in the wild – by becoming deeply Wild themselves.
So Dance possibly had a predisposition for being extra wild, which was later coupled with a not so great first start with the human kind – well it set him up to be quite the challenge indeed.
When he arrived, his hooves were 3 times as long as they would have been in the wild and he was plump and round from free choice hay. He had been almost ‘over cared for’ in some ways when it came to groceries. But emotionally and mentally, he was a wreck. *Mary filmed the entire process and still has all the raw footage of these interactions – it is being edited into a new Case Study gentling DVD and proceeds will support I AM HERD. From first touches to eventually riding bareback and bridleless! This little wild one still ‘sees everything’ and he still is a bit of a ‘one person’ style horse, but wow is he Intelligent and Oh So Athletic!
The image to the left is Dance learning the Spanish walk with Mary. He is quite phenomenal at liberty and tricks. That same highly sensitive nature, that was so difficult to deal with at first and could have led to a very unfortunate ending. That sensitivity transpired into quite the amazing Mustang partner in Dance!
Another Rehabilitation case was Mustang Joe. His case was truly a sad situation of someone really thinking they were doing something ‘good’ and it turned deeply wrong. Mustang Joe was adopted from the BLM by a ‘Rescue’ organization that intended to let Joe stay wild on their ‘Sanctuary’ … unfortunately this rescue folded and all the horses had to go. By this time Joe was in his teens and had developed deep rooted fears of humans throughout his years. There had been attempts at gentling him, but he remained so wounded and afraid. Mary created a program that would support competent trainers in rehabilitating Mustangs such as Joe and Joe was partnered with a very kind and talented young horse trainer, who helped him learn that he could trust humans somewhat … He certainly learned that he could trust her, but in the end of the trainers challenge there was not a suitable home for Joe to go to, because he remained a very difficult case. So he joined our Mustang Sanctuary and lived out his days here. He has since passed away, but we are grateful that at least in the end of his life he found some peace in this human world.
… and now there is this Mustang, oh what a story she has and it is truly just beginning …
Have you ever had something pulling at you from the inside. A silent voice that somehow speaks louder than words? Well, this is exactly what happened to me (MMJ) when I first saw the above picture and read the post accompanying
An exert from the post is shared below in the blue box. This was written by the original adopter when she posted that she needed to place this mare …
When I read the above post I was in route on our 2018 Wild Horse Road Trip to adopt the Wild Mustang mama and her filly foal pictured above. We had already committed to adopting the pair and bringing them home to our sanctuary and it was hard to even imagine how we could take in another needy Mustang at the time. But it did not matter what my ‘brain’ had to say, there was something much louder speaking and it was that silent voice that could not be ignored.
This Mustang NEEDS us and there was a familiarity about her so powerful that I could not shake it. You see, one of our Ambassador Mustangs passed away only a little over a year ago. Her name is Colors and she is one of the reasons we founded the I AM HERD Mustang Sanctuary in the first place! It is because of my relationship with Colors, that I wanted to create a safe Sanctuary for more wild horses that need us … as well as a safe Sanctuary that can be shared with other humans. I wanted to share with others what the Mustang has gifted me – a direct connection with my deepest authenticity. This is what our Sanctuary is all about – our mission is two-fold. We offer Sanctuary for Mustangs and Sanctuary for humans … and Colors and the other Ambassador Mustangs from my original Heart Herd are reason it is in existence. (Below is a video by filmmaker Ivy Schexnayder featuring my Heart Herd, the Ambassadors of I AM HERD. Colors is the one with the huge mane .. she is the one that looks like this new Mustang in need!)
When I saw this image of this Mustang in need, I could not help but see COLORS painted all over her. From her physical conformation, to her color and markings to even the texture of her hair. Even the position her legs are in, in this image, just said COLORS to me so powerfully. … It was not as if I felt like this mare was Colors, but more so, I felt SO STRONGLY that Colors was DIRECTLY guiding me to HELP THIS MARE…. and it did not matter that I was already committed to helping this other mama Mustang and her baby …. I just knew I HAD to help this mare too. It was a voice so quiet that I could not ignore it.
When I reached out to the original adopter of this Mustang that Colors sent, I was touched to hear just how passionate the original adopter was about securing a SAFE home for this Mustang. This Mustang had been a ‘three strikes’, passed over three times on the internet adoption and because of this, her owner had bought her as a Sale Authority. She had said the mare gentled up quite easily and when she sold her to the trainer, she thought it was a good fit. She was distraught to hear that this Mustang was possibly headed to auction and she had bought her back and brought her home to follow through on her original commitment to care for this Mustang … but she was overwhelmed by the deep scarring that this mare now had and she knew she was not the one to help her through it. She agreed to surrender the mare to me, under the terms that I would help her learn to trust humans and ensure that she NEVER ended up in this situation again. I agreed.
The image of her running is from her Internet Adoption photo, where she was passed over 3 times before bought as Sale Authority.
All of this took place while I was in Colorado at the Great Escape Mustang Sanctuary, picking up this new wild mama and foal! … (the wild Mustang mama and baby are the pintos pictured ) I did not have room on the trailer to pick up this new rehabilitation Mustang AND this new mare & foal pair on the way home to NC … and so I reached out to a friend and member of my MMJ Patreon group, Clair Coley, whom lives in central TN – about 4 hours from where this Mustang was. Clair agreed to pick her up for me and foster her at her farm! We agreed that I would travel back out to pick her up and bring her home after the winter. Clair’s farm is perfect for fostering a special needs horse and simply allowing her to Just Be – the farm is entirely set up with connecting pastured, all fenced off from the road. And Clair has a herd of her own horses that are deeply grounded and confident, offering solid and safe heart space for this mare to begin her healing journey. So, Clair and her heart herd took this mare in and allowed her the freedom to just Be Held all winter long.
***UPDATE*** We have now brought Rainbow home! The full Video Journal from Rainbow’s 3 day retreat/clinic is being released to members of our Patreon group. We would be honored if you join the journey at https://www.patreon.com/MaryMillerJordan (Please Join the Wild Horse Course tier for all videos)
To support Rainbow and the mission of I AM HERD…
You can donate securely via Paypal or Classy (Classy is a platform for nonprofits used by The Salvation army, Shriners Childrens Hospital and more .. in other words, it is safe and well trusted) or you are welcome to mail a check to I AM HERD PO Box 3 Kelly, NC 28448 … you may also consider creating a fundraiser on FB and raising money yourself … just select I AM HERD as the beneficiary and the donations will go straight to supporting Rainbow.
Even if you are only able to offer $5 .. your help truly IS FELT … as together we are a Herd and every little bit adds up to a Herd of Help for this amazing Mustang in need.