This week I have been painting some of the wild horses being offered for adoption over the Internet by the BLM in hopes of helping to get some of them adopted. There are some amazingly beautiful animals and well handled ones too. Anything I can do to help preserve, protect, help adopt, or anything positive in dealing with Wild Horse issues I will do.
We find ourselves in a quandary, the underdog, the ones who are trying to break in to the already competitive big money breeders retailing Horse industry. We continually seem to be trying to convince people that mustangs aren't culls, castoffs and useless animals.. and we are right to do so. Truthfully this isn't working for either us or the horses( and burros and mules) that are running wild and protected through the Wild Horse and Burro Act. And those wild horses not protected by the act are even more at jeopardy.
I wrote the following and posted it to a group I am in on facebook advocating for mustangs.
I don't think we should compare Mustangs with other breeds. Thats
where it falls down. Mustangs are a unique living history of our
country. Every time someone does a DNA test on a mustang it tells you
things.. about the people who settled our nation and about different
events in history.
You don't go into a dog show and judge a poodle by the standard for a
Doberman. You judge poodles by other poodles or you judge different dog
breeds against a test of skill. Even in best of breed or Supreme grand
champion you don't judge an Arabian against an Appy. You judge them
against the breed standard for the breed they represent.The one with the
highest score is the winner.
What we should be selling is the uniqueness of owning a piece of
living history, the adventure of finding a connection with a wild animal
that far surpasses anything in a book or movie, Owning a mustang is
more than owning a horse; It is owning an adventure. Its traveling down a
path that is going to teach you not only about a horse that can think
for its self and problem solve but it will teach you about yourself. All
of our support development for new owners and trainers and all of our
marketing for the horses and potential first time buyers should be along
We who have trained mustangs( I haven't) and we who have friends who
have worked with mustangs right off the range (I have) know that working
with a mustang after having worked with any sort of domestic range bred
or fancy breeding farm bred horse is a completely different ball game.
People need to know that they are getting something special and
unique, that has an interesting history that will wrap them up in the
imagination of experiences and yes the mystery and ambiance of the old
west, the pioneers, those who made it through wars, economic disasters,
natural calamities. Mustangs are not just horses they are America.
Yes of course you can do almost anything with a mustang that you can
do with another horse with patience and hard work but that isn't the
point. The point is as long as we compare a mustang with every other
domestic horse out their all we have is a horse but if we let mustangs
come into the market place and stand on their own merit then we have
something special, unique and completely sell-able that with a tweak or
two in marketing and owner support will bring about a high demand.
Lets face it people in this country are still making emotional
purchases and if we can show them how to maintain these guys and develop
relationships with them we will have successful adoptions.
IMO we have to change the insecure bad self image way we talk about
them and talk about them, especially to the outside as being something
worth having, worth paying the feeds bills for , worth the time and
effort to train. etc. All the "bad self talk" and defensiveness is going
to take time to over come regarding Mustangs ... I don't think we have
time to waste.
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