I leave work at 5 PM normally. So it’s the height of rush hour here. The freeway is packed with cars and it’s kind of a stop and go situation. Tonight driving home I drove up to find a bull/steer standing along the freeway. I had a good laugh over that for sure. As I thought about it I started thinking someone probably should call it in to the highway patrol. Then of course I thought why don’t I do that. I called 911 and the officer who answered started taking my report and when we got to ‘what’s the object in the road?’ … I respond ‘a cow’. Of course we already know I thought it was pretty funny. The police officer on the phone sounded surprised but also she heard someone else in the office talking about the cow. We wrapped up the call pretty quickly but I’m sure tons of people were freaking out. Maybe people thought the cow was going to run out in the freeway.
So since we’re on the topic of livestock. I read these articles regarding a program going on in prisons where the inmates help train while horses. I was pretty impressed by that as they can be dangerous and they aren’t doing traditional breaking. These guys are “gentling” the horses. Which has a lot to do with earning the trust of the horse. So these guys are on the farm taking care of the horses 24 X 7. As you can imagine many of these guys don’t have a long temper and those working with these horses can be a real challenge because it doesn’t instantly happen.
Programs like these are located in California, Colorado, Kansas, Nevada and Wyoming. These horses are managed or fall under the purview of the Bureau of Land Management. The Bureau deals with the mustang population as well as wild burros in the western states. It’s been estimated in the New York Times article that after the 2017 season there may be as many as 86,000 mustangs or burros. In the New York Times article is mentions that the ranch in Carson City Nevada has UP TO 2,000 horses corralled at any one time.
I thought the other thing I read which was interesting is that the program auctions off the horses they train. So this would help subsidize the cost of feeding and training the horses. When they have these auctions sometimes the inmates put on an impromptu rodeo and ride the horses in front of the crowd to show off the results of their training. The record for one of these horses is $15,000.
It made me feel good that something good came out of this program. Rehabilitation of inmates is something people don’t believe in many times. Here’s an exactly of a program that’s working. It would be interesting to see if any of these men end up back in the system after going through this program.
For more information you can check out these two articles.
Prison inmates taming wild horses are learning how to handle themselves By Harry Smith –
Wild Horses and the Inmates Who ‘Gentle’ Them https://www.nytimes.com/2017/10/05/fashion/mens-style/prison-horses-rehabilitation-gentling.html