The First Hello

Coal was gathered from the Little Book Cliffs in October of 2018, recently brought to the BLM holding facility and onto auction. His first impressions with humans was unkind; losing his herd, home, and identity. He was adopted on Saturday, by a young lady named Jade, making her dreams come true. This was Coal’s first gentling session with Anna, his first hello and first impression. Less is more in the beginning. Quiet confidence while communicating with a gentle purpose are a few of the key elements to your relationship with a Mustang. “If you ever have the opportunity to spend a day with Anna Twinney, please do. When it comes to connecting with Mustangs she’s one of the very best.”

~ George Brauneis

Mustang Demo with Jade and Cole and Anna

Above, Anna instructs Jade with regards to the Mustang’s unique Language.

Watch below the video of Anna saying Hello to Coal for the first time.  Simply click on the video to watch.

Read the story of how Jade met Coal and the lengths she went to to bring him home with her in this article in The Daily Sentinel:

“During a hike with her grandmother in the Little Book Cliffs last March, Jade Walker caught sight of a magnificent wild horse — a blue-gray beauty with black marks and a long black mane.

The girl was thrilled when the horse came toward her a ways over a small hill. She, in turn, followed him back.

“I think we have a connection somewhere,” Jade said Saturday as the Mustang waited nearby in a pen with other wild horses.”

Read the Rest of the Story Here

This is NOT a Rehearsal. This is NOT a Show. Let the Mustang Demonstration Begin!

We arrived with just 10 minutes to spare having driven over 5 1/2 hours through fog, rain, snow, sleet, and hail to get to Grand Junction, CO, in time to support the Mustangs at the auction and particularly Friends of Horses & Steadfast Steeds with Tracy Harmon Scott and George Brauneis who work hard to give these amazing horses voices and homes.

Follow along for the live streaming of these wild horse 🐎 demonstrations. Part 1 of 4  and catch up on all of the valuable information in these demos that you might have missed.

Mustang Demo with Rango 3 Rango and Anna

Click on the Link to the Video Below to watch the Live Streaming of this event and more!

Watch all of Anna’s Live Streaming over the Weekend with the Mustangs Here

LBC 2

This is not a rehearsal, this is not a show. It’s live from CO! We have never met before and the demonstration begins!

Many mustangs adapt to life away from the range and some find a way to cope. Imagine knowing just how to reignite their spark and to encourage them to wake up – to find a new identity. That’s where I come in. Bringing 20 years of wild horse gentling to them as I recognize the position they find themselves in and offer a chance of expression and understanding.

Shout out to Lani Salisbury and Jill Haase for joining the ROTH team this afternoon. What true troopers they are. Dedication personified.

Ongoing appreciation for George Brauneis and Tracy Harmon Scott for inviting me to join them at this event in support of the Mustangs.

In Gratitude – $1500 Raised for America’s Mustangs!

A BIG and heartfelt THANK YOU to those who joined us on the Western Slope for the weekend of Mustang Horsemanship in cooperation with Steadfast Steeds and also to support Friends of the Mustangs.  We raised $1,500 in support of the Mustangs at Steadfast Steeds.  Thank you to ALL who showed up, who suited up, and especially those who adopted and want to know more.  We salute you!

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Sunday at Steadfast Steeds was pretty amazing. The weather was crisp, and we bundled up. The love story of Jade and Cole continued, as Anna did a demo with them together.  Anna demonstrated wild horse gentling and guided participants so they could try out some of her methodologies. It’s such a cool experience to see Anna in action, we absolutely love when she comes to town and shares her gifts with others! Thank you, Anna, for being here again this year! (from our newsletter) We had twelve participants at the clinic.

~Tracy Scott

Mustang Demo with Jade and Cole and Anna.jpg

“My favorite moment from today’s Mustang Gentling Clinic with Anna Twinney!! Coal (who was adopted by Jade yesterday) and Jade are making their first connection as Anna coaches them both.”

~George Brauneis

Die, Pony, Die

Nokota image 1

Images courtesy of the Nokota Horse Conservancy

Your action is requested!  Please see the end of the article for details.

DIE, PONY, DIE –

TRNP (Theodore Roosevelt National Park) Wild Horse Management Plan

For the last 40 years, Leo and Frank Kuntz have been involved in helping to preserve a historically genetic and threatened type of horse, the Nokota®, the horse of the Northern Plains natives. There are less than a thousand of this type of horse alive today.

This horse was a gift to the Plains natives from their creator. The horse pulled their travois, the buffalo horse was for hunting, and the most prized was the war horse, the fastest and strongest.

During the mid-1800s, policy was to destroy everything when the military took a village. Homes, clothing and food were burned and many of their horses were shot or their throats slit.

Even after the natives were put on reservations, the cavalry was sent in to round-up the native type horse under the premise they were carrying disease and either shoot them or sent them to auction.

This type of horse was in the TRNP when it was fenced in the early 1950s. Park policy then became total elimination of the horses in the Park. Box canyon type round-ups were attempted, with little success; hay was poisoned and fed; local ranchers were hired to rope some and others were shot.

Fortunately, some local residents and others asked ND congressional delegates in DC to help. The TRNP decided to keep the horses as a historical demonstration herd.

This all changed in the late 1970s and early 1980s. TRNP superintendent Harvey Wickware made the decision to change the geno- and phenotype of the wild horse herd. They introduced domestic studs (quarter horse, shire-cross, and an Arabian) who could not compete with the wild native studs to keep and maintain a mare band. So policy became the removal of the Native wild studs, allowing the introduced domestic studs to make an impact on the herd. They did this by using helicopters and outriders to roundup the wild horses. Their first attempt in the early 1980s was a total disaster. They lost a number of horses running long distances in the heat.

During subsequent roundups, the TRNP targeted the native type studs and lead mares. At the 1986 roundup, Leo and Frank Kuntz purchased 52 head at the TRNP wild horse auction. There they also met Castle McLaughlin, who at the time was working as an intern with the TRNP, and who in 1987 was given a grant to research the history of the wild horses in TRNP, which was funded in part by a grant from the Theodore Roosevelt Nature and History Association. Dr. Castle McLaughlin is currently associate curator of North American ethnography at Harvard’s Peabody Museum of Archaeology and Ethnology.

Her chronicled research showed that the wild horses in TRNP were descended from the Northern Plains natives and the turn of the century ranch horses, with strong historical connections to Sitting Bull and his sub chiefs, the Marquis deMores (founder of the town of Medora, ND), Theodore Roosevelt (rancher in western ND and US President), and AC Huidekoper (who ran the largest horse ranch in the world at one time near Amidon, ND). In the 1991 TRNP roundup, The Kuntz brothers were successful at getting the national park to start blood testing their horses and to take out the introduced domestic studs, but what the TRNP didn’t tell people was that most of the shire cross’ offspring were left in the Park. It was suggested that inbreeding could become a problem with the response being that they knew what they were doing.

Nokot image 3

Blood work was done only on horses that were being sold. The TRNP sold 62 head of horses and the brothers bought 11 that were the old native type.

The blood was sent to Dr. Gus Cothran at the University of Kentucky. There were 10 horses he called TRNP old-line, adding that they were “extremely divergent” from any other domestic breed.

In 2009, the TRNP started using an experimental contraceptive drug called GonaCon, requiring a yearly injection to prevent pregnancy. They began to study the herd to see what effects the drug was having regarding social structure. The study’s credibility is questionable.

The TRNPs last 40 years of ‘management’ (or mismanagement as it were) has resulted in a horse herd with less genetic diversity and the changing of a historically correct geno- and phenotype horse, as well as culling the younger horses which will result in an older herd dying off of old age, especially with the continued use of the experimental drug GonaCon.

In a report called Genetic diversity and origin of the feral horses in Theodore Roosevelt National Park, published on Aug 1, 2018, https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0200795, it states, “It is recommended that new genetic stock be introduced and that adaptive management principles are employed to ensure that unique mitochondrial lineages are preserved and genetic diversity is increased and maintained over time”.

This is a national park. They should NOT be breeding into extinction a genetically, historically correct horse.  There is a need for an interpretive center on the horses, and the slow reintroduction of the Nokota® horses back into the TRNP.

Now is the time for the TRNP to do their job … and their job is to do what is right!  The TRNP should reintroduce the type of horse that was there before and when the park was fenced, which is the Nokota® horse.

It is time to acknowledge the Northern Plains people’s history, horses, and horse culture. The Native peoples’ unique history and culture is a very important part of this Nation’s history.

The Nokota® horses need your help. Please contact Blake McCann, TRNP Wildlife Biologist at blake@nps.gov and Superintendent Wendy Ross at (701) 623-4466 and ask them to do what is right for the horses.

Frank Kuntz

Executive Director & Co-founder, Nokota Horse Conservancy®

If you would like more information about this topic, please call Frank Kuntz at 701-321-2320.

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A Monumental Effort on Behalf of Multiple Mustangs

Cayuse

The Cayuse Ranch along with a Coalition of Wild Horse Advocacy and rescue groups that include: Return to Freedom, The Spanish Mustang Foundation, Cana Foundation, Spanish Mustang Preserve, Reach Out to Horses, Cranio-Connection and Zuma’s Rescue Ranch, are pleased to announce the successful rehoming of an entire herd of more than 100 Spanish Mustangs from Wyoming to California.

The Cayuse Ranch, founded in 1957 by Wyoming homesteader Bob Brislawn, has for decades been home to some of the original bloodlines of the Spanish Mustangs, those horses brought to the Americas by Spanish explorers in the 1400s. Brislawn made it his mission to preserve the dwindling breed on his ranches, but following his death in 2016, his family was left with the overwhelming task of caring for the more than 100 horses in his charge. When the ranch was sold in 2017, the Brislawn family put out the call to help find the herd a new place to roam, and several groups answered.

“It takes a dedicated and focused group of warriors to save some of America’s last remaining Spanish Mustangs,” said Jodi Messenich of Zuma Rescue Ranch.  “Together a group of private citizens and a few amazing horse preservation groups pulled this mission off seamlessly.”

Adam Edwards of PaHa Ponies and The Spanish Mustang Foundation worked tirelessly with the Brislawns to undertake this monumental effort throughout 2017, and were joined this year by CANA Foundation, Cranio-Connection, Reach Out to Horses, Return to Freedom, Spanish Mustang Preserve and Zuma’s Rescue Ranch to help rehome the herd.

Return to Freedom, The Spanish Mustang Foundation, Cana Foundation, Spanish Mustang Preserve, Reach Out to Horses, Cranio-Connection and Zuma’s Rescue Ranch came together to bring this herd to a sanctuary in California. Relocating an entire herd of Mustangs from the range is a monumental undertaking and every single member of this focused group did all they could to make it possible.

In an outstanding effort there were two women that drove from Longmont CO to Hulett WY multiple times to bring some of the horses to Denver for training and forever homes. After the initial trips these two amazing women saw how huge the task was and realized quickly that one man (Adam Edwards) on the ground with the herd wasn’t enough. So, Lorraine Campbell and Kelly Moore continue to make multiple trips, trailer in tow to WY offering more hands-on helpers to sort and move the horses.

After two years of effort, this small group of dedicated, passionate individuals were able to transport 30 of the herd to Lompoc, California, 20 stayed in WY with PaHa Ponies (Adam Edwards) and 40 were placed with Spanish Mustang preserve in Bayfield Wi. Now the entire Cayuse Ranch Herd has been placed into forever sanctuaries across the US.  “Relocating an entire herd of Mustangs from the range is a monumental undertaking and every single member of this focused group did all they could to make it possible,” said Neda Demayo, founder of Return to Freedom.

“We were proud to answer the call and join with so many amazing groups working to protect and preserve these majestic creatures and ensure they have a healthy and safe home where they can run free.  I thank the coalition members and Jodi Messenich from Zuma Rescue Ranch for being the catalyst of our involvement as the transportation sponsor.  Sponsoring their journey to freedom is truly an honor for the CANA Foundation and inline with the work we do in rewilding America’s wild horses,” shared Manda Kalimian, founder of the CANA Foundation.

While this operation was heavy on passion, it was light on funding, and there are still outstanding expenses that the groups are seeking donations to help pay. Donations are being accepted through Zuma’s Rescue Ranch, a 501c3 charity in Littleton, visit the site to learn more and contribute: http://www.zumasrescueranch.com/general-donations.

About The Cayuse Ranch:

The Cayuse Ranch was the first mustang preservation effort in the US. They were hell bent on preserving the often thought extinct, rugged old Indian pony: the Spanish Mustang. Historically speaking, these horses are incredibly important. They are the last remnants of the mustang that was here before the westward migration of the United States. How do we know this? There is a paper trail. All of these horses that were found are proven, pure old stock and type were have been catalogued in the Spanish Mustang Registry.

About CANA Foundation:

The CANA Foundation is Long Island-based national 501(c) 3 not for profit organization that works to rescue, rehome and re-wild the more than 60,000 of America’s wild horses who have been rounded-up off their lawful habitat and held captive in inhumane and overcrowded taxpayer funded, government holding facilities to the tune of over $100 million dollars annually.  CANA is a solution based organization who is spreading the humane concept of REWILDING America’s wild horses so they can live free, at no cost to taxpayers while in-turn protecting our open space, enhancing our environment and empowering the communities who welcome them home. For more information on the CANA Foundation, visit http://www.canafoundation.org.

About Paha Ponies—Adam Edwards:

I believe that the horse was put here to help humans evolve in the best possible way. In the past, horses have helped us during war, provided transportation, and supported our agricultural pursuits. Now they are here to help us spiritually evolve as a species. In a time when we need to embrace and protect the natural world, we need a guide that is as close to nature as possible. There is no better conduit to nature than the Spanish Mustang. This is the most natural horse available to the human. There has been little human interference in their evolution for the past 500 years on this continent, which has resulted in an incredibly smart, herd driven animal. The Spanish Mustang is truly a magical horse.

About The Spanish Mustang Foundation—Doug Lanham:

Our mission is to educate the public about the Spanish Mustang and the need to protect and perpetuate the breed.

Thanks to a handful of dedicated breeders, who have made it their life’s work to preserve these special horses, the breed is still in existence today, albeit on the critical list of rare breeds.

With funding from government sources, foundations and contributions from the general public, the Spanish Mustang Foundation seeks to promote understanding and protection for this deserving American horse.

About Return to Freedom—Neda DeMayo:

Founded in 1997, Return to Freedom (RTF) is a national 501c3 non-profit wild horse conservation organization. Return to Freedom is dedicated to preserving the freedom, diversity and habitat of America’s wild horses and burros through sanctuary, education, advocacy and conservation, while enriching the human spirit through direct experience with the natural world. Return to Freedom also operates it’s American Wild Horse Sanctuary on 5000 acres in 4 California locations and models minimally intrusive management solutions that can be applied on the range. Neda DeMayo is a lifetime horsewoman and advocates for viable alternatives to horse slaughter and for the preservation and protection of our wild horses and burros on their ranges.

About Spanish Mustang Preservation— Cindy and Dick Kalow, founded this Mustang preserve in 2007 after years of research into how the family could create something of meaningful for the Spanish Mustang Breed. Now the preserve located in Bayfield, WI is home to more than 70 sanctuary Spanish Mustangs including about 40 of the Cayuse Ranch Herd.

About Reach Out to Horses – Anna Twinney:

Anna is an International Equine Linguist, Natural Horsewoman, Clinician, Animal Communicator, and the founder of Reach Out to Horses®. She is recognized in the industry for her unique and effective, collaborative training methodologies. For more than 2 decades she has brought her highly successful, gentle approach to thousands of people and horses from all walks of life and equine disciplines. She has conducted clinics, classes and training sessions across the globe including Europe, China, Morocco, Costa Rica, the Caribbean, and throughout the entire U.S. and Canada. Anna has been involved in animal rescue for over 30 years and has been heavily involved in the rescue and protection of the American Wild Horse. She has assisted in the rescue and training of thousands of horses and has helped to raise hundreds of thousands of dollars for the horses in need and the organizations that share her passion for our majestic planetary companions. In 2019 she will be launching a new non-profit to these ground-breaking methods to the people and animals who need the them the most.

About CranioConnection—Tracy Vroom:

The CranioConnection, founded by Tracy Vroom, has been providing complementary healing and performance solutions specializing in horses and dogs for 20 years. Having grown up on a farm with many species of animals, Tracy’s passion for them came naturally. Today Tracy is the owner of Rocky Mountain School of Massage and Acupressure in addition to CranioConnection, both providing healing for animals throughout the US.

About Zuma’s Rescue Ranch—Jodi and Paul Messenich:

Our organization is named in honor of the first horse our founders, The Messenich Family, purchased together nearly 20 years ago. Zuma was a bright spirit – a truly once in a lifetime horse who forever changed the hearts and minds of some very experienced professional horse people. By partnering those in need so that they may in turn rescue each other, we honor Zuma’s legacy. Serving the community since 2008, the mission of Zuma’s Rescue Ranch is to foster an environment of healing by pairing rescued horses with at-risk youth in mutually therapeutic programs.

Fancy a Frolic with the Foals?

Final foals 2019

Let us show you how to create a bond that can’t be broken.

Over the course of 7 days, Anna will introduce you to her unique and comprehensive foal gentling methodologies. Through gentle, compassionate, and supportive communication, you will discover how to quickly and effectively introduce foals to the world of humans, training, and even their own language. These techniques are also very effective for untouched and spooky horses, and to help solve the most frustrating behavioral issues with all your horses.

You will learn (and put to use) the same uniquely designed and tested program that Anna, herself, has developed and used to start hundreds of foals!

Gentling foals can be some of the most important and rewarding work you will ever do. In this case, your efforts are even more critical. The foals we work with in this event are untrained and rescued. So in addition to getting world-class, groundbreaking training, you are helping these innocent, rescued souls. You are giving them a loving, heart-filled introduction to the human-horse connection, and gaining a solid foundation that will help them in their lives. You are also helping them to gain a greater possibility of being adopted, and a second-chance at a life they deserve to live.

I Want to Learn More About Foal Gentling

Can you hear the call of the Wild Ones?

Only TWO SPOTS LEFT for this year’s Untouched Horse Course!

Final Mustangs 2019

Imagine being pulled out of your home, away from your family and friends, and taken to an unknown place where you are introduced to foreigners who do not speak your language. This is exactly what these symbols of freedom so often experience.

By understanding and attuning to these magnificent creatures, and seeing the world through their eyes, you will begin to master their language. You will learn how to socialize them, create trust & value in a relationship and identify their motivations & learning styles. This class is ideal for those who have recently fostered or adopted untouched horses and can be arranged in your area.

Immerse yourself in a 7-day workshop. This is a unique opportunity to observe wild horses in their natural habitat. You will begin to understand non-verbal communication with the natural world, be introduced to herd dynamics and develop a bond through building a trust-based relationship. You will not use chutes, ropes, or any other restraints to force the horse’s compliance. Instead, you will work one-on-one with the wild ones, gaining their trust, learning their language, and building a relationship and true partnership that you have always dreamed of but never knew was possible.

 

Take Me to the Wild Ones!