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4-H Wild Horse “Gift Horse Gang” Moving Ahead

Posted 2/15/2008

In 2005 the Carson City 4-H Gift Horse Gang, a wild horse pilot project club, received the National Award for Law Enforcement Volunteers from the Bureau of Land Management. Samantha Fishburn, Lindsey Peterson and Emily Steel, along with their mothers, volunteered over 2500 hours throughout the 2004-2005 year caring for and continuing ground work training on Koal, a Warm Springs Prison trained wild horse and equine partner of Stan Zuber, Carson Field Office BLM law enforcement mounted patrol officer.

As part of an agreement between Carson City UNCE 4-H programs and BLM, each of the 4-H’ers were awarded a Warm Springs Prison trained wild horse of their own in May of that year. Each girl and her equine wild horse partner spent the past two years working toward achieving different goals as they tailored their individual training programs.

Lindsey Peterson consistently used Parelli training methods as she worked with her dun gelding, Nevada Sunshine. Emily Steel focused on partnerships with wild horse mentor/trainers through Least Resistance Training Concepts as she worked with her dream horse Romeo and Samantha Fishburn used a combination of natural horse methods as she focused on developing a good trail horse with her equine pal, Mister Man.

This past summer, Lindsey and Emily achieved one of their goals as they entered and successfully competed with Sunny and Romeo in the 2007 Wild Horse Expo. Each of the girls felt that, although the competition was tough, it was a great experience and they eagerly look forward to the 2008 Wild Horse Expo. Samantha and Mister are working toward entering a 4-H Competitive Trails course this year after moving into their new house with an acre of land for stabling and training right outside the door.

Lindsey, Emily and Samantha report the experience of working with and training a green broke wild horse is a continuing challenge. They also feel they have learned far more with their wild ones than they had in their past experiences with domestic horses. Each girl states these animals appear to think differently than the domestics. The 4-H’ers feel years on the range running with wild herds shaped the ways these animals react and respond to training.

2008 promises increased achievement of goals for the Gift Horse Gang as they build partnership through higher levels of training with their horses. We’ll keep you posted.

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