Little Lunga

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

The Horse Industry

The horse industry as we know it spans the globe. Anyone in this business knows somebody who knows somebody who owns a horse. It could be a quarter horse in Texas who is a half brother to a horse in Germany, it could be a thoroughbred raised in Kentucky and sold in Dubai. I even believe disciplines are just as connected no matter how different. The only boundaries I have experienced in the horse industry are the social boundaries. This leads me to the conclusion that to be a true horse world, we must follow the lead of our horses and recognize no border, no social status and no price to be a true horseman or to own a real horse. We will always be a horse industry but we will be a true horse world as well.

Not too long ago we realized the danger our wild horses in the West. They were facing the danger of vanishing from the range. The ranchers and farmers managed the herds the way they managed their own private stock, but in the end this was not enough. They did in some cases improve different herds of horses in different areas and this lead to the many different areas of beautiful and very usable horses of all shapes and sizes. As a result of the gathering and sorting and protecting theses herds, the BLM developed an adoption program for theses horses which spawned a new type of trainer and horse owner but the industry has yet to grow or to accept this new kid on the play ground. In some ways this is good and in some ways very bad. We have a culture of “Mustang Trainers” but the demand for such horses is low and this keeps the economic growth for the horses very low. We all know that it is a supply and demand world and without the demand we have too much supply. This must change.

The horses that are wild on the range and in Government possession are labeled as Mustangs. I understand this but I have to admit that implies that they are a breed just as the Thoroughbred or the Quarter Horse. We must remember that the Mustang is our recent history’s modern horse. We used them for gathering wild cattle on the open range, we used them to breed our “pure bred” stallions to, to raise our foals; and now they are an icon with very little value and misled respect. Just as the Quarter Horse is our Ranch Horse, the Thoroughbred is our Race horse and even now the Warm Blood is our Dressage Horse, what is the Mustang? The trend is sadly training them to do tricks or to just be owned by someone wanting a piece of the American West in their back yard. I believe these horses are very useful and very trainable and I will refer to them as wild horses. I say this because once you take the wild out of them they are a HORSE and they have the potential and the capability to perform in our horse world and our horse industry. Let us work hard to be horse trainers of wild horses and have a mind that the sky is the limit and that the boundaries that are open to the rest of the horse world include the wild horse.

I can and will make this argument on a personal level because of one particular mare that stands in my pasture and travels with me wherever I go. She was wild as of the spring of this year and she had no identity and now she ceases to be wild and as the identity of a horse as versatile as the man who rides her. I must now rely on the horse world and the horse industry to help make this a legitimate venture and true success. We are now in your hands.

Making the Choice to Stand Out is Making the Choice to Stand Up.

I am heading to Nevada

First off, thank you in advance to those who will read and follow my blogs through out the summer. This is going to be a great undertaking this year and all of the support and interest will be much appreciated by anyone and everyone involved.

To bring this blog up to date so to speak, I, with the help of some very special people have created a program for the reinvigeration of the adoption of wild horses from the BLM(Bureau of Land Management) focusing on the horses of critical age and sex(mares of ages 5 years and older)from the facilties in Sparks, Nevada i.e.,PALAMINO VALLEY CORRALS. We want to create a new business model for the successful training and adoption of those horses branded as permaent residents of the goverment. We are focusing on enlightened philanthropy and showing that we can create an economy and an industry for this particular group of wild horses that can also be applied in the future to any group of wild horses. Although this program is still very much in its infancy, the first year culminated in the successful transition from holding pens to homes across the United States. We learned a great deal from the first years horses(4 geldings ranging from 4 years to 7 years of age and 4 fillies from ages 2 to 5)as well as the publics interest and the evolving needs of the horses still in holding. Our program is ever changing in order to help the horses but also to set ourselves apart from the ever growing themes of contest and makeovers and such. Not to say we do not understand the neccessity of these programs and not to leave out the fact that we do work with Patti Colbert and Kali Sublett of the much appreciated MUSTANG HERITAGE FOUNDATION. Moving on...
This summer we will be working with a hand selected group of 15 mares ranging in ages of 5 years to 7 years of age. I will be heading to Nevada the first week of April to make my selections. The BLM facility has been very helpful and appreciative of our ideas and will give us all of the time we need to make a grand selcetion of horses. I will be focusing strictly on conformation as the crucial importance for training and all around success of these horses. Color will be a bonus for some of the selected mares. The horses will arrive to the 88 ranch in Baggs, Wyoming the last week of April.
My brother, Tommy Gesell will spend his entire summer at the ranch helping with the training. We will be blogging daily on the progression of the horses as well as focusing on the acceptance of training, discipline, and all around work ethic of each individual horse. This will be a great undertaking which many say cannot be done, and I want to remind those who read and discuss our bogs, that we wish to remain out of the polotics of the wild horses and focus on the solutions and futures we are trying to create for those horses in holding who have been branded as permanant collections.