It was an exciting, educational, and fun-filled weekend in Green Cove Springs. The mustangs returned! The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) brought a group of around 50 geldings, mares, and yearlings to the Clay County Fairgrounds. The horses were from all over the west: Oregon, Nevada, Wyoming, Utah, and the burro’s were from California.
For those of you that have never had the opportunity to see this kind of event, I highly recommend it. I’ll be the first to admit; the first time I went I expected the worse: beaten and bloodied horses, the feeling of desperation, etc. Was I ever wrong!
When Les and I walked up, it was so peaceful and quiet; we had a difficult time finding where we were supposed to go! The horses are separated in groups of four or five; geldings are kept separate from mares, and yearlings separate from the bigger horses.
The atmosphere was so stress-free, that the first horse we saw was napping with his bottom lip drooping, just like Kobi’s. Most horses were nibbling on hay, or napping. Some of the feistier ones would move its small herd from one side of the pen to another, but after a few minutes of that, the horse would be bored and then eat or rest.
The drivers and wranglers associated with the BLM are some of the nicest, intelligent people I have ever met. Those people love what they do. While loading up a particularly skittish yearling, one of the handlers started stroking the horses back to calm it. Unless you are a horse person, and care about the animals in your control, most people don’t do that. Talking with a driver and the wranglers, they genuinely care about their animals. One of the wranglers even has a formerly wild mustang of his own.
Two mustang adopters had brought their mustangs back, so show some of the perspective owners, just how calm, well-behaved, and well-trained BLM mustangs can be.
All in all, it was a great time. The BLM is coming back to Florida in February, this time to Ocala. If you find yourself with nothing to do that weekend, take a nice drive through the Ocala National Forest and see the mustangs. See for yourself what a humane program they have and take advantage of an awesome opportunity to see some of America’s real history – the mustangs!
And for those of you that are wondering…NO! I did not increase my herd…this weekend!