“We let these horses prove themselves; why can’t we let these inmates prove themselves?” Check out this mini-doc about Arizona’s Wild Horse Inmate Program.
Wild horses. Wild men. The combination, at first, sounds volatile — but both the mustangs and the inmates are finding inroads to a second life. Wild horses coming through the Arizona state prison facility in Florence are gentled and started by the inmates themselves, then made available for adoption as riding mounts. And the inmates themselves learn invaluable skills — the kind of skills that can’t be quantified, like patience, trust and the power of listening, as well as practical skills in horsemanship.
This mini-documentary is about twelve minutes long, but it’s well worth your time to watch this life-changing program — both for the mustangs and the inmates.
From a practical point of view, this program solves one of the BLM’s biggest issues in that many interested would-be adopters are not comfortable starting a mustang from scratch themselves and trained animals are not readily available. The program also teaches inmates a valuable set of skills that can help them find employment when their sentences are served and they’re released.
But from another, less obvious point of view, this program is worth much more than the numbers might suggest: the inmates learn life-changing skills and values that only the horses can teach. All of us as horse lovers know the indescribable, innumerable values we learn from a lifetime around horses — but to see this process turn around the lives of men capable of violent crime touches the soul.
Go horses. Go riding.