Wild horses pick up on training faster than domestic horses

It could also be that wild horses are perhaps smarter than their domestic counterparts. Living in the wild develops skills and abilities that a domestic horse does not get a chance to learn. What are your thoughts – do you have experience with wild horses? ~ HfH

From: The Republic
By: Matt Naber

Trainer says wild horses more appreciative and pick up on training faster than domestic horses

Lynn Huckaby working with a mustang

Lynn Huckaby working with a mustang

ROCK SPRINGS, Wyoming — Taming a wild horse is intimidating. They’re big, powerful and scared. But, with the right approach they can become a loyal companion.

“Mustangs are just a whole different thing. They don’t play by the rules,” said wild horse trainer Lynn Huckaby of Farson. “How you connect with them is like nothing else.”

Huckaby and her family have adopted 36 wild horses since about 2002 and train them for new homes through the Mustang Heritage Foundation.

“With domestic horses, it is like they are rich kids and you have to earn their respect,” said Huckaby’s 15-year-old daughter, Leah. “With the mustangs, it is like an adopted child who is trying to survive and they are so thankful for whatever you give them because some of those mustangs may have been dehydrated.”

The foundation’s programs are designed so aspiring wild horse owners can have their horse ready to go for grooming, handling their feet, using a trailer and riding. Lynn Huckaby said she gets reimbursed a bit for the work, but it’s not profitable; it’s just something to do for fun.

“If it wasn’t fun, I wouldn’t do it,” she said. “Every horse has something to teach me.”

The Huckabys have 56 horses on hand and about 16-18 of them are wild horses.

“They are addicting,” she said. “It is something that is in your blood.”

Usually the owner selects a wild horse from the herd at the Bureau of Land Management’s corral, but sometimes the wild horse picks its person, Lynn Huckaby said. Out of about 170 wild horses, her wild horse chose her, she said.

“It all depends on the horse and the time with them,” Leah said. “Mine is very calm. Once I touched her she was like ‘OK, I’m cool with you.'”

“They have a whole different way about them,” her mom said. “I feel like it is like a marriage. When you have been married for a while, you feel like you take things for granted. But, with the mustangs, they appreciate it more.”

Wild and domestic horses are expensive to own. If the owner already has a barn, stall and fenced area large enough to run then they cost about $1,000 to $1,400 annually. That price quickly increases if the owner is unable to do its own farrier work, vaccinations and de-worming.

Of course, making friends with a local veterinarian always helps in cutting costs, Lynn Huckaby said.

Lynn Huckaby described her position as the “middle man,” training the horses so they are ready to be handled and working with the owner too, almost like a matchmaker for wild horses and their new owners.

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3 Comments
  • Sue

    I’ve never had a wild mustang. I DID rescue a BLM mustang, who had been neglected. I always felt she withheld a certain part of her, a part that no human would ever reach.

    March 21, 2015
  • My Mustang mare is a good friend. We trust each other completely.

    She inspired me to write a children’s book – “Milo and the Mustang” – about a young boy and the magical relationship he has with a wild Mustang horse. http://www.amazon.com/Milo-Mustang-Alycin-Hayes/dp/0973032030

    Mustangs definitely are smarter and more sensitive than domestic horses. Once you gain their trust you have a friend for life.
    Alycin Hayes

    March 22, 2015
  • mustang man

    of course they are smarter. they have not been inbred to produce stupidity, gentleness, they are as intelligent in there world as we sometimes are in ours. they demand equal terms and respect and if we prove to them that we are genuine in that respect most will accept our version of slavery. I have to spend much to much time working with these creatures after our so called natural horsemanship ( read soft coercion) BS has been forced upon them. they are simply put the perfection of the true definition of freedom and they take it vrry personally that we have taken it from them when they would be perfectly willing to share it…

    March 22, 2015