Archive for April 11th, 2018

Spending time in Prison

This past Monday I spent the day in the Florence Prison complex with the Heber Wild Horse Collaborative where we learned all about how inmates gentle and train wild horses and prepare them for adoption under the BLM.  The facility has two parts – one for housing horses and burros and keeping them healthy for adoption and another for training the animals. The photo here is of my doctoral student, Julie Murphree, and the BLM coordinator for this facility, John Hall.  They are standing above the chutes where the horses and burros are processed upon arrival.

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The program is fascinating with high levels of care for the animals, successful adoption rates of animals leaving the program, and skill development for inmates.  The actual work looked very enjoyable to me and worthwhile.

The challenge it seems is one of scalability.  The training process creates a bottleneck, given the number of horses and burros in the wild, the capacity of the trainers, and the number of potential adopters.  As a collaborative, it’s interesting to align this option within a suite of strategies that could be used in cases where horse or burro populations exceed the capacity of the landscape.

And in case you’re interested in adoption, here is a photo of some of the adorable burros:

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Enjoy!

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