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BLM California News.bytes
News.bytes Extra, issue 538

Volunteers and their horses get together for playday

a woman holds her horse's lead near a waterfall
Melanie Gheno lets her yearling Dakota from the Twin Peaks HMA investigate the waterfall obstacle. (photo: Mark Evans)

Some BLM Wild Horse and Burro Program volunteers in California’s north central valley got together for a playday at the Running I Ranch in Dunnigan, on July 1.  The Running I Ranch offers trail obstacles and opportunities for desensitizing horses to various situations.  For the volunteers, it was a day of fun, training, and camaraderie with their horses and other adopters.  For the horses, it was a day of socialization and learning.

Many BLM wild horse and burro volunteers are themselves adopters.  They help the Wild Horse and Burro Program in many ways.  For example, they promote the value of the mustangs and burros, they educate the public about the animals, they bring their animals as ambassadors to adoption events, and they assist with checking on the adopted animals in their communities.  They also foster and halter train some of the horses and burros and act as mentors for new adopters.  Their services help ensure successful adoptions.  For all their hard work, they also deserve to have some fun with their animals!

Our next adoptions are coming right up on July 14 at the Sacramento Horseman’s Association and at the Sundance Ranch in Redlands.  Animals can be adopted any weekday from the Litchfield and Ridgecrest Corrals.  Please call either facility for an appointment.  For more information about the adoptions and the program, please visit the California Wild Horse and Burro page at www.blm.gov/ca/st/en/prog/wild_horse_and_burro.html

a rider on a horse cross a teeter bridge
Midori Morgan and Penny from the High Rock HMA work their way across the teeter bridge. (photo: Mark Evans)

a rider guides his horse on a step down amid dried grass
Mike Kerson and Ruby from the Twin Peaks HMA navigate the step down. (photo: Mark Evans)

a woman sits astride a horse in a greenish-looking pond
Nancy Kerson and Sparky from the Calico HMA play in the pond (photo: Mike Kerson)

a woman rides her horse as they approach a teeter bridge
Gerry Bourn and Sampson from the Twin Peaks HMA try the teeter bridge. (photo: Mark Evans)

a woman rides her horse through a box of crushed plastic bottles
Misty Evans and Cache who was born in the Palomino Valley corrals walk through the bottle obstacle. (photo: Mark Evans)

a horse splashes in water
Cache cools off at a water obstacle. (photo: Mark Evans)

a woman leads her horse through plastic swimming noodles on hay bales
Petra Keller and Tiara navigate the "noodle maze." (photo: Mark Evans)

two horses watch a bear hide fly past on a wire
Though trail riders would never expect to see a bear on a zipline, this obstacle challenges the horses to expect the unexpected.  Sue Wirgler shows her horse that a bear hide is nothing to fear, even if it is hanging on a zipline. (photo: Mark Evans)

- Amy Dumas, BLM California Wild Horse and Burro Program Manager (July 2012)

BLM-California News.bytes, issue 538 -- To subscribe to News.bytes, send an e-mail to: mailto:Join-Newsbytes@List.ca.blm.gov OR visit our News.bytes subscription page.

Last updated: 07-05-2012