Trained Yearlings Available in Indiana

The equine training and handling class at Saint Mary-of-the-Woods College is gentling and training a special group of horses in preparation for adoption. The horses that are being trained are wild mustangs that werefostered through the Bureau of Land Management's Adoption Program. Last year, SMWC became the first college to partner with the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) to provide training for wild mustangs, and the College is excited to continue the program this year.

Angie McMillin, one of the equine instructors at SMWC, says the training program provides significant benefits for the students and the horses. "This experience gives our students hands-on experience with animals that have never been exposed to any of the daily activities of captivity," McMillin said. "The students are learning to read their horses through body language, which is essential to any type of training. This training also makes the mustangs much more adoptable."

The horses arrived on campus during the weekend of March 7, and since that time, the SMWC students have been training them to stand quietly while tied; pick up all four feet; and to walk, trot and canter while being led by the student. Students have placed halters on the horses and loaded them into trailers.


Anne Bennett, a sophomore from Evansville, Ind., has been working with Morgyn Purdy, a freshman from Morgantown, Ind., to train a horse named John Wayne. Bennett says the highlight of the experience has been bonding with the horse and seeing him progress. "I didn't really know anything about mustangs before I started [the training and handling class], but I had some ideas on how they would be," Bennett said. "Because we got yearlings, I think a lot of the horse's potential fear turned into curiosity. Sure, we had our share of bucks, but it was just all part of the mustangs adjusting to their new environment and testing its limits Honestly, I've been surprised at how well the training has worked these little mustangs are like sponges, waiting to take in anything you expose them to. I don't know of anyone in the class who doesn't have a soft spot for their mustang. Working with them everyday, it's almost impossible not to fall in love a little."

SMWC is currently accepting bids for the seven mustangs that are being trained. All of the mustangs available for adoption are yearlings, and bidding begins at $125. The College will keep most of the bid proceeds, with $25 per horse going back to the Bureau of Land Management.

To qualify to adopt a mustang, adopters must be at least 18 years old, have the ability and financial means to care for a mustang, and have corrals that meet BLM specifications. Bidding will begin immediately and will remain open until April 21, 2008. Notification of adoption approval will be made before April 26, and horses must be picked up from SMWC between April 26 and April 28. To receive an adoption application or to place a bid, contact Angie McMillin at 812-535-5003 or or Sara Schulz at 812-535-5018 or

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