Internet Colt Now a Mustang Ambassador

I began dreaming about adopting a mustang in 1992 when I first saw an ad in a horse magazine that urged me to “Ride the Legend. Adopt a Wild Mustang.”  I called the 800 number in the ad and received a BLM brochure, titled “So You’d Like to Adopt.”  It described the adoption requirements, including the 6 foot high corral with an attached shelter, and a stock trailer with a door that swings open to the side to pick up the horse. 

In 1998 this dream came true when I participated in the first BLM internet adoption.  When I saw Magic Spell’s picture posted on the adoption website, his eyes captivated me.  I knew that this little sorrel yearling with the unique white blaze was special-- the right horse for me.


Once part of a band of wild horses roaming the desert in the northeast corner of Nevada, Magic was both frightened and quite wild when I first got him home.  But I had a gentling plan and I worked with him every day faithfully in the round pen.  Within a month, he was standing on a lead line so our vet could tranquilize him and geld him.  By two months he was accepting a grooming routine, would tolerate wearing a snaffle bit, tied to his halter, for an hour a day, and he accepted a cinched up cloth saddle pad and followed my leading cues, even with stirrups dangling as he trotted around the pen. 


I waited (as recommended by vets) until he was 42 months old to ride him to be certain his knees had closed.  But because I had worked with him daily, he never bucked.  At first, I rode out behind the local riding stable’s trail rides in Virginia’s Shenandoah River State Park.  I wanted Magic to learn trail etiquette and I didn’t want to be out on a trail riding a green horse by myself. 

As a 5-year-old, I entered Magic in the American Mustang and Burro Association’s 2002 show at the Delaware State Fairgrounds, mainly as a training exercise.  But I was thrilled when Magic took second place in trail, barrel racing and pole bending novice classes and third in a halter class.”

Magic is both social and intelligent.   He loves attention and people. In 2003 he was a big hit as “mustang ambassador” at Central Virginia’s Burn Camp, a two-week camping program hosted by Virginia’s firefighters to provide educational and entertaining experiences for children traumatized by burns.  For many of these children, it was the first time they had been in the presence of a horse, let alone a former wild mustang. 


 I have also taken him and a small portable corral, to senior centers and nursing homes for pet therapy visits. I talk with the seniors about the mustang adoption program and how I got Magic.  Then he performs his tricks for the seniors—he bows, shakes hands and backs up on verbal commands.  The seniors reward him with carrot and apple treats.

 In the spring of 2007, at age 10, I asked friends and relatives to sponsor Magic and I on a 25-mile ride to raise funds for Meals on Wheels in the Shenandoah Valley.  Magic completed the ride in 5 hours and raised $1743.   As we begin our 10th anniversary together in 2008, Magic and I share another accomplishment—together we have traversed over 1500 miles on trails in Pennsylvania, Virginia, West Virginia, and Tennessee.   Each time I take Magic out for a trail ride, I marvel at how lucky I am to have adopted the perfect partner.    I truly “ride the western legend.” 

--Melanie Jackson, Front Royal, VA  



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