My Wild Horse Story: Becky and Fancy

By Rebecca "Becky" Perkins

My name is Rebecca (Becky) Perkins, and my family has always loved horses. My dad started our horse heard with a mustang named Bess. He bred her to my Uncle Luke McKathan’s Quarter horse racing stud. We had the best and fastest cow ponies around. 

Daddy always told me that Mustangs have more brains and grit than any other horse God created.  As a result of my upbringing, horses have always brought me great comfort and joy. Before I started school back in the 60’s it was not uncommon for me to saddle up my pony and be gone riding by myself for most of the day. Back then, you were expected to entertain yourself and be outdoors.  Growing up on an Alabama farm in the middle of the Conecuh National Forrest gave me ample opportunity to ride and explore. 

Now days I trail ride with my oldest brother and grandchildren. We mostly own quarter horses and a couple of mini ponies. Because everyone knows my passion for equines, it didn’t take the grapevine long to inform me that the BLM was bringing mustangs to our part of the country to be adopted out. I had no idea my world was about to be rocked and I would end adopting the most incredible horse I have ever known.

“I’ll go look for fun, but I DO NOT want a Mustang”. Those are the words I famously spoke to my son-in-law when he invited me to ride out on my lunch break to the BLM Mustang adoption at the Covington Arena in our hometown of Andalusia, Alabama. I am 59 years old, and the last thing I thought I wanted or needed was a wild mustang.  
As we entered the building, I saw a sea of beautiful horses sectioned off by groups in various pens. We saw an array of grays, blacks, whites, paints, buckskins, you name it. Although they were truly a sight to behold, I still had no desire to adopt one. 

We meandered around to each pen in awe of those beautiful creatures from the wild West. Time flew and before we knew it, we were at the last enclosure.  I noticed the horses were much smaller in this partition because they were yearlings. We watched the babies churning in a frenzy just like any horse baby would do as the workers took older horses one by one down the alley between the various pens to be worked. The young horses were all huddled together moving nervously in one large circle. 

Although it certainly was a sight to behold, my lunch time was up and alas I needed to return to work.  But as I began to turn and walk away, something caught my eye.  It was a sorrel filly. She was certainly not flashy. Her mane was matted in cockleburs and compared to all the other colorful yearlings she was somewhat mousey. 

Yet she caught my attention by the way she deliberately moved slowly on the outside of the circle looking at the other babies as if to say, “Calm down, stop and play.”  She would mischievously pull and nibble at the identification tags and strings tied in the other horses’ manes. Honestly, she looked terribly lonely and as though she was trying hard to make a friend. Most importantly I noticed that she had kind eyes.  They were deep and soulful. 

Then it happened, she stopped and looked straight at me with those loving eyes, and in that moment, I realized that it was all over…...she had captured my heart.

As I stood in line the next day anxiously waiting to adopt, a sweet lady struck up a conversation with me. “Which one do you want?” she asked. I pointed to the yearling. “Oh! She is red, here’s your one chance Fancy don’t let me down!” she exclaimed.  Immediately I knew the name fit. She was like no other I had seen. She was from out West… she was an American Mustang... she WAS Fancy. 

I have had Fancy for 7 months now and she has been a true Blessing! She is hands down the smartest most intuitive horse I have ever had the pleasure of training. Every ounce of love, patience and kindness I pour into her comes back to me two-fold.  I work in a nursing home and the last couple of years have been extremely stressful and heartbreaking to say the least because of the Covid epidemic. Throughout it all Fancy has been a true source of inspiration and therapy for me. Many was the day that I went straight to her pen after work and did not even change out of my scrubs because I was so excited to see her! The love, understanding and trust we have developed with each other has been a true Godsend. I think my Daddy would be very proud to know that I have adopted a noble mustang. 

I want to thank the BLM for providing me with the opportunity to adopt this magnificent animal. Also, I would like to thank Mr. Shawn Farnsworth, the Wild horse and Burro Specialist assigned to me. He has been a wonderful source of knowledge and encouragement throughout the whole process. 

Woman and man with horse
First time adopter, Rebecca Perkins, and BLM Wild Horse and Burro Specialist, Shawn Farnsworth
Woman on horse
Perkins has had Fancy for over 7 months now. Since adopting Fancy, she has quoted her horse to be a true source of inspiration and therapeutic during the Covid pandemic.