This My Wild Horse Story story was submitted by Annelyse Biblehimer. To submit your own story, please email firstname.lastname@example.org with the subject line My Wild Horse Story.
My name is Annelyse Biblehimer and I’ve been a horse-crazy girl for as long as I can remember. I guess I was just born with it! I grew up reading every horse book and was obsessed with the movie Spirit. I believe that’s where my love for wild horses and the West started. I grew up in the Northeast and never had a horse of my own but took lessons once a week and got around horses any chance I got. As I got a little older, I learned about the Bureau of Land Management’s Wild Horse and Burro Program and realized my dream of having a wild horse could really happen!
After graduating college and pursuing my dream of moving and working out West, I started planning and saving up to finally get my very own horse! In early Spring 2022 I was approved and ready to find my horse, but with all the big gathers that just occurred, the facilities near me were all closed for adoptions.
Now I’ve wanted a horse for almost 20 years at this point but having to wait now was awful! My impatience to wait for a few more months led me to call the Mantle Ranch in Wheatland, Wyoming to see if they had any. Sure enough, they did! After talking with Steve Mantle on the phone about what I was looking for, I made the 6-hour drive later that week to see what they had.
I got there and met up with Steve and walked into his barn with several young mares and instantly locked eyes with a big bay mare. Something told me that was the one I would be adopting. I made sure to look at all the others because I didn’t want to base this big decision off one look. I was able to get each one out to see them move. The big bay had a bit of sass and opinions, had a very curious personality and I just loved her build. I left saying I’d take her and headed back a week later to bring her home to northeastern Utah.
After a week of her at home, she finally got a name: Shania! I spent time with her every day and she quickly became my best friend. I plan to use her for trails and to camp and hunt with her. She’s been on several camping trips to the mountains with us already and tagged along on our deer and elk hunts this year for exposure. She seems to love it just as much as I do! I hope to get her started under saddle this winter so we can continue our mountain adventures! I haven’t been in a huge rush with training, and we’ve been going at her pace and enjoying our time together. She really enjoys liberty work, so we do a lot of that. I’ve been teaching her tricks, too: her favorite is to “smile.” I’ve had her for 7 months and she’s helped me heal from past experiences and has taught me so much. Being impatient usually doesn’t lead to positive outcomes, but this was the rare exception that it did. I feel so blessed and grateful to have found my forever heart horse.