News.bytes News.bytes Extra, issue 256

Robo is on a new mission

After a tour of duty in Folsom as the symbol of the Wild Horse and Burro program, Robo the mustang has a new mission.

Joseph Hinshaw (left) hugs Robo, as Jason Williams stands alongside
Joseph Hinshaw (left) hugs Robo, as Jason Williams stands alongside.

On November 17, Robo was transferred from the Folsom Field Office to Ridgecrest to work in VisionQuest, a program that offers an alternative to incarceration and early intervention programs to keep youngsters out of the criminal justice system.

In one VisionQuest program, inner-city youngsters who may have never seen a horse work with horses as a way help them gain inner discipline and self-confidence.

Robo is renowned in the Folsom Field Office for his calm disposition.

Graciela Hinshaw, Pine Hill Preserve manager in the Folsom Field Office, said her son, Joseph, had a phobia about horses. That changed, though, when he met Robo at a National Public Lands Day event.

"By the end of the day, he didn’t want to let go of Robo," she said. “He told me 'I have conquered my fear of horses'."

Robo is a rare curly mustang, said Jason Williams, Folsom Field Office Wild Horse and Burro compliance specialist. There are fewer than 2,000 registered curlies.

Robo was born in 1991 and gathered in November 1993 from the Callaghan Herd Management Area near Austin, Nevada. In December 1993 he was sent to the Wild Horse Inmate Program in Canon City, Colorado, for training. In April 2005 he was sent to Folsom to be used in trail maintenance and public events for the wild horse and burro adoption program.

- Dave Christie, 11/06 - photo by Graciela Hinshaw

BLM California News.bytes, issue 256