Friday, July 17, 2009

Cuervo's gallery

The above two photos are credited to Naylene Nield. Thanks Naylene, for sending these to me. The next five were taken by the BLM when Cuervo was first captured at the Delta, UT holding facility.
finally used
to the saddle
struttin his stuff
like a
he didnt like the saddle!
all dressed up
the introduction.
first day in the pasture
first day together
first bath
Some of you wanted it, now you've got it. :P A few of you had emailed me asking for more photos of my recently BLM adopted (4/25/09) Spanish Sulphur Mustang, Cuervo. He is three years old, and the other man in my life. He was captured in November of 08. From day one, we had a connection and became loving partners very quickly. He will have a forever home with me. I am so blessed to have found such a smart, loyal and protective horse. I have said many times, "I feel as if I found a brand new, untouched Ferrari for a quarter." Out of all the rare breed horses I have had, spending thousands and thousands of dollars for them, he is by far the cheapest ($125 adoption fee) AND my favorite. Who wouldof guessed. LOL. You can find quality in the wild mustang! Please, before you go out and buy another horse, PLEASE, at least consider adopting a wild mustang! There is nothing like the bond you can share with a horse, than that of gentling a wild spirit! It will change you! I promise!If you would like to see the progress we made on his very first day at his new home go to my website
also more photos of him at

Who says mustangs can't be trusted????

too precious.
Ok for all of you who think mustangs are rogues, stupid, cannot be trained, and can never be trusted... Get aload of this!!! This is Kadie June, she is my neice. Just turned ten and has been riding for about a year now. She had to unfortunately sell her horse when they moved to Decatur.
Anyhow, she had a need to be with horses, I had the need for someone to work with the horses (after shattering my ankle and breaking my leg), so we came up with a resolution for both of us.
Keep in mind that the mustangs had not had any handling for two weeks, since my accident. When she got here, she admitted she no longer had a saddle that fit, it went with her horse, nor did she have a helmet, but I could not tell that precious little girl no. So, I made her promise she would only walk Cass until we got her the proper equipment. Anyhow, it went great. They got along beautifully. Cass has been with us since sept. 08, and has only been going under saddle for a few months, hit and miss, with my crazy schedule. But she is a baby doll. Loves people, and ADORES kids. The next day, she worked with Cuervo, who has only let ME approach him, and she was able to pet and scratch him. Way to go Kadie June! If she continues to do a good job, and enjoys working with mustangs, I will help her get things ready to compete in next years Yearling Challenge. By looking at the photos, I believe she is enjoying herself. LOL

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Visit my website

Meet Cuervo

Cuervo is my main squeeze. He is a three year
old silver grulla, gelding from Sulphur Springs, Utah. I adopted him from the BLM back at the end of April, 2009. He was capured in November of 2007. The photo second from the top was taken on 7/14/09. I had saw him in a few photos listed
on the BLM website in the Delta, UT facility (top photo). Immediately, I knew that he was going to change my life forever. I contacted Lisa Reid at the facility, and made arrangements to get him shipped to me.
Since his arrival, I have he has become the absolute love of my life! I have found the horse for me! We have formed a bond that amazes me on a daily basis! Cuervo will have a forever home with me.

Welcome Friends

Welcome to my little piece of heaven! My home away from home. Just a small farm with about seven rolling acres of lush timothy and alfalfa pastures, a little barn with room enough for 7 stalls, and an indoor arena, a small house, and of course the hubbys huge garage. Nothing more, nothing less, and all I need and want to be completely thrilled with my life. You see, its not about the farm for me, its about the horses in it! And here, on this little farm, one will only find one breed of horse, the American Wild Mustang! Here in this blog, I will tell the stories of the mustangs in my life. I will tell you how I aquired them, how they picked me, and how they progressed from running wild in the mountains, to becoming lifetime partners and soulmates. If you are currently gentling your own mustang, perhaps we can exchange ideas and stories. If you are looking to adopt one, and dont know how to go about it, perhaps I can help. If you are not in a situation where you can have a mustang, but long to get a bit of horse info or love to see photos, you have come to the right spot. Take a journey with me, a journey which I like to call "Taming the beast". I will try my very best to keep a weekly blog going giving details on who, what, when and how, sucesses and setbacks of how I befriended these wonderful horses in my life. I wont candy coat this, some of it is pretty ugly, but it to me, has been and will always be worth it. Thanks for stopping by, I hope you enjoy yourself.


Every now and again, you hear of someone meeting up with their soul mate. Most of the time, its a story of two people, believing that they were put on this earth, to spend their lives with each other. This story, however, is slightly different. This story is of a soul mate, sent to a family. This soul mate, not only was sent to spend the rest of her life with this family, but also had a bigger purpose than ever imagined. And this soul mate, is NOT another person, it just so happens to be a horse! Not just any horse, she is an American Wild Mustang. This is the story of Castiel... My name is Tammy, and I have been raised with horses. I was six years old when I got my first pony. My parents didn't have any knowledge about horses, but lived in a place where we could have them. So, they got me a Shetland mare, and basically turned me loose with her. That little Shetland mare taught me so much, as I began focusing on my school work, as I had to become a better reader. I read everything I could about horses. By seven years old, I had read the complete book, of the horse Encyclopedia, and it didn't stop there. Horses WERE my life. I had made it my personal goal in life, to absorb as much knowledge as I could, about EVERYTHING horse. As years passed, and I outgrew the pony, my parents upgraded me to larger ponies, then to horses. At the age 8, I was hired to train ponies and small horses, by a local trainer, who was too big to get these horses going under saddle. I began showing as well. At 15, I had gotten my work permit, and was working at a horse farm. Throughout the years, I had worked for several farms, doing anything from cleaning stalls for board, to foaling manager, to head trainer, to farm manager. Working with many different breeds, I decided I wanted to expand, and opened my own farm, importing, breeding and training Andalusian and Friesian horses. I don't want to spend a lot of time on the subject of myself, but just wanted to give you an idea of the experiences that I have had with many breeds, as I feel its pretty important in this short story. Anyhow, to make a long story short, my daughter, Taylor, age 15, had obviously been raised with horses as well. She had shown client horses at the age of four, has helped me train, bathe, clip, etc, trained her own horse, and even helped with live cover breedings as well as artificial insemination. She though, unlike me, was not as enthusiastic about horses. It was more of a chore for her. It was not her passion, as it is with me. About three years ago, she had decided that boys, and an image of the typical teenager, was more important, than spending time in the barn, getting dirty, with her horse. She asked me to sell her horse, and had nothing more to do with them. My husband, Todd, was never really into horses. He liked to trail ride occasionally, but that was really about it. I think he would average about ten rides a year. But, both he and Taylor supported my insane need for anything horse, and put up with my ever expanding thirst for horse knowledge, allowing me to dominate the TV many nights, watching videos or by holding horses for me to collect stallions, trim hooves, inseminate mares, and take photos of horses, etc. Last year, I had the opportunity for a once in a lifetime job, in which was not horse related, so I took it. It was an electrician apprenticeship, and required me to work full time, and take classes a few nights a week, as well as MANY hours of home work, and all day class on Saturday. I tried to keep up with it, as well as my horse farm, but found out quickly that it just wasn't possible. After missing the birth of one of my foals, which had never been done before, I decided that I could not possibly do foal watch, and still keep this job. It wasn't fair to my animals. They were not going to suffer because of this job. So, we decided that since these horses were not cheap. We could not justify having pastures full of $20 thousand dollar ornaments. They needed to be ridden, and loved and I just didn't have time for them. So, we sold every single one of them. I hit the biggest depression I have ever known. I couldn't even look out at the barn without wanting to cry. So, I told my husband that I just couldn't live without a horse. He understood, and admitted he and Taylor even had a bet, to see how long it would take for me to get another horse. I told him that I just HAD to make time for it. And that I wouldn't get an expensive import. So he agreed and after looking on the market, not finding anything that remotely interested me, and had watched the Extreme Mustang Makeover, decided THAT was what I wanted to do. I wanted to adopt a wild mustang. So, I looked online, and found that at that time, there was indeed an Internet adoption taking place. I called the number, to see about the requirements, and to get approved. She mentioned that there was actually an adoption being held at the Ewing facility at that moment. She got me approved, and Todd and I drove the next morning to take a look. Taking a look, ended up to bringing home! When we arrived, I was overwhelmed. I couldn't believe that there were so many mustangs. They were nothing like the type of horse I was used to. No shiny coats, no pick me personalities. No $20K price tags. What I found were more than a hundred head of scared to death, shaggy, dull coated, snort and blowers. BUT, as I looked through the holding pens, something changed inside of me. I began looking closer or maybe it was further, or even into what could be, instead of what is. My heart felt as if it had been ripped out of my chest. I cant really explain this feeling I had that day, but can remember it like it was yesterday. I saw these poor horses, ripped away from their families, away from their homes, and away from their freedom. I tried to see things through their eyes. And what I found, was fear, loneliness, and sadness. It's not that they were not being taken care of, as they had good quality hay, fresh oats, a never ending supply of water, and all in good flesh. But, I saw a longing in their eyes. A sadness for something they had lost. My heart was crying inside to help them all find what they were looking for. I hear people say horses cant talk, and they are right. At least not in the human tongue. But if one studies horses and their behavior long enough, one can pretty much understand every single thing that a horse has to say. I had made that my priority in life, and feel I have a fairly good ear, or eye per say, to listen to horses. After watching them all for what seemed like a few hours, I had decided that I was going to be taking a mustang home with me. Down the row of pens we walked, admiring each horse for who they were, my eyes caught sight of a little brown blur at the back of one of the pens. I stopped dead in my tracks. I told Todd, "that is the one". He pointed out to me, that I couldn't even really see her. As she was way back there, and I didn't even have my glasses on that day. To him, she looked like a scrawny, little, scared, plain old bay. All I could really see, was a brown outline in a horse shape, with a BIG arrow, pointing down from the sky, pointing her out to me. It was if God himself were showing me that this horse, was the horse we needed to help. Todd said to me that we should just keep on looking, as a lot of the horses were up closer to the front of the pens, eating hay (ever so carefully, as they were scared to death of people walking in front of the pens and troughs). He said that those horses, we could get a good look at, and check for any injuries, and look over their conformations. It was if I were wearing concrete shoes, for at that moment, I couldn't have lifted my feet to walk away even if I had wanted to. I told him I would wait for her to gain the courage to come for a bite of hay. I waited, and waited for nearly three hours. Seemed like days. He continued on, down the row, to see if there was anything that would capture my heart, as he pretty much knew me by now, and the taste I have in horses. After a while, he came back, and told me about several nice horses that he thought I would like. Most of the ones he chose, had beautiful golden colors, or paint patterns, or just beautiful to the eye. I told him that after I got a better look at this one I had been waiting for, I would make my way over and look at the others. Finally, in her own time, SHE cautiously approached the manger. When I looked in her eyes, she connected glances with me. I felt as if the world had been put on pause. Only she and I existed to me at this moment. Tears literally began dripping down my face. I don't know why. She was nothing like I had imagined bringing home. She was small, scraggly, and trembling. She was a plain old bay, as my husband then called, with a single white star. Fuzzy mane, flying in every direction possible. But, she was oddly enough, compared to my jaguar expensive taste in horseflesh, BEAUTIFUL! I felt overwhelmed with joy, sadness, fear, anticipation, doubt, confidence and every other imaginable feeling all at once. I had never in my life felt like this before. "This horse does things to me!" is all I could say. "WE MUST TAKE HER HOME WITH US!". And we did just that. We arrived home late that night, as we decided to stay to watch the whole adoption process, and to watch the demos. It was a very exhausting day, I was drained from all of these feelings, and strange changes that had taken place with me, after seeing these wild animals up close for the first time. So, we quietly unloaded our new arrival, and left her alone for the night. She had to be stressed, and needed to explore her new surroundings in peace. The next morning, I went down to the corral so excited, I had to calm myself before approaching the pen, so as not to scare her. I gathered myself mentally and made my way slowly to the pen with a small amount of grain, two flakes of hay and an extra bucket to sit on. She knew what the hay was, and immediately faced me, extremely cautious, but hungry. I slowly tossed the hay over the corral to her direction, and she began to eat. I sat there beside the corral for her to eat every single blade. Not looking her in the eye, and not moving a muscle. When she was finished, I took the bucket of grain, and the extra bucket into the corral, and sit there like a rock. After a few minutes, she began moving closer to me. I didn't look at her. After what seemed to be fifteen minutes or so, she slowly progressed to me, and stuck her nose in the feed pan sitting on my lap. She tasted it, and liked it. She took tiny bites, and looked at me while she chewed. I looked down at her feet, glancing occasionally up at her. She didn't move away from me. I offered my hand to her, palm down, and she touched it with her nose. It was if hot wax were poured over my head, and dripped down over my whole body. I felt nothing like this before. It was wonderful. The first willing touch of a wild horse to a human may not sound like much to many people, but to me, it was one of the most wonderful experiences I have ever encountered. Its right up there with a mother seeing her newborn child for the first time. Not as good, but almost! I wish I had a camera. A moment I will never forget as long as I live. From that moment on, I felt as if we were a part of each other. She must have felt the same thing, as from that point on, it was if she had decided that I could be trusted. For after that, she agreed to EVERYTHING I asked of her. After finishing that small amount of grain, she allowed ME to rub her nose, then head, then scratch her head. That blasted halter that the BLM felt she had to have put on, before coming home with me, had to be itchy. So I softly and slowly removed it from her pretty little face. I felt it would be more of a fair game to her, if she wasn't already at a disadvantage of having a capture device on her head. I then scratched her head, her neck, her chest, her barrel, her back, her hip, her legs, all with her unhaltered, unrestrained, and free to move away if she chose. I then got my grooming tote. She approached me, and I brushed her whole body, picked her feet, braided her mane to one side, dematted her tail and even used show sheen to gloss up her coat. I sprayed her with fly spray too. She never moved a hair, except wriggling her nose in pleasure. She was a god sent. I felt as if I were in heaven. I then sent her around the corral, using body language that she understood, and responded to. I asked her to change directions, to and away from me. Then I took my rope and tossed it around and all over her body. This scared her, but she didn't explode, just showed me her fear, and I would sooth her by talking, singing or humming to her. Then she learned that approaching me, would allow her to get more scratches and friendly games. She allowed me to put her rope halter on and off, so then I attached a lead and began teaching her to give to pressure, then to move her hindquarters around and away from me. Then to move her shoulders away from me. Then to take a step with me on the lead. This little horse was not a rouge as I had imagined she would be. She was a baby doll, starved for affection, love and leadership. She was a willing partner. I visited her several times during the day and next few days. Giving her hourly breaks in between my visits. Each time I came back to visit her, she became more and more relaxed and comfortable with my presence. A few times she even nickered to me upon arrival. By the end of the third day, she was meeting me at the gate, standing perfectly still unrestricted by halter for grooming, spraying, feet picking, clipping bridle path, and would walk with me at liberty, back away from a point of my finger, free lunge around me going at the direction I pointed at, side passing next to me and returning to me, on just my body language alone! She led perfectly on the lead, had been on several walks around the farm, and had learned to touch anything with her nose that she thought was scary. This little horse was not like any other I had ever met! I had a connection with her that people only dream about. We seemed to understand each other, and had a great bond. Within a week, I released her into my pasture, after preparing her body for the grass, by taking walks around the farm, allowing her to slowly get accustomed to grass being reintroduced to her diet. She absolutely adored her freedom. She danced, she ran, she pranced, she played in the creek, she jumped the creek, all of course after completely observing the pasture, making sure there were no cougars or other predators out there to eat her.... She didn't want to go out there at first. She was afraid. I walked in front of her, allowing to see that there was nothing out there, that was going to harm her. That was another indescribable, wonderful feelings. Walking out in the pasture, with a wild mustang following you on her own free will, out in the open. I sat down in the lush grass under a tree, and she came right up to me, and began grazing next to me, making sure not to step on me, she carefully placed her toes up to my body. It was if I were dreaming. Within the next few weeks, I had been allowed to put a surcingle, saddle pad, saddle and sacked her out without even a halter on her, and she never moved a step away. She accepted every single thing I did to her. she never bucked, kicked, or bolted away with any of it. I always made a point to NOT have her haltered, so she always felt she could leave, if she felt unsafe or scared. But she never did. After one month, I contacted my farrier, who had done a lot of barefoot trimming with mustang rolls. Katie is a tiny woman. She is good with the horses, and knows how to do a great trim. I had always hated shoes and left using them long ago. She understood me and my wishes, and has been trimming my horses for awhile, after my firing five in the prior three years, because they took away the sole plane I was trying to rebuild on my horses. I am ANAL about my horses, especially FEET and diet. Anyhow, when I told her I had gotten another horse, she was ready to trim. BUT when I told her it was a wild mustang, she was very skeptical. She had bad experiences with a few of them, and really didn't want to get into mustangs again. But, after talking with her and knowing how I am with my horses, she finally agreed but made it clear that she would only TRY. If it got ugly, she was out. When she arrived, Castiel was a little worried about a stranger touching her, but I think it also had something to do with the fact that Katie was also nervous. so, I took Castiel (Cass as we call her) into my indoor arena, and showed Katie what Cass and I could do on Liberty. We went through all our little games we play, with the side passing, and backing etc. all without a halter. This relieved Katie, and she said she was ready to try. I told her that I didn't want to put a halter on Cass, and she looked at me like I was crazy. But, said she would try. Cass stood like an angel. Even letting Katie put her foot on the tripod in front of her. Katie admitted after the trim, that Cass was one of the best clients she had ever worked on. She couldn't believe I had only had her for a month, and that she had never had her feet trimmed before. Now when I call Katie for a trim, she says she will be right over to see her precious mustang friend. It was a hard winter for me. My job sent me to another location in which I am forced to drive three hours a day to get to work and back. I was working outside in the cold, snow and wind, up on a JLG lift anywhere from thirty to fifty feet up in the air. So, when I would come home, cold and worn out, the last thing I wanted to do, was be outside in the cold. So, I must admit, I didn't do much with Cass at all. Todd was feeding her for me, so there were actually weeks that I didn't even go outside to see her. I was sick a lot, and exhausted. So, there were several months that I didn't do much with her, except groom her on the weekends. But, as spring came, I started feeling better. In March, I decided that I would get back into it with Cass. So, I started working with her after I would get home from work. The first day, I went out there, and groomed her, saddled her, then haltered her up, took her for a walk, and asked her to load in the trailer. Again, perfect angel. But not what I had expected, since I hadn't spent much time with her. She really is the joy of my life! After fitting her up with exercise in the arena, I decided that I would go ahead with under saddle training. I expected she would do much like most horses, when I get on, she would either lock up and not move, or bolt. She did neither. She walked off, with just a halter and lead rope. She turned when I asked, and stopped when I asked. Taylor and Todd had expected a rodeo of the event, and decided to watch, as they thought they would be helping me back onto my feet. They saw no rodeo. It was funny to me, to watch the two of them, jaws to the floor in amazement, as the little wild mustang maneuvered around the arena, proud as a peacock to carry her partner in crime, myself. After the second ride, my daughter tells me that she was amazed at Cass and her progression. She felt she would like to spend time with Cass, as she would like to have a horse again for herself. She liked what she saw in the connection that I had with this little wild horse. One day with Cass was all it took for Taylor to fall head over heels. They connected immediately, much like I did with her. Another match made in heaven. Cass would even lick Taylor and get her all slobbered up. LOL. Taylor said she wanted Cass to be her horse. So, since I had longed for Taylor to be involved with horses again for years, I agreed to give Cass to her, and adopt another mustang for myself. But, I would put at least thirty rides on Cass, to sort of polish her up for Taylor, to make sure that this wasn't a fluke, and that she wasn't going to go all rodeo on us, before turning Taylor loose completely with her. After the fourth ride, each going better than the ride before, I asked Taylor if she wanted to try riding her around the arena for a little while. She of course, said yes. So, Taylor asked her to stand next to the mounting block to get on. Cass was a doll baby for her. Doing everything Taylor asked of her. Riding like a dream. Taylor said she was more in love with Cass than she had ever loved another horse. She too was hooked! After putting a few more rides on Cass, and observing Taylor riding her, We have decided that Taylor's' knowledge and passion with Cass is plenty enough to let her finish Cass's training!!! She has not once offered to do anything mean or spooky with Taylor or myself under saddle. She is coming along beautifully! So, not only has Cass been my soul mate, she has also become Taylor's' too. But, then there's that other purpose, that I had mentioned at the beginning of this story. I truly believe that her other purpose was to bring our family closer. She, alone, brought Taylor back to horses. And not only that, She bonded with Todd too. She got him more interested in horses as well. When I started riding Cass, Todd decided that he missed having a horse of his own, and even though he liked mustangs, felt that he could never fully trust one, so he found a quarter horse for himself. So, her purpose has actually turned into bringing our whole family closer together. She gave us a common interest to share again. She made my passion of horses, even better, as now, I can share it with my family, and not alone. Castiel coming to our lives has been one of the greatest things that has ever happened to us. But not only that, remember my telling you of the different breeds that I had owned, trained or been involved with in my life? Well, I have to admit, I have NEVER in my life, met another breed of horse, that has ever given so much to me. Most intelligent, most willing, most loving, least fearful, hardest working, most loyal, easiest to train, most in tune with simple gestures, most responsive, than that of a wild mustang. I'm SOLD. I will never own, or be owned by, another breed of horse as long as I live. Taylor is also SOLD! From here on out, MUST BE MUSTANGS for us. By the way, Castiel is from Nevada. She is a Jackson Mountain mustang. As for the mustang that I had to adopt, since Taylor took Cass from me, lol, I adopted a three year old colt from Delta, Utah. A Sulphur mustang. He actually arrived to Ewing, IL two weeks ago, and I picked him up then. I was hoping that I would feel that same connection with him. Much to my surprise, when I picked him up on Saturday, he tried to charge through the corral, and lunged at the BLM official, Todd and myself.. Todd was very skeptical and thought I should choose another horse.. But, again, much like before, I couldn't see what he saw. I felt pretty much the same feelings I had felt back when I saw Cass for the first time. I was not going to be swayed, this particular, little gruella colt, was sent here for a purpose. What I don't know yet, but he came home with me. After two hours of working with him, Cuervo, as I call him, was touching me with his nose, allowing me to groom him, and leading. The second day, he was lunging, picking up his feet, bridle-path clipped, and literally wrapping his neck around my body, as if he were hugging me. Todd cannot believe this magic Cuervo and I share. He says he can clearly see that Cuervo is hopelessly in love with me, and I with him. We are even more connected than I could have ever imagined. If Cass is my sun, then Cuervo is my moon. I will continue with him every day, and progress along, taking it at his speed. He didn't care for Todd but we figured gelding him would help ease Todd's' fear. We had him gelded yesterday, and then Todd went into the corral to establish leadership. after spending time with him, I am even more SOLD on the mustang. These are the horses for me. I am currently looking for a nice gelding, or mare to adopt for Todd. I know he likes his Quarter Horse, but I believe that if we adopt a young mustang, maybe a weanling or yearling, that we can raise it up, and Todd will be able to fully trust it, and share what Taylor and I have found in the wonderful breed, the mustang. Even my vet told me just today, IF you can earn a mustangs trust, and establish a leadership, you will not find another, that will work harder, give more, and protect their person, the way a mustang will. This new found love is a good thing. I want to thank God, for sending us these wonderful, intelligent creatures who have taught me so much, and blessed our lives as they have. And thanks to our precious and irreplaceable Castiel for bringing our family closer together, and for teaching me that you don't have to spend $20 grand to get the best horse in the world. I would rather pay $125 adoption fee ANY DAY, and still get the horse of my dreams. I feel as if I found a brand new, untouched Ferrari for a quarter!