Bob Moffitt / Capital Public Radio
“Although it is our preference to have wild equines managed on their rightful range and not ripped apart from family and freedom but it is good to see that there a few programs out that that can assist those who have already been stricken and harassed. With good training, the odds of the horses finding a forever home are greatly improved versus heading off to slaughter like way, way to many national icons already have. I hope the very best for them.” ~ R.T.
The Rio Cosumnes Correctional Center in Sacramento County is now the temporary home of 20 wild horses. Inmates at the jail will train them as part of a new program.
A four-year old mare is warming up to Joe Misner as he gently encourages her to follow him around a small corral. “Now you got it,” he says. He has been training horses for 30 years. As the ranch manager for the brand-new program at Rio Cosumnes, he is tasked with teaching inmates how to train wild animals.
“You come with pre-conceived ideas on what you’re gonna do and how you’re gonna accomplish your goals,” he says. “And that wild horse says, ‘Ahhh, I don’t think so. I think we’re gonna do it this way.’ As a person, that’s where you have to learn how to adapt.”
Eight inmates will spend four months training the animals before the horses are adopted out at auction.
Sheriff Scott Jones says he expects the program to teach inmates vocational skills and life lessons.
“Anecdotally, we’ve learned from inmates involved in the programs in other jurisdictions they learn humility and sometimes for the first time,” says Jones. “They put on a tough facade, but that doesn’t work and has no relevance to a horse. And the horse is in charge and they have to be partners in their training. And that partnership values carries with it skills for their entire life.”…(CONTINUED)