Wednesday, February 20, 2019

Mustang Musings

I recently attended a gathering that benefited the American Wild Horse Institute (AWHI). AWHI's mission is to preserve Mustangs and educate people about their plight.

Mustang Ambassadors Amore and Sol
Horse-crazy since childhood, I was excited to find out there is a Mustang sanctuary located at the base of Mt. Diablo State Park in Walnut Creek, California not far from my home. 

I wasn't sure what to expect spending time with the Mustangs. As a child, I dreamt about being a Mustang running free and wild across the Western Plains with my herd.

Initially, the seven Mustangs who live at Bryerly Farms seemed like ordinary horses who live in 3 separate paddock areas. There was nothing to suggest they were wild horses.

It's interesting to note that there is a difference of opinions about whether Mustangs are descendants of domesticated horses brought to the Americas by the Spanish conquistadors or are indigenous to North American.

Traditional Dakota/Lakota people believe the aboriginal North American horse did not become extinct after the last Ice Age but actually survived it. According to the Protect Mustangs.org website,
Dakota/Lakota Elders as well as many other Indian nations contest this theory  and content (that wild horses aren't indigeneous), that according to their oral history, the North American horse survived the Ice Age, and that they had developed a horse culture long before the arrival of Europeans, and, furthermore, that these same distinct ponys (sic) continued to thrive on the prairies until the latter part of the XIXth (19th) century, when the U.S. government ordered them rounded up and destroyed to prevent Indians from leaving the newly-created reservations.

The first Mustangs I met and communicated with were Amore and Sol who share a paddock next to the driveway. Their energy was calm and welcoming. I felt a childlike excitement to be in their company.

Sol and Amore have accepted their role as Mustang Ambassadors. Sol and Amore told me that they hadn't wanted to be a bridge of understanding for people, yet they've embraced their circumstances. They've come to enjoy meeting the curious humans who sometimes see them as an anomaly.

Amore Used to Run Wild and Fre
The background stories for Amore and brothers, Sol and Val are heartbreakingly familiar when it comes to Mustangs and the way they are treated (or should I say mistreated) by certain humans.

Sol, along with his brother Val, were rescued from a wild horse holding facility when they were mere babies. Tragically, the young colts were taken away from their mother.  The brothers were inconsolable as they screamed for their mama. Thankfully, AWHI heard their cries and rescued them vowing to keep the brothers together forever.  Sol and Val now live in adjacent paddocks.

Sol, who is wise and majestic immediately introduced himself as the herd leader. He explained he was comfortable with his leadership role as he knows how important it educate people about the challenges the Mustangs face for survival.

Sol shared his feelings about being at the sanctuary,
Because I came to the sanctuary as a colt, I know no other life or existence. In many ways, I feel less like a Mustang and more like a domesticated horse. I've learned to connect to my domesticated side as a matter of survival. I appreciate hearing Amore's stories of being with her herd as they explored the Western Plains.
Before being rescued, Amore was free and wild living with her herd in Nevada. She was captured and bought by a kill buyer who planned on selling her to a Mexican slaughterhouse for human consumption.

Amore shared that it was hard to trust people, especially after being captured. The humans around her were cruel and uncaring. She was scared and forced to do things that were unnatural to her. Amore showed me that she fought hard after being torn away from her life as she longed to be free again.

Despite being severely traumatized by her ordeal, Amore tells me she now feels safe and happy to be at the sanctuary. She admits she dreams of the day that she'll be able to roam free and run like the wind with her herd.

After communicating with the Mustangs, I thanked them for sharing their hearts and wisdom with me.
Val is Sol's Brother
After listening to the Mustangs, I found their commuication to be similar to the many messages I've received from wildlife like wolves, coyotes, elephants, dolphins, and whales.

The genocide humans continue to wage on wild animals, including wolves, elephants, rhinos, and wild horses has to stop. It's heartbreaking to think of how many animals have gone extinct or have become endangered in the past 60 years.

As long as there is an appetite for horse meat in Western Europe and Asia, wild horses will be killed just like elephants are killed for their ivory tusks. The continued destruction of habitat to feed human needs for housing, food, and cattle raising is destroying our environment and way too many animal and insect species.

It's naive and shortsighted to believe that humans won't soon become extinct given their lack of connection to Mother Earth.

Amore and Sol

I came away from my Mustang encounter feeling concerned, but cautiously optimistic that Mustangs and other species will survive the wrath of human destruction.

Animals are crying out to be heard before it's too late. Humans need to remember we are interconnected and interrelated so what harm we cause animals will ultimately harm ourselves.

One way we can change is to open our hearts to hear the musings of the animals. You can improve the lives of the animals by increasing your telepathic animal communication abilities.

When we work in harmony with Mother Nature instead of against her, the better our chances are to stem the tides of destruction.

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