Saturday’s prison horse adoption the only one this spring and summer | NevadaAppeal.com

Saturday’s prison horse adoption the only one this spring and summer

by Maggie O'Neill
Appeal Staff Writer

Saturday’s horse adoption at Warm Springs Correctional Center will be the last opportunity until October to purchase a horse trained in the prison’s Comstock Wild Horse Training Program.

The most recent horse adoption at the prison was in February in muddy fields with overcast skies, and all 12 horses found homes, according to Mark Struble, public affairs officer for the Bureau of Land Management’s Carson City field office.

Saturday’s adoption includes six horses from the Bureau of Land Management and six from the state of Nevada that have gone through the 90-day training program at Warm Springs.

“You’re getting good horses for the money,” Struble said.

Bidding begins at $150 at 10 a.m. Horses at the February sale averaged $1,000. All were saddle trained by prison inmates before being made available for auction.

“Saddle trained generally means that the horse has been ridden and trained so that the rider can get right on it and start riding,” said Steep Weiss, deputy assistant manager for renewable resources of the BLM in Carson City. “Or at least the horse can be taken to the point where it can be saddled and given basic commands.”

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The horse-training program started at the prison in 2000. The horses range in age from 2 to 6, with six estimated to be about 2 years old.

“Scooby,” for example, is a 4-year-old bay gelding with a light-colored star and narrow strip on his forehead. “Freedom,” a 2-year-old sorrel gelding, has a light-colored strip running from his forehead to nose, and his brown color is representative of 11 of the 12 horses available for adoption. “Flash,” at age 3, is an albino gelding.

“I think our success has not been that great with older horses,” said Weiss. “I think people prefer to have younger horses.”

The BLM contracts with private companies to capture horses in its various management areas.

Horse training typically starts with gentling, which is simply a way to familiarize the horse-to-human contact and make it less afraid.

The next stage is halter training, which means that the horse can be caught and led.

After that, the horse is ready for saddle training.

To see pictures of the horses, go to http://www.silverstateindustries.com/horse. html.

The next adoption is scheduled for Oct. 8.

n Contact reporter Maggie O’Neill at moneill@nevadaappeal.com or 881-1219.

Wild-horse adoption

What: Wild-horse adoption at the Warm Springs Correctional Center

When: Saturday – Preview from 9-10 a.m.; adoption begins at 10 a.m.

Where: Warm Springs Correctional Center, Edmonds Drive

Information: Call Tim Bryant at the prison at 887-9331.

Other: Bids begin at $150. No blue jeans nor blue clothing is allowed to be worn into the prison. Tank tops and shorts are also forbidden.

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