Inmate-trained mustangs on auction block |

Inmate-trained mustangs on auction block


The Northern Nevada Correctional Center will stage a mustang adoption starting at 9 a.m. today.

Timothy Bryant, the ranch manager, said 19 horses will be sold today

– all of them trained by prison inmates.

Inmates apply to join the program to train the mustangs. Since the program was established in 2000, about 250 inmates have gone through the program, training about 650 mustangs.

“Some are just born to have a saddle on their back,” Bryant said of the horses.

Inmate Thomas Smittle, 40, has been training horses for 15 months. Every day is a learning experience, he said.

“It teaches me a lot about myself and some of the shortcomings I have – to take care of those first before I go ahead and fix this animal,” Smittle said. “For example, patience, consistency, the fortitude to stay with it. That sort of thing.”

Hank Curry, the trainer at the ranch, said it’s a long and slow process to tame a wild horse.

“I think that’s one of the most important lessons they learn,” Curry said.

Registration to bid with the Bureau of Land Management will start at

9 a.m. before bidding starts at 10 a.m.

Attendees should not wear blue jeans. Also, no cell phones, cameras or other electronic devices are allowed.