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The Project:

One Mustang directly off the range, One trainer, No tools, Just body language

The Goal:

To discover how far Equestrian Art can be developed solely using body language.

 Counting Down

We have an approved travel plan! We leave Seattle early Monday morning, August 8th, and arrive in Burns, Oregon that evening. The gather happens Tuesday the 9th, and we spend until Friday watching, assessing, and finally choosing the horses that will come home with us. John Parkey, Cameron Sinclair, Margaret Longley and myself will spend our hours staring through binoculars, taking pictures, and videoing the development of decision. One horse will be for my year of documented process, the driving force for this blog. The second will be a companion for the ride home, and a horse I will start, using methods of natural horsemanship known and loved by many. Once started this horse will go on to be someone else’s partner, leaving me to focus with my own horse. It will be interesting in the first months to compare the two horses and their developmental progress in relationship with humans.

Friday, August 12th, John Parkey flies home; Margaret, Cameron and myself attend the Parelli Rendezvous in Redmond, then back to Burns where hopefully our horses have been sorted, freeze-branded and will be ready to come home with us Monday night the 15th.  In order to catch a ferry to San Juan at the end of the trip, we will have to start our journey at the end of a working day for the corrals in Burns. After loading the horses we will drive through the night to catch the first ferry home Tuesday morning, the 16th, if all goes as planned.

This morning the round pen panels went up, an initial home for the mustangs beside my house, leaving me pleasantly surprised by how much space we have. The rules state that we need 6 foot fences, and the ability to split the horses up into different pens. I would like the horses to feel as free as possible within those constraints. The more space the better.

For almost seven months now I have thought about, written up, and shared via my blog, ideas that might help me with the upcoming year developing a partnership with my new mustang. I delved into stories from my past remembering horses that have taught me, and people who have shaped the way I think. I have developed ideas from my experiences about the aspects of training that will be important to pay attention to. Now here I am counting down the days, and I must finally admit I don’t really know how this is all going to go. Regardless of how much I think I know, I am only human, and like everyone else, life is a process of trial and error, learning as we go.

Here is a great talk on letting go of being right, and letting the results we find guide us as we go.

I have done and will continue to do all I know how. I will also freely admit I am looking forward to developing this process one step at a time, and figuring what comes next when I get there.

So keep checking in each Friday and I will keep you posted as to the developments of the week.

Next week I spend teaching a clinic at the beach.

The following week will have me home packing and preparing for the trip.

The week after that is all about Mustangs coming in, fresh from the wild.

The week following will see us traveling north with the two new mustangs and settling us in home.

After that, who knows what happens.

Counting down into the unknown.

Elsa Sinclair


  1. “I am looking forward to developing this process one step at a time, and figuring what comes next when I get there.”
    That’s sounds like the right way to go Elsa :-)! Good luck, I’m looking forward to your future blogposts!
    (By the way: great video from!)

  2. So much to do! So much to learn! So much fun! What a great Life you have in front of you! 😉 M

  3. We’ll be in Friday Harbor while you’re in Oregon, but I so look forward to “meeting” your new partner in this space and, later, on the island! Wishing you decent weather, clear vision, and sound first impressions!

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