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The Project:

Horses from many walks of life, communication through body language, tools used only for safety, never to train.

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The Goal:

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

Introducing Arion

This week was a whirlwind of activity as it came time to go pick up our second stallion for the filming of “Taming Wild: Evolution”. Kevin and I took the amazingly beautiful eighteen-hour drive down to Nevada on Tuesday and then returned home with Arion driving through Wednesday night and arriving home with him Thursday.

When we arrived at the corrals Ari was waiting for us in a small corral next to the loading chute. As we spent a few minutes with the brand inspector getting all the necessary paperwork done, I marveled at the way Ari seemed at ease and at home, as if he owned the space he was living in. He might have been captive, but he didn’t act like it.

He walked down the chute and into the trailer with more rhythm and confidence than any other mustang I have ever picked up, and then we started the long trip without fanfare.

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Bringing a wild mustang home, I always feel deeply for them as they are exposed to so many new and dramatic experiences from the rocking of the horse trailer they must balance in, to the semi-trucks passing, and the lights flashing around them. In Ari’s case, he handled all this chaos of the travel with an unusual calm interest in everything. As I drove I could feel him shifting a little from one side of the trailer to the other as he watched the world, but there were surprisingly few sharp movements.

That is the beautiful thing about mustangs, their adaptability. Mustangs grow up traveling constantly and encountering new things every day with the support of their family around them. While the trip into domestic life may seem shocking, the average mustang is well prepared to adapt.

Ari is from a herd management area in Nevada known as the Eagle HMA, and to give you some sense of his ability to adapt, here is a description of where he is from.

Covering 660,610 acres, the Eagle HMA consists of large mountain ranges bounded by valleys. Elevations range from about 5,673 feet in the valleys to as high as 9,296 feet on Mt. Wilson. The Eagle HMA affords a classic Great Basin environment marked by extremes of every kind. Summertime temperatures can exceed 100 degrees Fahrenheit, and winter lows can fall well below zero or lower. Precipitation in eastern Nevada occurs mostly in the winter in the form of snow with sparse summer moisture. As a result of limited water, the HMA is prone to drought every few years. Wildlife in the area includes mule deer, elk, mountain lions, coyotes, and bobcats. There are also prairie falcon, ravens, quail, starlings, and horned larks. Reptiles include many species of lizards, venomous (rattlesnakes) and non-venomous snakes.

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In comparison to where Ari grew up for the first eight years of his life, he now has landed in the softest lush paradise. He has no idea how much easier this winter will be for him than winters past.

As for me, I have big plans, goals, and dreams for Ari and I. Watching him waltz into his new paddock like he owns it makes me grateful for his history and where he comes from.

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I am going to need a great deal of adaptability from this horse as he settles into domestic life with me, and he is showing that he is up to the challenge.

For the moment, I have Atlas and Ari in separate paddocks. They can see each other but not touch yet. Atlas pretends there is no other horse on the property, and Ari watches Atlas quietly from the hill. Once Ari has had a chance to rest and get comfortable in his new home we will let them in together to have a more normal social horse life. I have no idea what that will look like with these two stallions, but I look forward to seeing it all evolve.

Until then, each horse gets to have me for a companion as much of every day as I can manage.

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Freedom Based Training® is quiet work, spending time together and getting to know each other one quiet moment at a time. There are a million details of how this works and I am sure these two stallions will teach me a million more details about how to do this work better.

If you are curious about the details, join us for weekly videos and conversations on:

https://www.patreon.com/tamingwild

So much interesting development to come as soon as Ari and I rest up and recover from our travel north!

Hooves and Heartbeats,

Elsa

TamingWild.com

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