August 25, 2022 – 10 Wild horses from the Carson National Forest just arrived at Mesalands College. They are part of the training program “Mustang Turnaround”, that focuses on the rehabilitation of horses so that they can be adopted and utilized. This is the second school year of the program’s existence, and the number of horses has doubled!
Megan Print, an Animal Caretaker at the Carson National Forest, spoke about the importance of the Mustang Turnaround. “The forest is only able to hold 50-100 horses, but right now there are around 250. Too many horses on the land will cause damage to the range with grass corrosion and destruction of archeology sites.” Megan has trained hundreds of horses, and hopes in the future to see our program’s graduated horses return to the forest for practical use.
“We appreciate Mesalands giving the horses an opportunity to have a home and purpose.” said Kylie Caraher, a Resource Associate with the forest services. When asked how the horse population came to grow so large, she told us there are many horses from Spanish descent that exist in the western wilderness. With the increasing rain New Mexico had this season, the animal caretakers are focused on delivering birth control to horses to help with population control.
The acting District Ranger, Paul Martinez, also joined in on transferring the untamed horses into the Mesalands pens. He oversees all Carson National Forest programs, including animal caretaking, archeology, biology, fire, and minerals. He is helping provide Mesalands with the resources they need to take care of the new horse population. Currently, we are the only school that Carson has partnered with. They also work with the nonprofit Jicarilla Mustang Heritage Alliance to rehome wild horses.
Manny Encinias and Paul Leonard will be overseeing the students in the Mustang Turnaround. The Animal Science students and staff will not only be training 9 adult horses and 1 foal, but will also be preparing for a mare to give birth any day! To stay up to date with the horses’ journeys, like our Mustang Turnaround Facebook Page.