Hay is for horses — and their adoptive parents.
Regardless of your dietary restrictions, Next Level Horsemanship in Port Matilda is the place to be on Saturday if you’ve long harbored fantasies of owning a wild mustang.
From 8 a.m. to 7 p.m. visitors will be able to feast their eyes on between 15 to 20 horses, and maybe even take one home.
“This is the first time that we’ve done an adoption here,” said Suzanne Myers, the founder of Next Level Horsemanship.
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When they’re not dabbling in mustang matchmaking, NLH concentrates on horse training, with a focus establishing a strong connection between owner and equine.
They will actually eat themselves out of house and home.
That partnership will be of particular importance to anyone considering adopting one of the wild mustangs — emphasis on wild— that arrived in Port Matilda late Thursday night.
Saturday’s activities are being held in conjunction with the Bureau of Land Management, which typically sponsors at least one adoption event each month
Kristen Fontaine, a wild horse and burro specialist with BLM, said that there are about 197 herds of mustangs spread across 10 Western states.
Due to a lack of natural predators, those same herds can double in size every two to four years.
“They will actually eat themselves out of house and home,” Fontaine said.
Finding those horses new homes — good homes — helps to alleviate the strain.
If you ask people who’ve had mustangs, they’re very unique in their personality.
Since 2008, NLH has helped to facilitate adoptions for more than 20 horses. Myers said that training a mustang takes patience and a consistency, but like most hard-won relationships, it has its rewards.
“If you ask people who’ve had mustangs, they’re very unique in their personality,” Myers said.
Absent any stray conversations with a mustang between now and Saturday, you’ll either have to take Myers’ word for it or pay very close attention to one of the demonstrations NLH will be conducting with one of their pre-trained horses.
The idea is to provide a suitable contrast between the before and after, highlighting the difference a little commitment makes in addition to the bond that can form between horse and trainer.
“There’s something about them that I can’t really let go of either,” Myers said. “This is my way of staying involved.”
If you go
What: Mustang adoption
When: 8 a.m.-7 p.m. Saturday, May 20
Where: Next Level Horsemanship, 790 Shady Dell Road, Port Matilda
Contact: Suzanne Myers, 280-6086