Posted at: 03/28/2013 6:54 PM
By: Ashley McElroy, KOB Eyewitness News 4
A group of volunteers in the Four Corners is trying to preserve a living, breathing piece of New Mexico history. There's a lack of land for wild mustangs in northern New Mexico., and without room to roam and food to eat, the mustangs won't survive.
Barbara Kiipper has a temporary home for the mustangs, but come Saturday their caretakers are hoping they find a permanent one.
Kiipper is hoping someone else can find the same love that she has for the mustangs.
"I adopted one in 2009 and consequently that brought me to do something to help all the mustangs that need homes," said Kiipper.
She created the Jicarilla Mustang Heritage Alliance and together with Four Corners Equine Rescue, they're working to tame and rehabilitate the animals.
Mustang adoption day is a pilot program for both of these groups. most of the mustangs come from the El Rito area near Taos.
"Now because these horses come from the wild sometimes training is a very challenging and lengthy process because they're not used to being around people," she said. "To get them really gentle is probably a six to seven month process."
Some of these mustangs have never laid eyes on people and they can be distant and nervous at first. So when they finally respond and get comfortable with human touch, it's a major turning point.
But with a lot of love, care, and food - gaining that trust is well worth the wait.
"Once you get it gained then it can progress really easily after that but until you have trust you have nothing," said Debbie Coburn of Four Corners Equine Rescue.
But from nothing, you can develop the friendship of a lifetime.
The mustangs will be at the San Juan County Sheriff's Posse Grounds in Farmington from 10 to 3.
There will also be a brand inspector and veterinarian on site if you'd like to bring your own horses for a routine checkup.