Redirection in the Life of Horses and Men
The Wyoming Honor Farm's Wild Horse Program, which began in early 1988, plays an important role in inmate rehabilitation as it provides an opportunity for inmates to learn how to respect animals and people through day-to-day challenges. Respect is a life skill that many inmates need help developing while incarcerated. Inmates in the Wild Horse Program work together as a team and, through this team, they learn to respect the opinions and goals of others. Inmates working with horses learn that through respect and patience even a wild animal will respond in a positive manner.
The Wyoming Honor Farm's Wild Horse Program has adopted a training program which staff members feel is both beneficial to the horses here and to the inmate trainers who work with the wild horses. The horses progress from round pen work, to halter work, then into the saddling and rider acceptance process. This ensures that the horses are not saddled or ridden before the necessary ground work has been completed. Clinton Anderson's training series is used as our main horse training system. Also included in the program are techniques similar to those used by Buck Breneman, Monty Roberts, Ray Hunt, Bryan Newbert and John Lyons which have proven to be very successful.
When an Honor Farm inmate is assigned a job in the Wild Horse Program he begins work on the feed crew. His job is to feed the animals. During the day he will spend much of his time helping others work with the horses.
This gives the inmate an opportunity to observe training techniques as well as become familiar with the animals. When the supervisor feels that the inmate is ready to progress to handling and gentling he will talk to the inmate and start the training process.