Meet Mustang Charlie!

Our very first Mustang to be rewilded here at the Sanctuary has arrived! This cute little red roan guy was previously known as Rambo- but we’ll be calling him Charlie for the remainder of his life.

Charlie’s story is wrought with hardship. Just one year out of holding and he has already been through two different owners! He was originally adopted through a TIP Challenge- when the adopter had trouble gentling him they asked their TIP Challenge leader for help, and her “training” solution was to bring him up to the fairgrounds, put him in a chute so he could be forced to accept touch, and then his leg was tied up and he was forced to lay down in front of everyone in hopes that his spirit would be broken and he would afterward comply with humans wishes.

Of course these forceful actions did not make Charlie feel any more confident or safe with humans, and he quickly learned that he could evade being messed with by any humans if he kicked out at them.

He then was passed along to a trainer who used much more positive methods, but he still wanted nothing to do with humans. Rightly so, as such a terrifying experience as the one he was put through by the TIP challenge leader will leave lasting trauma and associations burned in this horses mind. It takes a ton of time and patience to undo the negative associations actions like that create!

The trainer tried to take him to another sanctuary before contacting us, where she was told that they would not be able to take him, because they only wanted to adopt mustangs directly from the BLM- and that they only wanted the horses with notoriety such as the famous Sand Wash Basin mustangs who all have names and images from the wild. What a shame, to be passed over even by those who are supposed to exist help the mustangs who are most in need!

Thankfully, we had an empty pen just in time to offer Charlie a safe landing. He is home now and here he will stay forever- as soon as our last fence line for the initial pasture is complete he will be turned out and will have the chance to just be a horse once again, and won’t have to worry about humans trying to force their will on him ever again.

We look forward to sharing his process of healing, and his physical transformation as well. While he is in the smaller pen we will be able to put a little bit more weight on him.

Unfortunately, Charlie’s story is all too familiar for many of the mustangs that are adopted out to people with inadequate knowledge on how to truly create a trusting bond with these wild animals. Force does not work with many of these guys, so they end up in kill pens or being passed from owner to owner, eventually to be labeled “mean” or “dangerous” and never to be wanted by anyone.

We hope to take in many more mustangs in Charlie’s position, as we feel they have not been given a fair chance at domestic life due to the treatment they received by “adopters” or “trainers” who use harsh and forceful methods. All horses deserve so much more honor and respect than that, so it is our job to offer a place for as many of these unwanted Mustang “misfits” as possible, and to show them all of the love and kindness and respect that they have deserved from day one!

If you’d like to help us out in this endeavor, tap the link in our bio and use any of the links- we have some amazing Mustang T-Shirts on our website to help you all spread awareness by wearing them. 100% of the profits go directly towards care for the mustangs, and finishing our current fencing projects so we can help more mustangs like Charlie!

Stay tuned for all that is to come, and thanks for being a part of this amazing journey 💞

Until next time,

Kourtney Hardy, Founder of N.M.S.