TUCUMCARI, N.M. (KRQE) – It’s the first of its kind program for a New Mexico community college. Mesalands Community College started the Mustang Turnaround training program with the goal of training wild horses so they can be adopted into a family. Last Tuesday, they received 10 horses that will soon start their training.

This semester four students have enrolled in his class, and he expects more students will sign up. “We’re going to try to turn them into something for the people, a new purpose and hopefully a good home and in the process train a student in horsemanship,” said Leonard.

Paul Leonard will teach the class and said the program started last spring with students volunteering to learn about horses. This is the second year of the Mustang Turn Around Training Program at Mesalands. Last year the program was run by volunteers.

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Right now, the horses are still settling into their new environment, and by the end of the week, they’ll start their training. Students will also learn about horse nutrition as well as horse management. “We’re going to train them the entire length of the semester, and then hopefully, by the end of the semester, they’ll be at a point where they can be adopted,” said Leonard.

The program is a partnership between the college and Carson National Forest. Currently, the forest is taking care of 250 horses when they only have the capacity to care for 50 to 100 horses. Leonard said he’s excited and because this will give his students real-world experience, helping preserve our forest and find good homes for the horses.