A New Mexico non-profit is housing a massive group of wild horses after they were kicked off a piece of land they called home for years. Training wild animals can be difficult, but it’s a passion project for Patricia Barlow-Irick.
“We train them in a very different way than the traditional training. We teach the horses what they should do and without pressure,” said Barlow-Irick, Executive Director of Mustang Camp. “We’ve gotten about 500 animals trained and adopted.”
The non-profit located in Milan, near Grants, works with all sorts of animals, including donkeys, goats, a zebra, and, of course, horses—about 70 of them, to be exact.
The Placitas herd lived on a preserve at the San Felipe Pueblo for years, but recently, they were in need of a new home.
“The tribe decided they wanted to remove the horses and it wasn’t their sanctuary, so they asked the Placitas WILD group to move the horses and they were at a loss of what to do,” said Barlow-Irick. “They called me up and asked me if I would take them, and at first, I said, ‘No, that’s crazy. I won’t do that.'”
Mustang Camp ended up taking in 51 of those horses, in addition to the 20 they were already caring for. Since then, three more have been born.
While they’re getting funding to help care for these horses until they’re trained and adopted, what they really need now are volunteers to help with feeding, cleaning stalls and training.
“We have to get them trained and take care of them with all-volunteer staff,” said Barlow-Irick.
For now, she will continue to train and care for these mustangs until all find good homes.
Adoption fees are $125 for the horses. About 30 of the stallions still need to be gelded, but that cost is being paid for by the Dennis Friends Foundation in Corrales.
On Friday, May 17, ‘The Voice’ winner Chevel Shepherd will perform a benefit show at Buffalo Thunder Resort and Casino. Doors open at 7 p.m. and the concert will begin at 8. Afterward, there will be a VIP reception with Shepherd, food, a beer and wine garden, and a silent auction. Proceeds will go to Placitas WILD to help save the Mustangs. Tickets are available on Buffalo Thunder’s website.