Updated: Dec 19, 2020
American Mustangs and American Soldiers
Justin riding with Veterans at American Mustang School.
An article came out in The Washington Post Magazine describing one of the issues our Mustang horses face. In the article, the mustang is described a few ways, one being an invasive specie, another an American Symbol. I'll let you read it for yourself.
The reason that I even bring the article into this newsletter, is to offer a solution. As most of you already know, I have relocated from Colorado to North Carolina. One of the main reasons I relocated was to bring awareness to the American Mustang.
Our mission statement here at American Mustang School (AMS) is, Promote mental health and wellness through the preservation of the American Mustang.
You see, Mustang horses help us fulfill a much higher purpose. We would not be here today, we would not be able to do what we are doing for others, and our participants would not be able to experience healing if not for the gift the mustang can bring into the human element.
I have developed many relationships with many different mustangs. I have personally witnessed mustangs healing children with cancer, children at risk of suicide, and adults with many different issues. The powerful energies that are shared between the mustang and people have atrophied in many domestic horses. The connections that are made between a mustang and human are of purest form, uninterrupted or altered by man. These types of connections are only made with a proper invitation to the mustang. In my opinion, mustangs are called to heal broken man. As of this writing, we are on a pathway to show how important our American Mustang horses really are.
Since I have been here in North Carolina, we have made great progress in networking with the U.S. Army, and supporting organizations. AMS is providing training to our Special Forces, with pack horse operations. We are also providing therapeutic sessions to service members and their families.
As I am writing this, it is very important that you know what we have set out to do is not easy. Everyday I get to share these amazing horses with people, and see the results, keeps me going to the next. I could tell you all of the trials, hurdles, road blocks we have run into, but I think it is more important to tell you about the successes.
I got the idea to move my family and sell out of Colorado in 2015. Back then, it was just an idea that I thought about every single day, and it manifested. I wanted to bring my mustangs to a place where people were in need of them the most. Little did I know, we would end up close to the biggest Army base providing services to Army Special Forces. The guys that really put their lives on the line are subjected to enormous amounts of stress that take a toll on them as well as their families.
When I was creating the ideas that are now reality, I knew I wanted to share what the mustangs had shared with me. I wanted just one person that needed what the mustang offered, to get to experience it. And guess what, it not only happened once, but many times, for many people. I have feedback forms from participants, each one filled out by them after a session. In those forms, they tell me that the mustangs help them in many ways. The two that stand out to me the most are the ones that say, "The mustang horse helped me to enjoy my life, I don't want to kill myself anymore", and "My thoughts are in my control now, and I choose to live and become better". That alone has made every hardship worth it, and gives me the motivation to keep going.
The article in the Washington Post Magazine is something that needs to be made public knowledge. I truly believe, until we realize the importance of preserving our mustangs, mankind and the mustang will continue to suffer, and one day it may be too late.
I have visions of children in the future asking about the mustang horse, and it's unclear what the answers are in the reply. I sure hope for the sake of my children's grandchildren's children, that they too can have access to what the mustangs bring as a gift to humanity.
One of my ideas, I think about daily, is to have American Mustang School at every military base in America. I hope that people will get access to mustangs, and the healing energy they offer.
My idea is to have the Department of Defense realize that their asset (service member) and the Department of Interior's asset (mustang) are in need of each other. I'm diligently working on a program that is so easily duplicated, I see it happening. The government is the only way I see any solution to both problems, our horses needing homes and fulfilling a much higher purpose, and our service members suffering mental health and wellness decline resulting in suicide, divorce, PTS, TBI, depression, etc.
I cannot do this alone, and I am thankful for the help I have. My wife Kristina is my number one fan, and I just couldn't do it without her support. My friends that share the same passion, Kim, Sarah, Dan, Todd, Steve and many more. All of you that are reading this newsletter, thank you for your support as well.
Many of you have donated above the monthly membership, and that helps us so much.
Last Month's Round-up
I had a great time riding with the Best of America by Horseback TV show last weekend. We stayed at the 4B Campground which hosted the trailride. Friday and Saturday afternoons I held some demos for the participants. Since the campground borders the Uwharrie National Forest we explored with new friends and found some fun places to ride. I was invited back by the owners to do a clinic - If you would like to attend a clinic with me at 4B, let me know! I can't wait to go back!
Cinnamon and me getting ready for Saturday's demo.
AMS Adventures - Here's What's Coming Up
You can watch us on RFD-TV this month! Clips from the trail ride and demos from last weekend will be televised on Best of America by Horseback December 23 and 29.
Episode Premiers Wednesday, December 23 at 3:30 PM EST / 12:30 PM PST Episode Repeats Tuesday, December 29 at 11:00 PM EST / 8:00 PM PST
Wednesday Night LIVE Q&A format change This Wednesday, December 2nd will be my last LIVE Q&A for the foreseeable future. As I mentioned before, we are transitioning away from Facebook for our Membership platform. We are creating and organizing some new exciting content which will be managed from our website, making it more accessible to everyone. Stay tuned for updates! Magazine Article Time I would also like to let you know, we will be doing a story showcasing AMS in our local magazine. If you would like a copy, let me know.
Words to Ride By
"If you are not enjoying what you are doing with your horse, your horse is not enjoying it either."
Sunshine and Justin - having fun at a clinic.
Courtesy of equinehelper.com
“I’d rather ride on a Mustang, than in one.”
“In riding a horse, we borrow freedom.”
“There is no better place to heal a broken heart than on the back of a horse.”
“You can see what man made from the seat of an automobile, but the best way to see what God made is from the back of a horse.”
Charles M. Russell
American Mustang School Horse Spotlight
Name - Blue, a sorrel registered quarter horse (brood mare) little to no training.
Age at training - 10
What were the natural strengths of this horse? - She was very willing to learn, but was used as a baby maker and discarded. My friend and his wife rescued her. Her strengths were unseen until she realized all humans were not all bad. She was extremely strong and responsive, even explosive at times. I say that is a strength, but only when we ask for it.
How did I nurture these strengths? - Blue was only explosive if things were pushed on her too fast, too soon in her training sessions. I changed for her, slowing everything down, and allowing her the time needed to think, rather than react.
What potentials for growth were present at the start of my relationship with this horse? Confusion? Fear of human element? Brand new introduction to human element? - Blue flipped over backwards on top of a corral panel the first time I asked her a question! She had never been asked anything that made any real sense to her. She was neglected in the sense of handling and conditioning to human contact and interaction. She was "used" for one job only. As you can see in the pictures, she had a lot of potential for growth. This training session was only about an hour, and we filmed the entire session for a national television show. Five part series and her first time to have anyone on her back, and her first ride ever!
How did I aid growth in these areas? - I applied my Five Part Series to get a deeper understanding of her, and allow her to get a deeper understanding of me. I followed my rules, beliefs, philosophies, priorities for success, and practiced FEEL.
What did this horse learn about herself during our shared experience? - Blue learned that she finally had a voice, and could express her needs comfortably. She could be herself, and relax in the company of a human. She learned that people can be kind, and that she could enjoy time with people.
What did this horse teach me? - Blue taught me that horses need to be treated as we would want to be treated if the roles were reversed.
Blue and Justin overcoming uncertainty of the raincoat together
Group members have access to discount and offers from my sponsors. Right now members get 10% off of all Big Dee's purchases and 20% of Synergy by Weaver products.
Not a member of our private Facebook group - Adventures of the Enlightened Horseman yet?
Please consider joining because every dollar goes toward providing Veterans and First Responders (and their families) Equine Assisted Therapy - at no charge to them.
In return, Justin shares his knowledge of Bitless, Spurless, No pain, No fear Horsemanship with you.
A win-win that could save someone's life and enrich your horsemanship!