Meet the herd of Mustangs and other horses (we like to think of them as “honorary Mustangs) who teach and heal in our Indigenous Horse programs Mindfulness with Mustangs and Horse Ibachakali. We list them as staff members because of the way we see horses, which is within Indigenous worldview. They are also staff members because your donations support their living expenses by paying for their food and care. They are listed below from eldest to youngest, to the best of our knowledge. Each horse has areas of healing or teaching in which they specialize, and not every horse works in every program or with every type of person.
Isuba is a Paiute pony thought to be about 25 years of age. Isuba is a pretty private individual who’s very selective about who she chooses to be with. She comes from a background of abuse but by having the time to simply be a horse in our herd, she has come a long way in her healing. If she feels comfortable with you, she will let you give her neck scratches. And she just might greet you with a friendly nicker.
Shadow is an Indian pony whose mother was one also. His father was a Quarter horse, which does not make any difference in Indian ponies (as any Native person will tell you). He’s incredibly intelligent, very playful, and once saved the life of a 2-year old girl who had gotten lost and was about to fall into a deeply running creek. Like Isuba, he’s about 25 years old.
Lucky Star is our sole Honorary Mustang at this time, a Quarter Horse who’s about 18 years old. Lucky Star is very gentle and can be shy, but she’s so steady that she once stood her ground calmly while a dust devil enveloped her and the rider on her back, not moving so much as a muscle. It’s this steady presence of mind that has qualified her as an Honorary Mustang.
Annie is a Mustang from the Salt Wells HMA, captured wild as a foal. She’s about 14 years old and is the lead mare of the herd. She was named after Wild Horse Annie, aka Velma Johnston, whose activism in the 1960s and 1970s saved the wild Mustangs from extinction and led to the passage of the Wild and Free-Roaming Horses and Burros Act of 1971.
Talaka is a Mustang who was bred domestically on a ranch in Nebraska. He is about 12 years old. He is as sweet as he is beautiful. He captures most people’s eye because of his distinctive grulla coloring, which includes a stripe down his back and stripes on his legs. He has given lessons to fearful riders and loves to interact with people.
Aubrey is a Mustang who was born at Tapestry’s Sowbelly Ranch facility in 2006. His mother was a wild-caught Mustang from the Salt Wells HMA who was pregnant when rounded up and considered too old for successful gentling. Tapestry adopted and homed her, and she was sponsored by Keely and Pierce Brosnan as part of what was then called our Horse-Human Relationship Program. He is 12 years old.
Lightning is a Mustang mare caught wild in the Sheldon National Forest. Her age is unknown but probably about 12 years. Lightning was very reserved and wary when she first came to us, and still quietly observes everyone and everything before giving her trust. This turns out to have made her one of the most perceptive healers in the herd.
Dancer is a Mustang mare caught wild in the Sheldon National Forest, along with Lightning. Her age is unknown but probably also about 12 years. Dancer has the most enthusiastic and adventurous spirit of any horse in the herd. She is usually the first to happily greet newcomers to the paddock, and she will try almost any novel experience with real delight.
Reboot is a Mustang bred by natural accident at Tapestry’s Sowbelly Ranch, the offspring of Annie and Aubrey — who was only 15 months old at the time and supposedly not yet capable of breeding! (Mustang colts get kicked out of their natal band around the age of 2.) She is very smart and beautiful and also extremely calm. Someone once offered to purchase her simply on the basis of her calmness in a trailer when another horse was acting up. She is 11 years old.
D’Artagnan is the son of a Mustang mare who was rounded up by the Bureau of Land Management (BLM), and his father was reputedly a Quarter Horse. He absolutely loves people, and his favorite game is to pull a glove or a brush out of someone’s back pocket. He is very curious and will stand around and watch while another horse is being brushed, petted, or otherwise tended to. He is 11 years old.