Cliff and Gayle, on April 29, 2016, will begin the adventure of providing rescue and a home for 2 spectacular wild Mustangs.
Mission: No one likes to be cooped up, horses were born to live outside with space to roam and graze….the happiest and healthiest horses we have known are the ones in our pasture who enjoy a degree of freedom, not constrained by a stabled environment. We believe people need animals and animals need people to achieve balance and peace. To that end, we strive to promote a natural environment with plenty of open space for both to share and enjoy each other. They have named the horses Hopi & Shoni.
Cliff and Gayle, on April 29. 2016, will begin the great adventure of providing rescue and a home for 2 spectacular wild Mustangs. They’ll meet Ian, the Adoption Project facilitator, and JP, a highly accomplished Mustang trainer, at White Stallion Ranch where they’ll be trained. Together they will travel to the Florence AZ prison Mustang holding facility, select the 2 horses, & trailer them back to White Stallion Ranch where the training and gentling will happen over a 90 day period, at which time they will be ready to be moved to Cliff & Gayle’s beautiful ranch in California.
In 2002 Cliff and Gayle acquired a beautiful property in the Sierra Foothills of California near Fiddletown, CA and named it Dry Bone Ranch after our two rescue dogs, Maggie and Autumn. “Our goal was to find a special property that was peaceful and offered the best in outdoor living and a natural environment for raising horses.“
Cliff was born and raised in Illinois and comes from a multigenerational agriculture and farming family. Gayle is a native Californian and was given her first horse at the age of 8. It’s fair to say she has always had a soft spot for the “horse that needs a home”. Her first horse was a broken down Standardbred trotter off the race track. He had a droopy lower lip and of course an unusual trot, his name was Smokey. Not knowing that he didn’t quite meet the standards for a western show horse she showed him proudly, never taking home an award but always filled with great pride and love for Smokey.
Cliff and Gayle have continued the quest to offer a home to horses in need. The first two they got for the property in Fiddletown were Canadian Quarter horses that the breeder was unable to sell in Canada due to the glut of horses in the area from the Premarin breeding farms. One of them was a two year old that is now serving the San Francisco, CA police department as a mounted patrol. Another of their horses was a Quarter/Shire cross (PMU), from a Premarin farm; he is now a loved and trusted mount in a therapeutic riding school for disabled children and adults.
Together Cliff and Gayle have six children and a large extended family that share their love for animals. They also Co-Founded a boutique executive search firm that specializes in recruiting Chief Financial Officers in the Silicon Valley Technology area. With a recent move of primary residence to Nevada, Cliff and Gayle developed a special interest in the Wild Mustangs. There are several herds in the area they live and the over abundance of horses means they often wander the streets in residential neighborhoods.
JP & Hopi – the 1st day of training
Gayle and Cliff’s day of adoption
Imagine what salvation looks like…feels like. Imagine being given the opportunity to offer salvation. Witness what the mustang heritage foundation is doing for wild horses and the effects on humanity.
We arrived in Arizona on April 29 2016 and went directly to the Arizona state prison in Florence. As we approached the facility where the horses were being held we past the prison yard on our right. There were prisoners in their orange jumpsuits working, walking and petting horses, in one case a man appeared to kiss the horse he was with. Two beings, perhaps sad, lonely or hopeless we’re experiencing something special. Maybe it was companionship maybe it was respect …. Whatever it was I chose to believe it was positive for both man and animal.
Next, we arrived at the horse holding facility where Roger and Mike have done an outstanding job of caring for and managing their heard; the horses were well cared for and had good muscle tone. They carefully chose a group of horses for us to make a selection from and had them ready when we arrived.
We are adopting two horses, but how do you chose when they all appear to be saying “pick me”? Both Roger and Mike knew the horses well enough to offer experienced advice and so the hard part began. Since these horses are wild they have not been socialized and are very wary of people. I have to admit our first selection chose us! A sorel mare who came to the fence and allowed us into her space so we could pet her. We named her Hopi. The second selection was a beautiful bay mare that carried herself with the pride and majesty commonly associated with the bred; her mane hangs past her shoulder! – we named her Shoni. We chose these names in honor of the role mustangs played in the lives of Native Americans
After we selected the horses we load and trailered them to White Stallion Ranch where they will spend the next several months. Now the work begins, socializing and training. Ian Singer and JP Dyal are making this all happen for us and more importantly for the horses.
Having spent six hours at the round pen with JP the first day at White Stallion I can honestly say he is one the most patient kind hearted people I have ever met. The first project was to gentle Hopi and get close enough to halter her. Over half the day past I wasn’t sure we would be able to touch her that day: however, slowly but surely, hour after hour of advancing and retreating JP was able to freely pet and halter her. It will forever be one of the most unforgettable moments of my life. It was as if Hopi stepped through a portal to her new life. You could see it in her eyes and the muscles in her body. JP untied the rope that held the number which identified her in the heard and she was released…from this day forward she will never go hungry, thirsty, uncared for or unloved. She will have a purpose and a family. This experience has been profound and heartlifting for us – We are blessed and grateful for this opportunity to participate in wild mustang rescue thanks to Ian, JP and the True family at White Stallion Ranch.
Please check this page periodically as it will be updated with videos and photos of the training process.
If you’re interested in Mustang adoption please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.