Mustangs | Spirit of the Shrinking West, National Geographic Magazine: Inmates Train Wild Horses In Nevada Prison

Cowboy horse trainer watches inmate ride wild horse in prison.

An inmate rides a horse in training near tall barbed-wire fences under the watchful eye of a skilled trainer. Wild horses are gentled at the Warm Springs Correctional Center, a minimum-security prison in Nevada. Hank Curry runs the horse-training program there, selecting and training over five hundred horses and only five have been returned. Horses learn from repetition and adjust to new things during the training. Curry says, “It’s about as exciting as watching paint dry. We bore them into submission.”

Similar programs exist in Colorado and Wyoming where it is believed that horses and inmates both learn life lessons involving trust. The public adopts the trained horses during auctions. Some horses that are trained by inmates are used by the U.S. Border Patrol on rugged borders in Montana, Washington and California.

 

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