History of Wild Horse Workshops:
The concept of holding a week long wild horse workshop was first developed by
the Lamms of KBR with Barbara Eustiss-Cross of the Life Foundation in
1998. The workshops included two adoptions and a week of actual wild horse gentling and training activities.
Interested parties could enroll to participate "hands on" in the workshop as well as spectate.
John Sharp, Frank Bell, 1SG Mark Atwood, Frank Bell, Dennis Bright and Lesley Neuman made up the original clinician staff.
Cher Eastep of Colorado and Robert Denlinger of Kentucky joined the gentling team in 1999
and added demonstrations on clicker training. Rick and Kitty Lauman participated in 2000
and Willis Lamm swung from administrative duties to clinician work in 2000 also.
Hue Simpson of California has been part of the group since its inception, presenting her "Focus Training" techniques which are based in part on TTeam.
The workshop emphasis has been to develop, demonstrate and teach low impact approaches to humanely
gentle the animals without damaging their self confidence and spirit.
A variety of activities take place involving animals in various stages of the gentling
and training process.
We followed a similar format with WHW 2003. The primary clinicians demonstrated various
gentling techniques. Hands-on participants were allowed to work with the horses that were determined to be safe to work with. As the week progressed, there were a number of activities in which participants partook.
Joyce North and Randle Thomsen came back to run the Wild Horse Cafe so we didn't have to leave the venue to get fed.
The BLM portion of the workshop was conducted by the Oklahoma District Office (Oklahoma, Texas, Kansas, New Mexico) with assistance from the Milwaukee crew from the Eastern States District. These folks did an outstanding job. About 60 horses and 20 burros were brought in for gentling and handling and were be available for adoption.
Additional horses were brought in to supplement the adoption at the conclusion of the
workshop. In all, 108 animals found homes, most with workshop participants.
Over 65 people signed up for hands-on activities at the program. This was close to an ideal number of participants as everyone who wanted it got plenty of pen time. Considering participant "quality time" with the animals, this was our best workshop to date.
RV spaces, tent camping and boxstalls were all available at the fairgrounds at reasonable rates. We once again had "Wild Horse Village" where some of the staff, clinicians and many participants got to make camp together.