Saddle up

Wild-horse care clinic to be held this weekend

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Steve Mantle relates buying a wild mustang to buying a car.

"If you didn't know how to drive, you wouldn't buy a car," Mantle said.

Similarly, people should know how to care for wild horses before they buy one.

Mantle, who has been work-ing with mustangs for more than 20 years, will teach a clinic about wild horses this weekend at the Moffat County Fairgrounds. The clin-ic starts at 9 a.m. Saturday and Sunday.

The clinic has two goals, Mantle said.

First, he wants the wild horses to be comfortable around people. Second, Mantle wants people to understand how to work with mustangs.

"There are so many mustangs out there, and people don't understand them," Mantle said.

At the clinic, Mantle will work with horses that have a variety of problems, including ones that won't stand still while people try to saddle them and horses that won't get into trailers.

The clinic also will address problems with domestic horses.

Mantle said horse owners can watch all the videos they want and read as many books as they want, but the best way to learn how to work with a horse is to do it.

Mantle grew up in North-west Colorado but lives north of Cheyenne, Wyo. He has taught similar clinics at the fairgrounds before.

Clinic organizer Patti Mos-bey said the clinic, which costs $20 to attend, will be a benefit to people thinking about adopting a wild horse.

The clinic comes before a Bur-eau of Land Management wild horse auction next month. The BLM will auction about 50 wild horses from a herd in Sand Wash Basin. The minimum bid is $125 a horse.

"We want to make people aware of what goes on when you buy a wild horse," said Mosbey, who has nine mustangs.

Because wild horses are less expensive than quarter horses, Mosbey said some people buy them just because they can afford them, regardless of whether they're ready for the responsibility.

"We want to see more successful adoptions," she said.

Mosbey said unsuccessful adoptions frustrate her because they are the result of people not giving horses a chance.

"If you commit to buying that animal, you have an obligation to that animal," Mosbey said.

Mosbey said more horses are needed for the clinic. Five people have signed up their horses to participate, and she would like to have 10.

For more information about the clinic, call Mosbey at 824-9505.

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