Rio – now named Sherwood

7 10 2011

Good friend of the mustangs (and adopter of burros!) Ann took these pix last week of NMA/CO’s Pati and the colt she adopted, yearling Rio. She has named him Sherwood. That name has some history, so I’ll let Pati explain it!

“Sherwood is a year-and-a-half-old colt named in honor of Sherwood McGuigan, who was president of the National Mustang Association/Colorado for 10 years.”[Sherwood was one of the founding members of NMA/CO, and we owe a great deal to her for shepherding NMA/CO into the organization it is today.]

Pati is an amazing woman herself. I first met Pati shortly before the 2007 roundup, and from then forward, I have come to rely heavily on her knowledge of mustangs in general and Spring Creek Basin mustangs in particular. She and her husband, David, are my ultimate support pair, anchoring me always on this journey of the horses. They have been involved with NMA/CO from nearly the beginning. Our beautiful Pati is one of the strongest women I’ve ever met.

Here’s what she says about her training process with Sherwood: “The first day home, I followed him slowly around the round pen for two hours, stepping back each time he turned toward me and/or approached and being careful to never block his forward movement. The next day, I hand-fed him fresh grass and began brushing his nose, then sides of his face with strands of grass or hay. By the third day, I could reach up and scratch his forehead while feeding him and then introduced a strand of baling twine and moved it up and down his face and ultimately over his ears. By holding the two ends, I encouraged him to come forward to pressure and step over his hindquarters. Later, I replaced the twine with a thick cotton rope and continued to move it about his body, being careful to slowly desensitize him to the new feeling.”

Ann described these photos as a series in the dance between Pati and Sherwood. I think she’s right.

Little guy is doing so well! Mr. Sherwood is just the most recent mustang Pati and David have adopted. He couldn’t be in better hands.



8 responses

8 10 2011
Linda Horn

I love a name with a history! Sherwood is looking handsome and has made great progress in a short time, because Pati knows just what to do and when to do it. I look forward to following their journey, and reading her book (with matching DVD, of course!) on gentling and training Mustangs. 🙂

One more thing re: “being careful to never block his forward movement.” I was appalled by the loading in Cortez. The aisle set-up was totally wrong. When the youngsters were being driven hard toward the gate, how were they supposed to “know” relief was 90 degrees to their left? In my “horsey mind” I would have thought, “Help, I’m going to crash right into that thing!” Some skittered and slid to the left, but a number turned back in confusion and fear. Then the “scary two-legged” got angry and flagged and smacked the “offenders” even harder! Bad set up + bad horse handling = potential injuries. Why was he in such a hurry?

8 10 2011

Agreed … we weren’t too happy about that. I think that’s the way it happens at Canon City, the thinking being if they move them fast enough, they don’t have time to react as much as go into whatever chute/pen/alley the people want them in. Taking your time may take longer (!), but I would think it’s almost always better for the horses. But neither am I working with hundreds of wild horses … but I am working on ways to keep OUR horses from being those “hundreds of horses”!? The fairgrounds is not set up to handle the wild ones the best way possible. … And we’re hoping to start conversations about how the whole philosophy of “processing” might change.

12 10 2011
Pat Amthor

We need to use what we see to do better in the future. That is what we can influence over. So, true.

8 10 2011
Puller Lanigan

I am so happy Sherwood has such a great home.

8 10 2011
Karen Schmiede

So glad that another horse has found a wonderful home thanks to Pati. Hope they have a long time together.

8 10 2011

Agreed about Sherwood’s new home. I’m so pleased about every horse I’ve heard about. They all have such great homes and patient adopters. I don’t have photos to post and just a phone conversation, but Boreas, Sherwood’s little brother, also is doing extremely well. His adopter said she can touch him all over, and she thinks she’ll be putting a halter on him in the next week. She’s completely in love with him. 🙂

9 10 2011
Lynn and Kathy

Pati and David – You’re proof angels exist in our lives! THANK-YOU!!

12 10 2011
Pat Amthor

Oh, my, I cried with joy at these pictures. Thank you Pati for sharing your love of horses with me.


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