Photo credit: Ree Drummond, The Pioneer Woman

It’s day two of my Petfinder challenge to raise awareness about less than adoptable pets.

Yesterday I talked about the values of senior animals.

Today, I want to tell you about some really wonderful horses.

Mustangs.

Icons of the west.

Not technically pets, but still in need of good homes.

Let me put a familiar face on the mustang.

Remember Red? He’s Pepper’s mustang boyfriend. If you’re new to the blog or missed this post, here’s a refresher that details their “relationship.”

Red is a sweet old guy, though somewhat of a bad boy. At least in his mind.

His people told us they adopted him long ago from the Bureau of Land Management.

The noble mustang waiting for treats

That’s what happens to the lucky mustangs.

You see there’s quite a controversy about them. Some people have gone so far as to call mustangs nothing more than vermin.

A nuisance.

That’s because the wild horses of the west compete with cattle for land.

And cattle ranchers have far more clout than a bunch of horse people.

Though things have improved over the years.

Mustangs are no longer routinely slaughtered, just because.

Now they are “gathered” a couple of times a year and sold at auction. You can get a mustang from the BLM for as low as $125 if you meet their requirements. I think that’s what his peeps paid for Red.

And he’s a gem.

If you want to see a fictionalized story about the plight of the mustang, and enjoy looking at Viggo Mortensen at the same time (and who doesn’t!), take a peek at the 2004 movie Hidalgo. It’s become one of my favorites.

Maybe it’s that I was raised in Wyoming in the era of kids playing cowboys and Indians. Maybe it’s that I’m connected in my soul with horses, maybe it’s just that I’m a bleeding heart liberal (which I’ve been called a time or two.) I don’t like to see animals mistreated. Any animals.

I don’t know the answer to the mustang dilemma in the west. I don’t have nearly enough information to even make educated comments. I just know they are amazing, gorgeous, spirited animals.

If you’re in the market for a horse, take a look at the mustangs offered by the BLM. It might take a bit of work, but you will be rewarded with a smart, strong, beautiful animal that will give you his (or her) heart.

If you’d like a testimonial, ask Miss Pepper. She knows quite a lot about the heart of at least one mustang!

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