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  1. #1
    Administrator Jean's Avatar
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    May 2006

    Prisoners train horses to patrol US border

    Prisoners train horses to patrol US border

    Reported by: Stephanie Bergmann

    July 1, 2011

    HUTCHINSON, Kansas -- For years, prisoners at the Hutchinson Correctional Facility have trained wild horses for adoption, but now for the first time, some of those mustangs will be used to patrol the U.S. border.

    "These horses are really tough and durable, and the jobs they'll be doing require that," said Dion Pope with the Hutchinson Correctional Facility. "I think they'll really do a good job."

    In fact, mustangs have a long history with the U.S. Border Patrol, even though it is the first time agents have adopted horses from the Hutchinson prison.

    "They currently have about 100 mustangs on duty on the northern and southern borders," said Paul McGuire, of the Bureau of Land Management.

    "It's perfect and they love it," said Mary Olivares, with the U.S. Border Patrol. "They get to go out and do what comes naturally to them. They're roaming for eight hours with an agent, then they get to go home and rest."

    The strength, agility, and intelligence that once helped these horses survive in the wild now make them fast learners in training.

    Inmates at the Hutchinson prison teach them to trust through a process called gentle breaking.

    "It's doing a lot of stuff on the ground, getting them used to the touch and feel of people and objects and different things, getting them used to all that."

    Now ready to ride, the mustangs will use their training and natural instincts to keep the U.S.-Mexico border safe.

    "They're American horses that are going to be protecting America."

    Once in Texas, each adopted horse will be assigned to a federal agent, who's responsible for his care.

    Much like a police dog, the two will together patrolling the Rio Grande Valley.
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  2. #2
    Senior Member nomas's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2008
    NC and Canada. Got a foot in both worlds
    I have worked for several years with the TRF (Thoroughbred Retirement Foundation) and prisoners. We take race horses off the track and place them in minimum and medium security prisons. Our mission is to give the horses a safe place to live and to give prisoners a trade for when they are released.

    This project makes me very happy indeed! It used to be BLM would cull the herds of wild horses, many of those would end up at slaughterhouses. Now they are giving them a second chance at a good life. These horses are part of our heritage, not just Native heritage but everyones!

    It also makes me very happy for our Border Agents who are lucky enough to get one of these horses. They were born on the very plains and mountains they are now patrolling, they are at "home" on these trails and might even know more about the landscape than the agents! This is a win-win situation for all involved.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    In the water
    Im glad the goverment is doing this along with dog trainers.Gives inmates something to do.Im just surprised that illegals are not doing that job that AMERICANS wont do.

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