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The Horse Lover: A Cowboy's Quest to…
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The Horse Lover: A Cowboy's Quest to Save the Wild Mustangs

by H. Alan Day

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The author of this interesting book was a cattle rancher. He bought a third ranch because the spread was so gorgeous, wanting to care for the land and practice good husbandry. Got the idea to run horses on it instead of cattle, and after lots of planning, research, even visit to the nation's capital, he got permission and funding from the Bureau of Land Management to turn it into a wild horse sanctuary. Fifteen hundred unadoptable mustangs, which had previous been living in corrals at a management facility, became his to care for. It's heartening to read about someone who cares about animals so much and wants to better their lives. How he studied the horses' behavior, learned how to work with them, even taught them (everyone thought that was impossible) to accept human presence and follow men on horseback, so he could move them between pastures to keep the land sustainable.

Throughout his account of establishing and running the wild horse sanctuary, the pages are enriched with stories of past horses and experiences that he learned from. I really enjoyed reading all that. There's also frustrations in running the ranch and sticky doings with bureaucracy. In the end I found myself becoming angry alongside the author at the decisions of higher-ups that didn't at all seem to be in the best interest of the horses. And even though he ended up sans wild horses, turning the ranch back into a cattle operation, there is a relatively good ending and I found I was satisfied with how things turned out (mostly because I appreciated the author's integrity in how he worked with animals, people, and the land).

more at the Dogear Diary ( )
  jeane | Mar 9, 2014 |
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0803253354, Hardcover)

He already owned and managed two ranches and needed a third about as much as he needed a permanent migraine: that’s what Alan Day said every time his friend pestered him about an old ranch in South Dakota. But in short order, he proudly owned 35,000 pristine grassy acres. The opportunity then dropped into his lap to establish a sanctuary for unadoptable wild horses previously warehoused by the Bureau of Land Management. After Day successfully lobbied Congress, those acres became Mustang Meadows Ranch, the first government-sponsored wild horse sanctuary established in the United States.

The Horse Lover is Day’s personal history of the sanctuary’s vast enterprise, with its surprises and pleasures and its plentiful dangers, frustrations, and heartbreak. Day’s deep connection with the animals in his care is clear from the outset, as is his maverick philosophy of horse-whispering, with which he trained fifteen hundred wild horses. The Horse Lover weaves together Day’s recollections of his cowboying adventures astride some of his best horses, all of which taught him indispensable lessons about loyalty, perseverance, and hope. This heartfelt memoir reveals the Herculean task of balancing the requirements of the government with the needs of wild horses.

 

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:12:57 -0400)

He already owned and managed two ranches and needed a third about as much as he needed a permanent migraine: that's what Alan Day said every time his friend pestered him about an old ranch in South Dakota. But in short order, he proudly owned 35,000 pristine grassy acres. The opportunity then dropped into his lap to establish a sanctuary for unadoptable wild horses previously warehoused by the Bureau of Land Management. After Day successfully lobbied Congress, those acres became Mustang Meadows Ranch, the first government-sponsored wild horse sanctuary established in the United States. The Horse Lover is Day's personal history of the sanctuary's vast enterprise, with its surprises and pleasures and its plentiful dangers, frustrations, and heartbreak. Day's deep connection with the animals in his care is clear from the outset, as is his maverick philosophy of horse-whispering, with which he trained fifteen hundred wild horses. The Horse Lover weaves together Day's recollections of his cowboying adventures astride some of his best horses, all of which taught him indispensable lessons about loyalty, perseverance, and hope. This heartfelt memoir reveals the Herculean task of balancing the requirements of the government with the needs of wild horses.… (more)

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