This is the story of a mother, a daughter, and their two mustangs.

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Mary and her beautiful eight-year-old mustang, Ki, who she has owned for almost four years.

Almost four years ago, Mary and Sam went to a traveling mustang adoption. Mary adopted Ki, a dun 4-year-old Kiger mustang that was rounded up as a two year old by the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) from a mustang herd management area (HMA) near Steenes Mountain, Oregon. Ki has been trained to ride and Mary loves spending time with him in the arena and out on the trails. He is very easy going, and extremely smart! Despite running wild in the mountains of Oregon until he was rounded up as a two year old and then spending another two years roaming almost-wild on a BLM management facility, when we adopted him as a 4-year-old mustang he was such an easy guy to get along with. His personality is just so sweet and mellow, and the gentling process was very paimless with him. We are very thankful to have added Ki to our family — he is so very, very special and he is with our family for life. Seeing Mary gentle, domesticate, and train Ki inspired Sam to set a goal to adopt a mustang from the same area at some point in her life. 

Ki looking majestically adorable on a chilly winter day.

Ki looking majestically adorable on a chilly winter day.

The day that Mary adopted Ki at the traveling BLM adoption, there was a young grullo gelding from the same complex also in the pen. We almost adopted that grullo gelding, but in the end, Mary decided on taking Ki home.

About two months ago, we stumbled across a beautiful grullo gelding on Jeremy Kaiserlik‘s Minnesota TIP Mustangs page and saw that he came from the same complex and roundup year as Ki.

The Mustang Heritage Foundation created the Trainer Incentive Program, which is better known as TIP, to bridge the gap between potential adopters and American Mustangs housed at Bureau of Land Management facilities.

TIP trainers like Jeremy select mustangs from BLM Management facilities to bring home and begin the gentling process so that they can find new homes.

We started doing some digging, and evidence suggests that Clark, the grullo gelding on Jeremy’s page, was at the same BLM holding facility as Ki for two years before they were separated — presumably when we adopted Ki at the traveling adoption. Using the information that we know, it isn’t very far fetched to assume that Clark was the grullo gelding we almost took home from the adoption pen that day.

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Clark trotting through the snow.

Ki's official BLM papers with information relating to where he comes from, when he was rounded up, and his medical history from his time in holding.

Ki’s official BLM papers

Clark's official BLM papers with information relating to where he comes from, when he was rounded up, and his medical history from his time in holding.

Clark’s official BLM papers

If you look at Ki and Clark’s BLM paperwork side-by-side, you can see that they come from the same region, the same roundup, and the same holding facility. The evidence comes all the way down to the handwriting and the color of the pen ink in their medical histroy — it all matches up! What are the odds!?

This is Sam writing this blog post. I’m Mary’s daughter — the lucky adopter of Clark the mustang. Yes, when we found Clark on the Minnesota TIP Mustangs page and realized that he’d come from the same herd and the same roundup as Ki, and had even been in the same holding facility for quite a while, I knew that we had to add him to the family. Luckily for me, I have extremely supportive and understanding parents that encouraged me to move forward with the adoption despite the fact that we weren’t planning on adding to the herd anytime soon. I had been planning on adopting a mustang from the same region as Ki eventually, though not for a couple of years. But when Clark showed up on my Facebook feed available for adoption through Jeremy’s program, I knew that I had to bring him home.

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Clark enjoying a gallop through the field during one of his first moments being set loose in the pasture since being adopted by Sam.

I don’t always say “meant-to-be” about situations in life, and I’m probably attaching a whole lot more meaning to this moment than I should, but I honestly feel like this big beautiful mustang and I were somehow meant to be together. Maybe it was him that I was drooling over that day almost four years ago, and he’s just been waiting for Jeremy to spot him at that holding facility in Nebraska and bring him home so I could find him. Realistically, I know that I wasn’t ready for a mustang of my own the day we adopted Ki. I sure wanted to, but I’m glad I waited. In that time I have grown so much as a rider and a trainer. I have rescued and rehabbed many horses that have taught me so much, and I’ve broken out many young horses and ponies to ride well enough that they’ve all gone on to be wonderful childrens’ mounts. I am at a point in my life that I am ready to take on the trials and challenges that a wild horse may present me with. I still have a lot to learn, but knowing that and having the experience under my belt that I didn’t have four years ago makes me feel like Clark was meant to come into my life at a time when I was really ready for him. 

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Clark LOVES to nuzzle everyone!

Either way, I’m so happy.  Clark is everything I’ve dreamed of. He checks every single box in my “perfect horse,” and I cannot wait for this journey that I am about to embark on with him to begin. He’s with me for life, and I can’t wait for us to get started.

I plan to blog about Clark’s progress here on our website, and I also made an Instagram account to use for documenting our adventures. Follow us: @clark_the_mustang

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The beautiful photos featured in this post were taken by the very talented Morgan Chapman Media.