Why Mustangs, you ask?
That's a great question!
First we must understand that horses, in general, are feeling-oriented, prey animals. Mustangs (wild horses) are the most sensitive of all horses because they do not have the years of domesticated breeding that other horses do. They still have their "wild" instincts intact. Their survival depends on their ability to sense any instability in their environment. Herd safety requires constant communication among herd members. Everything in the environment is being monitored for appropriate responses to danger such as fight, flight, or freeze.
So what do mustangs have to do with sex trafficking?
The mustang's journey from freedom to captivity has many parallels to that of a person who has been sex trafficked. Consider this...
In 1971, the United States Congress recognized that "wild free-roaming horses and burros are living symbols of the historic and pioneer spirit of the West, which continue to contribute to the diversity of life forms within the Nation and enrich the lives of the American people." The free-roaming mustang population is managed and protected by the Bureau of Land Management (BLM). Controversy surrounds the sharing of land and resources by the free-ranging mustangs with
the livestock of the ranching industry, and also with the methods with which the federal government manages the wild population numbers.The most common method of population management used is rounding up excess population (often utilizing fear tactics like helicopters to gather them) then offering them up for adoption by private individuals. There are inadequate numbers of adopters, so many animals now live in temporary and long-term holding areas with concerns that the animals may be sold for horse meat.
A girl feels or is literally unwanted. By no fault of her own she is abused, neglected, then lured, manipulated, and coerced by a pimp/trafficker away from people who care about her. This pimp now controls every aspect of the victim's life. She no longer has choice as to what happens to her, like the captured mustang. She's told what to eat, how to speak, when/if she can sleep, sometimes forced to take drugs, locked and confined in hotel rooms, brothels, and/or apartments and homes. Not unlike the mustangs, these girls are shipped around from place to place like a commodity. They are sold and often even bear the same markings of a mustang.
Did you know that mustangs are freeze-branded when they are captured to identify where they came from and to give them an identifying number? Did you also know that pimps will literally brand/tattoo their victims to show the world that they are now property of the pimp? Sex trafficking victims bounce in and out of foster homes, group homes, and living on the streets. If they do try to get out of the life, where will they go? Most end up in juvenile detention centers, group homes, and even prison for committing crimes against their will for their trafficker. Mustangs are at the mercy of individuals willing to adopt them. They are moved from holding facility to holding facility across the country in an effort to find an adopter. Even then, there is no guarantee the quality of life the mustang will have in its new home.
In an effort to alleviate the suffering of the mustang, The Wild Hope ranch will be mostly comprised of adopted mustangs out of the wild who are currently in holding facilities awaiting adoption. We will give them a loving, forever home in an effort to offer them healthy, happy lives in relationship with humans and their herd.