We survived a tumultuous spring and are now fully engaged with the 2011 horses. The interest in adoption remains very high as we come to the completion of our USFS adoption contract. We have more adopters than trained horses and we are not sure if we will be awarded another contract. The government likes our work, they are just reluctant to commit the money. It’s the result of some short term thinking in the office now that Anthony has gone on to be District Ranger in a different district. It would be nice to have some security for our program.
We will change over to BLM horses if we can’t get paid for the adoption because we can’t survive on the training fees alone.
We have had quite a few interns over the spring. They have mostly been from Chicago and Germany. We had a large number of applicants that did not come though offered a position. I believe that this is an effect of the way that I am keeping track of them and that only a quarter of the potential interns have ever arrived, but now it is apparent because it shows up on the calendar I am keeping. Right now I have a wonderful intern, Teresa, who just graduated from medical school in Austria. She is training one of our mustangs (Kalispell) to be ridden. She wanted to start with a freshly wild one and see how far she could get in the two months she is here.
The USFS accepted our online adoption form. We have yet for anyone to use it, but it was a fun project to build and test. It takes an adoption application form and mails it automatically to the USFS.
I finally wrote to the Canon City prison to see about taking some of their trainers on their release and having them come saddle train the older animals. So far the program director has not responded, but we hope something positive will come of it.