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Wild herds run free in Siskiyou county

By Paul Boerger Updated: Wednesday, July 6, 2005 1:14 PM PDT
 
Horse mentor Roxanne Talltree inches towards a recently acquired wild mustang, Helaku, in a submissive manner. Speaking softly, she attempts to gain the horse's trust.
Roxanne Talltree is a mustang mentor in the image of the Robert Redford film The Horse Whisperer, but with an even gentler touch.

Talltree subscribes to, and is available to consulting for, a gentle method of horse training she says is necessary for wild mustangs. Talltree says the old movie image of breaking horses in a corral with one cowboy after another thrown off to the cheers of their compatriots doesn't work with mustangs.

"Mustangs are different from domestic horses. You can't cowboy them or break them to hard," Talltree said. "If you use gentler techniques, you get a much better horse. You hope with patience, love and understanding, you will become the mustang's chosen partner instead of his master."

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