Meet Bo, aka Brown Bo. Bo is an average looking 17 year-old bay gelding that standings 15.1 hands. However, Bo is no average horse. Bo started his life as a wild mustang on the plains of Wyoming. Wild mustangs are free-roaming horses in the American west. Their ancestors were brought here by the Spanish and either broke out or were set free on the open plains. They became “wild”;living off the land. In the 70’s, 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” and appointed the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) to manage and protect the horses. Today, these horses have very few wild predators and are a risk of dying from starvation if the population rises above what the plains can provide for. As a means to manage the population the BLM rounds up excess horses and offers them to be adopted by private individuals.
Wild mustangs are freeze branded on the left side of the neck, using a system of angles and alpha-symbols that cannot be altered. The brands begin with a symbol indicating the registering organization, then two stacked figures indicating the individual horse's year of birth, then the individual registration number. Bo’s brand shows he was born in 2002, making him 17.
Though Bo started on the wild plains, sometimes facing starvation, he found his way to Sarah Beth. Bo’s life changed for the better and so did Sarah Beth’s (Read more about this in Sarah Beth’s Journey to the Ranch). “When we were In Arkansas, we used to go to the national and state parks and trail ride. My favorite memories are playing hide and go seek and "trail riding" on our farm with my family while they were all on mules (the ATV kind)”.
Today Bo and Sarah Beth are still together; now, changing the lives of others. Bo is part of our Equine Facilitated Psychotherapy (EFP) program at Sage Recovery Center. The premise of is that horses are senscient beings w/ preferences, and choices. They have the basic need for connection/relationship just like us. The horses are a safe way to explore connection because they don't judge and they don't lie. We work on building a relationship with the horse, and explore what comes up for clients. Whatever patterns they form in their people relationships will come up in the relationship with the horse and they get to problem solve and practice in a safe space with their horse.