Some Ocala horse owners have started backing season with rescued horses from Nevada. Backing season refers to the period of time when horses are trained to get use to someone riding on their backs.
Local horse owners are introducing about 20 wild mustangs from the Dann Sisters Tribe, an equine rescue center in Nevada, to being saddled and ridden. The group of mustangs was likely saved from seeing the inside of a slaughterhouse.
“I think what makes mustangs so special is that they’re survivors…they’re thinkers,” said Emily Spath, a horse owner who rescued seven mustangs.
The horses were collected in a land battle between the federal government and Mary and Carrie Dann, two Western Shoshone Indian sisters who herded the animals. Now the horses that reside on farms in Ocala have to be tamed and acclimated to life outside of the wild.
“At this point they have to redefine their tribes,” Spath said. “We’re now their tribe.”
After backing season, Florida’s show season runs from November to March. The Dann horses will be competing in their own show in the spring to demonstrate the progress they have made.