The Wild Spirit Horse

Posted By Paul G May 6th, 2013 Last Updated on: May 6th, 2013

The Wild Spirit Horse, Inc, located in Silver Springs, Nevada, is a 501(c)3 wild horse nonprofit dedicated to the preservation of America's wild horses and burros. They work to educate the public on issues that pertain to the native wild mustang. They also teach the wild horses that have been gathered off the  range so they may live in peace and harmony in a domesticated world. Founded by Karen Mayfield, also President, leads her volunteers by gentling the wild horses using Native American Horsemanship, exclusively. She also teaches the new adopter how to communicate with their new partner. Karen also teaches those that wish to learn this wonderful method, and hopes to someday help the wild horses that come off the reservations by gentling and teaching.

Karen states that she feels very strongly about the method in which she teaches the wild horses. She also agrees with a statement of PonyBoy's, “that the Native Americans established a strong working relationship that the horses understood using this way of teaching. This method becomes much easier and longer lasting. Through this relationship horse and rider become a more intimate team working together as one. Relationship training is two things, first, it's working within the kinds of relationships the horses understand, and second, it's concentrating more on the relationship than the results. Horses understand basically two kinds of relationships, they understand that they are prey and they understand they are a herd animal. The herd relationship is what determines the movements and motivations from a horse. Native Americans had the uncanny ability to look at things for what they were, whereas European traditional thinking thought more about what something could become. Because Native Americans look at the horse, they observe the nature of the horse and worked within the nature of the horse, they achieved better results in a shorter amount of time. The traditions of this Nations first grade horsemen looked at horses as part of a larger Universe, one of which we are all related and therefore one in which we need to establish close relationships. A central theme amongst most tribes beliefs was that we are all related to all living things on earth, and it was also that understanding that helped Native Americans to established relationships with horses rather than dominating a horse, they sought to build a relationship with the horse.

Since we can't teach horses to speak our language it makes sense to learn theirs. We are asking the horse to accept us into their culture and into their lives, we don't want to be casual observers, we're asking to be revered as lead members of their herd. If we can achieve that status, our horses will literally do anything for us.”

To learn more about The Wild Spirit Horse, Inc please visit

To contact Karen please email – [email protected]

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The native forms of interaction are so different from the European second comers to our lands. Equally so are their management techniques. Culling and removal of these animals is not the Native way as it does not ask the questions we should on long term sustainability of this animal or all species or hoofed, four legged, two legged, winged and rooted as well as that of the soil in our Mother herself. They are part of our environment and our family. the current culling operations may well be linked to international syndicates who have been found to be supplying horse meat as mislabeled beef, lamb and other red meats to people throughout the world over the last two years. International investigations of these slaughter houses and their distribution networks is currently ongoing as well as research into possible corrupt practices of people close to them here in the US. These kind of operations are also unlikely to be practicing humane kill methodology. I don’t think I need say how wrong that would be from a traditional point of view…

shannon cummings

i think what your doing is wonderful. i live in nevada and it just pisses me off how they are rounding them up and sending them to stockyards in nebraska and kansas. then off to the meat market. the ones here that complain about them are the ranchers, because they want that BLM free range to move there cows about. (and we dont even reep the harvest of nevada grown meat, we get the crap from from the stockyards.) i contacted the standing (something) reservation to tell them about the wild horses and they said “they were a neusiance”. and “wernt interested”. how sad is that. all the talk about buffalo, mother nature, we are all one. sounds good. i doalso want to give a shout out to the prisoners that are training the stallions. good job guys. they were able to train and put 80 up for adoption.

Suzanne Moore

Beautiful and inspiring. I am very familiar with Ponyboy’s methods and ideas, and I completely agree. The relationship is everything. Besides, it’s SO much more fun that way. 🙂

I have some Native American roots through my father, but he lost both his parent when he was very young and was raised by his maternal grandmother. No one knows very much about the family history except that he was born in Tennessee.

Danielle Ike

Hate to burst your bubble, but these horses are doing much damage to native wildlife, and wild plants the we still depend on for food and medicine. This is a real problem on Tribal lands where the ‘wild’ horse population has gone unchecked by lack of predation by other animals. The Yakama’s traditional root foods are being decimated by theses horses. There are too many to reasonable expect people to adopt, and seriously, how safe do you think an adult feral horse is, and I myself support the culling of these animals in order to preserve an indespensible part of Ndn culture.


Danielle, if most of the grazing lands weren’t being leased for pennies a year to the cattle and sheep men, the wild herds would have plenty of food to eat and would not necessarily resort to roots of Native grasses and medicinal herbs. It is all about a balance…included in that balance must be the native plants and herbs for the first peoples, the ecological balance of animals and no where in that balance should there be all the land for the oil, cattle and sheep for they are usually one in the same. Currently there are more “wild” horses and donkeys in captivity than in the wild.

frances depaolo

Ty for sharing and caring so much about the wild horses, good luck always,

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