SACRAMENTO (CBS13) – Two of the mustangs trained by inmates through the Sacramento Sheriff’s Wild Horse Program will now help Park Rangers in Yosemite National Park.
The six-year-old geldings, named Drifter and Sandman, spent four months being trained by inmates at the Rio Cosumnes Correctional Center in Elk Grove. They joined the Park Rangers in Yosemite in early April and are currently being trained to be more comfortable on trails, with park visitors, near bicycles and cars. Eventually they will become part of approximately 100 horses and mules helping with park operations, including: traffic management, search and rescue, and the Mounted Patrol. Drifter and Sandman are the first two wild horses being used in Yosemite.
The inmates are part of a partnership program between the Sacramento Sheriff’s Department and U.S. Department of Interior Bureau of Land Management. The inmates spend 120 days feeding and caring for the horses, sensitizing them to activities and people, then saddling and riding them. Public auctions are then held to find the wild horses permanent homes.