People helping mustangs. Mustangs helping people.
Legacy Mustang Preservation is on a mission to provide a nurturing environment for the American Mustang and promote the understanding, appreciation, and adoption of this distinctly American breed.
Trainer Jamie Dodson and her husband, Craig, began working with mustangs in 2009 while operating Legacy Horse Training, LLC. Jamie began training horses in 2006 after completing an 18 month trainer’s certification through Kenny Harlow’s Training with Trust program. After graduating, Jamie honed her skills on a wide variety of domestic horses with a myriad of issues ranging from simple starts to complex problems. Through a twist of fate, Jamie and Craig found themselves at a mustang adoption in Lorton, Virginia.
While only going to observe the auction, they came home with their first two mustangs, Austin and Vegas. Through trial, error, and continuing education, Jamie has developed a truly unique style that focuses on the character and social complexities of the American mustang.
The primary difficulty in training mustangs lies in an exaggerated flight response that serves to help the mustang protect itself from predators in the wild. Often confused with aggression, mustangs have a primal instinct toward self preservation that if treated incorrectly can result in a difficult or impossible training process. One of Jamie’s most frequent statements is to never punish a horse for being afraid. Harsh correction for a fear response will inevitably lead to the mustang entering a survival mode that can result in destructive or dangerous behavior. Jamie’s emphasis is on the horse finding confidence through a calm and peaceful training process.
Natural horsemanship audiences and trainers often have a desire to see how fast the trainer can touch, saddle, and ride the horse. With mustangs, however, we at Legacy Mustang Preservation have come to say that “The ride is the gift the horse gives you,” focusing on the needs of the horse rather than the desires of the trainer. As a result, horses are able to gain trust and choose partnership in a way that results in successful adoption experiences.
Legacy Mustang Preservation accepts mustangs that come from either Bureau of Land Management holding facilities or those that have had unsuccessful adoption experiences. In both cases, mustangs are given a solid confidence throughout the gentling process to ensure that the horse’s new home is a successful one.