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Wild Horse Redemption
Sunday July 26 at 10 pm ET/PT on CBC News Network
At a prison in the high desert foothills of the Colorado Rocky Mountains, hard-core criminals are taught the training methods of 'horse whisperers' and given 90 days to tame wild mustang horses culled from the herd that roams government range lands. Failure means one more defeat for the inmate; success could save both of their lives.
The inmates who volunteer for the program are in for armed robbery, assault, drug offences, and theft. Most have never ridden a horse before, let alone trained a wild one.
"These mustangs, you pressure them too much and they can't handle it. They are either going to be trying to jump out of the pen or they are going to turn and try and fight, trying to save their life," says staff trainer Guy McEnulty. "People to me are a lot the same way as the horse. If you get them excited they can't think very good and a lot of the times make the wrong decisions."
Can a wild creature be rehabilitated, and socialized for safe interaction with humans? Can two wild creatures - prisoner and mustang - help each other to a better life?Mustang Training
The Wild Horse Redemption follows the men and mustangs of the Wild Horse Inmate Program (WHIP) through one three month training cycle: staff member McEnulty guides experienced inmate trainers as they try to teach new inmate trainees how to break horses fresh from the range. Some won't make it.
"Almost all of them are scared starting out but as they work with the horse and develop a communication that helps get rid of some of that fear. There are a few guys that never get over that fear. They are just not cut out to be a horse trainer."
With spectacular footage and raw emotion, this is a film about man and nature in one of the rare instances where the balance between the two seems to be working out just about right.
Wild Horse Redemption was produced by Point Grey Pictures for CBC -TV in association with the National Film Board