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Tuesday August 23, 2016 Edition
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America's Wild Horses Meet Teton

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Tuesday August 23, 2016

It was a rainy Saturday at the barn and Teton, an American Mustang that was originally caught in Nevada and made his way east was not sure what to make of the whole thing. Teton stared intently at Horse Tenders LLC Trainer Kris Kokal who had come to work with him. Kokal is a member of a family famed for their unique approach to understanding and working with each horse as a unique individual and came to the Champlain Valley to work with Teton. Kokal’s approach is based on the concept of ‘Developing Mettle without Metal’ and his family does not have a ‘one size fits all’ approach to a horse. They base their training programs on core concepts that developing a relationship with a horse is a privilege and the horse is a partner and not an object to be dominated.
    Teton’s owner Jim McClay became involved with horses at a young age and Mustang relocation and adoption after returning to the Champlain Valley in 2006. McClay became involved with the wild horses through contact with Ever After Mustang Rescue and the work of long time Mustang advocate Mona Jerome. Mona’s sixty-three acre farm was originally purchased to be the home of one Mustang and has expanded to include a network of volunteers and satellite farms around New England to save and preserve the wild Mustangs. Two to three rescues are placed at approved homes annually and Jerome placed Teton with Jim creating another success story. “He really is a great horse,” explained McClay. “He has never completely made the jump from wild to domesticated, but he has certainly come a long way.” Teton had no comment at the moment because he was involved in training but stands as a visible link between America’s past and the Champlain Valley’s growing equine community and their commitment to horses of all ages, stages and unique backgrounds.

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