In The News!
HARMONY -- Knowing the whereabouts of "horse hotels" has come in
handy for horse "gentler" Karina Lewis, who was on another rescue
mission this week.
Toting her newest mustang, ShoGun, Lewis made stops to facilities in
Kentucky and New Jersey. As part of her ongoing effort to shelter wild
horses that need a home, Lewis had picked up ShoGun from a holding
facility in Illinois on Sunday. "There's a network of people who make
their properties available to people like myself who travel with
horses," Lewis said Wednesday. She made it back to her Harmony farm late Tuesday night. But not
before Lewis picked up two more wild horses in New Hampshire
ShoGun is some horse, and more of a challenge than the last one Lewis
"ShoGun is raw right now," she said of the 1,100-pound mustang. "He
is a lot more horse and he's much more excitable than the last one. But
I should be able to ride him within a week."
People like Lewis adopt wild mustangs at holding facilities managed
by the U.S. Bureau of Land Management and "gentle" the horses, in order
to better care for them. Illinois is the closest such bureau for the
wild horses, which are indigenous mostly west of the Mississippi River.
Lewis, born and raised on a Montana cattle ranch, has called Maine
home for two years. She and her partner, Kirk Stanley, have five
mustangs and raise organic vegetables at their 400-acre Lakeview Farm
and Equestrian Center on Great Moose Lake.
She is founder of Adopt A Mustang and her book, "The Mirror Effect,"
details personal enlightenment. Sometimes described as a horse
whisperer, Lewis acts on her ability to read horses.
At Lakeview Farm, Lewis helps horse owners and even mounted cavalry
to better know their animals. That's how she spends her typical day.
"I really try to create harmonious relationships between horses and
people," she said. "My gift enables me to gentle them rather quickly and
that's why (Bureau of Land Management) has me on their adoption program.
I'm a certified trainer with the Mustang Heritage Foundation."
Anyone calling the foundation, based in Bertram, Texas, might well
speak with someone who is familiar with Lewis. Just mention the state of
Maine to Kali Sublett, a manager at the foundation.
"I know exactly who you are talking about," Sublett said. "She is our
only trainer in Maine."
Sublett said that the foundation's goal is to increase awareness of
mustangs, whose numbers are growing. Most live in Nevada, northern
California or Oregon, either in the wild or in holding facilities. There
are between 20,000 and 30,000 in all, she said.
"Too many is never good," Sublett said. "There is not enough food,
for one thing, especially in Nevada. The land can't sustain that many
ShoGun, the latest mustang to benefit from Lewis' compassion, might
prove a bit more of a challenge than her last project. She has 100 days
to get him ready for the second annual Extreme Mustang Makeover,
scheduled for Sept. 18-21 in Fort Worth, Texas.
A "makeover" entails three parts:
• Trainers engage in "hands-on" competition, showing and then walking
or trotting their horses with a halter through the obstacle course.
• Trainers ride the mustangs through the course, and judges select
the top 15.
• Trainer and horse go through an obstacle course, followed by four
minutes of freestyle.
Soon, horse and rider will make a trail run for Extreme Mustang
Makeover. Lewis and Shogun will appear at the Equine Extravaganza in
Raleigh, N.C., on July 11-13.
Lewis is among 100 trainers nationwide, chosen by the foundation, to
be nominated for Extreme Mustang Makeover.
Larry Grard -- 861-9239