One girl, one mustang: Documenting a triumph of free will

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Can a wild horse be trained to be ridden without any tools? No halter, ropes, saddle or bridle?

A young US horsewoman has proven that it can be done, and has recorded the year-long process for a documentary about her journey.

Elsa Sinclair and Myrnah, the stars of A Girl and A Wild Mustang: A Documentary.
Elsa Sinclair and Myrnah, the stars of A Girl and A Wild Mustang: A Documentary.

From the wide open spaces of southern Oregon in the northwest United States, Myrnah, a four-year-old wild mustang mare, was rounded up with her herd by the Bureau of Land Management. Adopted out to Washington equestrian Elsa Sinclair, Myrnah began a year-long experimental process – a year of training based on freedom, free will, and cooperation.

The question: What sort of success could one expect in only a year if the free will of a wild horse was at play?

Day after day a language was built between Elsa and Myrnah. Slowly through days, weeks and months of rain and snow, sun and wind, the two of them forged a bond – a connection between horse and rider was woven securely between them, allowing them to take on the world together one step at a time.

Elsa Sinclair with Mrynah, who was in foal when she was mustered in from the wild.
Elsa Sinclair with Mrynah, who was in foal when she was mustered in from the wild.
Few have pushed the boundaries of what is possible in the realm of horse training as Sinclair has, or documented the process with such attention and devotion.

Documented against the lush and beautiful backdrop of San Juan Island, the results of the experiment surpassed all expectations. The beauty of the filming and the clarity of the story seemed to demand a full-length documentary.

After collecting a year’s worth of footage, photographs, and experience, Sinclair and her team are in the final stages of putting together A Girl and A Wild Mustang: A Documentary. Now at the post-production stage, a Kickstarter campaign has been launched to finish the film.

“Horses, training, and life on the whole is becoming more and more about cooperation and less and less about force. Let’s spread the ideas that support that,” Sinclair says.

“The more ideas that are developed on the basis of working together, cooperating and collaborating, the better place this world will be, for both horses and people.”

The Kickstarter project has a goal of $35,000 and closes on August 29.

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Elsa Sinclair with Myrnah and her foal on the beach on San Juan.
Elsa Sinclair with Myrnah and her foal on the beach on San Juan.

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