This blog is run by me, April Lee. I’ve been active in the horse world and a horse owner since 1994. Some of my professional and educational accomplishments include:
- B.S. in Agriculture from Cal Poly Pomona.
- Certificates in Equine Reproduction from Colorado State University including collecting stallions, cooling & shipping semen and artificial insemination of mares.
- Personally worked with and trained over 1,000 wild BLM mustangs and burros.
- Founded and ran a successful 501(c)3
- Applied for, won and ran a six-figure cooperative agreement with the US Government to help wild burros find adoptive homes.
I currently live and board my horse in Los Angeles, CA.
I have been involved with horses since the age of 13 when my father purchased a green broke unregistered Arabian mare including saddle and 2 bridles for $400.00.
Being new to the horse world neither of us knew this was a bad idea. With no concept of how to secure the saddle or bridle the horse, my first rides were bareback in a halter. I would head out on the trail, my mare, Baby, would spin and bolt off home usually leaving me to walk back.
This became such a routine that pretty soon the boarding stable would just tie my mare up and wait for me to walk back. Occasionally a nice cowboy would allow me to hitch a ride back to the barn.
With persistence and lots of hard work I cultivated a relationship with my horse and developed her into a mount that was suitable for the youngest of riders.
In 1997, at 16 years old, I purchased a 1-month old Quarter Horse filly from a local breeder. Drawing on my previous experience and utilizing only Pat Parelli’s ”Natural Horse-man-ship” book as a guide, that filly grew into a beautiful mare. With time I was able to ride her bridleless on the trail ponying young horses.
At around 17 years old, with the help of my best friend, I started training and selling horses as a source of income. My partner and I would obtain horses that needed training, fitting and/or just plain good marketing and resell them.
While this venture was never operated as a rescue, horses were sometimes obtained from local auctions with little to no background information. On more than one occasion the horse proved to be greener than represented or outright dangerous. Each horse presented a new challenge and overcoming those challenges allowed me to further develop my horsemanship and marketing skills.
Having evaluated thousands of horses and working personally with well over 100 I was looking for a new challenge. What better challenge than an American Mustang. In August of 2009, I adopted my1st mustang, Tabasco, from the Ridgecrest Corrals.
A year or so later I applied for Mustang Heritage Foundations Trainer Incentive Program and was accepted. I didn’t pick up a horse until January of 2013 though with a goal to find homes for just four mustangs that year.
What started as a goal to find homes for four horses in 2013 has become so much more. My work with mustangs as part of the TIP program led me to pair with the Human Society of the United States and train wild burros for adoption through their Platero program.
In December 2014, due to the growth of Family Horses, the business name I operated my adoption and training program under, I partnered with two other individuals to incorporate the business and file for non-profit status.
This new status allowed me to apply directly to the BLM request for a cooperative partner to establish a training program, similar to the now-closed Humane Society program.
Over the following years, I worked with my board of directors to train and market hundreds of BLM mustangs and burros. By providing them with basic training over 1,000 animals found new homes.
In 2017, due to personal changes in my life, I stepped down from the board of directors for Family Horses and moved back to the city where I have been for the past few years. I still have my mustang mare at a boarding facility and am constantly planning and looking for that perfect ranch property to once again have horses at home.