Wild Horse Inmate Program (WHIP)

The CCI Wild Horse Inmate Program (WHIP) has been operating since 1986.  WHIP gained worldwide recognition through the release of “The Wild Horse Redemption” documentary, and our program design and implementation has been approved by renowned Colorado State University professor Temple Grandin.  WHIP is known mainly for its training program where incarcerated workers learned to tame and saddle-train wild horses that had never had human contact before, using “horse whisperer” training methods.  We are not currently training horses for adoption, and we are focusing on daily care and feeding of the horses at our facility.

 

WHIP has capacity for up to 2,999 horses and burros that we feed, water, vaccinate, perform hoofcare, and prepare for adoption through BLM public adoption events.

 

Incarcerated workers at WHIP learn a variety of meaningful skills, including stockmanship, animal care practices, hoof maintenance, basic vet care, importance of animal welfare, welding, heavy equipment operations and “soft skills” responsibility and accountability.

 

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WHIP

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The Wild Horse Redemption is a documentary, released in 2008, about the WHIP program.  The movie trailer is on the left and it is available for streaming on Amazon Prime Video.  From Director John Zaritsky:

"At a prison in the high desert foothills of the Colorado Rocky Mountains, hardened criminals are taught the training methods  of "horse whisperers" to tame and saddle-train wild mustang horses taken from the herd that roams government lands.  Failure means one more defeat for the inmate; success could save both lives.  The Wild Horse Inmate Program (WHIP) is a unique form of rehabilitation in a system not known for it's humanity."

"As a Canadian filmmaker, I feel I have always been more interested in, and ready to tell, stories that might go against the political climate of the times.  Canadian governments are increasingly taking the U.S. example in matter of law and order as a template for changes in our own system.  That example is seen to be one of harsher punishment:  more frequent incarceration, longer sentences, less "coddling" of prisoners.  And yet here is an example of a program - in a southern U.S. state, currently Republican - that is taking the opposite approach and finding success."