Lisanne Fear and her crew make riding the Cave In Rock Ferry a teachable moment for the horses along the Mustang Discovery Ride.
Hopes to get 5,000 mustangs adopted while traveling 5,000 miles, coast to coast
By Jennifer Lane
Lisanne Fear, 29, and her team, Claudia Owens and Marcus Perko, with Mustang Discovery Ride, visited Cave In Rock earlier this week to help spread awareness to save mustangs across America. Lisanne is riding her mustangs 5,000 miles from Delaware to California along the American Discovery Trail to inspire the adoption of 5,000 mustangs into loving, educated homes. Nearly 50,000 wild horses and burros have been removed from public lands and are currently in holding pastures and corrals managed by the Bureau of Land Management (BLM). In 1972, it was signed into law that the BLM was assigned the care and management of wild American mustang horses.
Lisanne’s sponsor, Mustang Heritage Foundation, helps find forever homes for thousands of these horses and burros each year. They are dedicated to removing these animals from BLM holding pens and placing them into homes and private care through innovative programs, events, and education.
The MHF has saved taxpayers an average of $162 million each year. A wild horse or burro costs the federal government $25,000 during the lifetime of the animal. Mustang Heritage Foundation not only saves the taxpayer money but most importantly helps provide loving homes for our national treasure – the American Mustang!
Lisanne started the trip on September 28, 2021 and took a break through the winter months. In March 2022, she started the trip again moving through several states, including Illinois this week. Lisanne plans to end the trip in California in November 2022.
Cave In Rock local Rick Mills on his mustang Bailey.
While in Cave In Rock, Lisanne met up with local resident Rick Mills who plans to join the ride with the mustang he recently adopted. Mills said this will be a great learning experience for his mustang. He just began riding her a few weeks ago. While interacting with some of Lisanne’s crew, another rider Claudia Owens recommended a name for his mustang – Bailey. Rick liked the name and said that’s what he would call her. Along the Mustang Discovery Ride route, Lisanne looks for owners of mustangs, like Rick, and invites them to ride with her to help raise awareness.
Lisa Diersen, Executive Director of the Mustang Discovery Foundation and the Director of the EQUUS Film and Arts Festival, said while in the area they have met several people who have mustang horses. She said they met a local TIP trainer. The Trainer Incentive Program (TIP) is very important because the trainers gentle and train the horses so they can be auctioned off to loving and capable homes.
Lisanne said the trip has been amazing so far and she can’t say enough about the humanity shown. She said that she is definitely raising awareness and educated many who didn’t know about the situation with the mustangs.
“I’m bringing America’s horses to America’s backyard and it definitely opens up the conversation and sparks a few more adoptions, including burrow adoptions, along the way,” said Lisanne. “My goal is to see these horses in loving homes.”
When asked if Lisanne is missing home, she said she loves her home and the more places she goes, it makes her appreciate her home, but as far as missing home, her heart is with her horses.
Lisanne said they really haven’t encountered any dangerous situations along the way, but she said nervously, “Today we rode the Cave In Rock Ferry!” She said her horses were cautious starting out, but they learned quickly.
“One of the amazing things about the mustangs is once you get their trust and bond with them, they’ll do absolutely anything for you,” said Lisanne. Chileno had never ridden a ferry and after about five minutes of training, he was able to get on and ride across the Ohio River and back.
Along the trip Lisanne and her crew have spoken at several events in several states to raise awareness. Lisanne has been accompanied on her trip by different filmmakers and producer Julianne Neal who are putting together a documentary and docuseries focusing on parts of each state they visit. The films should be ready to released in about a year and a half. Cave In Rock will be part of the documentary and it might possibly be shown at a local venue in the future.
David Glossberg, the filmmaker at Cave In Rock this week, also directed the film Mustang Saviors. It’s a film about the unthinkable relationship between military veterans and wild horses as they work together to mend one another.
To be a part of the ride or learn more about the Mustang Discovery Ride, contact Lisa Diersen at email@example.com or visit http://www.equusfilmfestival.net/mustang-discovery-ride.html or visit https://www.mustangdiscovery.com/ .
To view and track the 5,000 miles trip, visit https://www.google.com/maps/d/u/0/edit?mid=14Xhh443Qfg9wBjG1D-P_9N9_npu2AcAK&usp=sharing .
Left to right, mule Aboline, Lisanne Fear riding mustang Chileno, Claudia Owens riding mustang Phineas, and Marcus Perko riding mustang Pistachio at the Cave In Rock riverfront.
Lisa Diersen photo: Marcus Perko, David Glossberg, Rick Mills, Lisanne Fear down by the trail to the Cave hole.