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Horses and Human Health: prison inmates training horses

FLORENCE, Ariz. - They are a symbol of the American West; wild horses, mustangs that roam over public lands in states like California, Nevada, and here in Arizona.

Those mustangs are rounded up several times a year because of swelling populations; now some of them are being put to work to patrol our country's borders.

The horses are broken by cowboys, but not the cowboys you might expect. They are inmates at the Department of Corrections prison in Florence.

The cowboys are hardened criminals, who while rehabilitating themselves are training these wild horses to work for the Border Patrol.

"The less you can put pressure on his head, the better he's gonna be when you put a bridle on him," said inmate Brian Tearse.

Breaking a horse these days is a far cry from the old cowboy movies.

"This is what really brings the horse's energy down, gentles him, lets you next to him," said Tearse.

Brian Tearse is serving a seven-year sentence for aggravated assault. When FOX 10 met with him, he was working with Drift, who used to be an American mustang living on public lands, un owned and definitely untamed. It's something that Tearse can relate to.

"Oh they are wild, just like I was when I showed up in prison; wild. I've been gentled down, and that is what we're doing with these horses," he said.

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