|Hank Curry, Supervisor of the
Wild Horse Training Program
at the Northern Nevada Correctional
Facility, Carson City, Nevada
The Nevada Department of Agriculture started the horse training program in 2000 and has since continued to be a popular program with the public and inmate trainers. In 2008, the horse-training facility relocated to the Northern Nevada Correctional Center Ranch to streamline operations and combine with the existing 40 acres of holding corrals and agricultural programs.
The program trainer and supervisor, Hank Curry, has been employed with NDOC for seven years and is vital to the success of this program. He oversees nearly every aspect of the operation in direct support, which includes the supervision of an average total of 17 inmate trainers and 2 inmate feeders. Currently, the horse program houses and maintains approximately 1,500 Bureau of Land Management (BLM) horses. The care and maintenance of the horses consists of feeding, watering, hoof trimming, administering vaccinations, sorting, assisting with transfers, record keeping, and overall general equine care. Of those 1,500 horses, Hank Curry handpicks the best ones three times a year to fill 15 training slots for adoptions.
Under the guidance of Hank Curry, the trainers and horses undergo a 120-day training cycle, 7 hours per day, 5 days a week. Once the horse is halter-broke, saddle-broken, and the trainer has gained its trust, the training continues with basic maneuvers such as leading, walking, trotting, lopping, backing up, stopping, side passing, and trailer-loading on cue. Advanced training continues with some of the horses depending on the experience level of the respective trainer. All horses that go to auction perform well and most importantly are deemed safe for the public. To date, the training program has adopted out over 600 horses.
As for the trainers, the program has many benefits teaching and promoting responsibility, discipline, patience, and improves self-esteem through a structured and rewarding daily regimen of work. It also provides the individual to become financially self-sufficient, earning an hourly wage while attaining a potential job skill for future employment and building a sound work ethic for reentry to the civilian workforce.