JANUARY 18, 2006

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Redlands student is dedicated to working with adopted horses


Cody Killingsworth, RCC student, is seen with Mae, one of several horses that he has adopted through the Bureau of Land Management.

Redlands Community College student Cody Killingsworth believes that it’s always good to help those who are in need. Killingsworth’s desire to help those in need, however, extends beyond helping his fellow man, to helping animals that are in need, most specifically, horses.

Killingsworth, who currently owns 11 horses, has dedicated himself to adopting wild mustangs that are in need of a good home. To date, he has adopted five wild horses through a program run by the United States Bureau of Land Management (BLM). BLM offers qualified individuals the opportunity to adopt gentled wild horses to meet the challenges of balancing the health of public lands with the health of the wild horses and burros.

Killingsworth has been pleasantly surprised and very pleased with the horses that he has adopted through the BLM.

“I’ve found that these horses are kind of like pound pups. They can be untrusting at first, but once they join up and trust you, they’ll move the Earth for you,” Killingsworth said. “These horses really will do anything for you and they are very loyal. It seems like everyone wants a horse with a certain pedigree or blood line, but I believe that the horses I’ve adopted are some of the best ones out there.”

Killingsworth has traveled to the Wild Horse and Burro Expo in Belton, Texas, with horses that he has adopted. During the expo, Killingworth’s adopted horses took fifth in the Western Pleasure category, out of 22 competitors, and third in Pole Bending.

Sometimes there is a misconception about the temperament of wild mustangs, but Killingsworth is quick to dispel the myth.

“There are people out there who believe that these horses (wild mustangs) can be mean and difficult to work with, but so far, I haven’t found a mean one yet,” Killingsworth said. “I really like these guys and enjoy working with them.”

Through his work with wild mustangs, Killingsworth learned about another type of horse – the Curly Horse. It was by happenstance that Killingsworth learned about Curlies; one of his adopted mares was pregnant with a Curly baby when he adopted her. Killingsworth has since begun to research Curly Horses and learned that they are considered to be a hypoallergenic horse.

It was Killingsworth’s desire to learn more about horses that ultimately led him to RCC.

“I toyed with the idea of attending Redlands for three or four months before I finally made my final decision to begin the Equine Program. I knew that I wanted to share horses like mine with people and decided that I needed to expand my knowledge, so I chose to attend RCC,” Killingsworth said. “From my very first class here (RCC), I knew that this was a really good program that could provide me with the general working knowledge that I needed.”

Through his classes at RCC and his work with his adopted horses, Killingsworth has increased his equine knowledge.

“While I’ve been at Redlands, Justin (Justin Lynn, RCC Equine Instructor) has gotten us really involved in the equine industry. I’ve been able to learn so much and see all types of things through my classes; I’ve really had my eyes opened to what all can be done with technology,” Killingsworth said. “There are people in this program that have practically been on horses since before they could walk and they have taught me a lot. You are always learning because you are exposed to so much.”

While Killingsworth anticipates that he will graduate from RCC in May 2006, he knows that his work with horses is far from finished.

“I likely will finish RCC’s program in May, but I definitely plan to stay involved in the equine industry. I want to continue working with wild mustangs and Curly Horses in the future. Ultimately, I would really like to take the mustangs and reintroduce some of the Curly Horse traits back into their bloodlines,” Killingsworth said.

For more information about RCC’s Equine Program, contact Lynn at 405.262.2552, extension 2427.