of the Standing Rock Indian Reservation hope six new horses will
help strengthen Native American culture and values on the reservation
that straddles the border of North Dakota and South Dakota.
will start using these horses to help children and give the children
something meaningful," said Len O'Hara, a representative of Clements
Group LC. "We'll parlay that later into riding lessons for natives
and non-natives and a breakfast for those who come through the area."
introduced two representatives of Sitting Bull College in Fort Yates,
N.D. - Ron Brown Otter and Bob Gipp - to members of the Thoroughbred
Foundation in Lexington, Ky. The foundation enables nonprofit organizations
to adopt horses if they meet certain conditions.
though we were introduced to these people through the Sitting Bull
College, to get these horses, you have to be 100 percent responsible
until they die," Brown Otter said. "You can't sell them; you can't
breed them. You have to care for them, and you have to do all the
good things for them."
viewing the horses, it was love at first sight.
knew right then that I had to come back to convince people to want
to get involved, so that's what I did," Brown Otter said.
and Gipp returned to Kentucky, pulling a horse trailer large enough
to hold the animals, after a letter of intent written by the Catholic
priest in Rock Creek convinced Kentucky officials that the horses
would be provided for.
Otter and Gipp chose six horses from a selection of 15 that were
waiting when they arrived.
told them we want children's horses and ones that kids can ride,
and that's what they had waiting for us," Brown Otter said.
were plenty of loving hands waiting for the horses when they arrived
at the reservation.
always go on these rides, like the Chief's Ride sponsored by the
Sitting Bull College, to recognize past leaders in May. A lot of
children want to ride horses, and they don't have horses," Brown
of the horses spread quickly, and on the first weekend, five children
appeared at the Brown Otter Ranch, where four of the horses are
being cared for.
had a good time," Brown Otter said. "The horses were comfortable,
and they didn't hurt the kids."
other two horses are being cared for at Gipp's ranch. They have
caught the eye of one leader who hopes to share them with his daughter
so she can better understand her heritage.
black and gray gelding whinnies to the other horses in the corral,
and the whinny echoes to remind tribal leaders of the importance
the creatures play in their culture.
His Horse Is Thunder, president of Sitting Bull College, said he
hopes to use the horses in ways that parallel with the culture and
learning experiences at the college.
Clements Group LC of Salt Lake City and other organizations are
working to improve economic conditions for Native Americans on the
Standing Rock Indian Reservation by improving education, raising
funds for a new $40 million campus for Sitting Bull College and
building business relationships and opportunities.