Local wild horse trainer donates mustang to Texas A&M's Parsons Mounted Cavalry

Jonathon Deeley tamed wild mustang years ago

SAN ANTONIO – Jonathon Deeley has never met a horse he didn’t like, but they often don’t like him, at least not at first. At his ranch in Schertz, he takes on the training of problem horses, young horses, as well as the occasional wild mustang. He’s so good at it, the U.S. Bureau of Land Management has tapped him to be a part of the annual Mustang Challenge, where he is given three months to train a wild horse into a wonderful riding companion.

Seven years ago, that wild horse was so crazy, he was promptly named Street Rat. He was so angry at having been taken from the unlimited pastures of the great West, and stuffed inside a wooden paddock for training, that he tried to climb 8-foot walls. From there, Deeley began from scratch; even touching the horse was impossible for weeks.

"Domestic horses have to earn your respect. Mustangs are totally opposite. You have to earn their trust,” Deeley said.

Eventually, that trust was earned with Street Rat, who would later prance at the San Antonio Stock Show and Rodeo as well as the Battle of Flowers Parade. In fact, unless people saw the trademark brand under his mane, there would be little evidence that the pretty bay gelding once was a wild mustang.

"I had my doubts, but once I got through to him, once I touched him, connected with him, it was just like any other horse," said Deeley of his completion of the BLM Mustang Challenge competition. 

After seven years, the horse was being underutilized, and Deeley decided to donate him to Texas A&M via the Parsons Mounted Cavalry.

“They all knew his background. They knew his history. They knew about the Mustang Makeover.  They knew everything,” Deeley said.

Deeley said he’ll be curious how Street Rat takes to the excited parade of the Aggie Football March and the blasting cannons that are a part of every home game. 

The handoff to the cadets this week went off without a hitch and several are already calling dibs on the mustang. 

“They all want him. I think Street's going to teach them some lessons. That's what I look forward to,” Deeley said.

For more information on Deeley’s training methods, visit www.theequestrian.com.  

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