Education Opportunities and Workshops

Learn to Gentle and Train Wild Mustangs and Burro's.

Workshops, Internships, Live/Work Opportunities

Our Training Program

Many people imagine mustang training with rearing, running, snorting horses, but we do everything we can to avoid that scenario. How it works might surprise you. Our training program consists of a 26 step fundamental steps. These 26 steps take about 30-45 days for a horse to complete and upon completion the former wild horse can be caught, haltered, led, loaded into a horse-trailer, stand tied, and have their feet trimmed. Students learn to teach these fundamental steps to animals freshly brought out of government holding facilities. Students and animals both benefit.

We use the science of learning to gentle and train wild horses and burros for adoption

We teach them how to actively engage with us in the most humane ways possible. We build relationships. We want to help other people learn to use these well-tested methods.

Train with Purpose and Precision.

The principles we use are simple and familiar to any students of behavioral psychology.


Patricia Barlow-Irick, Ph.D.

Executive Director, Mustang Camp

The Founder of Mustang Camp, Dr. Barlow-Irick, developed rational training methods to help the American mustang. Since 2009, she has gentled more than 500 mustangs for government agencies and worked with more than 40 interns. She is the author of the book “How to Train A ______ (fill in the blank).”. She has also written a manual on the care and gentling of wild horses. Her goal is to spread a humane training system to make animals adoptable, while minimizing suffering. She has a PhD from the University of New Mexico.

Training Programs

The Mustang Training Workshop

The MTW is tailored to give beginning trainers a foot up into becoming excellent trainers, as well as boosting skills of even the most experienced. The workshop will help you to explore training skills and techniques in a hands-on focused environment. What you learn here can be directly applied to the training of any species of animal.

What's in it for you? Click here.

Workshop Objectives (what you will learn)

  • Start out training people (instead of animals) in a supportive environment to build confidence.
  • Improve your mechanical skills, timing and hand-eye coordination with a variety of activities.
  • Train horses matched to your ability that will allow you to be successful.
  • Learn to operate efficiently within all four operant quadrants.
  • Learn to use respondent conditioning to control animal attitudes.
  • Create a bridge using respondent conditioning and effectively use it for operant conditioning.
  • Use the Premack Principle.
  • Capture and Shape behaviors.
  • Train a complex task using Task Analysis.
  • Coach peers using video analysis and TAG teaching.
  • Watch animals and learn the ethology of horses.
  • Write a training plan with clear and objective criteria.
  • Keep formal training records.
  • Solve problems using Functional Assessment.

Workshop Cost

May through September sessions cost $1500.

Because we have obligated ourselves to provide staff and animals to care for and train you, we cannot refund payments. If you must cancel, your balance can be applied to a future workshop if space is available. You may also transfer your registration to another person who meets the criteria for admission. This policy applies to all participants that wish to withdraw at any time as stated herein and for ANY reason, including but not limited to injury, illness, emergency, and personal or work-related reasons.

Academic Internships

We work with universities to provide a valuable internship experience for students. We can provide our curriculum to help students arrange to receive credit at their institutions. Students can stay longer to fulfill the requirements of their program at no extra cost. Students have completed internships here with Johnson & Wales, Colorado College, and universities in Canada. Top equine research scientists have sent their graduate students to us to get some hands on experience in our unique program. We have even had a few veterinarians take our classes. It is an excellent place to focus on learning.

Apply for an internship on the form in the registration process. If you need more information for your school, contact Patricia (505-419-2575) email

Working Student Internships

This program is similar to the academic internship but for the horse professional or someone wanting to deep-dive into animal training. We provide you with instruction and room & board while you spend invaluable learning time getting first class instruction and hands on experience with the wild equids. Come experience the power of the wild horse herd, the zen of burros, and the intensity of zebras. It can be a life changing experience.

Working students are expected to stay for a minimum of two months and all tuition and fees are waived. The trade is that working students spend 4 hours a day doing chores in exchange for getting to work with the animals. Training the animals is the benefit the working student gets in exchange. If training animals is not highly reinforcing for you, this is not the option you should choose.

Apply for a working internship on the form in the registration process.

Internship and Workshop Specifics

Typical Day

The day starts with stable chores of feeding and mucking, but when it's over, its time for breakfast. Chef John is world famous! Between breakfast and class, you might have a moment of free-time, then it's time to train! We'll train more than one species! After lunch and a short break, we are back in the training pens, improving by the minute! When the sun finally starts getting low on the western horizon, its time to feed and water. Dinner is around 8:30. Everyone helps with housekeeping at some point in the day. Finally, a shower will be in order, then it's a quiet night at Mustang Camp (except for the trains and the highway).

Workshop & Internship Facilities

We provide food, lodging, and transportation from Albuquerque for paying students. Mustang Camp is now located on a narrow strip of land between I-40 and Route 66, in Milan, NM. As of March 24th, we have 70 horses on hand with fifty in active training. We have no covered training areas and train in the open air. We are located in an old livestock auction facility. Students get a bed in an RV or in the main house in a shared bedroom.

Who should attend

This workshop is for people who will work hard to become more competent trainers. This internship and workshop is appropriate for motivated academic-minded horse-persons, who are not afraid of horses. Physically active people from 16 to 70 years old have become mustang trainers at Mustang Camp. You will discover your weaknesses as an animal trainer and have a coach to get you over the hump. It is not a relaxing vacation! We want serious students.


The registration process:

  1. Express your interest in applying on this form; APPLICATION FORM .
  2. You will get a reply asking you to call, if you don't schedule a call, your application will be discarded.
  3. If we decide to accept you, we will send a registration form. Complete the form and send in the deposit. The acceptance offer is time limited.

Plan to be in Albuquerque on the Arrival Date for your class or to make arrangements to get yourself to Mustang Camp.

Workshop Dates for 2019 will be from the beginning of each month. Try to come for the whole month.