Inmates Taming Wild Horses and Transforming Themselves in the Process, On ABC News’ “Primetime: The Outsiders”

By Natalia Labenskyj

Aug 24, 2009 1:35pm

And: People with Psychiatric Conditions Who Say They Have the Right to Reject Medications

In the Cedar Mountains of Utah, there are more than 500 stampeding mustangs having their first moment of contact with humans. The wild horses are herded by a family of cowboys waiting at a trap site. From there, some of these mustangs end up at a Colorado prison, where inmates become horse whisperers. They’re part of the Wild Horse Inmate Program (WHIP), which teaches them to care for, gently break and train these frightened 800-pound animals to accept a saddle and rider. But as Jay Schadler reports, the unique program does more than train mustangs for a new future among humans. The mustangs transform many of the inmates too, as they learn the importance of patience and trust, and gain a sense of accomplishment — some for the first time in their lives. “Primetime: The Outsiders” airs TUESDAY, AUGUST 25 (10:01-11:00 p.m., ET) on the ABC Television Network.

Further along on their journey, the mustangs continue to change lives when they’re eventually adopted from the prison. “Primetime” visits a place in Roswell, New Mexico, where viewers see how at-risk teenagers developing a relationship with mustangs learn to finally feel good about themselves. And at the Horse Warriors program in Jackson, Wyoming, a little girl who is fitted with a prosthetic limb after a leg amputation gains vital self-confidence that she attributes to an inmate-trained mustang named Canyon.

And: We have all heard of “gay pride” and “black pride,” but make room for the latest movement called “mad pride.” A group of people, many dealing with serious mental disorders, say they have the right to reject their anti-psychotic medications on principle of embracing who they are. Some of the 8,000 people who are part of this movement say that taking medication for their mental illness would stifle their creativity and take away their happiness. But do people who’ve been diagnosed as bi-polar, schizophrenic or manic depressive have the right to try to live un-medicated with what they call their “dangerous gifts”? With nearly one out of every four people in the U.S. diagnosed with a mental illness, could this be the next movement working towards social acceptance? Deborah Roberts reports.

David Sloan is the executive producer of “Primetime: The Outsiders.”

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