Equine Oddity Baffles Experts

The bar scene in Dusty’s video was the first time he was ever in a bar.
 Even though the conditions were small and cramped
Dusty had a lot of fun playing his new role as a bartender.
The shoot went
 off without a hitch and nothing in the bar was broken.
 The entire shoot took only 90 minutes.

Dusty is a horse that acts like a dog. An amazing 16 hand, 1,200 pound horse is blazing trails in the animal performance world.  A Kentucky Mountain gelding named Dusty was born in 1998 in rural Illinois and purchased in 2003 by Mark Peterson.  This purchase would change Mark’s life and the way we look at horses forever.

“Dusty and owner, Mark Peterson on a hunting trip”

Mark had no horse experience and therefore had no idea that a horse should not retrieve and deliver objects, open and close doors and learn voice commands that signals  to carry out a series of complex tasks.   Mark just assumed all horses could learn these things.  But little did he know.   What Mark did know was how to communicate with animals.  Mark demonstrates what he would like Dusty to do and Dusty simply does it.  Mark told horse trainers the things Dusty was doing and they found it hard to believe until they saw it for themselves.

Dusty can do actions that are unheard of for a horse. The most amazing part is there is virtually no limit to the number and type of skills he can do because he learns them in a matter of seconds simply by mimicking the actions of his owner.  His current bag of skills is only the beginning of what is sure to be a star-spangled career given his track record of adding skills virtually on demand.  Dusty can push grocery carts.  Dusty can pour a draft beer or get a bottle of soda out of a cooler and walk back and close the lid.  You should see Dusty play ding-dong-ditch. Have you ever seen a horse sign autographs?  Really, he takes a pen in his mouth and autographs a picture of himself.  Dusty will also fetch almost anything Mark asks for.  Dusty will open the side door of the trailer and pick up Mark’s gloves and bring them to him.  He will do the same with a folding chair or jacket or whatever is in the compartment.  Mark and Dusty were pheasant hunting and Dusty retrieved the bird even with it’s wings still flopping.

Dusty has a child like curiosity that drives him and Mark has a way with Dusty that is nothing short of a gift. 
While Mark may humbly admit his talent for training animals, he is as stunned as anyone at the results he gets from Dusty.
Dusty and Mark communicate with each other like old friends.
One of Dusty’s favorite activities is to perform for children, he loves to make them laugh and giggle.  His gentle manners make him irresistible to youngsters. Dusty was an especially big hit with the children at the Ronald McDonald House.   Imagine for a bit the pleasure these children get from Dusty.  For an hour these children forget their pains and revel in the joys of being children by playing with this gentle giant.

Dusty and Mark are naturally comfortable in front of crowds and cameras. In fact, they relish opportunities to perform for as many people as possible.   Dusty and Mark appeared on the History Channel as the guides in the feature “Giganto” and are currently working on another TV series.  Mark can train Dusty on the spot to willingly perform nearly any sort of skill because Dusty will simply mimic Mark’s actions.  Dusty is comfortable anywhere, but he is perhaps most comfortable in places that are especially unusual for a horse to enter grocery stores, bars, schools, churches--nothing phases Dusty.

You can see some of Dusty’s antics on the video at www.DustyPromotions.com. And an opportunity to meet Dusty and learn Mark’s ways of communicating with him will be available at the upcoming Equine Expo Of Texas (www.EquineExpo of Texas.com)   on May 6-7 in Fort Worth.  Learn how you can better your relationship with your horse.

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