Extreme Mustang Makeover 2012
Madison, WI

Solie

The farm and our mustang, Solie, were featured in an article by the Times Herald on Feb. 14th, 2012. Check it out at: Area Woman Trains Mustang For Competition

There is also a photo gallery by Andrew Jowett, a photographer from the Times Herald, showcasing Solie, our mustang. Check it out at: http://www.thetimesherald.com

Shimmering Moon Farm has been selected to compete in the Extreme Mustang Makeover April 20-22, 2012, at the Midwest Horse Fair in Madison, Wisconsin. Trainers will have approximately 80 days to gentle a wild horse they will pick up January 27, 2012 and compete for an estimated purse of $12,500 in prize money.

We drove to Wisconsin to pick up our mare. She is a 3 year old sorrel from Nevada. She made the long trip home safely.

Solar Flare, or Solie, named for the solar flaring that lit up our life this year, after week 1 is now haltered, leading and lunging. She is a real sweetie.

Week 4. We have been working on saddling Solie, our Extreme Mustang Makeover mare. When they say mustangs are the king of bucking, they aren't kidding. lol When we initially added any weight, even in the form of a saddle pad, or light pressure to her back, she exploded. After much groundwork and desensitization, she now accepts the saddle and will do obstacles with it on her back. We finally got Solie used to eating treats and now she loves the apple flavored wafers.

Week 6. We finally got on Solie's back, our Extreme Mustang Makeover mare, and rode her around. Yah! Here is a picture of her chilling in the warm sun. Absolutely beautiful weather yesterday.

Week 7. We have been riding Solie lightly this week. I hestitated to get on her for a while since when she came she had a weak back with a high croup and light muscling on her rear end. I wanted to do plenty of groundwork and driving to strengthen the weak coupling between her back and coup so she could support the weight of a rider. I am having the vet come out this week to take a look at her to see if there is anything we can do long term to help keep her sound.

The vet came out and gave Solie a clean bill of health. Yah! We rode her outside in the ring and she did fine. Double yah!

The Last Two Weeks. We took Solie, our Extreme Mustang Makeover filly, with us to the horse show. She did very well at handling all the pressure. We showed her in English equitation and pleasure. She was a little fast but handled all the chaos well. I am proud of her.

We made it to Madison, WI to compete with Solie in the Makeover. The first day was very windy, cold and rainy. The mustangs were getting spooky and fractious being shown in a flapping tent. Solie began bucking in the pattern class when some people popped through the tarps on the tent. Zach took a spill but got back on a finished the class without problems. Solie did awesome in the handling and conditioning class.

We finished the competition and took 17th out of an original field of 34 trainers. We were so proud of Solie. We watched the top 10 finalists compete. The pressure was high. The coliseum they competed in was huge and filled with people and noise. Many of the horses began to crack after 4 stressful days at the expo. It was amazing to watch how far everyone came with these wild horses we only had for 84 days.

We finished at the auction and had to bid to keep Solie. We outbid everyone and brought Solie home! Since the competition, she is incredibly affectionate and follows us around like a big dog. She also wants to come out all the time and hang out with us. If she is not be ridden, she stands at the fence, watches us, and nickers. What a difference from three months ago when she bucked like a bronc with the slightest pressure on her back.

Solie

Zach and Solie At the competition

Solie and Zach
At the competition

Solar Flare

Zach, Solie and Leslie

Mustang pickup
Our mare is second from the front.

The mustangs competing in the Extreme Mustang Makeover challenge are mares, and the horses, who were virtually untouched prior to the January pick-up, will compete in Madison in April. They will be judged on their body condition and new skills. The trainers and mustangs will compete in a series of classes such as in-hand obstacle course and a horse course where the horse and rider will maneuver over obstacles. The top 10 from the preliminary go-rounds will compete in a freestyle finals on Sunday, April 22. All mustangs competing in the Extreme Mustang Makeover will be available for adoption through a competitive-bid adoption on Sunday, April 22. Tickets are available at http://midwesthorsefair.com.

Adoption fees will be set by competitive bid. To qualify to adopt, individuals must be at least 18, with no recored of animal abuse. In addition, adopters must have suitable facilities and can adopt no more than four animals. Adoption applications may be obtained and approved on site by the Bureau of Land Management during the event.

The purpose of the competition is to showcase the beauty, versatility and trainability of these rugged horses that roam freely on public lands throughout the West, where they are protected by the BLM under federal law. The BLM periodically removes excess animals from the range to ensure herd health and protect rangeland resources. Thousands of the removed animals are then made available each year to the public for adoption. More than 3,300 wild horses have been adopted through the Mustang Heritage Foundation events and programs since 2007.

The Extreme Mustang Makeovers are made possible through our partnership with the Bureau of Land Management and the generosity of our sponsors, Rams Trucks, Western Horseman, Pfizer, Vetericyn, Roper Apparel & Footwear, Gist Silversmiths, Martin Saddlery, and Smith Brothers.

About the Mustang Heritage Foundation
The mission of the Mustang Heritage Foundation and the the goal of the Extreme Mustang Makeover events are to increase the adoption of mustangs across the country. The Mustang Heritage Foundation created the Extreme Mustang Makeover events to showcase the recognized value of mustangs through a national training competition. For more information, visit www.mustangheritagefoundation.org.

About the Bureau of Land Management
The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) is responsible for managing 258 million acres of public lands, located mostly in the West. Wild horse and burros roaming public rangelands are managed in a manner consistent with the BLM's overall multiple-use mission, as set forth in the Federal Land Policy and Management Act of 1976. For more information, visit www.wildhorseandburro.blm.gov or call 866-468-7826.

About the Midwest Horse Fair
The Midwest Horse Fair is one of the top three-day horse fairs in America. Held in Madison, Wisconsin, at the Alliant Energy Center, it has been growing and going strong since 1979. In 2012, the Midwest Horse Fair will celebrate its 33rd annual event. Every year, the Midwest Horse Fair gets bigger and better, and 2012 will be no different! Every performance is unique experience as exhibitors incorporate the 2012 theme, Horse Heritage, into their demonstrations. The mission of the Midwwest Horse Fair is to unite all facets of the horse industry through the premier event by focusing on education, networking and promotional opportunites and to introduce non-horse owners to the beauty and enjoyment of this magnificent animal while providing entertainment to individuals and families of all ages. Learn more at: http://midwesthorsefair.com.