In 2009 we were selected to compete in Extreme Mustang Makeover.

It was a great experience, with Ride Magazine following the progress of our mare Tonopah.

All the trainers picked up their horses near Susanville Ca on March 14th. We all got 4 yr old mares that had been on the desert wild and had never been touched.

We had until June 5th to have them ready to compete against the other 29 trainers at the Western states Horse Expo in Sacramento Ca.

Our mare was very difficult to get handled , and it was several weeks before I could just walk in her stall and catch her.

We continued to work with her as normal because of the time constraint, but being very careful not to hurt her or us because of her fear. The work itself ended up helping our relationship, as I never rushed her, but stayed consistent, allowing her room to move and find answers on her own.

The end result was a horse that finally let all her air out and trusted my every request.

I had always heard of the bond one can get with these wild horses but had felt it was usually over played by some mushy folks. I have to say I was amazed at how connected this horse was to me.

Once we did get to Sacramento the competition went well , we placed 15th overall. Tonapah gave a great effort !

The hard part, that I had been able to keep emotionally in check, was the final night when she was auctioned off. As I led her back to the barn that night I not only had a lump in my throat but emptiness inside me.

We were not able to keep her and she deserved to move on to a nice home where they would use her. She got just that, going to a wonderful young couple with Mustang experience. Every few months we get a nice update , she’s doing just fine.

Thanks to so many who helped us along the way, Ride Magazine, Sweet River Veterinarian in Modesto, and the Andistango Ranch in la Grange Ca.

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