Day 13 – 2018 Player’s Choice EMM

I suppose I can’t complain.  Things are going okay, maybe not as fast as I’d like, but the Mustangs are improving with every session, and that’s all I can ask for.  There are moments in each session where it seems that we take several steps backwards, but we always seem to end on a good note.

I have saddled EZ several days in a row now.  Today is the first day that she walked off without her crow hops, so that is a good sign.  She is beginning to accept all these strange things I’m throwing at her.

I am going slow with Yogi, I haven’t spent as much time on him, mainly because I don’t want to stress his legs.  I noticed he doesn’t present quite as lame when I have him out in the grass, or soft sand, as opposed to the hard packed/uneven footing in the small corral.

I have had a few friends mention helping out with the cost of X-Rays, so if it gets to that point, maybe we will find out what his true problems are.  If nothing else, he makes a great model for my paintings!


Days 3 & 4 – Play the Hand You’re Dealt

It seems like there’s just been a steady stream of Mustangs running through my days and nights…

Yogi is so sweet.  He loves attention and scratches (almost as much as he loves hay!). However, I don’t think he will be sound for much more than a pasture pet. His front legs are just not right. I didn’t notice lameness at first, but now that he’s more comfortable around me it seems to be showing through. I haven’t pushed him for more than a trot and he has taken several lame steps. I am going to contact the MHF on Tuesday to discuss some options.

EZ is another story. When it comes to fight or flight, she’s a fighter. She really wants nothing to do with me and was extremely reactive the first 3 days.  Today is the first day that she hasn’t tried to bite, kick, or strike me. She is also the first Mustang that I’ve felt the need to leave a drag rope on. Hopefully that will change quickly!  Underneath her tough exterior is a sweet little mare waiting to meet her potential.

So, neither horse is ideal for a competition like this, but I’ve got to work with what I’ve got. My goal is to help Mustangs find new purpose, and hopefully I am able to do that with both of them… they just might need some creative thinking to help make it happen.

I’ll leave you with a new painting and some photos of the past few days.

Day 2 – Player’s Choice 2018

I don’t know if I can write a whole lot today, I am just about ready for bed!  It was a good day though.  My goal was to get halters on both Mustangs and I was able to do that.  I also decided on names.

I am going to call the black gelding “Peaceful Warrior” or Yogi for short. He has such a calm demeanor, but he is full of scars from his days in the wild. I thought that was a fitting name for him.

I am going to call my mare “EZ Does It” or EZ for short. She is not what I would consider an easy Mustang to gentle, however I know ease has more to do with my attitude than hers. I can make things easy for myself by allowing her to come around in her own time. It’s important for me to keep that in mind.

That’s about all I’ve got in me for the night… I didn’t get to a painting, but I will make up for it tomorrow!

Day 1 – Player’s Choice 2018

I have been waiting a long time for this day to come.

I am participating in my 5th Extreme Mustang Makeover. This will be my first time attempting 2 Mustangs at a time.

The competition began with an online auction where we were able to choose and bid on the Mustangs for the competition.

I ended up with a 5 year old sorrel mare from the Pancake HMA and a 6 year old dark brown/black gelding from Salt Wells Creek HMA. It was difficult to tell much from the short video clips that previewed each horse, so I wasn’t quite sure how my horses would look. The videos were taken during the winter months when all the horses had their winter coats on.

Last weekend, I patiently watched as other trainers picked up their sleek and shiny Mustangs. I hoped that mine would look just as nice.

I can’t say that I was disappointed!

My uncle, Bill, and I headed off at 3a.m. this morning for the 6 hour trip down to Ewing, Illinois. Everything went smoothly and we arrived right on time for our appointment. I grabbed my camera to see if I could find my two waiting in the pens for me.  It didn’t take me long. They were just as I’d pictured them.  The sorrel mare was a bit thinner than I’d like, but looks quite athletic. She moves as quick as a cat! The gelding is as handsome as they come.  He was gathered as a 5 year old, so he spent several years as a stud and it shows.  His cheeks and neck still have quite a bit of fat stored in them. I was able to see some photos of him in holding before I picked him up and I noticed he had some swelling in his right front fetlock. I figured if the BLM hadn’t noticed it, maybe it was an old injury… His front legs are terribly beat up and crooked… so I hope he stays sound.  Time will tell.

Once we got them home (around 4p.m.) I let them settle for a bit before working with them.  I was able to separate them out and got some good time in with them.  Both of them were accepting of my bamboo pole touching them and I got some shoulder pets in on both of them. I was beat, so happy with that small bit for the day.  Tomorrow is a new day.

I am always amazed by these Mustangs. They remind me of the courage it takes to trust in the unknown. They are my muses.

Please enjoy a few photos and a painting that I completed this evening… one of my goals is to paint every day throughout the competition, so here is day 1 – an image of the black gelding with no name yet.