Wild thing!

Frazier and Tomilison compete at Mustang Makeover contest

Kimberly Bills, Reporter

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Every year wild mustangs are captured and converted into controllable, behaving working horses in a competition known as the Mustang Makeover. Contestants who sign on to tame these  majestic, wild beasts are given 120 days to train their mustangs before they compete in contest where they show off the skills they have taught their horse and then show off the skills they have learned at a competition.

Senior Kayden Frazier and junior Dalena (Didi) Tomlinson recently competed in the Mustang Makeover where Frazier won first and Didi placed second.

“It was our duty to gentle the mustangs, teach them how to walk and trot on line, pivot, and side pass,” Frazier said.

According to Frazier and Tomlinson the horses compete in three areas as part of the contest: handling, conditioning, and patterns which includes obstacles, bridges, shoot, and serpentine. In order to be successful in the arena, the mustang should show willingness and trainability.

“The Mustang Makeover competition is a great way for mustangs to get adopted and prepares them for being good working and riding horses,” Frazier said.

At the end of the Mustang Makeover, the horse and trainer compete in a free style contest. During this part of the competition, the trainer and horse compete in costume. Frazier chose a Flintstones theme and Tomlinson and her horse were dressed like zombies.

“I enjoyed my experience and was very excited for the new lessons that came,” Tomlinson said. “I got along with my horse very well. At first, I wasn’t sure if I was going to be very good at the makeover, but I ended up doing well for my first time and I made a best friend forever.”

This was Frazier’s second year to compete in the Mustang Makeover competition which is sponsored by the Mustang Heritage Foundation. She said that there are currently more than 50,000 wild mustangs in holding and that overpopulation in the wild is a real concern.

“The main priority of the Mustang Heritage Foundation is to domesticate these horses,” Frazier said. “There is just not enough mainland to hold all these in the wild; therefore, the purpose of the contest is help solve the overpopulation by turning them into productive, gently, family friendly horses.”

 

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