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RE: [RC] What I Know About Mustangs - Jill Carr

BRAVO! You go girl!

I'll be in Ft. Worth in September for the Extreme Makeover and will be
delighted to meet you!  My daughter and her husband are also competing as
they did last year.  It was the most amazing equine event I have EVER seen.
I have 2 BLM Mustangs - Willow now has over 1000 AERC miles and the 3yr old
is just starting out under saddle.  They're BOTH amazing horses.

Happy trails, and keep up the great work!

Jill Carr

-----Original Message-----
From: ridecamp-owner@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx
[mailto:ridecamp-owner@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx] On Behalf Of Neuenschwander, Karen
Mrs DoD Ben
Sent: Friday, July 18, 2008 9:34 AM
To: ridecamp@xxxxxxxxxxxxx
Subject: [RC] What I Know About Mustangs

With the suggestion that some of America's excess mustangs be euthanized,
the debate in this country about what to do with them is once again a hot
topic. As usual, this Ridecamp hot topic has turned ugly.  Kill 'em all,
save 'em all - everyone freely shares what they know, or think they know,
about this topic.  I've decided to take a turn and share my experiences.

I'm not an expert on mustangs, not by a longshot, but over the last few
years, I've had the pleasure of getting to know some of these animals.  This
year I'm participating as a trainer in the Extreme Mustang Makeover.  I was
given a previously untouched mustang and 100 days to teach him what I can.
In September, I will go up against 199 other trainers and their mustangs in
a competition.  After the competition, the mustangs will be auctioned off to
new homes.  Based on my experiences with mustangs thus far, here's what I

I know that I've become a permanent fan of the American mustang.  I adopted
my first mustang, Ranger, in 2003.  I had previously ridden and trained
Arabs for endurance.  I'd ridden at the front of the pack, in the back, and
everywhere in between, and I'd crewed at a few high profile endurance
events, but I found my endurance niche in my "imperfect" mustang.  Ranger
and I have a less than stellar endurance record, but every mile we've ridden
together has been a joy.  Countless conversations that started with, "That's
not an Arab, is it?" led to new friendships on the trail.  We've seen some
beautiful country together, and I've never worried about my safety or
whether Ranger would run himself into the ground.

My Makeover horse, Eli Easy, has only strengthened my affection for
mustangs.  In one short month, he's gone from a panicked, wild animal,
attempting to climb 6 ft. fences to escape human touch, to a mild mannered
partner who I felt safe enough to trail ride on only his second time under
saddle.  Could I have done this with another breed of horse?  Most likely,
yes.  But these horses steal your heart in a way that I've never experienced
with any "domestic" horse.  I'm reminded of a saying used to describe what
is so special about being a Texas Aggie:  "From the inside, you can't
describe it, from the outside, you can't understand it."    

I know that mustangs have made me a better horseman, and a better person.
Ranger taught me timing and how to put natural horsemanship to use, and Eli
drove home a lesson in patience and the importance of not losing my cool
when things get hot.  I now carry those lessons with me when relating to
others of the human variety, and in parenting my toddler twins.

I know that I don't want to see mustangs disappear from the range.  They are
a piece of American history, and I think that they deserve to be protected.
As far as how to do that properly, I haven't got the perfect solution.  But
America is a land of innovators, and I'm sure that with some effort, we can
figure out a satisfactory compromise.

What I don't know is how I'm going to let Eli go on auction day.  I
volunteered for this contest in order to help bring awareness to the
mustangs' cause, and to find a good home for one horse who might otherwise
live out his life in a holding facility.  And while I'm always looking for
my next endurance mount, I was not really looking to find him during this
event.  But when it comes down to it, whether or not I end up with Eli at
the end of this event is somewhat irrelevant in the grand scheme of things.
While the debate over the mustangs rages on, the creators of the Extreme
Mustang Makeover, the Mustang Heritage Foundation, have stepped up and taken
action to help right now, by highlighting the value of these horses and
getting them in to good homes.  I'm extraordinarily proud to be a part of
that effort. 

If you are interested in mustangs or want to follow my journey, please check
out the following sites:

My blog:  http://karen-100miles.blogspot.com/

Karen Neuenschwander

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Ridecamp is a service of Endurance Net, http://www.endurance.net.
Information, Policy, Disclaimer: http://www.endurance.net/Ridecamp
Subscribe/Unsubscribe http://www.endurance.net/ridecamp/logon.asp

Ride Long and Ride Safe!!


[RC] What I Know About Mustangs, Neuenschwander, Karen Mrs DoD Ben