Started by the Mustang Heritage Foundation to encourage adoption of American wild horses that have been captured and are in BLM (Bureau of Land Management) corrals and long term holding facilities. The Extreme Mustang Makeover events have become a hit with competitors, audiences and those looking to adopt a BLM Mustang that has already been gentled and started.
Stony Plain youth, Kylie Jensen has a love of horses that knows no bounds or borders. Watching a link to the film “Wild Horse, Wild Ride”, given to her by instructor Tony Mckee at the Remuda Horseman Program, was the start of Kylie’s journey to Nampa, Idaho. The desire to compete in the 100 day challenge was firmly rooted in the teen’s mind.
Deciding to take a chance, Jensen went online, found the youth application filled it out, found a place to stay in Idaho in case she was accepted and waited. The detailed application covers the applicant’s background and training experience and also requires two personal references.
The gamble paid off when Jensen was informed that she was accepted to compete in the 2014 competition held in Nampa, Idaho in the youth 8-17 category. Not only she was she accepted but she was the first Canadian invited to compete.
Typically a youth competitor adopts a previously unhandled yearling; Jensen through luck of the draw was paired with Oden a two year old to work with.
The competitors have criteria to meet when working with the Mustangs that include halter breaking, trailer loading and unloading, maneuvering, picking up feet, obstacles etc., the one thing that is not allowed due to the Mustangs young age is anyone on their back.
Beginning her 100 days of training with Oden, Jensen was amazed at how quickly the young and previously untouched Mustang responded. Spending the time and patience to gain Oden’s trust paid dividends when it came to training him. Jenson says that “he was incredibly easy to train once you had his trust and he’s very affectionate.” Kylie and Oden would go on to place 10th overall in the competition.
Impressed with her experience with training Oden, Jensen also adopted another Mustang from a private home. Jasper is at home with Jensen now waiting for all the paperwork to be in order for Oden to cross the border and join them in April.
Enthused by her experience with the other trainers and Mustangs in Idaho, Jensen says ”these horses are a thousand times more willing than any domestic horse I’ve ever worked with to do anything that you ask of them. You just need to gain their trust and let them understand what it is you’re asking of them.”
Now 18 and working as a Trail Guide at Pegasus Stables, Jensen says that she would love to see programs like this in Canada for Alberta’s Wildies so people could see just how trainable and loving these horses are.
Her goal now is to be able to travel with Oden to advocate for the trainability of wild horses and encourage people to adopt these horses.
With the current wild horse capture making wild horses available for adoption through WHOAS and public auction Kylie Jensen is hoping that people will take a chance on these wild horses, because with time and patience you could just get the horse of your dreams. She knows that she did.