Taming a wild horse – Trainer joins a national challenge to help mustang-adoption effort

By Katya Cengel | The Courier-Journal | July 25, 2008
Photo by Pam Spaulding, Courier-Journal

When she got him three weeks ago, she had to use the tip of a stiff buggy whip to touch him. It took days before she was able to use her hands. Bucephalus did not anticipate touch. He is a wild mustang captured in early 2007.

Named after Alexander the Great’s horse, Bucephalus was put in a holding facility and left to roam. He is 3 years old and is only now learning to eat grain.

Ideally Rodden would take six months to a year to train him, but she has 100 days.

As one of 200 trainers selected nationwide to gentle a wild mustang, Rodden has until Sept. 18 to get Bucephalus to Texas and compete for $50,000 in cash prizes as part of the Extreme Mustang Makeover.

Last year’s show attracted thousands, and many more tuned in when it aired on RFD-TV, a 24-hour television network for rural America, last fall and again this summer.

A collaboration of the Mustang Heritage Foundation and the Bureau of Land Management, the event is designed to draw attention to wild mustangs and their adoptability. Although legislation protects the horses, as herds grow and natural resources are depleted, the bureau gathers excess mustangs and places them in holding facilities.

Through the first Extreme Mustang Makeover in 2007, and several smaller mustang challenges and incentives since, 1,000 horses will have found homes by the time of the September event, says Randi Blasienz, event manager for the heritage foundation.

Full article: Taming a wild horse – Trainer joins a national challenge to help mustang-adoption effort

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