Extreme Mustang Make Over
Once upon a time – and a very good time it was – there was a mustang roaming the Roan Plateau. Colorado prides itself of having four wild horse herds with a total population of approximately 700 horses. Between Spring Creek Basin, Piceance Basin, West and East Douglas, Little Bookcliffs and Sand Wash Basin there is enough for everyone to go around.
With the Advent of the Extreme Mustang Makeover, several adventurous individuals got together and felt it was about time to show off some of the beautiful animals and their skills to the local public. Voila: Northern Colorado Mustang Riders.
This illustrious group, riders range from 14 to 74 now prepares for the second performance at the Extreme Mustang Make Over on June 8-10 at the CSU Equestrian Center.
Patricia Burge (Founder, Concert pianist and Wild Horse lover) say, “It has always been my dream to give these wonderful animals a platform to show off their trainability and versatility and what better forum than a group of enthusiastic riders who are willing to practice and haul and participate in events around Colorado.”
The group was formed spontaneously 1-1/2 years ago, when Gabriele Moritz (retired airline pilot, one of the members) decided to fill one item on her bucket list: To train a mustang in 90 days from untouched to ride in a competition. “I thought, it is now or never, I will be turning 60-years-old and this is no game for seniors.” She trained and showed Coppersmith 900 and then he was adopted out which is normal practice at the Mustang Make Over.
We looked for other mustang owners and encouraged them to join. Our first practices were quite peculiar since the horses did not want to be close to each other, and neither did the riders … so the drill team turned into a frill-formation play team and every trail ride became our test range. Several other Mustang Make-Over trainers joined some with their 90 day horses, some with horses from the previous year and the group swelled and waned between eight and 14 riders. Our international debut at the 2011 Extreme Mustang Makeover was a wonderful success and encouragement.
The group rides a 7 minute orchestrated formation sequence and this years’ performance on Saturday June 9, will highlight a tribute to Jailbird Andrew, a famous Colorado Mustang (trained and owned by Kelly O’Leary) who reached Olympic levels in dressage and died last year at 27 years of age. It will also feature Inez Throm and Drifter, a solo-rider from Parachute, Colo. Inez has shown extensively at the Colorado Horse Expo with her now deceased Mustang Cisco. To lighten the mood we have also added a humorous intermezzo, where the riders actually present their routine on foot.
When asked how the youngest member Sydney White feels about riding with the old guard he says, “It is a pleasure to ride with these people and see them use these wonderful horses, we are having fun and give the mustang a chance to show how trainable and versatile this horse is.”
The horses range in age from 4 to 17 and the group is for hire for local equine events. The objective is to raise awareness for the mustangs and also to highlight the fun communal atmosphere.
Please reserve your seat for the three day event at the CSU Equestrian Center:
• Friday, June 8: Compulsory movements of the 40 competitors (horses are able for review).
• Saturday, June 9: 10 Finalists compete and present their Freestyle. Entertainment with the Westernairs and Northern Colorado Mustang Riders.
• Sunday, June 10: Auction of all competition horses.
All events except for Saturday are free.
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