For those of you burning with curiosity, yes we did make it to the Meeker Mustang Makeover with Cesar, and what an adventure it was! We left a few days early with Cesar and Dominic the Donkey as yearling-sitter, for the event in the first winter storm of the year, not fun. We got lost on the way to our lodgings and a 5-hour trip took 8. The next day we went to the fairgrounds to practice, only to find the arena 12 inches deep in slick mud which Cesar did not appreciate. The day of the event was a whirlwind of new sights, sounds, smells (cows, sheep, overhead PA speakers, screaming kids, etc.), and a swirling mass of people and beautiful Mustangs doing amazing things, even jumping into the back of a flatbed truck! Every time we would take Cesar out of his stall at the fairgrounds for a practice run without Donkey, he would bray in exasperation, his calls thundering across the fairgrounds. So much so they actually had to once even briefly stop the national anthem! We thought he was there to babysit Cesar, but it seemed to work the other way around. The girls completed the obstacle course with Cesar and won college scholarship money. We then successfully won our bid at the auction on Cesar the baby wild Mustang, so now he is a permanent addition to the ResqRanch! It was exhausting and exhilarating all at the same time, and a wonderful learning and growing experience for the girls, Cesar, and our beloved donkey. I learned a lot more, too, about the plight of the Mustang and how the herds double in size every 4 years with no good means of management so they don’t starve to death other than the necessary continual rounding up of the horses and putting them in holding pens, to the current tune of 50,000 animals.
I spoke at length to the announcer about the logistics of bringing an event similar to this one, closer to the Denver area. My only concern with it all was the lack of positive reinforcement training I noticed being used on the 15 Mustangs at the event. Perhaps my HORSES101 program, with an emphasis on positive reinforcement, could be combined with the local 4H to bring a Mustang training event to our area. I have already had volunteers step up to assist if we decide to put this together, even if it takes a year or two. If this sounds like something you would like to get some more information on how to help out with, please email us at the hospital. Although the world seems to be upside down these days, one thing we can count on is that there are animals in need, now more than ever, who need our help. If we all do a little bit, we can end the need for shelters, rescues, and Mustang holding pens, in the first place.