Have you ever dreamed of being a mustang horse trainer?

Meeker Mustang Makeover seeking trainers for 2022 event featuring Sand Wash Basin horses

MEEKER I The fourth annual Meeker Mustang Makeover is on the hunt for horse trainers in Colorado. Last year, 20 trainers from across Colorado picked up their horses on a dusty afternoon, and 120 days later, performed and competed to show off the contrast from a horse that had never been touched to one that could move cows, handle an obstacle course, and show off its paces in front of a crowd at the Meeker Rodeo Fairgrounds. All horses sold at the end with trainers receiving 50% of the proceeds of their horse, in addition to taking home prize money, scholarship funds, and BLM incentive money.

This year, 20 trainers will have 120 days to gentle their unbroken and untouched horse for a unique competition, and the opportunity to attend two free clinics by Wild Horse professional Steve Mantle. There is a youth division with yearlings in hand (halter) for kids age 17 to 10, and a saddle competition with three-year-old mustangs for anyone aged 15 and up. Pick up day is April 30 in Meeker, Colorado. Applications are online at www.MeekerMustangMakeover.org.

The competition will be held on Saturday, Aug. 27, followed by an online and live auction of all the horses to their forever homes. Trainers receive half of the auction proceeds. Longhorn Video Auctions is our auctioneer and last year attracted 22,000 views on the website. The event will be livestreamed for those who want to attend virtually, by Levelhead Audio and the Rio Blanco Herald, with a live and virtual auction again.

This year the event will feature wild horses from the Sand Wash Basin herd, noted for their lovely pintos, palominos and other colors. Junior trainers in the yearling competition will work with one year olds, and the saddle competition will feature three-year-old horses. Yearling in Halter groups will have to satisfy the requirements of handling an obstacle course for their wild horse yearlings while they perform a creative freestyle performance that they devise. 

Following the competition, all horses will be auctioned off to the crowd. The payoff for trainers is big: There will be $8,000 in prize for the three-year-old saddle horse competition and scholarship money for the youth/yearling. Trainers  will also receive 50% of the proceeds of their horse’s sale, in addition to the BLM Adoption Incentive Program money of $500 after two months and an additional $500 if they adopt the horse at the end of the year. 

The final date applications will be accepted is April 1. Applications are available at MeekerMustangMakeover.org. Trainers will pick up their horses on April 20 at the Rodeo Fairgrounds in Meeker, Colorado, where professional mustang trainer Steve Mantle will provide a free clinic for trainers, available also to the public for a nominal fee.

Interested trainers will find the application online at MeekerMustangMakeover.org

Questions, email Robyn Blackwood Kelley at RobynBlackwood71@gmail.com

Special to the Herald Times