The Extreme Mustang Makeover Challenge is a yearly competition put on by the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) to help promote adoption by “showcasing the Mustangs’ value and trainability through competition.” (extrememustangmakeover.com) Trainers in two age divisions (18 and older adult, and an in-hand youth ages 8-17) apply to be part of the competition. If selected, they are given a Mustang over the age of four through random draw. This year, trainers picked up their mustangs in Lorton, Virginia, where the competition would be held.
Then, they had just 130 days to work with their Mustangs before the competition. Trainers must use “humane and compassionate” training and the BLM encourages “least resistant” techniques.
After the event, trainers (as well as the public) may bid to adopt the Mustangs.
Madison Shambaugh, 20, is one of the trainers that competed in this year’s event. Her mount was Terk, a Bay six-year-old Gelding from Nevada.
Shambaugh uses a unique training approach for all disciplines of riding, including barrel racing, show and, of course, gentling Mustangs. Her technique is based on a horse’s natural motivators and learning patterns to create a partnership based on “hope, trust, and respect.”
Her technique clearly works. Their freestyle pattern is amazing – bridleless after just 130 days from the wild!
Watch the entire pattern below!
Horse Courses by Elaine Heney
- Listening to the Horse - The Documentary by Elaine Heney & Grey Pony Films
- Shoulder In & Out Training for better balance, bend & topline development with your horse
- Over 110+ Polework Exercises & Challenges to Download
- Dancing at Liberty & Creating Connection with Your Horse (11 lessons) - Grey Pony Films
Shambaugh and Terk were awarded Awarded Overall Reserve Champion, Fan Favorite, Rookie award, & Young Guns (18-21 yr old) award. After the competition, Shambaugh won the auction and was able to adopt Terk!