Matt and his previously wild BLM mustang, Bud, have made a lot of progress over the past three month’s. | Photo: Alayne Blickle

Seriously, this Bud might be for you! This Bud is a mustang, not a beverage. And he’s part of the Extreme Mustang Makeover (EMM) being held at the Ford Idaho Horse Park in Nampa, Idaho (aka, our backyard) on July 25 and 26, 2014. About 100 days ago my husband, Matt Livengood, signed up to be a part of the EMM and picked up Bud, his randomly assigned wild mustang, from the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) holding facility in Boise. I was out of town for work at the time, but I got his excited text about the long-legged dark bay gelding with three white socks–and how wild and distrustful of people he was.The photo he included told me he was quite big for a 3-year-old.

Matt has always been interested in the various mustang challenge events (of which there are several versions across the country) where you get a very short time to “tame” a wild mustang, but in 2012 seeing the movie “Wild Horse, Wild Ride” cinched it for Matt; he wanted to try it for himself. When we learned that the EMM was literally happening down the road from us Matt signed on. Matt’s goal has been to have a positive learning experience that he could grow from in terms of horsemanship skills and in turn give a Mustang a good start in life and help him find a good home.

By all accounts there are a lot of wild mustangs in western North America, something like 90,000, with about half of them in BLM holding facilities. The rest are on open range land managed by the BLM. By any measure this is a lot of horses, so kinda like with dogs and cats