This Bud’s for You!

About 100 days ago my husband, Matt Livengood, signed up to be a part of the Extreme Mustang Makeover and picked up Bud, his randomly assigned wild mustang.

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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 in shelters, we need to find a way to get the word out to the public that these horses make good mounts and get them into good homes. The foundations that sponsor these challenge events are trying to do just that; provide good, positive exposure for these horses and help them get adopted out.

When I first saw Bud, his sizable bone structure and feathery ankle hair gave him the appearance of having draft horse bloodlines, hence his name Bud, as in the stately Budweiser Clydesdales. Since he’ll be up for adoption at the end of the EMM and looking for a good home, we started calling him This Bud’s for You. The name just stuck

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Written by:

Alayne Blickle, a lifelong equestrian and ranch riding competitor, is the creator/director of Horses for Clean Water, an award-winning, internationally acclaimed environmental education program for horse owners. Well-known for her enthusiastic, down-to-earth approach, Blickle is an educator and photojournalist who has worked with horse and livestock owners since 1990 teaching manure composting, pasture management, mud and dust control, water conservation, chemical use reduction, firewise, and wildlife enhancement. She teaches and travels North America and writes for horse publications. Blickle and her husband raise and train their mustangs and quarter horses at their eco-sensitive guest ranch, Sweet Pepper Ranch, in sunny Nampa, Idaho.

3 Responses

  1. re: This Bud’s for You!

    I LOVE mustangs!!! My mare is 33 and looks about 10!  If I could afford to board a 3rd horse, I’d adopt a mustang in half a heart beat!!  They are THE BEST!!!  They are extremely personable, loving, brave and make fantastic trail horses!

  2. re: This Bud’s for You!

    I have adopted 3 mustangs in the past and have seen many more at adoptions from all over the west.  Almost all of them have feathers and solid bones.  In my opinion, living in the wild and running over rocky ground all the time help build up

  3. re: This Bud’s for You!

    I watched a young lady from back east do this. While she didn’t "win" she had and her horse had a GREAT experience. Her horse was never up for adoption. But watching them was so inspiring. The dreaded blue tarp, learning to load in and out of

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