Mustang Mania in Idaho

Meet some of the competitors from the 2015 Extreme Mustang Makeover in Nampa, Idaho.

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Mustang Mania in Idaho
It's day one of the Nampa, Idaho, Extreme Mustang Makeover and exhibitors wait their turn in the handling and conditioning class. | Photo: Alayne Blickle
Some of you might recall that my husband, Matt Livengood, competed in last year’s Extreme Mustang Makeover (EMM) in Nampa, Idaho, with a mustang we named Bud. It was challenging, exciting, and at times frightening. In the end it was a rewarding experience for Matt and me, and hopefully Bud found it a positive experience as well.

The EMM, as it is more often referred to by participants, is a chance to showcase the trainability and versatility of America’s Mustangs. As told in the 2011 documentary “Wild Horse, Wild Ride,” participants are given 100 days to gentle and train a wild horse. Each contestant is randomly assigned a Mustang from a pool of horses that are approximately the same age, sex, and color. Eleven EMM competitions were held around the US this year, organized and run by the Mustang Heritage Foundation.

This summer the 2015 Nampa, Idaho EMM was held, featuring 5- and 6-year-old mustang mares. Matt and I attended as spectators and found ourselves completely captivated. We got to know several participants and their mustangs quite well. I’d like to share a few of their stories with you.

The New Zealanders

Mustang Mania in Idaho
New Zealand's Kelly Wilson preforming her freestyle. | Photo: Alayne Blickle
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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.

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