Maybe I should apologize right up front for my message this month—I seem to be stuck on the mustang topic! The problem is, I just can't stop talking about mustangs as there are so many wonderful, interesting, and inspiring adventures to be had with them!
This month’s message is about the completion of the mustang adventure my husband, Matt Livengood, had over the last three months with one very special mustang, Tyme to Shine. I wrote about mustangs last month; about Matt’s adventure getting a totally wild, newly off-the-range, newly-gelded, 4 year-old mustang ready to compete in the bright lights and crowds of the 2017 Reno Extreme Mustang Makeover—in just 100 days.
On June 23 and 24 they did just that and what an exciting, exhilarating experience it was. Two days of competitions between 22 trainers and their mustangs were challenging; they worked long hours in extremely hot temperatures among raucous crowds and with crazy distractions like fireworks or loose cows.
The amazing news is that Matt and Tyme to Shine won the whole kit and caboodle, they were the champions of 2017 Reno Extreme Mustang Makeover. No one was more shocked and surprised than Matt and I as the thought of winning the event never even crossed our minds. I am proud of them both with their hard work and commitment to each other. Tyme to Shine was amazing and we were so lucky to have drawn him as Matt’s partner in this process.
Here's what Matt had to say on Facebook after the completion of the event:
Wow! What a ride … I can hardly believe I won the Reno EMM.
But as with all things, I couldn’t have done it without the help of many great people along the way. First and foremost, I want to thank my incredible wife, Alayne Blickle, who encouraged and cajoled me to continue to work with Tyme to Shine and ultimately complete this journey of competing with him at the Reno EMM. Matt and Stacie Zimmerman were amazingly helpful, giving me new tools to move through the rough spots in the process.
Other folks—Barbara Dunn, Katia Gillis, Inger Malmberg, Sema Cohen, all gave me ideas and suggestions along the way when I needed some help. There is always so much happening at these events I couldn’t have focused on Tyme to Shine if I didn’t have a great support crew at the EMM—Alayne, Sheri Clevenger, Janet Gilbreath and Audrey Waidelich (and her friend Bill). Jane Rohling was awesome with her graphics help. And there were so very many others of our friends who encouraged me.
I am always impressed and appreciative of how supportive and congenial the mustang community is of each other during these events—I want to thank all my fellow competitors as well as the Mustang Heritage Foundation and the Bureau of Land Management for everything they all did during this event. It was a jam packed, exciting, fun few days.
Lastly, I want to thank Tyme to Shine, he has such a gentle, willing personality. In the beginning I thought participating in the EMM would be about me helping him find a good home, but in the end it was he who really helped me refocus and find myself along the way. He is, and will be, a wonderful horse and I am honored to have had the opportunity to work with him.
Congratulations to our good friend Lisa Fite of Redmond, Washington on adopting Tyme to Shine as he will be a great horse for her.
In case you'd like to see more of Tyme to Shine's winning performance, here is the link to the whole finals, which includes the 10 finalists’ compulsory routines and freestyle performances. Matt and Tyme to Shine’s compulsory are at about 1:32 minutes into it and their freestyle is at about 1:08.
I remain impressed with mustangs—there are thousands upon thousands of beautiful and talented individuals out there. For those of you in the market for a new horse or who are new to the horse world, consider a mustang. Mustangs make good mounts as nature has outfitted them with good bone, strong feet, and a resilient character. Check out the Bureau of Land Management’s website for more information on the adoption process. You don’t have to look hard to see many beautiful, kind, athletic horses that are available to a good home for a bargain price. And besides, working with mustangs just turns out to be so darn interesting!
Also, consider adopting from an Extreme Mustang Makeover event, such as Matt's was in Reno. These horses have had wonderful basic care and schooling, and have been exposed to many, many more things than the average horse would be.
So, if you're contemplating getting a new horse, consider a mustang! After all, they are your horse, America’s horse.
P.S. For those in the Pacific Northwest, there will be an Extreme Mustang Makeover in Monroe, WA August 17-19. This will be the first Extreme Mustang Makeover for Washington State! Other upcoming EMM's are listed on the Mustang Heritage Foundation’s website.