Breed of the Month – Mustangs! Part 2

Submitted by Beth H. - This is Chinook Canyon, Kiger Mustang, in the Seattle area, owner/trainer Beth Holdhusen

Mustangs are our YourDressage Breed of the Month for June!  Known for their wild and majestic spirit, these free-roaming horses are rounded up periodically to be sold to new homes where they will be tamed.  These unique equines are living symbols of the historic and pioneer spirit of the West.

Dressage enthusiasts who ride Mustangs have the opportunity to earn special awards through the Adequan®/USDF All-Breeds Awards as The American Mustang & Burro Association Inc. is a Participating Organization.

We recently asked our social media followers to share photos of their Mustangs, and let us know what makes these horses so special. Below, you can see their photos and stories.  Make sure you check out Part 1 of this gallery if you missed it.

We hope you’ve enjoyed our coverage of this breed month long, as we’ve celebrated them with photo galleries and exclusive stories from Mustang enthusiasts across the country!

Join us next month for our July Breed of the Month: Arabians!

Submitted by Alyssa D. – Devil’s Garden Nøkkturne, 11yo gelding from Devil’s Garden, CA. He was just rounded up and gelded in September 2020. I adopted him at the end of February 2021 and could not be more amazed by how quickly he gentled down and let me start him under saddle. He will be hitting the show ring either this winter or next spring. He traveled with me from Maryland to Colorado before I could even touch him and we studied under Josh Lyons for several weeks. He left Maryland as an unhandled mustang and returned as a green broke show prospect
Submitted by Alyssa H. – Beezy, from Little Owyhee. *Note: USDF strongly recommends all riders wear protective headgear when mounted.
Submitted by Amélie B. – I wanted to share my story with my mustang, Kàra. She’s a facility born Mustang but we share a very special bond. I connected with her through the advice of my PTSD therapist, Johnny, who was treating me for my PTSD, after being a victim of the Las Vegas mass shooting on October 1st, 2017.
Submitted by Autumn P. – We show Third Level, and are working on piaffe, pirouettes, and changes to move up!
Submitted by Cammy M. – My 11 year old, Eagle HMA mustang, Luck of the Draw. He’s done a little bit of everything (jumping, gaming and trail riding) and now is doing dressage. His barn name is Alvin and he’s every bit as friendly and troublesome as his chipmunk namesake!
Submitted by Carol G. – This mustang, Scout, came into my life in an unusual way and we have had quite a journey so far……..After putting down 2 horses in a row, I took a 4 year break from riding but horses were never far from my mind. I was approaching 50 and decided it was time to get back to my horse passion in some way. My trainer found a rough 3-year-old on Facebook and that’s all it took. We didn’t know he was a Mustang until I did some research on his background and that’s another story…. I bought Scout sight unseen from videos generously made from the woman that had him in Colorado. On his way from Colorado, the hauler was hit by a driver texting. The vehicle climbed into the back of the 6 horse trailer and stopped short of Scout (luckily no other horses were on the trailer at the time). They had to cut apart the trailer to get Scout out but he walked right on the next trailer that got him off the highway. I knew I had a special horse at that time and I still hadn’t met him face to face. We got him back to my trainer’s farm in Michigan and found out he had a bone chip in his hock as a result of the accident. He had surgery to remove it along with weeks of stall rest and hand walking only (easier said than done with a 3 year old). Needless to say, Scout and I really got to know each other during this time which has sealed our bond. A year later, we ran into another roadblock. It was a second bone chip that should have been taken out during the first surgery so Scout had to go through another surgery and rehab process. He handled the stressful time like a pro and we were able to get back to training. We have had other challenges, like ulcers (not a surprise), that we have treated and moved forward from. Scout loves to learn and is always willing to try something new. He seems to look forward to his weekly trail rides too. We are now schooling Third Level and are looking forward to a lifelong partnership. He is the horse I have waited for my entire life, my true diamond in the rough. He has taught me more about myself and the meaning of horsemanship (and patience) and has taught me to be a better person. My 3 year journey with Scout so far has been the most rewarding horse experience of my life and every day I am filled with appreciation and gratitude for this amazing Mustang.
Submitted by Charlotte R. – Photo 1 of 2. We adopted Carmelita, a BLM-branded mustang now 9 yrs old, at the Extreme Mustang Makeover in Loveland, CO.  Riding her both dressage and Western is a delight. Thanks for featuring the great, versatile mustangs, who deserve our respect and protection.
Submitted by Charlotte R. – Photo 2 of 2. We adopted Carmelita, a BLM-branded mustang now 9 yrs old, at the Extreme Mustang Makeover in Loveland, CO.  Riding her both dressage and Western is a delight. Thanks for featuring the great, versatile mustangs, who deserve our respect and protection.
Submitted by Chelsea G. – Folly of Folly & Friends Mustang Sanctuary can do it all! She’s inspired a following of 100k followers, and has competed in dressage, eventing, and jumpers, but her favorite sport is foxhunting. She’s 14.1, 11 years old and from the Calico Mountains HMA
Submitted by Claire D. – This is my Mustang, Red! We have been working together for a few years now and learning dressage for the last year and a half. He started as a terrified pony who could not make it around the arena without spooking and bolting, and is now confidently showing Training Level tests! I am so proud of him!
Submitted by Dianne M. – My wonderful Mustang, Codetalker, aka Tommy
Submitted by Flynn M. – Bolt 10yrs old from the Wassuk hma in Nevada
Submitted by Jena B. – Chili The Kid, BLM Mustang captured in the Nevada desert, now owned and loved by Marsha D Carey and enjoying dressage, tricks, and trail riding in Norco, CA. Here is Chili the Kid showing a few of his tricks. He loves to smile!
Submitted by Jennifer O. – Shannon Donohue’s TNF Inara. A sand springs mare that competes in the open division, the AA division, and packs around little kids at home. Just as golden on the inside as she is on the outside.
Submitted by Jordan B. – I adore my Mustang! My mare is turning 5 and we have been working so hard together to grow our relationship and I have to say she absolutely saved my love for the sport! Without her I wouldn’t be riding anymore. She is from Rock Creek and we have been paired up since October. We have two shows under our belt and show Intro Level currently, just to build her confidence in the atmosphere, but she is capable of much more right now! I can’t wait to see how far she goes, with a personal goal of achieving my USDF Bronze Medal with her. Read their full story exclusively on YourDressage here!
Submitted by Karen R. – Hi , My name is Karen Ritchie. Windsong is a Mustang from Utah. The HMA is Cedar Mountains. She is 5 years old. She is my first mustang that I have started and it was a wonderful experience. I would like to show her in Dressage. I think it’s her calling. Mustangs are wonderful horses. Glad I adopted one. Cheers for the Mustangs
Submitted by Katie H. – I’d like to share my mustang Osawin. He was adopted from the BLM holding facility in Hutchinson, KS as a two year old. He is my first mustang and has taught me so much! He is 10 this year and 16.2 hands. We are showing second level in dressage and schooling third level. He is my big goofball!  I look forward to what we can accomplish!
Submitted by Katie T. – My favorite boy! Picasso, a 26 year old mustang, he’s mostly retired now but back in the days he was an eventer and dressage pony
Submitted by Kelsey N.
Submitted by Kendall G. – I have three Mustangs! Here is my second one! Able 10yo 14.2hh. From an HMA in WY
Submitted by Kendall G. – I have three Mustangs! Here is my third. Ladybug 30 days under saddle 13.2hh 8yo
Submitted by Kestrel D. – They have a fantastic sense of humor. Or tolerance lol.
Submitted by Lauren Y. – My next dressage pony! 16 yo BLM Mustang gelding who is sound and strong at his age and no signs of age at all. Mustangs are athletic, tough, and not prone to the same health deterioration that we’ve accidentally bred into our domesticated stock.
Submitted by Logan S. – My Mustang Pie! She has exceeded every expectation of learning dressage, and I can’t wait to get her out showing this year!
Submitted by Lois H. – Adagio, 2010 Adobe Town WY mare. Currently competing Novice Level Eventing
Submitted by Lori J. – My daughter has an awesome Mustang that she is riding Dressage. Her first schooling show she won both tests. Doing well at recognized shows now as well.
Submitted by MacKenzie H. – This is my 8-year-old gelding, Hermes. He’s my first horse and the first horse I’ve trained completely myself. He’s been a challenge but I have never been so humbled.
Submitted by Marcia R. – Me and my horse Full Moon Rising Cuervo Gold. He’s been a great dressage show horse, but also is just an all around good guy and barn favorite
Submitted by Margaret K. – My 7yo Mustang mare, BB Valiente, Mustang Sport Horse (Vali). I adopted Vali at age 48. She was not only my first Mustang, but also my first horse as an adult. I adopted her untouched sight-unseen as a 3yo, and we’re currently showing First Level and schooling Second/Third. I had done mostly dressage and eventing as a kid but quit when I was 17. I think the reason I quit was that my big 17.2hh Warmblood was too much horse for little 5’4” me, and I felt like I had lost a part of myself when I sold my previous Arabian cross in the name of advancement.I got the urge to start taking dressage lessons again 30 years later. While I was ready to finally purchase and looking for an affordable option, I happened to learn about the BLM Advisory Board’s recommendation to euthanize the 46,000 mustangs in holding. Of course, that didn’t happen, but it got my attention. I started researching the mustangs in English disciplines and the various Herd Management Areas. I fell in love with the Oregon mustangs, particularly those from Beatys Butte that were listed on the BLM Internet Adoption. I met a friend of a friend who was a mustang TIP trainer with the proper facilities and put in my application.Although I chickened out on the first auction (and cried like I had lost my little Arab all over again), I came back the next time around with more first-hand knowledge of Mustangs and finally made the decision to adopt. Although there were no videos of Vali, she appeared to be a beautiful mover from her still pictures. She was not the typical Mustang adopter’s dream horse because she was small and scrawny and her faded coat made her look plain. None of that mattered to me, so I was proud to have won her as the only bidder. When I met her several months later, I knew she was the right horse for me. She really was a beautiful mover and a great size for me. But more importantly, she had that spark of personality that seemed to give me that piece of my soul back I lost when I was a kid.
Submitted by Meg M. – This is Rune, an 11 yo Mustang – he scored a 78.5 this test!
Submitted by Meg M. – Ripley – 5yo Mustang mare from Antelope Valley HMA
Submitted by Meghan B. – I ride the brand! 2003 Cedar Mountain CM Inquisitive at Copper Meadows Beginner Novice eventer.
Submitted by Melissa C. – 11 yr mustang x TB. We have been through so much together and she forces me to challenge myself as a rider constantly.
Submitted by Melissa S. – I started riding later in life and was blessed with this amazing ‘Stang. From the beginning, I was taught what was right so now when I ride something that isn’t, I feel it quick. I progressed faster in riding then most and I owe it to him. He’s 16.1hh and 21 now – still a beautiful mover who awes judges and competitors with his Spanish style movements. I’ve been asked if he’s a Lusitano, Andalusian and take it as a compliment. The best thing I love is responding, “No, he’s a Mustang.” We ride western dressage but recently started WE. He’s my Heart, never replaceable. *Note: USDF strongly recommends all riders wear protective headgear when mounted.
Submitted by Miki P. – My Mustang Mare Iskra. I fell in love with the Mustangs when I bought Iskra. I’m a photographer and travel the western states and photograph these majestic animals in the wild bringing attention that wild horses are on the decline. They are losing their land to corporate greed and ranchers that set up shop on our dime on our public lands. Their cattle destroy them and with them our public lands where the wild horse is to blame which is far from the truth.
Submitted by Miranda T. – My lovely lady Mae
Submitted by Monica T. – My 4 year old BLM mustang mare BB Collateral Beauty from Beaty Butte being show in adult amateur huntseat here but she has had a strong dressage training background and will be hitting the dressage ring next spring! She’s so smart and has such amazing gaits.
Submitted by Natalie P. – Just Bob. 2005 BLM branded mustang. Gentled and trained at Hutchinson Correctional Facility in Kansas by inmates before I adopted him in 2010. Mustangs are hardy, extremely smart, and loyal. Bob has been my dancing partner for 11 years but I knew him when he was still at the prison being trained. 2019 USDF All Breed Champion First Level Amateur. Read their full story exclusively on YourDressage here!
Submitted by Nic O. – My new 3 year old Salt Wells boy, Drifter. He is my first Mustang and I hope to eventually bring him to the dressage ring
Submitted by Nina – Here is my curly WY Salt Wells Creek Mustang after our first schooling show!
Submitted by Nina – And here he is in the wild! Photo by Pat Doak
Submitted by Patti G. –  Padre’ USDF North Central Series Division Champion 4 Year old and older Stallions in hand. Padre’ also won his Stallion Class at Dressage at Devon
Submitted by Patti G. – Phoenix Rising with her Young Rider on the left and Little Red Hot showed AA on the right at the National Dressage Pony Cup. Both BLM Mustangs.
Submitted by Paula P. – DG Willow, yearling filly from a 2020 gather. Who knows what this girl will end up doing! Cows, jumping, dressage, maybe even the perfect all rounder. She’s here to stay, whatever her destiny!
Submitted by Rebecca S. – My Mustang gelding Bucephalus at the KDA Western Dressage clinic.
Submitted by Shannon D. – My lovely Sand Springs mare, the result of an emergency gather due to a forest fire. Besides being beautiful, Inara is patient, kind, and hard working. At dressage shows, I’m always asked if she’s Andalusian. She’s a keeper.
Submitted by Sierra W. – I have ridden a Mustang for the past 12 years, and she is my best friend. We competed in Second Level and she was schooling Third when she was in her early 20s. She is now 27 and happily retired and still the best horse I have ever known. Her name is Gypsy. Her full name is Miss Gypsy, owned by Barbara Wilk and ridden by Sierra Wick
Submitted by Tamara B. – Ours likes to dress up as a unicorn 
Submitted by Tara F. – My best friend/”jealous boyfriend” (as my mom called him) was a Mustang from Austin, NV. When I got him, he was a wild 2 year old stallion and I was an 11 year old horse nut… neither of us had a clue, but we learned together.
Submitted by Terri S. – I love my Mustang! Bucky was pulled out of a kill pen in Bowie, Texas and is one of the smartest, most affectionate horses I’ve ever owned. He’s about 14.3hh, very Spanish in build, and loves to learn. Best decision ever.
Submitted by Therese W. – Our Mustang (Gatling) was born in captivity in Oregon. We were given him for my equine therapy program. He was the first horse ever to go into the Juvenile prison (MacClaren) to work with the youth on the mental health unit. He was awarded the President’s Choice Ambassador Horse of the year by the Oregon Dressage Society in 2017. Madelynn Walker showed him at First Level and competed at the Pony Cup in Chicago in 2019.
Submitted by Tracey W. – 2017 BLM mustang mare- just started her show career with Intro A & B. Planning to do dressage and eventing with her!
Submitted by Zoe V. – Mustang x TB! She is eleven, my mom’s horse! Very talented, but keeps me… humble. Great brakes.

Go to Part 1


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