~ Extreme Mustang Makeover, Norco, CA 2011 ~
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This page is a running journal of Cindy and her mustang partner as they train for the competition in Norco on May 13th - 15th, 2011. Links will appear throughout the text to pages where you can find out more about anything you see here.

Wyatt has ninety days to go from wild to wonderful - follow his progress through days 1 - 30, 31 - 60, then 61 - 90 on the next pages!

Wyatt, Steve & Cindy, and everyone here at YVEC want to say a special hello to Dale Wallace and everyone in his unit, who have been following Wyatt's progess from their location in Afghanistan. Thanks so much for all you do guys!

Day 31: Sunday, March 13, 2011. DAY OFF

Hello, and welcome to Day 31, and the next page. As you can see, we will be splitting Wyatt's chronicle into 3 parts, 30 days each, leading up to the Norco Extreme Mustang Makeover on May 13th and 14th. On May 15th, Wyatt will be offered in the adoption auction with all the other mustangs in the contest. For more information on the Extreme Mustang Makeover, see day 1 - 30. For today, Wyatt is relaxing in the sun!

Day 32: Monday, March 14, 2011. LIGHT DUTY

Monday was a light duty day for Wyatt, consisting of a grooming and simple lunging review. Cindy used this day to recuperate from an injury to her arms on Sunday.

Day 33: Tuesday, March 15, 2011. REVIEW DAY

Wyatt was ridden in the round pen and the arena today, freshening up his previous riding lessons and getting his mind prepared for some new challenegs for Wednesday.

Day 34: Wednesday, March 16, 2011. WHEW! LEARNING'S TIRING!

Wednesday began like an ordinary day for Wyatt, with some grooming and getting ready to go to the round pen to lunge and ride. However today Cindy asked him to carry a red cloth flag on his saddle horn. Wyat did not like the cloth flag hanging there, following his every move, going wherever he went!

Due to his objections, Wyatt received a longer than normal lunging session, giving him time to learn to accept the frightening flag flapping around him while he moved. Eventually he did settle in with it, so this time Cindy repositioned it. It became a 'Super Wyatt' cape, tied to the D-rings on each side of his saddle and flying proudly over his back as he lunged!

The flying cape was not quite as frightening as the 'horn flag' had been - he got used to the material after all that lunging. After his workout, Wyatt got an extra good grooming, and received his first 'tail bag'. After his tail was washed a sock was placed over it to keep it nice and tidy (and also just so he could get used to another unusual object!). Wyatt stood tied with his tail bag on while all the day's lesson students groomed and beautified their horses up for this weekend's Morongo Basin Horsemen's Association PlayDay, which Wyatt also plans on attending.

He did very well with his patience lesson and with handling his tail bag, and was sent to bed with the tail bag on and the hideous red flag/cape tied to his stall front. Amazingly enough, Wyatt found he didn't so much care about that flag once dinner was placed in his pen!

Day 35: Thursday, March 17, 2011. REVIEW

Today Cindy took Wyatt for a quiet ride, allowing yesterday's lessons to sink in while he rested up a bit from all the excitement.

Day 36: Friday, March 18, 2011. SHOW READY

Friday was Wyatt's longest ride time to date. In addition to his normal workout, he cantered both ways of the arena for the first time. He also worked on his baby slide stops, which are coming along nicely as he is naturally inclined to stop with his butt underneath him. He worked on turns on the forehand and hindquarters today, and began leg yeilding.

Wyatt also got to be a 'chair' while Cindy taught Aislinn and Mikayla's lesson, then Suzette's. he is ready for a day at the MBHA Arena tomorrow for the PlayDay show!

new equipment today: running martingale

Day 37: Saturday, March 19, 2011. HORSE SHOW! See the pictures in the gallery

Today was cold and a little windy, but the YVEC crew headed out to the Morongo Basin Horsemen's Association PlayDay. The morning classes were gymkhana, and then they held western and English rail classes.

Wyatt loaded into the trialer like he'd been doing it all his life, and rode well to the event. When he got there, he acted as if it were no big deal at all! Cindy plan was to expose him to the new situation, and allow him to do as much as he was comfortable with - turned out he was comfortable with everything!

Wyatt paticiapted in all the classes for the experience, but was not judged

The YVEC riders did very well - for many of them it was their first show. Wyatt was allowed to stay in the arena during the walk-trot class, so Sam and Levi could have some company while they were judged. Wyatt took everything in stride and all the riders who competed should be proud!

Day 38: Sunday, March 20, 2011. DAY OFF

After yesterday's stellar performance, today was a well-deserved day off. 50 mile-per-hour winds and cold temperatures didn't make the day inviting anyhow!

Day 39: Monday, March 21, 2011. RAINED OUT

It never rains in California...it pours, man it pours.

Day 40: Tuesday, March 22, 2011. ALL TACKED UP

Today was Wyatt's first day with the 'big boy saddle'! Instead of his usual little cordura saddle, Wyat got to wear Cindy's Marshall Cutter today. It's a larger and heavier saddle, but he did just fine in it. He rode at all three gaits, both ways of the big arena.

After his workout he spend some time hanging out in Jesster's indoor barn stall while Jesster spent some time eating weeds in an outdoor paddock.

Day 41: Wednesday, March 23, 2011. WHAT A DRAG

Today Wyatt was 'drag man' on a trail ride of eight horses! It was his second time out on the trails, and he rode last in the group which consisted of boarders and friends. After his trail ride, wyatt got to rest up for a bit while other horses got ready for their lessons, then it was back to work for him!

Cindy took Wyatt out to the arena to do double duty as a chair while she taught lessons, and to review his arena work once more. He is really developing patience and versatility!

Day 42: Thursday, March 24, 2011. ALL DRESSED UP See the pictures in the gallery

Wyatt got his normal arena workout today, followed by a full afternoon of beauty! It was his first day with the clippers, and he received a bridle path and had all his whiskers trimmed neatly. He looks very handsome all slicked up!

After his trim, Wyatt was introduced to a nice blue sheet. He met it lying on the ground, spent some time walking around and over it, and when he realized it was no big deal, he got to wear it! He wore the sheet overnight in his pen, and it stayed clean and un-tattered by the next morning! Cindy concluded he had good dress manners. We are glad to know he is not a blanket-abuser, as some horses turn out to be!

Day 43: Friday, March 25, 2011. ROLLER DERBY

Wyatt's new toy, a 40" bright green play ball, arrived today! The weather was windy and uncooperative, but Wyatt still got a chance to go into the round pen with his new toy for a bit. He enjoyed playing with it very much - until he decided to lay over it!

He climbed and the ball, sat on the ball, then laid over it. Unfortunately he wasn't quite centered, and the ball rolled out from under him, dumping him on the sand! He seemed a littel confused by that, but he still payed with it even after being thrown. He just didn't climb on it again that day!

Day 44: Saturday, March 26, 2011. ALL BY MYSELF!

Another big day for Wyatt. After his normal arena workout, Wyatt and Cindy took a mini-trail ride today - all alone! It was Wyatt's first time out on the trial without the comfort of another horse, and he did very well. He'll progress gradually to longer rides as his comfort level increases.

Day 45: Sunday, March 27, 2011. DAY OFF

Sunday rest day - it was a lovely, warm day.

Day 46: Monday, March 28, 2011. FLYIN' THE FLAG See the pictures in the gallery

Today was a day for flags, wagons, and the big ball! Wyatt started out his session by taking a walk with Slim, who was working with the flag of spring - a bright pink and yellow fluttery thing. He kept his eye on that flag, but in general didn't think it was too bad. He walked up and down the aisle a few times, did a couple turns, and was ready to walk on his own.

Wyatt thought that was fine, too, then Cindy had the nerve to let the flag TOUCH him! Yikes. Cindy brought him back to the large pen where they could safely work on moving with the flag and allowing it to touch him. He didn't mind it being near his face very much, but it took some getting used to for him to allow it to be on his hindquarters!

Next up was the wagon. The little metal Radio Flyer got towed along next to him, and it rattled! However, Wyatt soon discovered that wagon actually had a bit of grain and hay on it - suddenly it wasn't a problem at all! He had no trouble pulling that one along!

His last fun for the day was to play with his ball in the roundpen. While he didn't jump on it today, he did use it as a rolling buddy to lay next to, and he kicked it around a bit. When he was done playing, Wyatt was caught and led by Amanda, so he could learn to accept new handlers. Cindy pulled the wagon with the ball, and Amanda and Wyatt followed it home. A fun day!

Day 47: Tuesday, March 29, 2011. NEW FACES

New face day! After his normal ride, Cindy brought Wyat to the round pen where Amanda got to ride him! This is the first time anyone but Cindy has been on his back, and he adapted very well.

Amanda worked at the walk and trot in the round pen, which is a good start with a new rider to listen to.

We all love it when we see Wyatt having fun, pulling things and walking over bridges and being clever - all those things are important for a well-rounded horse and good for his training. But let's face it - THIS is really what it's all about!

Wyatt's ability to accept a new rider with a completely different style of riding (communicating), at only 47 days of training, is his real test. That's 47 days out of the BLM holding facility. He was gathered from the wild on September 25th, 2010 - so that's almost exactly six months from free ranging mustang to well-adjusted, sound-minded, versatile young working horse.

Sure, he has much more to learn - but under Cindy's guidance he's certainly proving himself to be a special little horse!

Day 48: Wednesday, March 30, 2011. KEEP WORKING

Today was a review and normal ride in the smaller wood arena. Wyatt also learned to combine his stall toys - he pushes his hanging plastic apple into the pair of hanging rain pants so the pants rattle and flap around. He enjoys it and does it over and over. The more 'civilized' horses worry about it and think he's a little bit of a nut!

Day 49: Thursday, March 31, 2011. WORK & PATIENCE

Today Cinday and Wyatt worked on everything every where. The session started with a ride in the large jump arena while Amanda had her lesson, and from there moved to the smaller wood arena during Art's lesson.

Today was Wyatt's first day in the wash rack, a narrow metal 'stall' of sorts for horses to stand in while being bathed. He walked in very willingly even though it is a narrow space! He is still is bit mistrustful of his hose-downs, so Cindy decided to remove him from the rack for that part of his clean-up, so the experience of loading in the wash rack wouldn't be associated with the bath until he is more comfortable.

Wyatt practiced his patience by standing and drying during Megan's lesson. He's becoming quite the grown-up boy!

Day 50: Friday, April 1, 2011. NO APRIL FOOL

Today was a straight-up riding day, no fools involved!

Day 51: Saturday, April 2, 2011. REVIEW

Saturday was a review of previous arena work, and time spent being a chair during lessons!

Day 52: Sunday, April 3, 2011. SLEEPOVER! See the pictures of Sunday and Monday in the gallery

A lot of new experiences for Wyatt this weekend! Today he loaded up and went to Steve and CIndy's Water Canyon Ranch in Pioneertown for a sleepover.

He started off his adventure playing with T-Bone, the big paint, in the arena. Then Steve and Cindy saddled them up and took them out for a ride in Water Canyon Wash. Wyatt got to work near a road for the first time, seeing trucks and cars fly by. He also got to work on some big hills, both going up and coming down. He met the neighbors, and worked over both rocks and brush. He did a fabulous job before returning to Water Canyon for the night. Be sure to check out the pictures - some of them are intentionally larger than normal, for a good view of the scenery!

Day 53: Monday, April 4, 2011. PIONEERTOWN TOUR GUIDE See the pictures of Sunday and Monday in the gallery

Today Wyatt was trailered into Pioneertown itself. The Mane Street of Pioneertown is reserved for horse and foot traffic only, and has historic buildings that have been used as movie locations for plenty of westerns, including some of Gene Autry's movies. For more information please visit the Pioneertown link above!

Wyatt took a tour of all the old buildings in town first, then he headed out all alone for the ride back to Water Canyon Ranch from Pioneertown. Cindy rode back over rocky but gorgeous terrian for about 35 minutes, arriving back at the ranch safe and sound and happy!

After his adventures, Wyatt returned to Yucca Valley Equestrian Center so he could play with his hanging rain pants again!

Day 54: Tuesday, April 5, 2011. REVIEW

A review day for Wyatt and Cindy, with a normal arena ride topped off by work with the rain pant and the Flag of Spring! Wyatt endured being flapped at by that little baby chick on the pink flag once again, and is improving each time.

Day 55: Wednesday, April 6, 2011. REVIEW

A review ride snuck in before the really nasty weather made its way up into Yucca Valley!

Day 56: Thursday, April 7, 2011. RAIN

A sad rain-out day. Also a day that saw the temperature here go from spring right back down to winter, with overnight lows in the 30s again.

Day 57: Friday, April 8, 2011. WIND

And as the rain moves out, the 60 mile per hour winds push on through! Another good day to take a day off!

Day 58: Saturday, April 9, 2011. ACCESSORIZING

Despite the snowflakes drifting down, Wyatt and Cindy were able to get a workout in today!

Today was a review ride, but Wyatt got some important accessories today - he was ridden while carrying saddle bags, and a coiled lariat. He did very well with his new finery. Maybe soon he'll be roping things!

Day 59: Sunday, April 10, 2011. DAY OFF

After a good ride yesterday, Wyatt and Cindy took today off!

Day 60: Monday, April 11, 2011. RAISING THE FLAG

We all knew he could do it, and he did! Today Wyatt carried the chick flag of spring with Cindy aboard. If you'll remember, Wyatt has some issues with this flag at first, but he's over it now. In addition to his flag carrying and normal ride, Cindy worked with Wyatt again on taking the rain coat off the fence and putting it on and off. Such a smart boy!

Today marks the end of Wyatt's second 30 days of training. Be sure to follow along for his last 30 days on the next page!

Wyatt has ninety days to go from wild to wonderful - follow his progress through days 31 - 60, then 61 - 90 on the next pages!
Yucca Valley Equestrian Center - 7429 Avalon Avenue - Yucca Valley, CA 92284 - (760) 365-4433