& 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 61: Tuesday,
April 12, 2011. HIGH JUMP
here we are, believe it or not - day 61! The
last 30 day segment of Wyatt's training has
begun, and in a big way.
In addition to Wyatt's normal arena work,
he spent some time today dragging a log with
Cindy mounted, and then he worked a bit on
his high jump!
Cindy took him over some plastic barrels
for the first time, and as you can see, he
had no problem with them!
Wyatt's versatility continues to impress
everyone at YVEC. For a young guy with just
over 60 days training on him, Cindy has given
Wyatt the kind of well-balanced workouts that
are designed to take him in any direction.
He has a cute little reining stop on him,
he jumps willingly, and he carries himself
naturally round and forward, like a dressage
horse. It's going to be exciting to find out
what his ultimate sport will be when he's
Wednesday, April 13, 2011. REVIEW
A day for polishing up and reinforcing
everything he's learned so far. Today was a good
practice day for Wyatt and Cindy.
Day 63: Thursday,
April 14, 2011. FIRST
Another big day for Wyatt. Today he
met Josh Dittmer, the farrier, for his first hoof
In typical Wyatt fashion, he tested,
figured it out, and adapted. When Josh first trapped
his leg and began to use the nippers, Wyatt did
have a bit of a panic - who wouldn't? He tried to
take his leg back and thought about sitting down.
But Josh approached again, and Wyatt learned quickly
that nothing so terrible was actually happening.
The rest of his trim went without incident!
Wyatt also had more mobility issues
to think about today - Cindy introduced him to hobbles.
Wyatt went into the soft sand of the arena and had
hobbles placed on his front legs for the first time.
Cindy gave him protective boots so he wouldn't chaffe
his legs, and turned him loose.
There are many reasons to hobble break
a horse - one of the most important is so that the
horse can learn not to panic, and to wait for help,
in similar situations. A horse that gets wrapped
in wire or rope needs to stay still and wait to
be unwrapped. A panicked horse can cause serious
damage to himself, his handlers, and even break
So today Wyatt got the opportunity
to figure out the best thing to do if your feet
are tied - relax until help comes. He was allowed
to stumble in the soft footing and pull and test
his hobbles, and he did figure it out!
Day 64: Friday,
April 15, 2011. HOBBLED
||After Wyatt's work today, he
stood quietly tied and hobbled while the other
horses were being groomed and prepared for their
rides. Wyatt stood more quietly than some horses
do after many days of hobbling. That mustang
intelligence, knowing what to fight and when
not to waste your energy can be a great asset!
Day 65: Saturday,
April 16, 2011. AMANDA'S
Today Wyatt and Amanda went for a
real ride in the big arena! Cindy gave Wyatt his
normal workout, then added some pacing excercises
at the end. He was required to pace his strides
to trot through a series of cavaletti that ended
in a small crossrail jump. Wyatt tends to be very
workman-like, and prefers a longer stride, so the
cavaletti work helped Cindy to teach him to shorten
and collect. He has a great trot and extended trot,
and Cindy continues to work with him on adding a
nice, easy western jog to his accomplishments!
After popping the little crossrail
a couple times, Cindy changed the little jump to
a vertical for the first time. This promped Wyatt
to overreact a bit - he jumped about 3' high to
clear it! After that, Cindy turned Wyatt over to
Amanda. She had ridden him at a walk and trot in
the round pen one time, but today she asked him
for walk, trot, and canter in the large arena.
Wyatt performed perfectly with his
new rider once again!
Day 66: Sunday,
April 17, 2011. FUN DAY
pictures in the Gallery
Today Wyatt and Slim trailered off
to the Parker Arena in nearby 29 Palms to participate
in a Fun Day. It was a day for those who enjoy gymkhana
events to practice poles and barrels, and for Wyatt
it was another chance to be exposed to new places
and things. He travels well in the trailer, and
seems completely unconcerned about being a new environment
- older buddy Slim looked around more suspiciously
than Wyatt did!
Wyatt and Cindy warmed up in the huge
arena, then took a few turns going around the barrles.
They were not working on speed, just on paying attention
to the rider and following direction, bend, and
changes of pace. Wyatt also got to be in the midst
of other horses that were galloping full tilt on
either side, and he did a great job of minding his
rider and staying at his own pace.
The Parker's ranch has a feed store
and a wide variety of equipment on the property
- they also have cows! Cindy took Wyatt into the
cow pasture, where he spend a few minutes staring
at the strange beasts, then calming began moving
through the herd when directed. He seemed to enjoy
that the cows moved away from him!
Wyatt also led Slim, Stella, and Shelby
on a tour of the ranch, beside stacks of hay that
towered overhead, between narrow passages along
rows of horse pens, over changing terrain of cement
slabs, sand, and even some grass. He stopped to
take a look at a water puddle, the proceded to not
only get a drink but to paw and splash in the puddle!
Unfortunately, his more sissy civilized friends
found the puddles and splashing to be a bit frightening!
All in all it was a great day, everyone
had fun and Wyatt proved himself once again to be
versatile and adaptable.
Day 67: Monday,
April 18, 2011. DAY OFF
Wyatt was one tired boy after yesterday's
trip, he got a day off!
Day 68, 69, 70,
71, 72: Tuesday, April 18 through Saturday, April
23, 2011. REVIEW WEEK
For the first time we are lumping
Wyatt's training into a block, for an important
reason. Cindy has been working Wyatt with the goal
of giving him the best start towards making him
the best horse he can be. In an effort to get him
ready for the Mustang Makeover, she has been introducing
new experiences nearly every day, getting him used
to new situations at a slightly accelerted rate.
Wyat has shown himself to be willing and a good
On Tuesday, April 18th, Wyatt did
not approach his workout with his usual willingness.
Cindy detected resistance and a stubborness that
was unlike his normal attitude. There was nothing
phsycally wrong with him, so Cindy made the decision
to take this week as a complete review. Wyatt received
a normal work every day, but nothing at all new
was introduced this week. It was time to sit back
a little and allow him to absorb everything that
has been happening. Normal riding, lateral work,
and body control work continued, but no objects
were picked up and no new places introduced.
By doing this, Cindy is increasing
Wyatt's confidence in the things he already knows,
which in turn prepares him to face his next challenges.
Improving the things he already knows gives him
a week with less pressure and constant success -
and everybody wins that way! Part of good horse
training is knowing when to push and when to review,
and next week Wyatt should be ready to continue
working on new things!
Day 73: Sunday,
April 24, 2011. DAY OFF,
Wyatt gets a rest day today, watching
the little bunnies cruising around the ranch.
Day 74: Monday,
April 25, 2011. NO FENCES
Today Wyatt had his workout down in
the dressage court, where there are no rails or
fences. He did well with Cindy, then Amanda got
to ride him for a little bit. For the first time
today, Debbi got to to get on and cool him out,
too! So he has now had to carry 3 different riders,
and he is quite a gentleman about it.
Day 75: Tuesday, April 26,
2011. STAND UP DAY
Today Wyatt was warmed up by Amanda!
Prior to today, Cindy always was the first on his
back, followed by others after his work out. Today
Amanda started him off with some walk-trot warm-up,
and he behaved very well.
Once Cindy took the reins, she put
Wyatt through his normal paces and then worked on
some lead changes. After their workout, Cindy stood
up on Wyatt's back, "Extreme Cowboy" style!
She stood part way (not fully straight), and Wyatt
had no reaction at all. What a nice, quiet boy!
Day 76: Wednesday,
April 27, 2011. REVIEW
A nice, relaxing review day today.
Next week begins Wyatt's intensive work up to the
competition in Norco - so this week is going to
Day 77: Thursday,
April 28, 2011. CAMP DAY
Today was YVEC's Spring Camp day for
the kids. Wyatt got a day off to enjoy watching
the kids riding and working around the ranch! There
are pictures of the kids in the Gallery.
Day 78: Friday,
April 29, 2011. THE WIND
BENEATH MY TAIL...
Another high wind day, coming after
a day off, saw Wyatt in high spirits! He started
his arena session with an attempt to goof around
in that wind - head tossing, back arching, "I
think I might buck or run away, because I am a WILD
Sadly for Wyatt, Cindy wasn't falling
for it. She put his straight to work on different
sized circles at both the trot and the lope, and
after five minutes Wyatt gave up and got down to
business. The rest of his workout went well, and
they ended on a good note.
Don't worry Wyatt - we all believe
you are still a fierce wild horse - you just have
more athletic focus now!
Day 79: Saturday,
April 30, 2011.
Day 80: Sunday, May 1, 2011. SHUT
THE BARN DOOR!
We are lucky here in the high desert
not to be suffering the horrible tornados that are
causing problems in other parts of the country.
But we DO have that darn wind. Saturday and Sunday
wind advisories kept Wyatt off from practice and
relaxing in his stall. The barn doors were pulled
shut to keep the horses in the barn from living
in a wind tunnel, and those with fly masks donned
them to protect their eyes from blowing sand.
Day 81: Monday,
May 2, 2011. REVIEW
A basic review day, then some focused
work on Cindy and Wyatt's Freestyle Program! They
want to be prepared for the top ten in Norco!
Don't forget - the finals in Norco
are May 13 - 15th. If you plan to attend Saturday
Night's final, you will need a ticket! They are
$15 and can be purchased online from: Extreme
Day 82: Tuesday,
May 3, 2011. BRING ON
All the toys! Every toy Wyatt has
ever played with came out today for some fun review.
And you know what? That pink and yellow spring chick
flag didn't bother Wyatt a bit as he and Cindy carried
it all around the ranch. Some of the horses in the
pens were not as impressed as it went fluttering
Day 83: Wednesday,
May 4, 2011. REVIEW
Basic work, then more freestyle prep.
You don't get any details; you'll have to hope he
makes the top ten to see his program!
Day 84: Thursday,
May 5, 2011. THE COWBOY
Today Wyatt met the famous 'cowboy
shower', made popular by Craig Cameron's Extreme
Cowboy Race. The YVEC shower consists of a sheet
hanging in strips over the entrance to the round
pen, and as luck would have it there was a decent
little breeze today!
Wyatt got to watch the sheet fluttering
like crazy during his normal arena workout, then
he got to ride to the toy box area to meet it close
up. He was very curious, though wisely wary! CIndy
allowed Wyatt time to simply walk up to the curtain
and stand, watching it flap and listening to it
slap the rails of the round pen. Wyatt rapidly became
bored with this standing around, and decided he
might need to taste the fluttering beast!
After a few nuzzles to the fabric,
Wyat walked through the curtain for the first time.
He did a good job, though it took three more tries
before he did the walk through without that 'goosey'
butt tuck as the sheet dragged over his back end!
A good day with a new toy, and next
week at this time, he'll be in Norco!
Day 85: Friday,
May 6, 2011. REVIEW
Wyatt got to add the cowboy shower
to his review today, along with some walk-over logs,
a blue tarp to step on, and a back-through obstacle.
Day 86: Saturday,
May 7, 2011. REVIEW
A good day for review, with temperatures
into the 90s. Didn't it snow not too long ago???
A week from today will be the last
day of the Norco Extreme Mustang Makeover. Everyone
here at YVEC is excited to see what Wyatt and all
the other wonderful mustangs can do! Come out and
cheer them all on!
Norco, CA Extreme Mustang Makeover
Day 87: Sunday, May 8, 2011.
Wyatt went off to Pioneertown on Saturday
night. He spent Sunday riding the local trails with
Cindy, unwinding and preparing for the busy week
Day 88: Monday,
May 9, 2011.
Day 89: Tuesday, May 10, 2011 REVIEW
Monday and Tuesday
were practice days, and CIndy and Wyatt worked on
Day 90: Wednesday,
May 11, 2011.
Ninety days have just flown by since
Wyatt King came to stay at Yucca Valley Equestrian
Center. All of us - boarders, students, and visitors
- have enjoyed watching Wyatt develop under Cindy's
guidance. He's a great little horse with a winning
personality - he really does enjoy people and the
attention they give to him. He has learned a lot
in a short amount of time, and we all know he'll
do well in whatever discipline he ends up in. We're
looking forward to watching him in Norco this weekend!
On his last day of regular training
at YVEC, Wyatt and Cindy worked on their freestyle
again. Tomorrow, Thurday, he'll be leaving the ranch
for Norco, settling in at the Ingalls Event Center
in preparation for the "Makeover" Event.
We will be posting Wyatt's ride times or order for
the day as soon as we know them - we hope to see
you all there in Norco, to cheer for Wyatt and Cindy,
and all the other mustangs and trainers!
Schedule of Events: http://extrememustangmakeover.com/forms/2011/norcoschedule.pdf
Tickets for Saturday night's finals: https://tix.extremetix.com/
About the Ingalls Event Center: http://www.norco.ca.us/
Directions from Google Maps: http://maps.google.com/maps?hl=en&tab=wl
-search 3737 Crestview Drive, Norco, CA
About the Extreme Mustang Makeover: http://extrememustangmakeover.com/index.php
About the Norco Event: http://extrememustangmakeover.com/norco.php
THE EXTREME MUSTANG
MAKEOVER, NORCO, CA
May 12, 2011.
Wyatt has arrived in Norco and is
all settled in, eating his dinner happily! Cindy
and Wyatt took a little trail ride when they got
there, just to relax and check out the scenery,
and Wyatt was quite comfortable in his new surroundings.
Cindy said it looks as though some of the folks
are going to play around with trailer loading this
evening, practicing with the trailer being used
in the competition, so they will probably join them.
Don't stay up too late now, kids!!!
Cindy & Wyatt's
Wyatt is designated horse
#13 for the duration of the competition -
this is his 'hip number'.
Friday morning, May 13th:
Trail Challenge: begins at 9am. Cindy and
Wyatt are drawn number 5 - 5th team to go on course.
Friday afternoon: Body Conditioning:
Wyatt is draw number 7. He will be turned
loose, then caught by the judge and his physical
May 14th: Arena Obstacle Challenge: begins
at 9am. Wyatt drew the LAST slot! He will be horse
number 32 to compete, and as soon as he's done he
goes out for the City Trail Challenge phase
Saturday, 4pm: Top Ten
to be announced, finals start at 6pm.
May 13, 2011.
Cindy and Wyatt compete in the Rural
Trail Challenge, a course of obstacles and huge
hills behind the Ingalls Arena. After the Rural
Trail, horses are judged on body conditioning. At
the end of today's events, Wyatt, Hip # 13, is sitting
in 13th place on Friday the 13th!
May 14, 2011.
Horses and riders perform a short
arena obstacle course, then head out into the city
of Norco for the Urban Trail challenge. Check out
the photos and story in the gallery here: The
Extreme Mustang Makeover 2011: Urban Trail Challenge
Wyatt had his own YVEC entourage, consisting of
his Clean Team: Aislinn , and Don & Amanda.
Also following were Steve, Debbi, Kristen, and Claire.
It was a great day of fun, including watching Wyatt
& Cindy, shopping in the tack stores, and lunch
at the Saddle Sore Saloon!
After the Urban Trail, riders gave
a 90 second performance in the arena to show their
horse's stamina. Then it was break time before the
Top Ten Finalists were announced.
The announcement of the Top Ten started
the evening events - the ten riders then competed
in the 90 Second Compulsory Event, then in the Freestyle
to Music. Wyatt's fan club increased by then to
include Dr. & Mrs Allen (Cindy's parents), Sid
& Marcy, and Sherri. Other Yucca Valley residents
were spotted in the stands throughout the night!
The YVEC group was thrilled when Cindy and Wyatt
were announced to the Top Ten!!!! Pictures of the
evening can be found here: The
Extreme Mustang Makeover 2011: Top Ten Finals.
Due to the dimming light, the freestyle finals were
too dark for good photos, but we did the best we
could! Cindy's program had her and Wyatt performing
a western riding pattern to The Beatle's "Falling",
the a short pause as Cindy stripped her chaps and
shirt to reveal her white dressage breeches, tall
boots, and dressage shirt! The audience loved it!
Cindy then went on to feature Wyatt's amazing extended
gaits while keeping his perfect frame, and finshied
up with them carrying the flag to the judge's booth.
Ken McNab commented that Cindy scared him
when she started to take off her clothes!
But he and judges Vicki Bass and Sheila Varian
all commented on Wyatt's collection, softness,
and lightness - and they wished they could
have seen more of his dressage work! Area
for improvement: While he stopped well in
back, Wyatt lost his trademark softness in
the bridle during that night's stop. The judges
commented that it was a distraction from his
otherwise perfect look. All in all, they gave
Cindy very high marks for their performance!
We were all very proud!
At the end of the evening, Cindy
and Wyatt took 6th place - a big accomplishment
for Cindy's first Extreme Mustang Makeover!
May 15, 2011.
Auction Day. The bittersweet
part of the weekend, where trainers get to
see if their hard work would result in their
horse being adopted - great for promoting
the breed and giving these horses a home,
but sad to lose the partner you've worked
with for the past 90 days!
As it turned out, Wyatt had several bidders
competing for him, but in the end, Steve Lapp
won him! Wyatt gets to come home to YVEC after
all, and continue his training! We are all
excited to see what his future holds!
Wyatt will be spending several
relaxing days in Pioneertown before returning
to the ranch - he's earned his rest!!!!
Thanks for following Wyatt's
story. If you'd like to see him, come visit
us here at YVEC. And if you'd like to adopt
a mustang of your own but need help with training,
give Cindy a call - we'd love to hear from
anyone interested in these great, versatile,
Wyatt has ninety
days to go from wild to wonderful - follow his progress
through days 31 - 60, then 61 - 90 on the next pages!