Tuesday, February 25, 2014

2014 PA Extreme Mustang Makeover

The East Coast got some great news yesterday. The Mustang Heritage Foundation announced three new 2014 Makeovers. While the 'stangs will not return to the DREAM Park this year, they will be taking over the Mountain Springs Arena in Shartlesville, PA (roughly two hours from me here in south Jersey)!

The BLM and their mustangs are making headlines again as the overpopulation of holding facilities (specifically the long term holding facilities) becomes more highly publicized. With 49,000 in holding and more still being rounded up, something's gotta give to get these horses out of holding. In the facilities, because the horses are not handled directly, it is near impossible to give medical treatment as necessary or take proper care of any issues the horses may have. Hopefully, because the MHF has been able to do these Makeovers and have the funding to grow the program, the horses will begin their new lives in humane, caring homes. The PA Makeover will actually even have a youth division in which (from what I understand) the youth competitors will adopt their yearlings right off the bat, then do the competition at the end, where they can choose to reassign them if necessary. The adult competition will go pretty much the same as it has been, with the mustangs being randomly assigned and the placed during the adoption auction following the competition.

This year, I have been blessed with so many incredible opportunities, along with preparing to go to Rowan University in the fall to complete my Bachelor's. However, I would absolutely love to do this makeover, that way I know that I would be getting one more out of holding. These horses do not deserve to be in holding and it is our duty as horse trainers to help them begin new lives. My problem, however, is finances and land. I do not have a my own farm, the farm I used last year is not available, and I cannot afford to pay board for another horse this year. Z is in active training in preparation for her first full year as an event horse. I will only be able to do a Makeover this year with the help of generous sponsors.

I am not asking for lifetime sponsorship of any kind, but I am in need of the facilities required for a mustang from some time in May to the last weekend in August. According to the BLM requirements, the "facility can consist of a corral/paddock/stall/round pen. Facility must be a minimum of 400 square feet (20 feet x 20 feet) and have fences at least 6 feet high. Facility must be sturdy and constructed of materials such as poles, pipes or planks (minimum 1.5 inch thickness) without dangerous protrusions. Barbed wire, large-mesh woven, stranded and electric materials are unacceptable for fencing...Shelters must be a two-sided structure with a roof, well drained, adequately ventilated and accessible to the Mustang. The minimum two sides need to block the prevailing winds and need to protect the major part of the bodies of the horse." This is the most difficult part of getting the mustang. Ideally, in addition to a location sponsor, I am also trying to find a hay/feed sponsor. I fully realize that good hay is extremely scarce right now, and I know that for a feed sponsor, I would have to go to the corporate level. If you or anyone you know has any idea of local facilities that would be willing to take in a mustang, please, don't hesitate to put them in contact with me through email (nicole.barbye@gmail.com). Thank you so much for reading this much, I know I'm asking a lot in very tough times, but I appreciate all of the support I have received over the last year with the mustangs.

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