CANISTEO — There are thousands of mustangs looking for good homes in our nation, and with the help of some good people they are making it happen one mustang at a time.
The idea comes from Mustang Heritage Foundation to get these wild horses trained and living in good homes; since there are so many of them being held the time to save them is very crucial.
Painted Horizon Quarter Horse Ranchers Luke, and his two sons, Chase, 10, and Cody, 8, Reinbold are a local family trying to do right by these majestic horses.
Chase Reinbold started when he was eight years old, and now his brother Cody is doing it for the first time. Luke Reinbold said this will be his second time, but it all started with Chase.
Each family member got their own mustang to train and gear up for the Extreme Mustang Makeover from June 15 to 17 in West Springfield, Mass. This event is put on in order to auction the mustangs to different people. It also shows how far the mustang has come in their training, as they are put through different classes. There are two divisions; youth division eight to 17 years old, and adult division 18 and up.
“There will be thousands of people there,” Luke Reinbold said. “They take these horses out of the wild, and find them a home.”
The Reinbold’s got into this three years ago after some family-friends got them interested in it.
“Chase did it first and it looked so fun that I joined in, and now my youngest son, Cody is doing it,” he said. “After you fill out the application, and get approved for the horse they assign a mustang to you.”
The youth division gets the yearling mustangs that are too young to ride, so they just focus on training and getting them used to people.
Kiara is Cody’s mustang, Flicka is Chase’s mustang, and Dun Doin’ Time is Luke’s mustang.
The yearlings came from a herd in Oregon, and 7-year-old Dun Doin’ Time came from a Nevada herd.
Each mustang is branded with a code that goes into the system, so that anyone who trains or buys the horses can see their whole life story.
“It is really neat, because we can see when the mustang was born, where they have been, and where they are going,” Reinbold said. “If you want you can put in their brand number and research them.”
“These horses are wild when you get them, and you are the first positive human experience that horse gets,” Reinbold continued. “They have the mind of a deer and the body of a horse. It takes a lot to earn their trust. Sometimes you can tame them in a week, and sometimes it takes longer. Each mustang is a different case.”
The trainers are allowed to bet on their own mustangs if they want, but you can only have four untitled mustangs at a time. If you want more you need to get approved for a special case.
The highest bidder gets to take the mustang home, so depending on how many bid on one horse they can go from a couple hundred to thousands of dollars. Some of that money goes back to the ones caring for the thousands of mustangs, and some of it goes to the foundation. The trainers may get a portion of the money.
“The idea is to get the over 40,000 mustangs out of the holding centers,” Reinbold said. “We want to get them into an awesome home, and be taken care of.“
There is a lot of blood, sweat, and tears that gets invested in caring for these wild horses, and it is always hard on the trainer to say goodbye. They only get 100 days to train the horses before the huge event.
“We are a tight knit group of trainers that do this,” Reinbold said. “We all keep in touch, and raise awareness to the importance of saving these animals. Mustangs have great teeth and feet, so they don’t get as many diseases.”
Reinbold has been riding horses all of his life, and finds a special bond with the mustangs he trains.
Tiffany Reinbold, Luke’s wife, said that she gets everyone ready for the event, and it means a lot to her as well.
“It has been hard on the boys, since they moved the event to June. They have to train the horses when they get out of school,” she said. “It is great for them, because they learn perseverance.”
Luke Reinbold agreed, “We make it a learning experience for them. They don’t have to be in competition with anyone but themselves. It is not about winning the prizes. It is about making the horse better, and getting them a good home.”
If you are looking to get into the business of saving mustangs you need to have a good support team, and be willing to work with the horse, Luke Reinbold said.
“It has been a great family experience for us,” he said. “We get to play with the horses, and have made a lot of good friends. You get to work with wild horses, that you might not get an opportunity to do otherwise. It is a very rewarding thing to do.”
Tiffany Reinbold said that a man from Albany reached out to the Mustang Heritage Foundation looking to sponsor a youth, and wound up sponsoring her son Chase. Healthy Brands Collective will be sponsoring Chase this year.
“This man is from a private farm, and he wanted to sponsor someone in the youth division,” she said. “He has been down here to see the mustang, and is very interested in the process.”
To learn more about the fight to save mustangs or the Extreme Mustang Makeover event go to http://mustangheritagefoundation.org