(Freestyle starts at 2:50)
I wanted to post my freestyle video with Kimber from the 2019 Midwest Horse Fair Legendary Night – Mustang Challenge Top 10 Finals, but have it a little different than just putting the performance out there. I wanted to put in some old footage I have from the first few days of training him, to show those beginning stages.
Kimber was extremely flighty and sensitive, and when he was scared, his reaction was to run. The first 2 weeks with him, every time I went into his pen, he acted like he had no idea who I was. I’d just get loud snorts and quick feet going around the pen for a few minutes until he realized who I was. We had to start from scratch each session…
Even after those initial rough days, throughout the next 90 days we had to train for this competition, it was a rollercoaster; a constant back and fourth dealing with this little horse’s strong flight and react instincts.
He has come so far, and it is amazing to see the new sense of confidence he has. Of course, he still has his moments of sensitivity over small and simple things, but, he has learned to think through scary situations and look to me for guidance, instead of running away from what is scaring him.
Needless to say, our freestyle did not go perfect by any means. There was a lot I planned to do differently in our performance, but I could tell that under the pressure of a 3 minute and 30 second time frame, being in front of 8,000 people, Kimber had a different energy about him. It was worth it to just take some things easy, instead of doing some of the more advanced maneuvers. He does make me laugh with how he wanted to do what he knew how to do, like sitting down, laying down, sitting up… but once he hears the applause, he bounces up because it catches him by surprise. It’s one of those things where you can’t get irritated with them. It’s not everyday a previously wild horse hears 8,000 people clapping after only 90 days of training, they are allowed to be taken aback by it.
He really did give me his all, I am so beyond proud of him for the transformation he has gone through to get to where he is now. This little mustang was not an easy one for sure, but he has turned into an amazing partner to have!