FORT WORTH (CBS11) – More than 60 American Mustangs recently trained during an Extreme Mustang Makeover will find new homes this weekend during a mustang competition and auction in Fort Worth.
Other, still-wild Mustangs will be adopted by trainers to begin their 100-day ‘makeover.’
They come from overpopulated federal land. The government’s options were let them starve, pay tens of millions of dollars to put them with herds on private lands or bring them here to find someone to train them so they can be adopted.
“When I first signed up for it, I was like, there is no way I can train a wild mustang,” said Katie Ketterhagen of Granger, Texas.
But now Ketterhagen has trained six wild horses. Just 100 days ago a docile, affectionate horse named Teddy who gently nuzzles Ketterhagen, was as wild as the horses just captured on overpopulated public land. But even untrained, American Mustangs are naturally social, even playful, and often affectionate.
“They become really dependent on us,” Ketterhagen said. “And they look to us for comfort and in here we’re pretty much with them all the time. So they tend to be okay because we are their person and they’re fine.”
Katie will show off what 100 days of training did for Teddy in a competition where the horses maneuver around, over and through obstacles calmly following their trainer. Afterwards, people will bid on Teddy and he’ll have a new home. And Katie will say goodbye to Teddy and start training another Mustang.
“Its definitely hard during the auction,” Ketterhagen said as tears welled in her eyes. “I love this horse and I would love to take him home. But I know there are quite a few people who are planning to bid on him. So, I’m pretty sure he’s going to get a good home and that makes me feel better.”
There are 50,000 horses that had to be removed from public land and placed on ranches in Oklahoma and Kansas. It costs taxpayers $49,000,000 a year to place and feed them.