Utah State University Extension 4-H members have spent the last 3 months training 15 horses that will be available for adoption at the Utah State Fair on Sept. 9.
Every year the Bureau of Land Management gathers wild horses and attempts to find them new homes. The BLM partnered with USU Extension 4-H youth programs to provide training for several of these young horses. For this Wild Mustang Challenge, youth and leaders in 4-H clubs had 100 days to work together to train the horses in preparation for the trail challenge at the Utah State Fair.
“It is no easy feat to tame a mustang,” said Lisa Reid, public affairs specialist at the BLM. “Utah 4-H youth are excited to show off their accomplishments in the competitive trail challenge.”
The trail challenge will consist of 4-H members showing off the skills they’ve taught the horses, including loading and unloading from a trailer, crossing bridges and walking forward and backward on command. The challenge is meant to mimic obstacles horses and riders would normally face out on a trail. The competition will also have a freestyle component, where 4-H members and their horses can show off additional skills. After the challenge, the horses will be auctioned off.
The Wild Mustang Challenge is a great way for youth to learn teamwork and develop practical skills, according to Jim Jensen, a former USU Extension 4-H livestock and agricultural specialist and one of the original implementers of the Wild Mustang Challenge.
“There something really rewarding about working on a horse project from start to finish,” Jensen said. “And I am absolutely amazed at what the 4-Hers can accomplish in 100 days.”
Requirements for adoptions are a minimum of a 20-by-20 corral, a stall and the ability to care for the animal. Money earned from adoptions will help support the 4-H clubs.
The trail challenge and adoption auction will be held at the Utah State Fairpark Arena, 300 N. 1200 W., Salt Lake City. The competition will begin at 9:30 a.m. and the auction will begin at 2:30 p.m.
Writer: Shelby Ruud firstname.lastname@example.org
Contact: Lisa Reid email@example.com
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