I am not sure what made me decide to do the Mustang Million... After last year, I thought I was done with the Mustang competitions. I had gotten into the top 10 and got a really nice mare out of the deal. So, why do I feel the need to enter again?
It's tough to say, but once I had my heart set on it I knew I would find a way. Jessica Davis and I got the idea back in January. She was in the same boat as me, after the competition in April of 2012, we said we were done. But time passes and feelings change, I suppose.
Jessica and I started to plan things out in January. There were a total of 8 auction dates and 4 auction locations to choose from. We decided on the last weekend in Nebraska to pick up our Mustangs. We sent in our early applications and anxiously awaited the date that we would be picking up our Mustangs. It was really tough to watch all the other competitors picking up their horses at earlier dates than ours. But, if it's one thing that I've learned through these competitions, it's that patience pays off. So we waited... May 11th was the Nebraska adoption date. On Monday, May 6th I got a call from the Mustang Heritage Foundation saying that the Nebraska adoption was cancelled due to an influenza outbreak in the herd. My heart fell instantly. This gave me 2 options... Forget about the Mustang Million or change our plans and head to Fort Worth for the adoption on May 10. I am not a quitter so I knew what I was going to do. The drive to Nebraska is about 9-10 hours, the drive to Fort Worth is between 16 and 17. It is a huge difference in time and fuel, but where there is a will, there is a way. Jessica was on board, and we contacted another Wisconsin trainer who had been planning on the adoption in NE. He agreed to join us and split travel expenses.
We left for Fort Worth from Wisconsin around 6 on Wednesday night and pulled into the stock yards around 10:30 on Thursday morning. I was so excited to see all the Mustangs. I wanted to find that feeling that everyone was talking about, where the horse chooses you. I wasn't sure if I believed it or not. In the previous Mustang Makeovers I was always given my horse, I never got to choose it.
The mustang pens were set up along an aisle. There were about 25 pens of around 6 mustangs each on either side of the alley. When I walked in I started walking down the aisle. I thought I would look for the horse that pulled me to her. The pens were numbered and I walked in at the end on the pens starting from 25 and working their way down. I took a quick look at each horse in the pens as I made my way down the aisle. I wanted something that could do reining. A small horse, something athletic. Color was not a big deal to me, but I am not attracted to sorrels, so I didn't look too hard at any of them. I saw a few dark bays that caught my eye, but nothing that jumped out. I was quickly approaching the end of the alley. As I got down to pen 4, I saw her. She was solid black. I knew she was the one I had to have. She was small, probably less than 14 hands but stout and stocky. She was put together so well, I almost didn't believe she was a Mustang. I stopped and stared at her. My presence made the other horses in the pen nervous, but she didn't seem bothered. I got down low to see if I could get her attention. She just looked at me with an inquisitive expression. I had been there less than 15 minutes and I had already made up my mind.
To Be Continued...