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Mustang Challenge at Midwest Horse Fair

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  • Mustang Challenge at Midwest Horse Fair

    During the weekend of April 18 - 20, I attended the Mustang Challenge at the Midwest Horse Fair and came away very impressed with the top 20 trainers. I didn't have a "mentor" with me to show me which mustang shows the most potential to be an endurance horse so I didn't bring home one. I wish I did bid for one after the auction ended. For example, the winner, trainer Dave Robarts and horse, Carolina (hip # 6) was outstanding. The horse was sold for 2K!! What a steal! Only top two horses were sold for more than 4K. The highest was sold at 9k and the next one was 7K. I truly wish that I bought Carolina. It got me thinking that next time I need a horse, I might as well take the whole weekend to watch trainers compete for the prize and get one of the top ten horses. But, that horse will need to show potential to be a good endurance partner.

    Do you think that those horses were a steal at the price that they were sold at? Why were they sold for little money?
    Will get a dream horse!
    More riding, swimming, and rowing, less posting

  • #2
    I was there too-- and thought quite a few of the horses were pretty thrifty and might make good tough endurance horses- or whatever. A darling pony went for 1,200 or so. I was really impressed- yes, in someways a competition but all the trainers seemed to have a spirit of cooperation and comraderie I wish I saw at shows. Interesting experience.


    • Original Poster

      Did you see some of the horses sold for less than $500?!? They would be awesome for someone who is willing to do the finishing work. I am swamped with what I have..just need a finished horse that I just plop on and ride on!
      Will get a dream horse!
      More riding, swimming, and rowing, less posting


      • #4
        What a bargain...

        I recently purchased a Mustang filly for $900 as a dressage pony prospect. She is beautiful! Golden palomino with 4 socks and a wide blaze. The people at the barn can't believe she is a Mustang, she looks like a fancy Welsh pony.

        She's tiny, only 13.2hh but after working for many years with the HUGE WBs I'm happy with her petite size. And I'll tell you, it's nice to handle a horse that doesn't resemble a Mack truck! Not to mention her great "can do" attitude.

        Perhaps the Mustang will finally be recognized for their great stamina, disposition and hardiness.


        • #5
          I really do love the feral horses. They are bred to be tough and to survive. There are different body types to serve different purposes.

          I live down south and have not had a "challenge" near by to go and visit. I would love to purchase a mustang from a top regional trainer.

          My husband and I have two. One was started by a trainer and finished by me. The other one has been trained exclusively by us. I wish I had the experience I do now to start my own.

          They are unique and wonderful. They require your full heart and soul. They will give you many wonderful hours of enjoyment in the saddle.

          There is no other horse that even compares to what mother nature herself bred. Only the strongest survive. Intelligent, independent, thrifty, strong horses. I love that. I don't know of another breed that has that.

          Once you ride a good mustang, you won't want anything else!
          Life is too short to argue with a mare! Just don't engage! It is much easier that way!

          Have fun, be safe, and let the mare think it is her idea!


          • #6
            Here, you can buy an unstarted Mustang for as little as $125. Often, they run 2 fer deals... 2 for the price of one. Sometimes, they run $25 specials...

            I got mine for $125, and am taking him to his first Endurance ride on saturday. We're just doing the 15 mile fun ride, since he is just 5 and we had a long winter and he is just slowly getting conditionned...
            He is a pretty awesome litlle horse. VERY smart and non spooky. Pretty oh-hum about everything, sure footed, a willing learner...
            Much bigger boned than my Arab/Quarter, but frankly, they had every size + conformation at the facility where I picked him up... over 1000 horses waiting to be adopted...

            "When life gives you scurvy, make lemonade."


            • Original Poster

              Your Mustang looks like a lot of what I've seen at the Challenge! They were so well behaved that I just wanted to bring one of them home with me so she can show my silly Arab and Clydesdale that there is nothing to be spooked about!

              How many rides have you gone with her? What is her feet like?

              Another eye opener is that I went there to watch my trainer and learned that she is a "wimp" compared to the top ten contenders. I am really thinking about sending my Clydesdale over to one of those trainers....my trainer claimed that my Clydesdale acts very much like a TB which is pretty much accurate. But, my trainer did not progress far along with my mare as much as I'd liked to. So, I am thinking........
              Will get a dream horse!
              More riding, swimming, and rowing, less posting


              • #8
                If you get a chance my filly is pictured under my profile. Your gelding is cute as a button!


                • #9
                  I was at the horse fair too. My trainer was one of the competitors.

                  Why do these horses auction for so little? PLEASE stop asking questions like that! I don't know and I don't care. But the more people ask, the more people might realize that these horses are the best value out there, and drive the price up.

                  I was so impressed with the horses, that I bid on and adopted a Mustang as well. A friend that was there with me did the same.

                  It sounds corny, but there is truly something special about Mustangs. Watching my trainer work with his during the 100 days, I was very impressed. At the show, I realized that he didn't get a Mustang that was "exceptional" - they were all exceptional. Maybe because they haven't been screwed up by humans from birth?

                  As far as endurance, I am no expert. But most any of these Mustangs probably would have made a good prospect. These are tough horses.

                  So, to answer the original question. Yes, at those prices these horses are the steal of the century.


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Prieta View Post
                    The highest was sold at 9k and the next one was 7K. I truly wish that I bought Carolina.
                    And one more thing...

                    The 9k horse, Elvis, was a "favorite." Absolutely beautiful, yes. But I also understand that the buyer was one of the judges (don't know for sure). From the start, it seemed like they were really pushing Elvis. I'm not saying a conspiracy, but I think that horse was fated to sell for the highest price.

                    The 7k horse was from a local trainer, Dan Greunwald <sp?>. Dan (like many of the other trainers) is a really nice guy. He very much wanted to bring his horse home. He did win the bidding at $7k.

                    However, I noticed at the bidding that there were one or two people who consistently bid against trainers wanting to adopt their own horses. Why or who, I don't know, but there was a definite and obvious pattern to it. I think this artificially drove up the price of Dan's horse (and several others). Dan did a great job and his horse is a great horse - just that I think the final price was artificially high due to manipulative bidding.

                    When my trainer's horse came up, he had me do the bidding for him and we kept a low profile. I think we got his horse for a lower price because of this (but still paid more because of the "please don't bid on me" sign on the stall before the auction).

                    I'm not trying to take anything away from the trainers or their horses. I just think there was something odd going on with the bidding. As in some people trying to drive up the price for trainers that wanted to keep their own horses.

                    And Carolina... yes, that was a very nice horse. I considered bidding on that one.


                    • Original Poster

                      Manipulative bidding? I am not sure of that. I think that the auction was pretty typical considering that I've been to several auctions around here whether it be horses, household, farm supplies, and restaurant supplies. However, I did watch two bidders, the one who got Dan's horse and the man who is related to the trainer of the horse #45...the woman who got Dan's horse was all caught up in wanting to get his horse at any cost. I do not know what she plans to do with Dan's horse...

                      I am really thinking about sending my mare to Dan's farm for training. Do you know him? He looks pretty decent and shows that he really interacts with horses. I also am thinking about Elvis's trainer. I'm teetering on either one of them. If you know of another trainer nearby, please let me know.

                      Did you notice that it was Wayne who got most of the horses? Do you know what he is going to do with those horses? Summer Camp?

                      I am still trying to tell myself not to regret not bringing home one of the top 10 horses especially Carolina.
                      Will get a dream horse!
                      More riding, swimming, and rowing, less posting


                      • #12
                        Maybe I worded it a little strong. All I meant was that it seemed to me that there were some people bidding against trainers that wanted their horses. There was a pattern there, and I think some of the trainers ended up paying more than they should have because of it. Just an impression I got.

                        You mention the woman who got Dan's horse. I though Dan got the horse?

                        I don't know Dan or Lalo - I am not from the area. Both seem like very good trainers. Both seemed to have a good crowd following. Personally, I liked Dan better. Just a feeling I got from watching him work with his horse. You probably couldn't go wrong with either of them. I would suggest talking to them both and maybe even see both work with some horses. That should help you decide which one you and your horse would be most comfortable with.

                        I don't know who Wayne is. Watching the bidding, I think I know who you mean. If I had the money to keep more horses, and the time to ride them all, I would have bid on a few more too.

                        While Carolina was a very nice horse, there were plenty of great horses not in the top ten. Almost without exception, you couldn't go wrong with just about any of the horses there.

                        I rode my Mustang today, and she was fabulous. Never thought I would buy a horse at an auction - no less without ever riding her or vetting first. This wasn't your typical auction, of course. I am thrilled. Now I just have to sell my other horse so I can afford to keep her.


                        • Original Poster

                          yes, some trainers did bid to keep their horses only to find that their horses are going to different homes. It was heart wrenching but it was an auction.

                          Nope, Dan did not get the horse - after the final bid came in, Dan bowed down to the lady who sat two rows behind me. I saw Dan conferring to some people on the other side of us during the bidding. The woman who got the horse was pretty well dressed and also had the aura of being well educated.

                          I got my Arab at an auction for $500..boy, is she worth every penny! I love her dearly but I want to ride more. So, it is:

                          1. Check to see if one of my friend who is a cop to see if he wants to buy my Clydesdale for his work.

                          2. If not, then send her to either Dan or Lalo for more training.

                          3. If yes, then I will go to the Mustang Challenge to get one of the Mustangs!

                          What is your Mustang's name? Where did you get her? If it was at this auction, then what is her hip number?
                          Will get a dream horse!
                          More riding, swimming, and rowing, less posting


                          • #14
                            Well, that sux about Dan. When I was looking to bid, I made a point of speaking to each trainer. If they wanted their horse, I made a point of not bidding on it. Being there with a trainer, I saw the bond that developed between trainer and Mustang. To each his own, but I thought it wrong to bid against a trainer. Also consider, many had $10,000 or more invested in the challenge, leaving them less money to bid with.

                            I adopted Jumper, hip #12 (placed 5th in the finals). She is a beautiful bay. Karina Lewis, the trainer from Maine (a really nice lady too) was able to trailer her back for us on the way home. A friend that was with us adopted Uno (hip #37 or #38 I think). Funny that neither of us went there planning to bid.


                            • Original Poster

                              I remember about Jumper! I was impressed with her for not putting up with a fight to go over the bridge during the second day. She instead listened to her trainer after she saw the bridge so she slowly went over the bridge. 'When the trainer asked her to go over the bridge, she looked at the bridge with very wide eyes like she never saw it before and stopped right there. Her trainer softly and gently assured her to go over the bridge - Jumper then decided to trust the trainer by going forward slowly. She just went over instead of putting her foot down or rearing or bucking. Just went over the bridge! I LOVED her for that! Cody, the trainer was GREAT!

                              My daughter told me to put down the note that the horse was CUTE! You brought home a WINNER!

                              Yeah, I agree with you about not wanting to bid against the trainer. But, the lady who got the horse did not show as if she was aware that Dan really wanted to keep the horse. Just going after what she wanted. I didn't feel that it was right. I do feel for the trainer.

                              I honestly do not think that many of those trainers will come back for another challenge considering what you pointed out that they've poured so much money into the horse and so much time to bond with them. So this auction ought to be the best ever.
                              Will get a dream horse!
                              More riding, swimming, and rowing, less posting


                              • #16
                                Your bridge story is pretty typical of Mustangs (of course, each individual is different) With my guy, if he acts a little scared of something (the other day it was a big rock), I let him look at it and figure it out- I don't push him or "make him." For example with the rock, he was snorting at it a bit, but I let him look, then walk up to it by himself, and after 2 minutes, he decided to put his front feet up on it!!!

                                That fist pic of him with the tarp was his very first time seeing a tarp - he walked up to it, pawed at it, then picked it up in his teeth!! My ArabX who has had hours of desensitizing to plastic and tarps still high tails it to the other side of the pen!!

                                Anywho, I am preaching to the choir here

                                This was my second or third ride ever on him:
                                "When life gives you scurvy, make lemonade."


                                • Original Poster


                                  Mustang's quality is what really attracts me to them. It is no fun having to desentisize your horse on trails when you really want to go! I recall having to work with an Icelandic to go over a creek - hours and hours. He just balked which was frustrating to no end. Other horses would rear and buck when asked.

                                  My Arab is now learning to trust me wherever we go. It is just a matter of me trusting her not to jump big sideways when she gets spooked. She hasn't done so for three years. Anyhow, I love how those Mustangs behaved at the Challenge.

                                  Your Mustang in the picture after first few rides looks like he is in for an adventure more exciting than he would ever have out in the wild! Again, he looks so cute!
                                  Will get a dream horse!
                                  More riding, swimming, and rowing, less posting