Wisconsin Trail Challenge and Horsefest
Black Hawk Hill Horse Park is hosting the Northwoods Obstacle Trail Challenge on Saturday Aug. 5th. In addition to an amazing show, the Langlade County 4-H Horse & Pony and Horseless Horse will have Horsey Necklaces to kids 12 & under and activity books for 5-7 years of age. Vendors will be on site 9am-3pm. New this year Kids can get their picture taken with their free Stick Horse or a real Paint Horse by the name of Blue. Stick Horse Activities will start at noon. Trail Competition will run from 11am-2pm or when all classes have ended. Sunday Aug. 6th is games on Horseback Funday – Games & Fun with prizes for riders & their horses. Refreshments and food will be available on grounds.
Multi- Award winning special guest Maleah Redmann will be on hand covering many topics related to training and running a Mustang.
Maleah Redmann is a 20-year-old pre-vet student studying at the University of Wisconsin River Falls. She developed a passion for horses at the age of 14 and began working with wild mustangs at 16. Maleah has competed in two Extreme Mustang Makeovers and two Mustang TIP Challenges. She was the 2020 Youth Extreme Mustang Makeover Champion, the 2021 Ohio Equine Affair TIP Overall Champion, the 2021 Youth Extreme Mustang Makeover Reserve Champion, and the 2021 Tennessee TIP Burro Division Overall Champion. Her passion for mustangs has led her to train and rehome nearly a dozen mustangs in less than three years; she has also worked with donkeys, mules, and zebra. She developed a passion for liberty and trick training and enjoys the bond that can be formed through natural horsemanship and positive reinforcement.
Roulette is a 5-year-old BLM mustang mare from Pancake Nevada. Roulette was captured in January of 2022 and adopted by Maleah in July of the same year. As Rou was being sorted by the BLM wranglers to be loaded on the trailer, she ran into the metal shoot panels and broke her hip. Upon arriving home, she began treatment for her injuries on day 3 out of the wild. On day 7 out of the wild, while on a walk outside her pen she spooked and took off back into the wilderness. After 12 days back in the wild Rou was located and captured via bait trap and transported to the Athens Veterinary Service where she lived for 27 days and underwent 3 surgeries to remove bone fragments from her hip. Although her training has been slowed due to the accident Rou still shows incredible willingness to learn and please and is a wonderful asset to Maleah’s personal team.
Topics she will cover-
- How To Adopt
- Day 1 do’s and don’ts
- The smaller the pen the better. The BLM requires 20×20 (400 sq ft) minimum pens for mustangs. This is my personal ideal size- or even better starts your horse in a stall. The more space they have to get away from you the harder it is to work with them.
- 6ft fences are NOT a suggestion! Personally, I would rather have 7ft. I have seen many horses (including Roulette) climb/jump 6ft fences from a complete stand still. It is for the horse’s safety not a simple suggestion.
- Work your horse. It is important to actually work your new mustang. Sitting in the pen doing absolutely nothing is not going to get you very far. Curious horses are great, but when a curious horse experiences pressure for the very first time they tend to explode. It is important to know how your horse reacts and havethe tools to redirect their fear.
- Fight, flight, or FREEZE. New mustangs are unpredictable, it is important to get a feel for how they react to pressure. Some fight- they charge teeth bore, front feet striking, back feet flying. Some run- most run, they will try everything in their power to get away including jumping/climbing panels. Some freeze- this is the most unnoticed of responses as people tend to confuse freezing with acceptance. Freezing is also the most dangerous for the mental health of the horse as it means they have shut down and are no longer processing what is going on around them.
- Mustang Training Basics- What every horse NEEDS to know
- Leading. The most important first step is halter breaking your mustang. Halter breaking means your horse can fully give to pressure from every direction with no resistance. This means that your horse should be able to move off of the halter from any direction even if the handler is not necessarily leading. They should be able to listen to halter pressure even when they are scared. They should be able to back safely and with minimal pressure.
- Feet. Mustangs tend to come with untrimmed feet so it is super important to work on getting them comfortable with their feet being handled as soon as possible. Ropes are a great way to safely pick up your horses feet for the first time without getting hurt- I can demonstrate the proper way to use ropes to prevent injury to either horse or handler.
- Tying. This is less a skill that can be taught and more a matter of patients and the right set up.
- Trailer loading. This is an absolute must! Mustangs tend to be easy to teach to load if done properly the first time.
- First touches and how to progress to each part of the body
- I will discuss how to start reducing your horse’s flight zone and how to use pressure and release along with negative reinforcement (that sounds worse than it is- it is just a term for adding something that makes the horse uncomfortable such as more noise/clapping hands). I will also talk about how to use whips as a tool to break the flight zone if your body isto much pressure.
- Body Control
- How to move each individual part of the horse’s body with minimal effort. Each part of the body should be able to be moved without the handler having to take a single step- or at least very few steps. This is something that can easily be achieved with consistent work and proper release.
- Tricks and Liberty (if we get that far/if anyone is interested)
- Pick me up (side pass to mounting block)
- Spanish Walk
- Lay Down (Rou may or may not know this trick by then)
- Sit (if Rou knows it by then)
- Back up at liberty
- Rear (I do not recommend people teach this trick to their horses, but Rou does know it)
- Building a draw
- Body Control (advanced)
Black Hawk Hill Horse Park and Obstacle Course is located at N1760 US Hwy 45S, Antigo 715-610-1065 www.Blackhawkhill.org