Maria Mustango- 05′ High Rock HMA Mare

This mare was my #1 draw of 2 horses for the 2009 Sacramento Extreme Mustang Makeover. Luckily I took two…the other mare, Rose Mustango did 4th overall and 6th in the finals! This was my first EMM and I was not sure what to expect in 90 days. Maria was one tough customer, but not dangerous if you did not push her past her limit. I have been fascinated by her since the beginning, shut off from other horses, unwilling to interact with humans, very alpha personality and extremely defensive. However, she never hurts herself, was not acting aggressively and would NOT turn her head to the left….even free standing in her corral. I really wanted to figure this one out. It took a very long time to get her gentle and halter broke enough to be handling for the basics (feet, baths, grooming, etc.). After that we just let her sit and relax, for several YEARS!

Every so often we’d check in with her to see if she was ready and we would see a little improvement. Somehow, she made friends with my tiny Mini Mare Wisty finally having someone she could peacefully interact with. Wisty also would always stand between Maria and her handler, protecting the handler from defensive behaviors since she did not want to hurt the mini. They stayed together for a long time before being introduce to the group turn out we do in our lower arena. Once we saw Maria could be with other horses peacefully, we moved her to the pasture behind the house and waited some more while she became psychologically healthy interacting in a relaxed herd setting. Just in the past 6 months she has become somewhat affectionate, easy to catch, fun to work with on the ground and showing that she wants to be worked with. It has been a 5 year wait!

Recently we had her adjusted by DR.Gaber who said that Maria was probably the most out of all the horses she has treated for us. Now we have checked teeth, eyes, feet, basically everything else we could think of and found nothing alarming except some skin problems along her spine at the withers. Finally Maria was gentle enough to have her atlas/skull balanced and has changed so much in the weeks since. I have been working with her a couple times a week since her adjustment to build her up for more training and she is coming along in leaps and bounds! More pics to come.


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