Under the umbrella of the Mustang Heritage Foundation (MHF), Mustang Yearlings/Washington Youth (MYWY) arranges for a designated number of horses to go into the adoptive homes of their young trainers for a minimum of 90 days to be gentled and trained in-hand only while they learn to transition from wild to our well known domestic lives. At the end of this 90 day time frame, the selected youth will bring their young horses to a designated location for a final challenge to show the general public what both horse and handler have accomplished. Should the youth trainer choose or not be able to keep their horse, they will offer them for re-homing through social media and a public adoption process. The auction process these horses will be offered through is via competitive bid. All horses are to be gentled in a caring nurturing environment and only through humane practices. All youth trainers selected will be between the ages of 8-18.
The Mustang Heritage Foundation (MHF) created the Extreme Mustang Makeover (EMM) event to highlight the recognized value of mustangs through a national training competition. These events give the public a unique opportunity to see the results of wild horses becoming trained mounts. The public is then able to participate in a competitive bidding process to adopt one of these treasured animals. The purpose of the competition is to showcase the beauty, versatility, and trainability of these rugged horses that roam freely on public lands throughout the West, where they are protected by the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) under Federal law.
The Youth and Mustang (YAM) program is an extension of the Trainer Incentive Program (TIP) sponsored by the MHF. It grew out of a need for smaller, more regional youth and Mustang competitions. The first three YAM events were held in 2009 in conjunction with National Wild Horse Adoption Day in Tennessee, Oregon and Missouri – in that order. The rules and regulations were based solely on the youth and yearling competition that was held as a part of an Extreme Mustang Makeover (EMM) in 2008. The rules and regulations have now been adapted so that TIP trainers are able to manage and host their own youth and Mustang competitions in their regions.
The Washington program held in 2009 was not a part of the original YAM program of the MHF but was held independently. Realizing the need to have the umbrella of a larger entity, the Washington program came under the leadership of the TIP program and the MHF. It is because of this organization that we are able to support and offer the youth trainers a $200 incentive to offset food/travel/misc. costs for the 90+ days in which they have their Mustang, as well as, provide exceptional awards, a venue for competing and advertising. We thank them immensely for their support and guidance through this amazing program.
The Youth and Mustang program in Washington was set up as a Washington State Charity with a fully accredited 501(c)3 non profit status becoming reality in August, 2012. This now allows us to be able to offer a federal tax deduction for any and all donations whether by a corporation or an individual. It will also help our growth and enable us to sustain the program as the future allows by assisting more with youth incentives and rewards. After the 2010 year, the Washington program is an independent group, as filed with Washington state and is now known as Mustang Yearlings / Washington youth commonly referred to as MYWY. We will remain under the tutelage and umbrella of the MHF for all future events as long as they continue to offer the program. All of our paperwork and financial records will be available for review upon request.
In 2009, the Mustang Heritage Foundation announced plans for a Mustang project involving some of the yearling Mustangs that filled their corrals and all youth trainers. Typically, when a potential adopter visits a BLM adoption or BLM facility with the intent of adopting, the younger horses are overlooked. The BLM is often faced with too many young horses that tend to be passed over by many potential adopters due to the time involved for them to “grow up”. The year of 2009 proved to be very successful in the kickoff of this new training program in and around different states where these youth trained yearlings were successfully placed into loving permanent homes. This may not have otherwise happened without these younger horses either staying in the holding corrals until the age of three or going into a privately owned Long Term Holding (LTH) Facility because they were passed by too many times. It doesn’t take age for these horses to go to the LTH facilities. This program not only helps to place these younger Mustangs in approved homes, it also assists the youth in learning responsibility and important life skill. We have found that “Kids make better Mustangs and Mustangs make better kids”.