I posted a video on Sunday of Elisa Wallace doing a mustang demo at Rolex, and then the Chronicle re-linked to this really lovely interview they did with her before her debut at Rolex.
This quote in particular stuck out to me:
You get addicted to the process and the journey that you go through with them. There is a certain sense of magic that’s a little bit different with them. I just really enjoy working with them and I’ve just become really passionate about them. It’s something I never thought I’d be spearheading, as far as being an ambassador and doing what I’m doing, but I really enjoy it and I really think there are some nice horses out there that should be given a chance. They love the job. They’re like any horse that likes to jump and compete, if you find one they’ll give you everything.
I mean, not every mustang loves his job, but yeah. They’re horses. And with them, it really is all about the journey. It has to be. Going into a relationship with a mustang with hard-and-fast goal is a crapshoot. They’re not like a finely bred dressage machine, which has generations of breeding and conformation and environment telling it to be a certain thing. They are scrappy little mutts who behave as wild prey animals.
The director of the rescue I got Tristan from, whom I worked with for a summer, always said that you should go into everything with a mustang assuming it will take all the time you have, and then some. There are no quick lessons. There is bricklaying, backbreaking foundation work, over and over and over and over again.
I always tell people that the thing I’m most proud of with Tristan is not any of our riding accomplishments (which are paltry at best) but that he trusts me, and lets me lead him, and groom him. He seeks me out affectionately. That he went from wild animal to sweetheart still amazes me.