TIP Challenges: Helping Mustangs Find Their Forever Homes

TIP-Challenge-Blog.png

Over 14,000 mustangs have been placed in homes through the Mustang Heritage Foundation Trainer Incentive Program, or "TIP” for short. TIP engages horse trainers to work with BLM mustangs or burros then market and place them with a forever home, at which time the trainer is reimbursed for their services. RW customer Ann Hanlin of SBF Mustang Eventing recently hosted the very first TIP challenge in Maryland to help raise awareness for the breed on the East Coast. Read on to hear more about what a TIP challenge is and how you can get involved!

-------------------
Did you know that there are over 50,000 American Mustangs in holding facilities across the United States? These horses are awaiting life outside of holding pens in their forever homes and there are several ways you can get involved to help them!

One of these ways is to adopt a mustang through a TIP Challenge. A TIP Challenge is a competition for trainers to showcase their mustangs in hand after roughly 100 days of training. Anyone can apply to be a trainer to compete in a TIP Challenge. The application is straightforward, but the most important requirement is a 6’ tall pen with the minimal amount of space being 20’x20’ for the safety of the trainer and the horse.

Once your application is approved, you are assigned or get to pick from a list of horses, then you pick up your wild mustang and your journey begins! At the end of around 100 days with your mustang, you will attend the challenge and get to showcase what you’ve been working on. In the challenge you participate in three classes: conditioning/handling, trail, and freestyle. The way the class is judged and what is asked in each class can vary depending on who is hosting the event.

thumbnail_DSC06242 copy.jpg

In a TIP challenge, trainers get 100 days to work with their mustang before showcasing their skills in front of judges.

In the conditioning and handling class, the horses are judged on their overall condition and appearance. They may be asked to safely walk and trot, back, side pass, yield shoulder and hindquarters, pick up all four feet, and load/unload on a stock trailer. In trail, the mustang needs to navigate obstacles such as poles, a bridge, a rope gate, a teeter-totter, and a water obstacle. For the freestyle, the trainer is able to be creative and put together a fun performance that must be performed in hand, as no riding of the horse is allowed at a TIP challenge.

thumbnail_image1 copy.jpg

Trainers participate and are judged in three classes: conditioning/handling, trail, and freestyle.

Each trainer participates and is judged in all three classes. At the end of the challenge, the horses are either kept by the trainer, sold privately, or auctioned. This is an incredible way to get a mustang that was once wild but is well on their way to living the domestic horse life.

2021 was the first-ever TIP Challenge in Maryland and it was a huge success! We had 18 trainers apply and get approved, 13 mustangs were picked up, and 11 mustangs competed in the challenge. All of these mustangs have found incredible homes and are amazing ambassadors for the breed. The amount of support from the community for this event was remarkable! I set out on this journey to host one of these challenges to help increase awareness and education about the mustangs on the East Coast. The trainers and Maryland horse community helped make it a huge success.

thumbnail_image0.jpeg

Get involved with a TIP challenge to help mustangs find great homes!

I have applied to host another TIP challenge next year, so if you’re local to Maryland please come out and support this incredible event. To learn more about the Maryland Mustang TIP challenge, please join our Facebook page for all the updates and details in regards to next year! If you’re not local to Maryland, please visit the Mustang Heritage Foundation to find a TIP challenge near you!

Happy riding! For all of your tack, horse supply needs, and more - visit RidingWarehouse.com.
 
Last edited:

Comments

Top