My wild horse story: Laura Newberry and Buckeye Boone
By Laura Newberry
I grew up reading the book “Misty of Chincoteague”. My dream for as long as I can remember was to train my own “wild” horse.
From the time I was a young teen to my late 30s I had many opportunities to gentle, work with and train my own domestic horses. I enjoyed every bit of it, but in the back of my mind, I still had that dream of training a “wild” one.
When the time came to retire my Paint mare, I had to make a decision. What type of horse did I want to replace her with? My 39th birthday was approaching, and I knew it was now or never. I approached my husband with the idea of adopting a mustang. He’s not a horse person and the thought of adopting a wild animal that could possibly hurt his wife made him very uneasy. Finally, I was able to convince him that it would be the best birthday present ever!
I met Buckeye Boone on December 11, 2018. He was a skinny little thing struggling to not get picked on in the middle of a crowded pen. There were lots of big, strong, pretty mustangs, but I just kept coming back to him. There was something special about him.
When I informed them the little buckskin was the one I wanted, they told me he had already been passed over twice, so his price was $25. What?!! $25?? At that point, the thought crossed my mind that I could pick out a couple more at that price, but I restrained myself 😂
At home, in the wet, cold, Oklahoma winter we had that year, I started training. It was rough at first. Boone was terrified of people and didn’t want anything to do with me. I tried several different methods to earn his trust, before landing on a combination of things that finally worked. In all, gentling and halter training took about two - three months to complete.
Next we started work under saddle. I expected to run into as many issues as we had when gentling and halter training. To my surprise, he was just as easy or easier to saddle train than any other domestic horse I’ve worked with!
Over the past year under saddle, Boone has been on countless trail rides, a parade, obstacle courses, and even won Green Broke Champion at a Mustang Expo and placed in an Extreme Cowboy Race competition.
Literally everything I ask that little horse to do, he tries his very best. To say that my husband is now a mustang fan, is an understatement. Boone has shown all of us that a big heart and lots of try is worth more than all the muscle and beauty in the world. I am so glad I made the decision to adopt a Mustang!
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