Despite obstacles, Queen Creek’s Wilson trains horse for Extreme Mustang Makeover

Despite her health issues, Wanette Wilson of Queen Creek has trained the wild mustang she named True with the goal of him being adopted as part of the Extreme Mustang Makeover April 22-23 at the Horseshoe Park and Equestrian Centre in Queen Creek. (Courtesy of Bana Jobe)

Despite her health issues, Wanette Wilson of Queen Creek has trained the wild mustang she named True with the goal of his being adopted as part of the Extreme Mustang Makeover April 22-23 at the Horseshoe Park and Equestrian Centre in Queen Creek. (Courtesy of Bana Jobe)

 

When 31-year-old horse trainer Wanette Wilson heard that the Extreme Mustang Makeover competition was coming to Queen Creek, she knew she wanted in. Even though an endometriosis diagnosis threatened to hold her back, she applied—and was accepted—as a 2016 competitor for the event, which challenges trainers to transform wild horses into gentle, adoptable companions in just 100 days. After all, Ms. Wilson has been a devoted horse lover all her life with experience doing rodeo, quarter horses, speed events, cutting and more. And ever the fighter, the horse trainer is not letting health issues prevent her from following her dreams.

As a part of the competition, she was paired with a wild mustang who was virtually untouched by humans. Ms. Wilson aptly named him Wish Come True — True for short — and is training him in advance of the EMM event April 22-23 at the Horseshoe Park and Equestrian Centre, 20464 E. Riggs Road in Queen Creek. The competition is a chance to show off True’s skills to potentially help him get adopted after the event.

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The EMM program, created by the Mustang Heritage Foundation in partnership with the Wild Horse and Burro division of the Bureau of Land Management, involves a 100-day competition that challenges trainers to condition wild mustangs into practiced mounts. Through open showcases, adult and youth trainers display the mustangs’ skills and demeanor, followed by a bidding process where spectators can adopt one as their own.

“I want to send a positive message out there to encourage anybody,” said Ms. Wilson, who was diagnosed with endometriosis when she was just 16 and has battled the disease for half her life. By training True, she has found strength in his remarkable ability to adapt and thrive. And it has inspired her to overcome her own obstacles, she added.

“Not everything is perfect all the time and sometimes you just have to push through. But even if I’m having a bad day, even when I’m exhausted, I look forward to going home and just being able to play with him. He’s such a sweet-natured animal. He’s such a good boy,” she said.

It was because of her health issues that it has taken Ms. Wilson so long to be able to participate in the Extreme Mustang Makeover, which is now in its 10th year. She had to prepare months in advance to make sure her body could fulfill the physical demands in the Arizona heat of the 100-day challenge, but here she is.

Editor’s note: Bana Jobe writes on behalf of Extreme Mustang Makeover and America’s Mustang.

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