April 24, 2018
In Memoriam: Blazing Wyoming
In 2010, Kimber Goodman, owner and trainer at Circle G Guest Ranch near Lynnville, Tennessee, accepted the challenge to train another Mustang for the Extreme Mustang Makeover, created and presented by the Mustang Heritage Foundation. Her next Mustang would be a part of the Bureau of Land Management’s roundup and the horse would be randomly assigned to a trainer by an individual keying in numbers on a computer. In the Mustang Makeover, a trainer has 100 days to transition their wild Mustang into a gentle, calm, and trained horse suitable to compete in the makeover challenge.
The day arrived for Kimber to meet her new Mustang and bring him home. What she brought home was a lanky, 2-year-old bay Mustang out of Wyoming, who seemed a misfit with a scrawny body and a big head. The challenge began.
Describing her gentling techniques, Kimber wrote: “I leaned close to the Mustang gelding, speaking in hushed tones. The animal was calm and responded to my gentle commands. With a slight tug on a rope, this equine trainer coaxed the horse to lie on his side, and after several more minutes of my nearly inaudible murmurs, I was allowed to drape myself across the body of wild Mustang. ‘This is what total trust is all about,’ she said quietly.”
Later in 2010, Kimber brought her large, lanky Mustang to the competition and showed the horse who had become one of her favorites, Blazing Wyoming, to within a half point of a top ten finish at the Extreme Mustang Makeover. After the competition, the trained Mustangs are offered for sale. With the bond and attachment she had developed for Wyoming, she decided to bid on him herself. Bids usually begin at $125, the standard BLM adoption fee. Kimber and Sam (her husband) had decided before hand that their maximum bid was $500.
Kimber explained the process: “You’re riding your Mustang around the coliseum during the bidding, so you can only hear what’s going on over the PA. The first bid was $500, and then immediately went to $800. I was devastated, and tears started rolling down my face. Then I heard $900, $1,000, $1,300, Sold! I knew he was gone.”
Kimber quickly left the coliseum floor, removed Wyoming’s saddle, and returned to the bidding area to find out who had “won” the horse, the horse she adored. She had to sign papers to release Wyoming to his new owner. As she started to sign the papers, the BLM lady reached over the desk and shook her hand. She said “Congratulations, he’s yours!” It was at that moment that Kimber realized her husband Sam had been the highest bidder; he had bought Wyoming for her! It was a moment she will never forget, and those sad tears became happy tears.
Kimber says there’s a wonderful sense of fulfillment in transforming wild Mustangs into highly skilled horses. “For one thing, they make wonderful, skilled companion horses,” she says.
Over a few years, Wyoming, the favored horse, grew to his head and became a beautiful 17 hand Mustang. His loyalty to Kimber was amazing. He knew that no matter what, Kimber would take care of him, and likewise, he would take care of her.
Wyoming loved cows, roping, trails, obstacles, children, a job and most of all – his Dr. Pepper. He was known to steal wedding cakes, too. People often stopped by the ranch to see Wyoming and give him treats, hugs and kisses. Kimber considered Wyoming more than just her horse; he was her soul-mate.
In 2015, Wyoming became ill. Using local veterinarians, and even taking him to the University of Tennessee in Knoxville, everything that was an option for his care was done. Wyoming had a complex illness that scared Kimber with each passing day. This could not be happening to the horse of her dreams! She monitored him through video cameras and even slept in his stall with him.
Stopping at nothing short of everything he could possibly need, she changed his grain to a Kentucky Equine Research feed, RE●LEVE Sport, and quickly saw positive results. By the summer of 2017, Wyoming’s health had improved and shewas able to ride him some around the ranch; he even played in the creek with children atYouth Day Camp.
Then on Saturday, January 6, 2018, a normal Saturday morning at the ranch, a sunny but chilly day, “Big Wy” was led from his stall to his pasture to enjoy the sunshine. He was enjoying his daily routine of being outside. A few hours passed and Kimber noticed a change in the way he was acting. She responded to Wyoming’s needs fast and immediately.
Kimber got a veterinarian on the phone and prepared to transport him to the Tennessee Equine Hospital. Far from normal, the trailer ride seemed endless and was definitely not easy. Wyoming’s condition went from sick to critical in a very short time.
Wyoming left this world knowing he was loved and was “King of the Ranch.” He has been cremated and will forever be a part of Circle G Ranch.
To continuing Wyoming’s legacy, Kimber has set up Wyoming’s Memorial Fund, which will be used to promote training Mustangs from the wild. It is her desire to educate people on training Mustangs for their personal use. She encourages folks to visit the website for the Bureau of Land Management and learn more about the Mustangs. https://www.blm.gov/programs/wild-horse-and-burro and the Mustang Heritage Foundation at: http://mustangheritagefoundation.org/
For more information about Wyoming’s Memorial Fund and Circle G Guest Ranch and Event Facility, visit https://www.circlegranchevent.com/. Circle G is located at 2355 Campbellsville Pike near Lynnville, TN.
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