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Horsing Around With Mustangs

Haleigh Denny and her trainee Casper are midway through their 90-day TIP challenge for the Mustang Heritage Foundation.

Teen Trains Horses For Mustang Heritage Foundation Challenge

Jennifer Marsh

Herald Staff

Some 16-year-old girls are into fashion, boys and Instagram but local teen Haleigh Denny says horses are more her style.

Denny is competing in the Mustang Heritage Foundation’s Trainer Incentive program (TIP) that challenges trainers to a 90-day training period to tame a mustang.

“The beginning is the hardest part,” said Denny. “Horses are smart and curious, so they learn really fast.”

Denny said she had been around horses her whole life but started training them under H.D. Horsemanship in 2017. Since then she said she has found a passion for training and plans to continue competing in the challenges.

“I picked Casper up in January and his challenge will be up in April,” said Denny. “I plan to get another baby mustang this month for another challenge.”

Denny said anyone can compete in the 90-day challenge. The competitors are judged in a two-day, three-class competition focusing on gentleness, training and tameness.

The foundation website says they created the TIP program to bridge the gap between potential adopters or purchasers and the mustangs housed at the Bureau of Land Management and other off facility sites.

When asked what Denny does with her mustangs after she trains them she said she has kept them until recently.

“You can rehome them. The great part about TIP is that the trainer gets to be involved in the rehoming,” said Denny. “I get to choose who adopts.”

Denny is planning on rehoming her current trainee, Casper, at the end of her challenge.

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