Local horseman tries again

Gerry Cox in NW Extreme MakeoverGerry Cox, owner of Mountain House Stables (Arden), has thrown his hat in the ring at NW Extreme Mustang Makeover again. His last attempt netted a third place showing in 2010.The NW Extreme Mustang Makeover is sponsored by the Mustang Heritage Foundation of Georgetown, Texas, in conjunction with the Bureau of Land Management, where the MHF has selected 45 trainers from Washington, Oregon, Idaho, Montana, California and Nevada to pick up randomly selected wild horses from the BLM gathering centers in Oregon, California and Nevada. They will have 100 days to gentle, train and then show the horse at a Mustang event in Albany, Oregon June 30 through July 2. Judges will pick the top 10 horses and trainers and then perform a freestyle riding routine where they will be judged for first through 10th places.Cox says he’s pleased to have the opportunity again to compete in the rigorous competition.Cox works with five-year-old bay mare“Although we took third in 2010, we were just grateful to have the invitation,” Cox says. “We knew 35 had been selected, so we hoped to place at least 35th. This year we hope to place at least 45th.”This year, Cox was given a five-year-old bay mare his wife named Fanny after her grandmother.“She was pretty wild in the loading chute where the BLM handlers will put a halter and lead rope on for you,” Cox pointed out. “She bucked and banged and thought she was going to climb over the top.”Cox says his experience with the wild mustangs is rather limited, but he has helped with the U.S. Border Patrol mustangs over the years and has also helped start several other wild horses for people. He says some mustangs are rather gentle by nature and you can catch and rub and have them saddled the first day. “But then again, some are extremely wild and may take a few days to even get close enough to grab the rope,” Cox says. “When we unloaded her late Friday night, she tore around and around the corral and tried to climb the eight-foot walls we have in there. By Saturday, I was able to get her to take a curious sniff at my hand. Soon after, I had her caught and beginning to lead a little. But she will still bolt, snort and strike if she doesn’t feel secure about something. “I’ll just take my time and try to win her over with as little risk to myself as possible.”Those who want to follow Gerry’s progress with Fanny can do so during Cox’s occasional video post clips on YouTube at www.YouTube.com/gcoxalaska.