For two young women, the Eastern Idaho State Fair could possibly be a time to say goodbye to their four-legged friends.
Ashley Crumley, 14, and Josie Williams, 16, both of Blackfoot, will be showing their wild mustang horses that they trained through a joint 4-H and Bureau of Land Management program. Each girl picked the horses up in June at the Eastern Idaho State Fairgrounds from a group of wild horses brought in from southwestern Wyoming. They were given 90 days to train the horses and get them ready to auction off at the fair.
“I actually got the one I really wanted, so that worked out really well,” Josie said of the horse she selected to train, a gelding about a year old.
This is the second horse Josie has trained from the BLM/4-H program.
Ashley said her training started with putting a halter on her mustang and finding the horse didn’t care for it.
“His name is Bandit,” Ashley said. “When I first got him I led him around in his halter but the next day he had taken his halter off. He doesn’t like to have his halter on. He keeps escaping out of it. So we thought Bandit would be a good name because he likes to escape out of his halter.”
Both girls will join other 4-H youths and show the horses to potential buyers and other interested people by running them through their paces. Horses are led over logs, tarps, a bridge and other obstacles and well as trotted around. The horses are then auctioned off at a later date during the fair. Starting price is $125. Videos of some of Ashley’s horse training can be found at “Ac horse training” on Facebook.
According to the BLM wild horse and burro government website the BLM placed 1,430 horses in 2017.
“In an effort to place more animals into private care, the BLM partners with nonprofit organizations, volunteers, and state and county prisons to train wild horses and burros. Trained animals tend to have a higher rate of adoption by the public than untrained,” the website states.
According to the fair schedule, the 4-H youth will show the horses starting at 8 a.m. in the Grandstand area. Entrance is free.
“I will miss him,” Ashley said of her horse Bandit. “He’s very smart and intelligent and loves to be loved and stuff and so I know he will make someone else happy.”
Josie said her horse’s name is Augustus McCrae — Gus for short.
“He’s been a great horse, I’m hoping to bid on him, actually, or one of my family members,” she said.
The 4-H program is for youth age 14 to 18. Ashley, whose family has several horses, hasn’t decided on whether she’ll participate in the program again next year.
“We are breeding one of our other horses so I might just train that one,” she said.