Taming the Wild

Roaming wild and free. In herds of mares, babies, and one adult stud.
These are the pictures we often think of when you mention the wild horse.

But a picture taken back in 1960 is what comes to mind when Sauyna Bolton thinks of a mustang.
It shows her astride her very first horse..

" I started out riding on a Mustang. So my uncle Charlie brought some horses down and one of them was a Mustang and he became my horse, his name was Dan. I thought I was a good little horse trainer then, he would buck me off three times a day but I knew when I was little It would be something I would always do."

She's trained them and showed them all breeds and sizes. When the Western States Mustang challenge came along earlier this year. Saunya applied and became one of 30 mustang trainers. And that would be the easy part. The Challenge: She would be assigned a wild hose right off the range, and have it trained in 90-days...

" What is gonna be expected of us at this horse expo would really require nine months training."

She would be assigned her horse by computer and pick it up in early March.

" I was real pleased when I saw her, because she was in a pen with seven other mares, she was was quiet."

Saunya Calls her Diva...She's a four year old mustang mare who has never been touched, never been in the company of people, and only lived on the range in Northern Washoe County.

" Second day I tried on getting her accustomed to me where I can touch her. 3rd day she was so quiet about it and accepting of me I was able to braid her mane, braid her tail. I was able to put a saddle blanket and a cirsingle on her. She accepted that so we went to the saddle. Today she learned to pick up her feet."

In less than a week Saunya will for the first time place a head stall over the mare's head...and then the two will take a giant step..leave the comfort and safety of Diva's stall, and walk over here to the round pen.

"The challenge will be getting her to the round pen. This will be her first outing from her stall and paddock since she has been here. it's a slow process."

Slow is right as a matter of fact. The two would come to a stand still on this day, as Diva lives up to her name and refuses to come out.