Farm Talk

Area Farm & Ranch News

February 26, 2008

Kelly takes pride in training wild horses

Monett, Mo., cowboy finds plenty of ability in mustang mounts

Horse trainer Chad Kelly has seen all types of horses over the years—big horses, little horses and horses of all different breeds.

However, the Monett, Mo., cowboy has never seen or trained anything quite like the wild mustangs he is working with now in conjunction with the Mustang Heritage Foundation and the Bureau of Land Management.

Kelly got involved in the trainer incentive program through the Foundation when his family entered him in the Extreme Mustang Makeover competition in 2007.

“I got interested in the program after competing in the mustang challenge in Ft. Worth,” Kelly says.

The basis of the competition is to take a wild horse and spend 100 days preparing it for the competition.

“In the competition the horses need to be able to take leads, pivot, stop and spin,” he explains. “There is also a trail course the horses compete in where they have to cross over things and go through gates.”

Kelly made the competition, and even though he didn’t win, it was obvious he had what it took to train horses, wild or otherwise.

“At the end of the hundred days I was riding, roping and shooting off my mustang—without a bridle on,” he laughs.

Even one of Kelly’s most admired horsemen commented on the fact that he sure could train a horse.

“After I lost, J.D. Yates told me I sure could ride a horse I just couldn’t count after I spun him too many times,” Kelly says.

That experience led him to really focus on the trainer incentive program which provides bonus money to trainers interested in starting and adopting out American mustangs.

“These mustangs are horses that the Spanish let lose in the wild,” he explains. “Now there are several bands of feral horses across the country and my job is to train them and adopt them out.”

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