Every year my husband competes in the Mustang Heritage Foundation’s annual Ft Worth Supreme Extreme Mustang Makeover. It’s an incredible event where trainers take wild never been haltered mustangs and have around 100 days to turn them into ride-able functioning horses. There is something magical about the fantasy of taming a mustang it’s been written about in books for years. Mustangs are an unknown, an unknown entity of unknown pedigree, mentality, and ability. Some become wonderful companions forming a stronger bond at times than regular domestic horses and others become talented performance horses and many are testing in the upper levels of dressage, performing in specialty rodeo acts, and holding their own in Stock Horse events. Last year I threw in and participated and ended up keeping my mare known by everyone on my FB and at the local roping pen as Eleanor. Yes I named her after the car in Gone in 60 seconds which is a movie I can quote by heart along with Tombstone and the Friday Movies. I caught a whole lot of flack for entering this event by professional trainers I deal with but I had watched my husband’s past 3 makeovers and was itching to give it a try. Having kept my mare I use her just like the quarter horses we own, People eye her with a mix of curiosity and suspicion and some amusement but at regular show’s VERY few people have anything to say to me about her that don’t already know us.
At this year’s mustang makeover my husband’s horse was a little snorty on the ground which kept him from being a finals contender in spite of how nice he is under saddle. During the non-qualifying horse demonstrations a young man approached my husband about his horse. Right away my husband could tell the young man was unique. He asked him lots of questions about his mustang, Rambling Man. My husband knowing his mustang needed to go on to a home where he would have a steady job told the young man he was still kinda wild and went on to point out the horses in the arena that were gentler than the one he trained and visited with him for quite a while.
Later on we spotted the young man at the trade show running a booth where he makes the most amazing 3D wooden puzzles. We stopped to visit with him a bit. He was very excited and proud as he told us all about his work. I watched a few people scurry past eyeing the puzzles but not bothering to stop. The young mans name is Gregory and we learned that he has Autism but earned his high school degree and is making a business out of these amazing puzzles (did I mention they’re hard?) and because I compare everything to horses I couldn’t help but think how much Gregory is like these mustangs. Everyday equestrian society doesn’t consider them normal horses. The majority of the world often is uncomfortable with people with disabilities but Gregory’s accomplishments and the puzzles he makes are exceptional just as the mustangs that continue out into the world to touch people are.
We felt very blessed to have met Gregory who is obviously a shining example of how someone with a disability can overcome the odd’s. I bought a puzzle of a rearing Mustang which is all of 10 pieces and took me 30 minutes to put back together when I got it home. I know I will use it to remind our daughter that she can do anything if she puts her mind to it. I want to encourage my readers to share this blog on their own and on their FB pages and with Christmas right around the corner go visit Gregory’s website and order a gift for someone. His website is http://www.gregorysgifts.com