This is a really quick turnaround sort of notice for readers who maybe decided to have a "staycation" over the July 4th weekend and possibly feel that they owe themselves something special or for those who went on vacation and still have a little energy left over.

On Tuesday from 6-8 p.m. the Carroll County Equestrian Council will be putting on a Potluck Picnic and Special Program featuring Toby Gibbon and the American Mustangs.


I could tell you all about it but in an article on Nov. 20, 2015 in this paper longtime horse writer Lois Szymanski has already said it so I assume that you read it then.

Here it is just to refresh your memory:

Toby Gibbon, of Mt. Airy, has a way with horses and he's been putting it to good use. Since 2014, Gibbon, 57, has trained four mustangs to compete in the Extreme Mustang Makeover. He is currently training his fifth.

The Extreme Mustang Makeover, a 100-day training competition hosted by the Mustang Heritage Foundation, is responsible for the adoption of more than 5,000 wild horses. According to its website, MHF is a 501(c)3 nonprofit with a mission of increasing the adoption rate of Bureau of Land Management's wild mustangs.

Those who choose to compete pick up a wild mustang from a holding center and take it home to train. One hundred days later they compete with the mustang in a horse show. Afterward, the mustangs are auctioned off to good homes. From the price at sale, a $200 adoption fee goes to the Bureau of Land Management. Any remaining money is split between the trainer and MHF.

After that first mustang, Gibbon trained a horse named Reo and one named Dauntless, who also finished in the top 10 and whom he later purchased. On Sept. 10, he competed with his fourth mustang, Romeo."

According to The Mustang Heritage Foundation: "The Mustang Heritage Foundation created the Extreme Mustang Makeover event in order to recognize and highlight the value of Mustangs through a national training competition and to showcase the beauty, versatility and trainability of the rugged horses. With approximately 100 days to tame wild to mild, trainers from across America continue to take the challenge of competing with an American Mustang at Extreme Mustang Makeover events in 10 U.S. cities. Trainers compete for cash and prizes while displaying the trainability of American Mustangs in hope of finding a suitable adopter. After being selected a trainer picks up an American Mustang that has been virtually untouched by humans and has approximately 100 days to gentle, halter break and saddle train, build trust and develop a relationship with the horse to compete and win."

The horses and their trainers will have a chance to show off their abilities at 10 cities across the nation, and this year on Aug. 25-27 at the VA Horse Center in Lexington, Va., you will be able to watch the show for yourself.

And you may just be able to purchase one of the trained Mustangs, too.

It would make a memorable short run summer trip for your family, especially if there is a starry-eyed horse kid (or wife!) in that family. If you take the smallest car that you own, not only will you save on gas but also you can't possibly fit a horse into it, so you should be safe.

Seriously though, the Mustangs are one part of the history of this country that should not be ignored. Throughout the years they have been chased down, roped, broken rough, ridden and put away wet all over the west carrying good guys, bad guys and Native Americans and they have survived the treatment to become one of the icons of our American western national heritage.

Not to mention their place in the economy of this country.

Without the Mustang and the Longhorn there wouldn't have been much need for cowboys. Without the cowboys, a large number of Hollywood actors would have been on the bread lines instead of being gainfully employed and just think of all of those writers who would have had to earn a living writing ad copy in New York City instead of being happily holed up somewhere turning out Wild West potboilers.

See how one little thing just leads right into another?


But I digress. You don't need to digress though. You can go to the Carroll County Equestrian Center (and if you have never been there, it is a lovely place with or without horses) at 2512 Grimville Road in Mount Airy on Tuesday from 6-8 p.m. to share that potluck picnic (it's a bring-a-dish-to-share event) and get your information on the 100 Day Mustang Challenge straight from the horse trainers mouth.

I know I'm going.