*Feature photo: Taffy and Rocky, Jerry Ring's miniature ponies, Honeymoon, his wild mustang, and Jerry near his Sheridan home. / Pitchengine Communities* (Sheridan, Wyo.) — It is a story of wild mustangs taken in by a prison, given to trainers and granted a second chance. It is a story of a Sheridan man who has battled his demons, finding his own second chance. You can't help but root for Jerry Ring, who you might recognize around town, driving his yellow pickup truck with two dogs above him and two miniature ponies, Taffy and Rocky, riding in the bed behind him. [image: Inline image 3] *h/t Jerilyn Ring via Sheridan Upcycle on Facebook * And now he has a wild mustang to train named HoneyMoon. Jerry is competing in the Colorado Extreme Mustang Makeover event in Ft. Collins, Colo., May 20-21. For the event, he has been given a wild mustang named HoneyMoon from the Mustang Heritage Foundation, and has 100 days to "gentle," or train her. See the roster of trainers here
After the event on May 21, all mustangs involved will be auctioned off to
Jerry knows he is the underdog. He has never formally studied horse
training, but says he constantly researches horses and loves them.
"I am the rookie of the rookie," Ring said with a smile.
He uses training techniques he learned from books by Buck Brannaman, and is
not shy about saying that his horses have saved his life.
Horses, he said, have helped him battle alcoholism.
"Little horses, they are so funny. They are what got me into this," Jerry
says. "They taught me everything. You want to know the funny part of this
story? I got a little horse to train and to give a purpose. But that little
horse taught me, that llittle horse trained me, and gave me purpose. She
reversed the roles on me."
"I took my alcoholism of 48 years and turned it into these animals," Jerry
The purpose of Extreme Mustang Makeover is to showcase the beauty,
versatility and trainability of the wild mustang.
"You take a wild horse and put it in my yard for 60 days," Ring said. "You
take it back to the wild, and that horse wants to stay with you."
The Mustang Heritage Foundation is a non-profit with the aim of increasing
adoption of wild horses held in the Bureau of Land Management’s corrals and
long term holding facilities.
HoneyMoon was captured on the Colorado/Wyoming border, and she was taken to
the Canon City Prison , where she was
taken care of by prisoners until she was given by the Foundation to Jerry
for the competition.
"That is where we got her. We drove down there, and this she what we came
home with," Jerry said.
"We want to get some of these animals out, and show what kind of partners
they make," Ring said. "You can see, I live in a trailer house. I don't
have much—I don't have much experience, but I am putting this together for
a major contest."
"She would make a very good therapy horse, she would be a good horse for
children ... she has so many good characteristics, I just—I am in love with
her," Jerry said.
Youth and adult trainers will each have a chance to showcase their assigned
mustang’s talents after just 100 days of training for $25,000 in cash and
prizes in May. Winners of the regional contest will go on to a national
contest later this year.
According to the Foundation, the BLM is currently responsible for more than
50,000 horses in short term and long term care. Over 5,000 American
Mustangs have been adopted through the Mustang Heritage Foundation since
And his life motto, Jerry says? The one he now takes to everything,
including the contest?
"You keep it positive, and sooner or later, your life will be electrified."
You can follow HoneyMoon and Jerry on Facebook here
[image: Inline image 1]
*Jerry and his animals in a field near his home. / Pitchengine Communities*
[image: Inline image 2]
*Taffy and Rocky, Jerry Ring's miniature ponies. / Pitchengine Communities*