At the end of a hot Texas day, covered in dust with their hair haphazardly thrown in pony tails, two Comanche County youth, Kayden Frazier (14) of Comanche & Kaitlyn Glass (12) of Energy, are all smiles as they lead their mustang yearlings back to their pens for the night.
These two Comanche 4H Horse Club friends have teamed up to compete in Mustang Heritage’s Foundation’s largest mustang event to date, the Mustang Million. With $1 million in cash and prizes and no entry fees, Mustang Million ranks among the most prestigious equine events, such as the National Cutting Horse Futurity and the National Reining Horse Futurity, with better odds of winning!
The two young trainers will travel to Fort Worth in September to compete at a chance to take home part of a $50,000 payout. The top 10 youth finalists will be competing for more than $31,000 with the youth champion being awarded $10,000. An additional $3,000 will be distributed to the top 10 exhibitors in each of two age divisions: 8 to 12 and 13 to 17.
Also, $2,500 will be distributed to the top-five placing youth in each of three classes — handling & conditioning, pattern, and a trail class. The top-10 from the preliminary classes will compete in a clean slate finals which will consist of a compulsories class and a freestyle. Youth competitors are only able to use yearlings. The yearlings are shown in-hand and are not ridden during the competition.
Kaitlyn’s mustang journey started with the BEHS training challenging back in June of 2012. After attending the 2012 Supreme Extreme Mustang Makeover & learning of the Mustang Million, Kaitlyn dream took shape. A friendly family rivalry ensued; in order for her to compete in the Mustang Million, she had to beat her dad in the open in hand division of the Bluebonnet Equine Humane Society Rescue Horse Training Challenge.
In October, the results were in with Kaitlyn winning reserve champion in both the youth division and open in hand division to beat her father by two places. The countdown was then on for the mustang adoptions.
Three yearling mustangs were adopted on April 28 with the gray & white paint filly being added to the group on May 12 after Kaitlyn talked Kayden into competing also. Kayden also competed in the Bluebonnet Training Challenge in 2011 winning youth champion. While both girls are actively involved in training their own horses, they have never started with untouched mustangs.
Together, the duo has created the Double K Mustangship. Once wild yearlings fleeing from the slightest movement are now able to lead and maneuver an obstacle horse. After the third week of training they performed at the Comanche Co. Junior Rodeo.
Entering the arena on a flat bed trailer, Kayden & Kaitlyn showcased two of their mustangs over their obstacles including a teeter totter bridge, noodle gate & more. The following weekend they put on a demonstration at Robert Carlson’s Going for Broke clinic where Kayden also took Kashmere Keepsake, the gray & white paint filly.
With only 3 sessions of working with “Kash,” Kayden was able to roll her over on her back. When asked if mustangs are harder to train than domestic horses Kayden says, “Mustangs are significantly easier to train. I love them!”
Kaitlyn adds “Once you have formed a connection with them, their willingness to learn inspires you to think outside the box.”
Kayden & Kaitlyn have also created a facebook page to document their journey. They encourage everyone to follow along by liking their page or also by visiting their website at http://www.doublekmustangship.com.