About Teens and Oregon Mustangs
How we started & what our program is all about…
Teens and Oregon Mustangs was founded in 2009 by Josh and Erica FitzGerald. Teens and Oregon Mustangs is sponsored by the Youth and Yearling Challenge, created by Mustang Heritage Foundation (MHF) and modeled after the adult Extreme Mustangs Makeover event. Along with the support of MHF, and the Oregon Bureau of Land Management, Teens and Oregon Mustangs is an independent 501C3 non-profit that accepts donations from the community to help fund the event and provide trainer incentive money for the youth.
Erica was inspired to start the program after she and her husband Josh competed in the Extreme Mustang Makeover in 2008. She was excited to introduce this to the youth knowing they would learn just as much as the mustang they were gentling.
Teens and Oregon mustangs have taken the “I want a horse one day” dream to a whole new level. Trainers ages 10 and over are given the opportunity to spend their summer vacation doing something that most only dream about. They have 100 days to gentle and train a mustang or burro. They return to showcase their horsemanship skills and their hard work while competing for prizes even including a grand prize trophy saddle. A live horse auction/ adoption follows the award ceremony. The auction/adoption places horses in adoptive homes. The trainers receive the proceeds from the auction minus a $25 BLM transfer fee if they are not keeping their mustang.
Through the donations of the Sarah Watson Memorial Fund, Teens and Oregon Mustangs is able to offer up to $1,000 in college scholarships to graduating seniors.
To date, Teens and Oregon Mustangs have had 100% success in finding homes for their horses and hope to continue this success into the future.
Adopt a Mustang, Give a Future.
OUR MISSION: Provide positive life-changing experiences for trainers of all ages through the development of leadership, horsemanship, and teamwork while educating the public about training and adoption of Oregon’s wild Mustangs.
OUR VISION: By 2026, Teens and Oregon Mustangs will be recognized in the United States as a premier organization that improves the adoptability of Mustangs, develops trainers of all ages, and is critical to the healthy and sustainable management of America’s natural resources and preservation of western heritage.
- Trainer Development – Inspire life-long learning and develop confidence, responsibility, consistency and leadership.
- Diversity – Encourage a variety of training techniques that showcase the Mustang’s trainability across various disciplines.
- Successful Adoption – Strive to maintain our 100% adoption rate and value the hard work it takes to get there.
- Training Toolbox – Provide ample opportunities and tools for trainers to overcome any training obstacles in their path.
- Public Awareness – Educate the public about Mustang horses, heritage, and management and the related management of natural resources