Tuesday, February 14, 2012

PREVIEW: "Wild Horse, Wild Ride"

By Kristen Daly
BIFF Digital Communications

Wild Horse, Wild Ride -- TWO SHOWS!

Saturday, Feb. 18, 2:30 p.m.
Boulder High School Auditorium

Sunday, Feb. 19, 5:15 p.m.
Boulder High School Auditorium

(Editor's note: Not only do we have this preview write-up to share with you, but we are proud to share to following mini-documentary, made expressly for BIFF by Jackson Hole, WY documentary filmmaker Melinda Binks! To see it, go to -- password wildhorse! Enjoy!)

"Wild Horse, WildRide," a film by husbandand wife team Alex Dawson and Greg Gricus, takes us inside the relationshipbetween horse and human as we watch nine horse trainers of varying experience,age, location and background try, in three months, to turn nine wild mustangswhich have never before had human contact into “sterling examples of fine ridinghorse."

Every year, the U.S.Bureau of Land Management rounds up thousands of mustangs. This is a very controversial process, but alucky 100 of them, at a few round ups a year, get randomly assigned to 100horse trainers, professional and amateur, who have 100 days to train andprepare them for the Extreme Mustang Makeover Challenge, a competition thattakes place in Fort Worth, Texas before the horses are publicly auctionedoff. The trainers have to bid againstthe public if they want to keep the horses that they have worked with, sweatedover and bonded with over the past three months.

Some have it easierthan others. Mexican immigrant Jesus who“dreams in horses,” true to his namesake, seems to hold an almost a religious spell over his horse Compadre,whereas prodigy professor of medical engineering, Melissa, leads us to fear shemight be seriously injured in this endeavor.

Each subject is doingthis for the love of horses, but also to prove something to themselves. Limping Navajo patriarch Charles needs toshow he still has it in him, even though his horse Comanche challenges him to evenmount in the hundred days. Charles hints that although his life dreams may havebeen sidetracked at some point that his son Carlos, also a competitor, is closeto achieving his as a professional horse trainer.

Two brothers in NewHampshire want to demonstrate that by studying their horses’ reactions toobjects and the world around them and then mimicking that in their approach totraining that they can create a bond of trust with their steeds. The boys’ bonds with their horses grow so strongthat the idea of parting, as they can’t hope to compete financially at auction,looms over the last third of the film.

Bombastic cowgirl,Wylene, wants to show that a loving, single mom can also be a badasshorse-tamer, daredevil and showgirl. Andthe film opens and closes with George, an elderly Texas cowboy, “not overlyloaded with” patience as he puts it, recently married on his seventh try tobest friend and fellow competitor, Evelyn. George knows that his riding days are almost over and that he needs tomake the most of this effort to win the competition as he may not have anotherchance. Jittery horse Waylon waylayshis plans, but brings him unexpected wisdom in exchange.

The humans in thismovie are tested as much as the horses. They must be brave and calm and patient and intuitive. This close interaction and trust with a trulywild creature is not something that most of us will ever get to experience, butit is beautiful to watch.

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