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Brodhead teen trains wild mustang

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GINA R. HEINE
October 14, 2009
— Standing in the center of the barn, Jeremy Rosheisen controls the mustang that kicks up dirt as he jogs around and stops and starts on command.

It's a sight that wouldn't have happened about 90 days ago when Rosheisen, 19, first met his wild yearling mustang.


He got his mustang, named Cash, on July 18 and has been training him about an hour to 90 minutes a day in preparation for the Extreme Mustang Makeover Eastern Stampede next week in Murfreesboro, Tenn.


"He's been such a willing learner; he's wanted to learn," Rosheisen said. "Food is a big motivator for him."


But Cash has taught Rosheisen a thing or two, also.


He learned that a wild mustang, while very smart, learns at a different pace than normal horses because they've never interacted with humans.


"So I had to learn to understand that and kind of adjust how I worked with horses to better work with him," he said.


The training changed his perspective and switched things up.


"He taught me a lot on how to work with horses, and what's done right and what's done wrong," he said.


The pair will be judged at next week's competition, which showcases what a trainer is able to do with a wild mustang in 90 days. The goal is to break and quiet the horse as much as possible. Seventy percent of the judging is based on the trainer's work with the horse while 30 percent of judging is on the horse's overall body condition.


The mustangs come from ranges in Nevada, and the program is federally run through the Mustang Heritage Foundation. The program aims to show the trainability of mustangs and how easy they are to work with, Rosheisen said.


Why did he want to do it?


"The challenge," he said.


As a young and up-and-coming trainer, Rosheisen wanted to be able to show what he could do.


His training philosophy is "make the right thing easy and the wrong thing hard," he said.


"If he (Cash) wants to keep stopping there, he has to keep working," he said. "But once he does it, he gets to stop and take a break."


After the competition, the horses are adopted by their trainers or sold in an auction.


"I don't have time or space for another horse," Rosheisen said. "I'd love to bring him home."


Rosheisen grew up on a hobby farm and has been working with horses since he was 8.


"This year, once I graduated from high school, I decided that's what I want to do with life," he said of horse training.


He started Jeremy Rosheisen Precision Training, renting space from a farm just south of Brodhead where he trains whatever kind of horse people bring him—trail horses, show horses, etc. He also owns two horses.


He'll put his training on hold next month when he starts the 17-week Farm and Industry Short Course at UW-Madison's College of Agriculture and Life Science. It's designed for students who want to stay in agriculture but not commit to a four-year program.


Rosheisen hopes to learn the business side of agriculture to further his goals.


"Eventually, I'd like to run my own barn, show in the big leagues and make all the money," he said with a big smile.



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