American Hoofbeats intends to educate and promote the Mustang breed as a horse that is not only versatile but is also a valuable partner. We will also promote how important it is to keep our precious wild horses safe and well taken care of while educating the horse community about our responsibilities to utilize this valuable resource as a partner in the show pen, working ranches and trail riding. We also want to bring attention to how important public lands that our wild horses roam over are to our heritage and our future. Conservation is key in developing public/private partnerships.
About the Film:
American Hoofbeats will follow the journey of wild mustangs under different conditions and circumstances from wild to finished partner. We will closely follow several very different journeys with the horses.
Our first trainer, Marsha Hartford Sapp will pick-up her Mustang in Jacksonville, FL on 1/22. We will be working very closely with Marsha during the entire time she has the mustang. We will be at her barn on Monday to film their initial session and will follow-up on a regular basis filming important milestones. Marsha has had tremendous success this year with Cobra and has the public eye. We are very humbled and pleased to have a trainer of this caliber on our team!
We will also be filming with Joe Williams from Ocala, FL. Joe is picking up mustangs and will begin training this weekend. We will be at his farm on Sunday to film their initial session and will follow-up accordingly throughout the process. Again, another hugely successful trainer from the Hunter/Jumper world.
A local trainer, Teana Hodge will adopt a wild mustang for the Mustang Makeover in Florida and one for the Mustang Makeover in Virginia. We will follow her from pickup to competition. This is Teana’s first Mustang Makeover competition, however, Teana has successfully worked with several mustangs that were in rescues allowing them to be productive partners moving forward as all around horses.
Kirsten Mew from Conway, SC, who won the Youth Division last year is also picking up a mustang for competition and we will follow along with their journey as well. Kirsten has done the competition multiple times and is only 17 year olds! This will bring a youth component into our film and hopefully allow kids to become interested.
This will give us 4 totally different perspectives on training a mustang, different types of farms and barns with trainers of very different back grounds. Through these trainer’s eyes and hands I want to give our audience the experience of what it is like to train a wild horse, to feel that bond of trust, that moment when that horse accepts you as part of his herd. I want to make them feel that! This also incorporates Dressage, Hunter/Jumper, Western and All Around disciplines.
From another perspective, Jim Thomas of Pittsboro, NC who rode his mustangs when he did the Makeover from Pittsboro, NC to Clemson, SC to raise money for wounded warriors will pick-up three mustangs from holding pens in Oklahoma. These mustangs will become our poster horses for our mission. We will follow these mustangs in training from wild at pickup to their finish. Jim Thomas will also organize a Mustang Ride from his home in Pittsboro to Washington, DC to gain attention to the Mustangs and their role in our American Heritage. We will do a blow by blow daily accounting on our website and social media as well as get news coverage all along the way while filming. One of the Mustangs from this ride will be auctioned off for adoption in to promote and this money will be donated to the Mustang Heritage Foundation.
During this process we will also meet and get to know many mustang trainers, horses and successes all across America. This will enable our audience to realize that while many of us “dream” of riding a wild horse. It isn’t as far-fetched and impossible as you might think. It is actually a very possible and financially good business decision. The trainers we will integrate into the story include folks like Marsha Hartford Sapp and her horse Cobra who swept the Western Dressage World and also became the USEF Horse of the Year! We will meet Joe Williams whose mustang went to the National Pony Finals and placed in the Top 10! Kirsten Mew who won the Youth Mustang Makeover in 2015, as well as, Hannah Smith and Casey Hiser who competed in Youth Divisions. The list goes on and on…..
Trainers will be faced with loads of out of control circumstances. We will be training these horses through the worst months that our area has to offer. There will be rain, wind, sleet, snow and lots of mud which greatly limits them in their endeavors. The film will also be filled with loads of heart-warming moments of accomplishment such as that first touch, when they respond to your commands, the first ride and more!
Mary Miller Jordan a long time Mustang family member who’s Mustang Lindsay Faith became a Breyer Horse collectible will adopt and train a burro to be included in our film.
One thing that I have learned through my networking within the horse industry is that EVERY person who owns a Mustang feels that this particular breed is the best horse they ever owned. I hear that time and time again. Every trainer that I contacted about our documentary was immediately on board to help in any way they can. This horse has an immense amount of respect and love throughout the world. I believe that our film can help find homes for the horses that have been rounded up, create a desire for a Mustang of My Very Own and continue to focus attention on how important this part of our American Heritage is to protect and covet.
We chose the name American Hoofbeats to reinforce that these horses are our American Heritage and must be protected, utilized and cherished. They are our past and possibly our future.
Filming will begin in earnest in January at the pickup in Florida and Oklahoma. The film is anticipated to be about 90-120 minutes in length and will include the best footage to be educational and encourage folks to purse an adoption. Anticipated release is December 2016. Filming segments will take place throughout the United States on location at many different Mustang trainer’s farms, holding areas and in the wild.
With 50,000 Mustangs in holding pens currently and another 25,000 that will be added to those already in pens, the problem with over-crowding continues to grow. Adoption rates have been way down over the past few years of course, due to a poor economy and general down turn in the horse industry as a whole. We are finally seeing an upward swing in the horse industry. Trail riding and trail competitions have become two of the most popular outdoor recreational activities in the country. What horse could be better suited for a trail ride or trail competition than the versatility and stamina of a Mustang.
Rose Cushing is the Producer of Carolina Hoofbeats TV and Modern Horseman TV. Carolina Hoofbeats TV was the first weekly 30 minute television show highlighting the horse industry in North Carolina and is now proudly entering its fourth season. Modern Horseman TV is the spin- off of Carolina Hoofbeats TV that features all of our young equestrians. Modern Horseman highlights the accomplishments and dreams of the youth in our industry and prepares them through education for the future. All television episodes are available on our website carolinahoofbeatstv.com and modernhorseman.net.
Rose is the Publisher of Carolina Hoofbeats magazine, Southeast Equine magazine and Modern Horseman magazine. Carolina Hoofbeats magazine was the first magazine to exclusively celebrate North Carolina’s horsemen and women. This bi-monthly publication is distributed free of charge throughout North Carolina and is available digitally on our website carolinahoofbeats.com. Southeast Equine magazine is a seven state regional publication servicing FL, GA, SC, NC, VA, TN and KY. This magazine is a monthly publication distributed free in over 500 locations in the south! Southeast Equine is also available digitally online at southeastequine.net. Modern Horseman is a digital publication targeting youth in the equine industry. It is written, photographed and designed by youth in our industry. It can be seen at modernhorseman.net.
Rose is also an active member of the North Carolina Horse Council and serves on their Board as Secretary. Rose is also the Equine Representative for the Nash County Farm Bureau and Marketing Committee Chair for the NC Horse Council. Rose is also a supporter and member of the South Carolina Horse Council.
Rose’s passion for horses is unsurpassed and she has devoted countless hours to bettering this industry and the life of the horse. Rose and Rodney also own Halfmoon Farms where they raise American Quarter Horses and American Paint Horses.
Rodney Cushing is our videographer and editor with years of experience in electronics. Rodney Cushing is the owner of Cushing Media Productions which provides videography services for area businesses as well as the horse industry. Cushing Media Productions owns Carolina Hoofbeats, Carolina Hoofbeats TV, Southeast Equine, Modern Horseman and Modern Horseman TV. Rodney has valuable experience and insight in equestrian video production and television broadcasting. Rodney is the Editor and Videographer for all episodes of Carolina Hoofbeats TV and Modern Horseman TV. Rodney is also Chief Technical Advisor on all aspects of our television broadcasting company.
Jim Thomas is a well-established clinician in the competitive Southeastern U.S. market, and has held nearly 100 clinics, training over 1,000 riders globally, and is currently a member of the North Carolina Horse Council Executive Board. Jim spent over 30 years as a leader in U.S. Army where he became well versed in fostering results-driven team environments, not unlike the horse and human teams he works with now on a daily basis. His years of military experience translates seamlessly to the horsemanship education he bestows upon his students-- he’s able to work with students to achieve their goals while boosting their morale and providing a confident, safe foundation. One popular saying in the Army is “adapt and overcome.” If Jim finds that a student isn’t understanding a certain concept, he adapts his teaching style or the lesson until both the rider and the horse have grasped the concept.
Jim has had the opportunity to receive individual instruction from some of the most noted and respected horsemen in the U.S. (Martin Black, Craig Cameron and Clinton Anderson, to name a few). With a focus on horsemanship (the relationship between horse and rider) across all disciplines, he believes that communication and understanding the “why” in the horse leads to success with the horse. His success as an instructor stems from his successful military career, where he was trained in communication, instruction and leadership at an elite level. Jim has participated in several Mustang Makeovers.
For more information go to www.AmericanHoofbeats.com