We love to hear from our adopters about what our Extreme Mustang Makeover horses are doing after the competition. To hear about the lives that we have helped these horses unlock and the impact they have on their new families.
We were excited to receive an update on Punchy Lil Heartbreaker, one of our Top 10 horses from our Ocala, Florida Extreme Mustang Makeover in April 2022. Shannon Blumenreich, mother of Punchy’s adopter, Sophia, sent us this heart-touching update of what this sweet mustang has been up to over the past year:
In the spring of 2022, a then 13 year old Sophia decided that she would take a little bit of a different route when purchasing her next horse. She saved up her money to purchase/adopt Cliff Shadt’s draw for the April 2022 Extreme Mustang Makeover in Ocala. The horse was a little red gelding named Punchy Lil Heartbreaker from the Diamond HMA. Cliff, a well-known and respected trainer, put a wonderful start on Punchy and they made it into the finals of the competition. Sophia was absolutely thrilled when she won her top pick when he went up for competitive bid at the end of the competition.
Once he arrived home, Sophia and Punchy became inseparable. I recall driving to the farm on the day they met and telling her that he would likely be shy and nervous and to give him time. Boy was I wrong! They were instant friends. Sophia used Punchy as her guide horse while working at her grandfather’s trail riding business all summer and Punchy got lots of practice at life skills like opening and closing gates, ground tying out on the trail, pushing through or over anything she pointed him at. They continued to do ring work as well and she lightly competed him in some open shows over the summer.
Sophia is at the farm every single day and a day does not pass without her working with him. If she is unable to ride, they do groundwork. She spends hours just sitting in the stall with him, playing in the paddock and just being with him. He is groomed and fussed over every single day and Punchy absolutely adores his girl. A few weeks ago, Sophia was sick and couldn’t make it to the barn for three days. This was the longest they have been apart in months. I have never seen a horse look as down as this one was over those few days.
This show season is starting soon and Sophia thought long and hard about what to do. She had some very generous offers to ride some friends’ well trained, finished horses this season. In the end, she decided to only enter show series with green divisions and put the time and miles into her Punchy. She also looked at the calendar and opted not to do some shows because she didn’t want her young horse to be burnt out or overwhelmed by an overloaded show schedule. Her horse comes first in all things.
Next month will be one year with Punchy and Sophia is looking forward to being able to apply for the Bureau of Land Management title to make Punchy’s ownership official.
Sophia and Punchy are currently entered in Green Horse WT Ranch Riding and Green Horse WT Pleasure and they are posted as “Sophia Blumenreich and Punchy Lil Heartbreaker.” In a discipline dominated by Quarter Horses, she is taking a different approach by competing with a BLM mustang. All of her hard work is paying off as she has a brave little horse that would walk through fire for her. Wherever they go, people notice the brand and stop to chat and ask about him. She and Punchy are truly ambassadors of how smart, friendly and versatile BLM mustangs can be.