(Shoshoni, WY) – Brian and Dani Welch picked up a mustang and a burro at the end of April to begin their 100-days of training for the 2021 TIP Challenge. The competition this year takes place on August 20th in Douglas during Mustang Days at the Wyoming State Fair.
Brian and Dani own Welch’s Triple Cross Ranch located near Shoshoni and are fulfilling their passion of helping mustangs and burros get adopted. Earlier this year they became Trainer Incentive Program (TIP) approved trainers for the Bureau of Land Management gathered wild horses and burros – both of their TIP Challenge animals came from the BLM Rock Springs Wild Horse Holding Facility.
This is Brian’s first TIP Challenge and his second year training horses and burros. For the competition, he is gentling a 2-year-old burro they named Champ because he is going to win. Within a handful of days, he was already crushing the TIP training requirements.
Champ can already be led, all four hooves can be picked up and the halter can be taken on and off. In addition, he can be turned out and caught again. Champ and Brian have definitely formed a bond in less than a month together.
This is Dani’s second TIP Challenge and her fifteenth year training mustangs. For the competition, she is gentling a 3-year-old mare mustang named Whispering a Beautiful Promise (Whisper for short).
“Our method is very gentle,” Dani explained. “Everything is at the animal’s pace, we don’t rush it.”
She was able to get the tag off of Whisper and is now able to touch her sides. They’ve started working on round pen training as well.
Whisper may already have an adopter once the competition is over so Dani hopes to have her started on a saddle in July, but her main goal is the challenge requirements.
Part of their adoption process is ensuring the bond between the new owner and mustang or burro happens beforehand.
“I make sure the person adopting comes out and meets the animal and creates the bond,” Dani noted. “This is a vulnerable state for them, and they need to trust the person.”
While meeting the basics like taking a halter on and off or catching them are huge steps in the gentling process, both Champ and Whisper will be doing the TIP Challenge Trail Class. Being an in-hand only competition, this means they will have to lead them through an obstacle course that includes things like walking over a tarp, over a bridge and through pool noodles among other things.
Dani and Brian are working with both of them on a daily basis along with other TIP mustangs and burros that will be available for adoption through BLM.
“I want to get them homes,” Brian shared. “We are not in it for the money, we are in it for the animals.”