Elisa Wallace grew up around horses. Her father is well known in Eventing as a rider and a trainer. Her mother who is also in the horses, gets her kicks by breeding and working with young horses. Elisa was riding before she could walk and was already Eventing by the age of 4. At age 9 she was the youngest Eventer to win a gold at Georgia State Games in Combined Training. Elisa decided that she wanted to refine her techniques so she decided to switch to Hunter Jumpers and Equitation. Then, in 2005 she qualified for the — USEF Maclay Finals at the young age of 12. After this amazing accomplishment she knew she was ready to start competing and working towards her goal of International competition in the Eventing world. Over the years she has trained with many big name trainers Nick Larkin, Stephen Bradley Peter Gray, Ralph Hill and even recently trained with Karen and David O’Conner.
In 2012 her friends convinced her to enter the Extreme Mustang Makeover. Little did Elisa know but this would turn out to be a new passion of hers, training Mustangs. She was assigned a 3 year old 13.2 hand gelding from the Medicine Maverick Mustang herd in Nevada. She named him Fledge after the winged horse in the Magicians Nephew. She had only 4 months to train him to be a solid horse and to compete with him in a series of western movements and she also had to come up with a freestyle routine for chance to show off their skills. Watching Elisa and Fledge in the freestyle was very uplifting you could feel their partnership in every movement they made. She came out bareback and with only a rope around his neck. She did a few sliding stops and then did a series of 3 jumps, she dropped the rope around his neck and put her arms out and let him fly around the ring. She wowed the crowd my laying him on the ground and wrapping herself in his legs, and then when she undid herself from him she hoped on his back asked him to stand and she stood on his back and jumped down. She won the competition and even was able to place the highest bid on him and take home the best prize, Fledge! You can watch their video above.
The next year she entered the Mustang Million in 2013, she was assigned a 14.3 3 year old mustang Rune which means secrete which was from the Piceance herd in Colorado. She was not asked back for the finals of the competition but they caused quite a stir by coming out for the reining part of the competition in dressage attire. Continuing her love for Mustangs she was invited to compete in the Mustang Magic, where she wanted to use the opportunity to show that mustangs would be and could be great at Eventing. She would meet a beautiful, 14.3 grey mustang mare, that would eventually win her heart.
In the beginning people would joke with Elisa that Hwin would be her new eventing horse, she would just say “Nah, she would have to be a freak of nature for me to keep her.” Well, that’s exactly what Hwin was. When they competed in the 2015 Mustang Magic they would do a bareback and bridles routine that included flying lead changes, stops, circles and even jumping a brick wall! They did great and even took 4th place. Hwin loves to jump 4’ fences and loves cross country so Elisa decided to keep her and continue Eventing with her. They entered the Open Novice Division at the 2015 Ocala Horse Properties Winter I Horse Trials. They did quite well. She keeps her in training with her so that she can continue to show her. They recently competed in a fun event called the bareback puissance in August at the Chattahoochee Hills show where they placed 3rd clearing 4’6. Watch Elisa and Hwin in the video below.
Elisa has five horses in her string three of them being mustangs Fledge, Rune, and Hwin. She uses them for demonstrations to raise awareness for Mustangs showing how versatile they can be. They are strong and smart animals and just need a chance to show what they can do. There are many places where the Mustangs are being held and adopted out but not many know this. So, we need to get the word out and share what these amazing breed of horses can do. They are hardy, smart, and loving and just need a chance to see being wild is great but having a partnership with us humans can be freeing and fun as well. So the next time you are looking for a new horse, look at a mustang and give one a chance to win your heart!
Written by Jona Lane. Share this on Facebook if you believe in the versatility of mustangs!