Beka Setzer is a horse trainer from Southeastern Ohio. She's also a TIP Trainer gentling mustangs for the Mustang Heritage Foundation. TIP stands for Trainer Incentive Program. TIP trainers work with Mustangs from BLM land, gentling them in preparation for adoption.
You might not recognize the name, Beka Setzer, but for readers of the Sonrise Stable series, she and her blind horse, Stormy, were the inspiration for my fifth book, Outward Appearances.
I was fortunate, years ago, to see Beka compete in the Extreme Cowboy Race at Equine Affaire in Columbus, Ohio with Stormy. Stormy was the first, and to my knowledge, the only blind horse to compete in that event.
Beka received Mustang #7589 on December 12, 2019 from the Nevada Wild Horse Range. She decided on the name, Raiden, for the four-year-old bay gelding with the bold star on his forehead. After spending five hours with him on the 14th, she was finally able to approach and pet him. And on the 15th, was able to halter him. Amazing progress for a previously unhandled horse!
I plan to be at Equine Affaire again on April 3rd and 4th this year to see Beka compete in the TIP Mustang Challenge. Each of the trainers have 100 days to work with their BLM Mustang. The events in the competition are all in-hand. The Mustangs are not ridden in the competition. From what I can tell, the prize money is $20,000. Not sure whether that's the total amount for the entire event or just for the first place award. The Columbus event will not have an auction afterward, but many of the Mustangs will be offered for adoption directly from the trainers.
Follow Beka's progress with Raiden on her Facebook page: