Each year a hundred people compete in the Extreme Mustang
Makeover Challenge, a competition where wild mustangs are given to each trainer
with the goal of training and prepping the horses in just a hundred days. The end result is a cash prize,
notoriety, and the most important element, a public adoption for these
horses. Wild Horse, Wild Ride follows nine of these competitors, some
experienced and some newcomers, through a challenging, heartbreaking yet
ultimately rewarding journey.
Directors Greg Gricus and Alex Dawson manage to not only
show the beauty of these creatures in action but also the strong connection
horses have with their riders. It
helps that they picked a group of very interesting individuals with their own
unique personality quirks leading to a quick but comfortable pace, allowing the
audience to experience the journey rather then just simply watch it. It's
pretty evident at the beginning that these relationships will likely not last
past the hundred days. The documentary never shies away from the sad reality of
the situation; in fact, it's impressive that the filmmakers are able to balance
the heartwarming and heartbreaking elements so effectively.
As with any movie, narrative or documentary, featuring many
different subjects there comes a point where you realize you just don't know
all that much about any of the characters by the end. Some of the details are lost, and we are treated to a
montage of recaps at the end instead of a few truly heartfelt scenes. Don't get me wrong, the emotional
showcase finale delivers on everything the first 60 minutes promises, but it
would have been nice to simply have three or four truly great stories to
highlight as opposed to nine rushed tales.
If you have any love for horses, you owe it to yourself to
see Wild Horse, Wild Ride as soon as
you can however you can. The film
is a fascinating, beautiful and, at times, sad portrait of the importance of a
connection. Any connection, not
just human to creature, could be just the push an individual needs and, like
the film, it can't be ignored. See
this movie, enjoy it, and maybe you'll learn something about yourself.