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The Steffens and The Steens - From The Range To Rolex, Part 2 of a Mustang Trilogy

Moondance, a 4-year-old black and white pinto, Sierra, Dazzle, a 6-year-old chestnut pinto mare, Marissa, and Talenti, a 9-year-old black gelding. All three horses are from the South Steens Herd Management Area.
Moondance, a 4-year-old black and white pinto, Sierra, Dazzle, a 6-year-old chestnut pinto mare, Marissa, and Talenti, a 9-year-old black gelding. All three horses are from the South Steens Herd Management Area. | Photo by Alicia Mae Equine Photography

Sierra and Marissa Steffen, 

two sisters who run the Steffen Stampede, a horse training business with their family, mom Erica, dad Josh, and little sister Eliza in Washington, are on quite the journey, and I am thrilled to be a part. You may recall the first story documenting the sisters in the December issue of Equine Business Magazine, and here we are at the end of March, four months into the Steffen’s wild mustang training program to prepare three South Steens HMA wild mustangs for the Mustang Classic in Kentucky. 

The Mustang Classic is the first all-English mustang show. Most mustang challenges are western-themed, so this is incredibly exciting for those who love mustangs, and the sport horse events like jumping, dressage, and cross-country eventing. For the viewers that attend this event, we get the privilege to watch mustangs perform events that are typically slated for long-legged, high-kneaded, and thinner-dispositioned fancy-bred horses. Mustangs are adaptable and incredibly talented, and I personally can’t wait to see all of the newly domesticated mustangs perform in these events.

To catch you up quickly, in late 2023 Sierra picked up two mares from Burns, Oregon, at the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) Facility. These two beautiful pinto mares are Dazzle and Moondance and are both from the South Steens Herd located in Oregon. To watch Sierra pick up the mares at the BLM facility in Burns, Oregon click here. 

Marissa and Talenti.  Talenti is a 9-year old black gelding from the South Steens HMA.
Marissa and Talenti. Talenti is a 9-year old black gelding from the South Steens HMA. | Photo by Alicia Mae Equine Photography

Marissa had selected a black gelding, but on the pickup day the entire gelding pen was on edge, and he did not take well to going through the chutes to load into the horse trailer, so the Steffens decided to pick him up at a later date. Because of this delay, he was not introduced in the previous article. Now it is time, so let’s welcome Talenti, a magnificent black South Steens gelding, to the story. 

Talenti brings out a special smile in Marissa, these two are perfectly matched.
Talenti brings out a special smile in Marissa, these two are perfectly matched. | Photo by Alicia Mae Equine Photography

The Steffen sisters picked three mustangs, hoping to bring two of them to Kentucky. They figure the drive from Washington to Kentucky is quite long, so they don’t want to risk only taking one horse and it becoming lame or sick along the way. Plus, the Mustang Classic allows participants to enter two horses. 

Every mustang has a different personality and tolerance to humans and adapts to a domestic horse lifestyle. Also, age plays a big factor in their gentling. Typically, the older the mustang, the more difficult it is for the horse to make the transition. I asked the sisters how it was going, and they said, “Age plays a factor, although Dazzle is older at age 6, she’s confident and has been more willing to try things and is very smart. The youngest is Moondance, who is 4 years old, and is gentle with a mix of stoic and weariness.” Talenti, at age 9 was a wild stallion for many years on the range before coming home with Marissa. He is used to being dominant, and as I meet him for the first time, he seems like a 16-hand horse, puffed up, bowed neck, giant nostrils taking in my unfamiliar scent, although he is only about 14.3 hands.

He is magnificent, and I understand why Marissa chose him. He watches all of us walking about as we prepare for the photoshoot, he finds comfort with Marissa and her mom Erika, but is keenly aware that a new person is at the Steffen’s farm. It takes me until the end of the photo session, about three hours later, for him to become comfortable enough for me to have a momentary pet on the left side of his neck. His nostrils are flared, his eye is big, his neck ridged, and then I make contact.

He is so soft, but under the hair, his neck feels like a brick, strong and rigid. He seems to be holding his breath, and then I back away. It may have only been 5 or 10 seconds, but it was much more for both of us. With the quick touch and the release of my presence, he sighs out heavily so glad to have me out of his bubble. He is aware now that I won’t ask him to do that again, and I watch him go back into his comfort zone by Marissa’s side.

Marissa with Talenti
Marissa with Talenti | Photo by Alicia Mae Equine Photography

Allure of The Wild Mustang


The allure of the wild mustang is captivating hearts across the nation, drawing a diverse community of enthusiasts from every corner. From conservationists advocating for their preservation to skilled trainers ready to embark on a journey of gentling, the passion for America’s wild horse knows no bounds.

In the realm of conservation, dedicated individuals collaborate with government agencies to ensure that wild mustang herds thrive in their natural habitats. By safeguarding their environments and managing herd populations, these efforts strive to maintain the delicate balance of water and forage as climate change and other environmental conditions change out on the range.

Meanwhile, another group of individuals brings their expertise in colt starting and a deep-seated desire to offer all of the gathered mustangs a new lease on life. Through adoption programs facilitated by the BLM, these compassionate trainers open their barns to these untamed spirits. The BLM gathers herds that encounter scarce food and water resources. After herds are gathered, they live at the facility with hay and water for a time period. Some are selected to return to their home range, while others move into the adoption program.

Moondance's questioning look is typical for this young mare who seeks Sierra's gentle assurance.
Moondance's questioning look is typical for this young mare who seeks Sierra's gentle assurance. | Photo by Alicia Mae Equine Photography

Trainers like Sierra and Marissa exemplify the commitment to the wild horse legacy by participating in mustang challenges as part of the adoption process. These challenges showcase the horses' remarkable abilities and serve as a testament to their trainers' dedication to making life as a domestic horse successful.

Yet, not all mustangs that are adopted through the program find themselves in ideal circumstances. Rescues scattered throughout the country offer refuge to those found in dire situations, providing a second chance at a fulfilling life in a more idyllic wild horse range scenario. The growing interest in wild mustangs extends beyond borders, with enthusiasts from countries like Germany participating in online auctions, fostering a global community united in their love for the iconic mustang.

Central to this narrative are the trainers who undertake the noble task of gentling wild horses. The bond forged between trainer and horse is one of mutual respect and understanding. It is a testament to the intelligence and adaptability of these wild beings, who readily embrace their new human partners and the comforts of domestic life.

Adopting a mustang from the BLM is not merely an act of kindness but a commitment to providing a loving home for these deserving horses. Similarly, participating in mustang challenges offers trainers the opportunity to showcase their skills while ensuring the success of their equine companions in their next phase of life.

Talenti, Marissa, Dazzle, Seirra, & Moondance
Talenti, Marissa, Dazzle, Seirra, & Moondance | Photo by Alicia Mae Equine Photography

As trainers embark on their journey with these wild hearts, they understand the importance of patience and perseverance. Each year when the trainer arrives at a pick-up facility, they are met with cautious optimism, as they work diligently to earn the trust of their new wild companion. Through small gestures and gradual progress, they lay the foundation for a future filled with mutual respect and companionship.

Over the past few months, I've worked with Sierra and Marissa, and they've graciously offered insights into their mustang gentling program. As I delved deeper into the intricacies of taming wild horses, they shared their fundamental principles that guide their approach.

Traditionally, there are five key activities in a curriculum for gentling a mustang. However, Sierra and Marissa emphasize that their journey with each mustang is unique, and there's no one-size-fits-all manual for taming these untamed horses. Instead, they've crafted their own methodology tailored to the individual needs of each horse.

The Steffens have an impressive track record, having trained more than 40 mustangs over the past five years. I was eager to understand where the three new wild horses ranked in comparison to their previous equine pupils. Sierra provided valuable insight, noting, "For these three, I’d say, they are right in the middle difficulty-wise. We have had some that were WAY easier and some that were WAY harder."

In our discussions, we've explored how each of the three mustangs selected for the challenge has responded to the Steffen Stampede's curriculum. From initial hesitations to breakthrough moments, we've chronicled the triumphs and tribulations encountered along the road to the Mustang Classic. 

Sierra and Dazzle look over to check on Marissa and Talenti while Moondance cautiously watches the camera.
Sierra and Dazzle look over to check on Marissa and Talenti while Moondance cautiously watches the camera. | Photo by Alicia Mae Equine Photography

Steffen Stampede’s 5 Activities For Starting a Wild Mustang:

  • Starting To Communicate: Pressure and Release, Approach and Retreat

  • Gaining Trust: Touch

  • Getting Used To New Objects: Haltering 

  • Leading and Basic Groundwork: Learning To Follow/Give To Pressure

  • Knowing When You Are Ready To Leave The Round Pen: Going Through a Gate

Sierra and Moondance
Sierra and Moondance | Photo by Alicia Mae Equine Photography

Starting To Communicate: Pressure and Release, Approach and Retreat

Sierra's training philosophy revolves around the concept of pressure and release, which she likens to playing a game. She applies pressure by increasing her energy or moving closer to the horse, prompting the animal to seek a way to alleviate the pressure. When the horse responds appropriate —such as turning to look at her, moving closer, or sniffing her hand—Sierra promptly releases the pressure by lowering her energy or stepping back, providing a reward in the form of pressure relief. Through repetition, horses learn to associate the application of pressure with the correct response, transforming the release of pressure into a coveted reward. Observing Sierra in action, I marveled at the subtlety of her approach. Sometimes, the shifts in her energy were so nuanced that I barely registered them, yet the horses instinctively understood.

Dazzle, as Sierra describes her, embodies the perfect blend of a fiery chestnut mare, the boldness of a larger-than-life pony, and the gritty spirit of a mustang. Smart, brave, and brimming with curiosity, Dazzle thrives on mental stimulation. Yet, her quick intelligence can lead to boredom once she masters a task, often resulting in spontaneous twists during training sessions. Sierra continually devises new challenges to engage Dazzle's insatiable curiosity, ensuring she remains mentally stimulated and eager to learn.

In contrast, Moondance exudes a gentle and kind demeanor, captivating Sierra with her sweetness. While she possesses a keen intellect, Moondance tends to overthink things and easily becomes overwhelmed. Recognizing her shy nature, Sierra adopts a patient and reserved approach, allowing Moondance the time and space to process new concepts at her own pace. Overcoming a recent setback— a large abscess on her back— Sierra's nurturing touch has helped Moondance regain her confidence, fostering a trusting relationship built on patience and understanding.

Then there's Talenti, whom Sierra affectionately describes as a real-life black stallion in both presence and personality. Like Dazzle, Talenti is a quick learner with a sharp mind and confident demeanor. However, he differs in his reserved and reactive nature, showing reluctance to embrace the domestic horse lifestyle fully. Despite his sensitivity to pressure—both physical and mental—Talenti demonstrates remarkable aptitude in the pressure and release game, swiftly learning to keep all forms of pressure at bay, which can make it challenging for Marissa to get close to him during this game.

Dazzle seems to enjoy being in front of the camera, she shines.
Dazzle seems to enjoy being in front of the camera, she shines. | Photo by Alicia Mae Equine Photography

Gaining Trust: Touch


Gaining the trust of these wild mustangs through touch proved to be a journey unique to each horse. Dazzle, with her innate curiosity and acceptance of Sierra, proved to be the most receptive to touch. "She was so curious about me that it only took a matter of minutes before she was sniffing my hand," Sierra recounts. Soon, she began the process of familiarizing Dazzle with human touch, starting with her face, and then moving on to her cheek, neck, shoulder, and back. Dazzle's eager acceptance made the process seamless, allowing Sierra to quickly establish a bond based on trust and companionship.

In contrast, Moondance initially approached touch with reservation, but she quickly warmed up to the idea. Enjoying the gentle sensation of her forehead being rubbed, Moondance gradually opened up to Sierra's patient and reassuring touch. With each interaction, Sierra's calm demeanor and deep breaths helped build a foundation of trust between them, paving the way for a deeper connection.

Talenti, however, presented a different challenge altogether. Reacting with the most sensitivity to touch, he initially showed little interest in the concept. Marissa's approach with Talenti began with tentative touches on his shoulder and neck, gradually expanding to his face as he grew more comfortable. Despite his initial wariness, Marissa's gentle persistence and patient guidance allowed Talenti to gradually overcome his reservations, inching closer to establishing a bond built on mutual trust and understanding. 

Talenti finds comfort by Marissa's side.
Talenti finds comfort by Marissa's side. | Photo by Alicia Mae Equine Photography

Getting Used To New Objects: Haltering


Introducing new objects, such as halters, is a crucial step in acclimating the mustangs to their new domestic life. The Steffens opt for rope halters without a leadline, a choice designed to minimize any potential discomfort or fear associated with loud metal pieces and to provide a lighter alternative to leather options.

Dazzle proved to be a natural when it came to haltering. Displaying her characteristic curiosity, she eagerly explored the halter and leadline, showing no hesitation in sniffing and even attempting to nibble on them. With her keen interest piqued Dazzle practically haltered herself, demonstrating a remarkable level of comfort and indifference to wearing the halter.

Moondance, on the other hand, required a bit more time and encouragement to familiarize herself with the halter. Sierra took a patient and gentle approach, coaxing Moondance to sniff the halter and gradually introducing it to her neck with soft rubs on both sides. Over time, Moondance's confidence is growing, although her initial haltering experience was marked by wide-eyed apprehension and a palpable sense of concern.

Talenti presented a different challenge altogether, requiring an extended period of preparation before becoming comfortable with the halter. Following a similar methodical approach as with Moondance, Marissa patiently worked with Talenti to alleviate his nervousness and build his confidence. Despite daily haltering sessions, Talenti remains somewhat hesitant even after several months of training, indicating that he still has some way to go before fully embracing this aspect of his domestic life.

Sierra and Moondance
Sierra and Moondance | Photo by Alicia Mae Equine Photography

Leading and Basic Groundwork: Learning To Follow/Give To Pressure

As Sierra embarked on teaching Dazzle the intricacies of leading and basic groundwork, she quickly realized she was dealing with a spirited individual. Dazzle's free-spirited nature clashed with the notion of being directed by the halter and lead rope, leading to some initial resistance. Teaching her to yield to pressure on the lead rope and remain soft in the halter proved to be a gradual process. Employing the principles of pressure and release training, Sierra patiently held pressure on the lead rope until Dazzle softened, at which point she would release the pressure, fostering a dialogue of understanding between them. In typical Dazzle fashion, she soon overcame her initial reluctance and began to find leading an easy task. Building on these foundational steps, Dazzle quickly mastered lunging and body control, showcasing her adaptability and quick learning.

Moondance, however, encountered challenges in grasping the concept of pressure on the lead rope. Often holding her emotions in, she would freeze before bolting whenever she felt the pressure increase. Sierra approached Moondance's training with an abundance of patience, employing deep breaths and a soft touch to encourage her to give and soften to the halter. By rewarding even the smallest attempts at the correct response with breaks and affection, Sierra gradually helped Moondance overcome her reservations, paving the way for progress with a gentle touch and a reassuring smile.

Marissa and Talenti
Marissa and Talenti | Photo by Alicia Mae Equine Photography

In contrast, Talenti proved to be a natural in this area, demonstrating sensitivity and intelligence from the outset. Instantly attuned to the nuances of pressure on the lead line, Talenti displayed a remarkable ability to soften and yield without extra coaxing. Marissa, recognizing his potential, envisions Talenti excelling in liberty work in the future, attributing his willingness to respond to the slightest movement or gesture with unwavering attention and cooperation.

Sierra and Dazzle
Sierra and Dazzle | Photo by Alicia Mae Equine Photography

Sierra and Moondance
Sierra and Moondance | Photo by Alicia Mae Equine Photography

Knowing When You Are Ready To Leave The Round Pen: Going Through a Gate

As the Steffen sisters prepared their mustangs for the next phase of their training, they emphasized the importance of solid foundations before attempting to navigate through gates that lead from an enclosed BLM-approved pen (6ft panels) to an area without an approved fence. Leading and lunging at the walk and trot, backing up softly, and stopping on command were prerequisites for leaving the round pen. Additionally, mastering the skill of walking over a pole and maneuvering between two objects akin to the size of a gate was essential to ensure readiness for this next step.

True to her adventurous spirit, Dazzle effortlessly breezed through the gate, relishing in the excitement of new experiences and outdoor explorations. For her, going for walks outside the round pen was the ultimate delight, showcasing her eagerness to embrace the unknown with enthusiasm and curiosity.

In contrast, Moondance initially harbored reservations about gates, viewing them as barriers not meant to be crossed. Overcoming her reluctance required patience and perseverance, as Sierra dedicated time to help her build confidence and trust. Witnessing Moondance's transformation from apprehension to assurance was a testament to the power of patience and gentle encouragement, culminating in her newfound ability to navigate through gates like a seasoned pro.

Similarly opinionated about gates, Talenti, on the first try, bolted through the gate rather than approach them with Dazzle's curious demeanor. However, with the foundation laid and Marissa's guidance, Talenti learned to temper his impulses and approach gates with composure. When he hit the end of the lead rope he knew to stop, a skill Marissa had taught him in the round pen. Through consistent practice and positive reinforcement, Talenti embraced the prospect of long walks around the farm with Marissa, demonstrating a newfound sense of contentment and cooperation in his training journey.

Looking Forward

As Sierra reflects on her and Marissa’s achievements, they acknowledge the upcoming mustang challenge with a mix of excitement and apprehension. For Sierra, the prospect of hauling the mustangs all the way from her home in Washington State to Kentucky for the competition looms large. Planning stops, mapping out the safest routes, and packing essentials for herself and the horses have become paramount tasks, evoking moments of overwhelming uncertainty. Yet, amidst the nerves, Sierra remains optimistic, recognizing the invaluable learning experiences that lie ahead.

In the coming months, the sister’s calendar brims with shows and clinics, each event an opportunity to showcase the mustangs within the sport-horse community. Eager to represent mustangs on this grand stage, Sierra anticipates the progress her three equine companions will make as they journey toward becoming reliable riding partners. "Competing at the Rolex Arena in the Kentucky Horse Park has always been a dream of mine," she exclaims, her excitement palpable. Unfortunately, Marissa is not old enough to participate in the Mustang Classic this year, so she is preparing Talenti as a prospect for Sierra to ride in the show.

Beyond personal aspirations, Sierra is driven by a deeper mission—to promote mustangs as exemplary partners and remarkable sport horses, advocating for increased adoptions. Recognizing their exceptional athleticism and untapped potential, Sierra hopes to shed light on the complexities of mustangs and the rewards of forging a loyal partnership with these magnificent animals.

The Steffen Farm in Sequim, Washington
The Steffen Farm in Sequim, Washington | Photo by Alicia Mae Equine Photography

The Selection Process

In the Steffen household, deliberations over which two horses will represent them at the Mustang Classic are a daily affair. "It's still up in the air at this point," Sierra shares, indicating the uncertainty surrounding the final selection. However, one horse stands out in Sierra's mind—Dazzle. Not only is Dazzle the most advanced in her training under saddle, but she also possesses the resilience and self-assurance required for the journey to Kentucky.

A few weeks before photographing this article, I had the opportunity to catch up with Sierra and Dazzle at Fox Bell Farm and Training, a local equine facility. I pulled into the parking lot for a lesson and saw Sierra in the arena sitting on Dazzle. I was absolutely thrilled and impressed to learn that Sierra already taught Dazzle to load in the horse trailer, demonstrating her commitment to preparing Dazzle for the upcoming competition. Witnessing Dazzle's progress firsthand was awe-inspiring. Sierra had brought her to the farm for her inaugural canter sessions in an enclosed arena. As anticipated, Dazzle exceeded all expectations, seamlessly transitioning between trot and canter with grace and precision.

Dazzle's first canter transitions happened on this day at Fox Bell Farm in Sequim, WA.
Dazzle's first canter transitions happened on this day at Fox Bell Farm in Sequim, WA. | Photo by Alicia Mae Equine Photography

Sisters Supporting One Another

During training sessions, the sisters, along with their mother, father, and younger sister are all helping with training the mustangs. They coach the other person or work each other’s horses to share a different perspective. Even though it can be difficult, they give honest feedback to each other. Each of the family members has a unique skill set and areas of interest in horse training, and this sparks creativity when one of them is feeling stuck, they can ask for help or what to try next. “We are a team, and we wouldn’t be where we are today without each other’s constant help and encouragement,” shares Sierra.

Sierra and Dazzle on a stroll around the farm
Sierra and Dazzle on a stroll around the farm | Photo by Alicia Mae Equine Photography

What Other Things Are Going On

Sierra mentions that the family is gearing up to take their personal horses to compete in 3-day eventing competitions this summer, working towards their C-2 Pony Club rating. She has a 7-year-old off-the-track thoroughbred named Alex. While her sisters are riding mustangs they’ve trained and decided to keep as personal horses. Along with training horses, the family is packing up their farm in Sequim to move to the Stonewater Ranch in Leavenworth, Washington. A busy year awaits at the ranch, as the sisters start colts for the ranch life, train for the Classic, and keep on track with their personal horse goals.

Talenti, Marissa, Dazzle, Sierra, and Moondance
Talenti, Marissa, Dazzle, Sierra, and Moondance | Photo by Alicia Mae Equine Photography

Next Steps For The Mustangs

With a solid foundation in place, Dazzle is now ready to take on new challenges. She has mastered the walk, trot, and canter under saddle and is eager to explore further. Sierra plans to introduce Dazzle to jumping, incorporate dressage elements into her training, and expose her to different environments. The ultimate goal is to have Dazzle prepared for her first schooling show scheduled for May.

Despite facing setbacks due to an abscess, Moondance is back on track with her training. Sierra dedicated ample time to the groundwork, ensuring Moondance's readiness for riding. Now cleared for saddle work, Moondance will soon embark on learning the basics of walk, trot, and canter transitions, laying a strong foundation for her future development.

Having completed his groundwork training, Talenti has commenced his journey as a riding horse under Marissa's guidance. Currently focusing on walk, trot, and canter, Marissa aims to establish a solid foundation for Talenti's progress.

All three horses will have exciting adventures in the upcoming months, starting with their relocation to Stonewater Ranch in May. These experiences will not only prepare them for diverse challenges but also contribute to their growth and development. Ultimately, two of these mustangs will be chosen to accompany Sierra to the Mustang Classic, representing the culmination of their training journey. 

Select The Mustang Classic Contenders

You're Invited to Help Choose Sierra's Mustangs for Kentucky!

Sierra is facing a tough decision: which two mustangs should accompany her to Kentucky for the Mustang Classic? Your input could make all the difference.

Sierra will carefully assess each mustang based on three key criteria:

● Health and Soundness

● Training Level, Mindset, and Personality

● Natural Movement and Talent

The selected mustangs must possess the mental resilience to endure the journey to Kentucky and thrive in the intense atmosphere of the Rolex arena, despite having less than a year of training and transitioning from the wild. Their talent and advancement in training for sport horse events will also be crucial factors.

As Sierra navigates this decision, she recognizes the importance of exposing the mustangs to diverse environments and situations leading up to the competition in September. A journey you can follow on the Steffen Stampede social media platforms.

The deadline for entering the Mustang Classic is July 1st, allowing trainers to enter two mustangs each. Sierra's decision-making process will continue until June, ensuring the most accurate evaluation possible.

Your opinion matters! Stay tuned for Sierra's video evaluation in early June, where she'll provide insights into each mustang based on the criteria above. Then, participate in the poll to vote for the two mustangs you believe are best suited for the 2024 Mustang Classic.

For updates and announcements, follow Sierra and Marissa on their Steffen Stampede Instagram and Facebook pages, as well as their YouTube channel. 

Sierra and Dazzle share a moment of trust and companionship.
Sierra and Dazzle share a moment of trust and companionship. | Photo by Alicia Mae Equine Photography

Joining The Steffen Stampede

As a photographer, I've been privileged to witness the remarkable transformation of three wild mustangs alongside the Steffen sisters. Their journey is truly awe-inspiring.

In a previous article in December, I mentioned Sierra's impressive victory with Peachy Keen at the 2022 Mustang Yearlings Washington Youth challenge. Fate intervened, and I had the incredible opportunity to purchase Peachy Keen, now known as Foxfire, from the woman who adopted him at the end of the challenge. Standing at 14.2 hands, Foxfire is a stunning red dun Palomino Buttes HMA gelding, and he's become my adorable, stout riding companion.

Foxfire | Photo by Alicia Mae Equine Photography

When Foxfire became available, I immediately reached out to Sierra for guidance. Without hesitation, she enthusiastically stepped in to assist Foxfire and me in our journey to get to know each other. When Sierra finished the first ride with him, she remarked, "He is right where I left him, he remembers everything!" Her expertise and support have been invaluable, especially in navigating Foxfire's unique quirks – he's a playful and weary mustang, and we've made significant progress with Sierra’s guidance.

Foxfire, a quirky five year old gelding from Palomino Buttes HMA, Sierra won the 2022 Mustang Yearling Washington Youth challenge with him, now his home is with Alicia in Sequim, WA.
Foxfire, a quirky five year old gelding from Palomino Buttes HMA, Sierra won the 2022 Mustang Yearling Washington Youth challenge with him, now his home is with Alicia in Sequim, WA. | Photo by Alicia Mae Equine Photography

Next Steps For The Mustangs

Looking ahead, the Steffens and I are eagerly preparing to document the excitement leading up to the Classic in our upcoming third article, where we'll focus on the two mustangs selected for this extraordinary journey. As we approach the summer and the mustang challenges, I extend an open invitation to all who have a mustang story to share or wish to have their beloved mustang photographed. In 2024, my goal is to capture the legacy of 100 mustangs through my lens. Whether you have a tale to tell or simply want to showcase your cherished mustang, please don't hesitate to reach out. I would be honored to photograph you and your beloved companion.

Alicia with her mustang Skyler, a 4-year old bay from the Palomino Butte HMA
Alicia with her mustang Skyler, a 4-year old bay from the Palomino Butte HMA

Hello, I am Alicia. I am dedicated to capturing and preserving the timeless elegance of horses, dogs, and their relationship with their human.

I create heirloom-quality images that capture the legacy of your beloved equine or dog. With an artistic eye and an unwavering commitment to excellence, I provide a five-star experience that illuminates the story of your horse or dog.

My mission is to offer you an exclusive and luxurious opportunity to celebrate the horses or dogs in your world.

Each photograph is a testament to the enduring legacy of your equine or dog companions, ensuring that their grace and beauty will be cherished for generations to come.

If you have a compelling equine story to tell and have photographed, Alicia is eager to hear from you. Contact her through the Alicia Mae Equine and Dog Photography website (

or send her an email 

Written by Alicia Amerson | Photos by Alicia Mae Equine Photography

Article submitted by Alicia Mae Equine Photography



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