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WILD HORSE, WILD RIDE – Review
The documentary WILD HORSE, WILD RIDE, directed by the husband-and-wife filmmaking team of Greg Gricus and Alex Dawson, follows a diverse group of trainers as they prepare to participate in the 2009 Extreme Mustang Makeover. This annual event is a contest in which 100 amateur and professional trainers present the results of their 100 days of work taming wild mustangs. The animals are then put up for auction and adoption to avoid federal corrals.
The entrants here include a Navajo ex-rodeo champ and his son, a roofer from Wisconsin, a Texan and his seventh wife, a PhD in biomedical engineering, a pair of New Hampshire brothers, and a single mom Arizona cowgirl. The first interactions between human and animal are fascinating, as the trainers apply different approaches and connections grow as the horses learn to trust their trainers. When it’s time for the big event in Fort Worth it feels almost secondary, although when it’s time for the auction that’s when the emotions are really racing on whether or not the trainers are able to afford to keep their mounts they’ve been training the past 100 days and the heartbreak it causes when they can’t.
This documentary shows the beginning of some beautiful friendship but chances are pretty good you’ve seen a film like WILD HORSE, WILD RIDE, it doesn’t really illuminate the audience to a world we never knew existed. It’s nicely filmed and enjoyable to be somewhat entertaining but it doesn’t really delve much into its subject. I would have liked to have seen them address more on the controversial federal policy or rounding up the wild horses but alas that is a subject for another film.
2 out of 5 Stars
WILD HORSE, WILD RIDE opens in St. Louis today at Landmark’s Tivoli Theater