“Save a horse, ride a mustang.” This statement can be found throughout Elisa Wallace’s social media pages. She’s made a hashtag out of it, and she even wrote it on her cross country pinny at BreyerFest. She and her grey Mustang mare, Hwin, are clear ambassadors for Mustangs. Their journey from Mustang Magic to successful eventer has attracted a loyal following, which no surprise after what the pair have accomplished together.
Their relationship started in 2014 when Wallace was invited, as one of the top-placing Extreme Mustang Makeover trainers, to compete in the Mustang Magic competition in Fort Worth, TX. Wallace had already competed twice before and kept both of those Mustangs – Fledge and Rune.
There are roughly 70,000 wild Mustangs living in the western United States and the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) manages the population through roundups. Hwin ended up in the hands of the BLM after being captured as a yearling from a herd called Adobe Town in Wyoming. She was then kept in a holding facility for four years in Canon City, Colorado, where she was not touched. There are about 45,000 mustangs who are currently kept in holding pens run by the BLM, and organizations like the Mustang Heritage Foundation have promoted adoption of these horses through competitions like Mustang Million and Extreme Mustang Makeover. When Wallace was assigned the grey mare for the 2014 Mustang Magic, Hwin won the lottery and ended up at Wallace’s farm.
Hwin, named after a talking mare in The Chronicles of Narnia: A Horse And His Boy, might have been wild, but she had a good head on her shoulders. She was brave enough that Wallace could get on her in the first 30 minutes. Understandably, the young mare still had fear and anxiety issues, which required confidence-building exercises. Wallace decided that bringing the mare anywhere and everywhere would help to build that confidence. She even brought Hwin to the Special Olympics and did a demonstration after having her for only seven days.
As a self-proclaimed gelding fan, Wallace, a four-star level eventer from Georgia, never though she would want to keep the 14.3 mare, but after 120 days Wallace knew Hwin had exceptional talent. Following the competition, the Mustangs are auctioned off. Wallace raised money so that Hwin could stay in training with her, and her winning bid of $2,100 kept them together.
Hwin and Wallace went on to compete in preliminary level eventing, and cleared 4’6” in a bareback Puissance. The pair continue to compete to this day - a testament to their bond and Wallace's love of the Mustang breed.
Hwin's Breyer model was produced from 2017 to 2019.