We recently introduced Cat Zimmerman as the winner of our 2019 sponsorship contest. She is a fantastic addition to our team. Zimmerman is the co-owner of CZ Mustangs. Her company is a non-profit mustang training and rescue facility in Archer, Florida.
“I train multiple breeds, but specifically the mustangs,” Zimmerman said. “I’ll take in any mustang with any sort of training. Clients can ask for a better groundwork foundation put on the horse, liberty training, trick training, being started under saddle or really anything. Our facility is TIP approved. This is with Mustang Heritage Foundation and stands for Trainer Incentive Program. I also give lessons. Facebook brings in a lot of business for me.”
Zimmerman grew up in the equine industry, but not with mustangs. She showed in the hunter/jumper events as a youngster and stumbled upon the mustang breed by chance on a trip with her mother.
“I didn’t really know anything about mustangs growing up,” Zimmerman said. “My mom and I went on a trail ride in Los Angeles, and I got put on a mustang. I saw the branding on its neck, so I started asking the trail guide about it and he started telling me about them. It made me more interested in the mustang breed. I found out they had the Extreme Mustang Makeover event coming up only four hours north of where I lived at the time. I applied for it not knowing anything about it. We found out I got accepted and everything just kind of happened really fast. All of a sudden, I had a wild horse and had to figure out how to train it. I was hooked on mustangs after that. It’s been a roller coaster, but I managed to figure out what I was doing along the way.”
The Extreme Mustang Makeover is an annual event run by the Mustang Heritage Foundation in multiple cities. There is an adult and youth division at this competition. The adults are assigned a mature mustang and the youth receive a yearling or two-year-old. The event lasts three days with trainers from all across the country competing.
“It’s a program to promote the adoption of mustangs and show the trainability of them, Zimmerman said. “Everyone is randomly assigned their horse. You don’t know anything about the horse until you go pick up their paperwork. The trainer has approximately 100 days to gentle and train the wild horse for the competition at the end. The youth have three classes including handling and conditioning, trail and freestyle. Freestyle is my favorite. The adults have three preliminary classes before the top 10 get pushed through to do a freestyle. The mature horses get auctioned off at the end, so if the trainers want to keep their horse they have to bid on them. The youth adopt their horse at the beginning of the competition. At the end they have the option of rehoming their mustang or keeping them.”
The Mustang Heritage Foundation created a new title this year to include a youth ambassador on their team. Zimmerman was the lucky one chosen for the 2019 title.
“I have been competing in their programs for almost four years now,” Zimmerman said. “I have been performing and promoting the breed for many years. I’m not sure why they picked me for the first youth ambassador honestly, but I’m really lucky and thankful they did. I want to help and be a mentor to the youth. When picking an ambassador, I think they want someone who supports them and represents them well. The role is basically doing everything I can for the foundation and the youth within it. I guide them during shows and help out at events they have throughout the year.”
Zimmerman learned about Kimes Ranch Jeans through trainers she follows. Her favorite style is the Jolene and she is excited to represent the company this year.
“A lot of trainers I know are big supporters of the Kimes Ranch brand,” Zimmerman said. “I’ve been following on social media and always loved the product. I saw the sponsorship contest and figured I would try it out. I didn’t expect it to move anywhere, but I’m so glad it did. My favorite style is the Jolene.”
We can’t wait to see what the future holds for Cat Zimmerman and her business. Be sure to check out her website and social media accounts below!
Facebook - @czmustangs
Instagram - @czmustangs
~ Courtney Hall, photos courtesy of Cat Zimmerman
Want to check out Cat Zimmerman’s favorite style? Check the Jolene out now!