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A chicken and a nickle. The cost of courage.

July 25, 2012

There are a “bazillion” quotes by famous people on things like courage, fear, and success. Go ahead, Google it.

What you can’t Google, though is the feeling that comes from recognizing your own courage, facing your fears, and enjoying the satisfaction of success.

Carol Etlicher of Weatherford, Texas knows all these emotions better than she knows her name. Together with her mustang “Rio” she has faced her fears with courage and tasted success in small bites. Her journey with Rio has never been easy, but she has never quit.

Carol fell in love with mustangs when she attended the very first Extreme Mustang Makeover in 2007.  While she watched from the safety of the bleachers during that inaugural event, she wondered. “Could I do this?” As the trainers and their mustangs competed, her memory took her back to a horse from her childhood. Carol’s uncle, at the tender age of four years old, had traded 5 cents and one barnyard hen for a rangy mustang yearling he named “Thunder.”

Fourth from the front, Carol Etlicher’s first mustang ride on Thunder 

Once a mature herd stallion from the Calico Mountain Herd Management Area, Rio and Carol have faced their fears together, one step at a time.

Carol listened to her heart and with the excitement and courage of a true adventurer, adopted Rio at the 2011 Mustang Magic competition in Fort Worth, Texas. Although it took several months to get acquainted, Carol and her mustang developed a relationship that led to their first trail ride together.

“Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things you didn’t do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.” Mark Twain, American Author

For Carol, the cost of conquering her fears and “setting sail” as Mark Twain so aptly wrote was easy to figure. It was as simple as a chicken and a nickel. But building a relationship with her very own mustang?


What lies behind us and what lies before us are tiny matters compared to what lies within us.  Ralph Waldo Emerson

American Poet  

“Whatever you do, you need courage; No matter what course you decide upon, there is always someone to tell you that you are wrong. There are always difficulties arising that tempt you to believe your critics are right.”
Ralph Waldo Emerson

Carol Etlicher gives credit to many “helpers” along the way as she and Rio continue to discover more about the joy in their relationship. She thanks Rio’s first trainer Gary Wedemeyer as well as Logan Leach, Lorrie Grover, and Travis Dittmer for their invaluable direction and support as she and Rio continue on their journey of discovery together. 
For more information on how to adopt a mustang of your own and begin your own adventure please check out

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  1. permalink

    Carol, I am so proud of you! You have always been a women of “true grit”! Karla

  2. Kelly permalink

    If only I could afford one, they are beautiful…good luck to you and your wonderful horse

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