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Wild horse training

Training unwanted mustangs revived Elisa Wallace’s Olympic equestrian dreams

Since Elisa Wallace is a veteran trainer and world-class equestrian, it seems only natural that she’s able to get horses to follow her commands. That is until you consider that unlike many of the horses Wallace works with, Fledge and Rune didn’t come from a breeding farm with a documented lineage. Instead they’re mustangs who were running wild across the western plains not long before she bought them.

Destination: Aiken, South Carolina

Journey east on U.S. 78 a half hour past Augusta, and you’ll find yourself clopping through the Carolinas’ equestrian epicenter. This is primo sandy-soiled horse country, where sheikhs with dreams of Derby glory train their prized ponies, and the hottest to-dos are typically thrown in an infield under a tent.

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