Horse News

Mustang Heritage Foundation’s Extreme Mustang Makeover trainer exposed for horse cruelty


After over 63,745 people signed the petition below on, Extreme Mustang Makeover contacted the person who started the petition and and confirmed that Eli Slabaugh was no longer an active and approved trainer with Mustang Heritage Foundation and the Extreme Mustang Makeover.  Slabaugh “willingly withdrew himself” from the competition and the Mustang (not the horse in the video) that he had acquired from the BLM was being returned to BLM due to his actions towards another horse.

BUT THIS FACT REMAINS:  Mustang Heritage Foundation and Extreme Mustang Makeover had approved Eli Slabaugh as an active trainer for their organization.  He was a trainer for them since at least 2015.  Also, per information provided below, there was a previous video of Slabaugh that was reported, but he was still able to compete.

Eli Slabaugh, from Michigan, was a trainer with Mustang Heritage Foundation since at least 2015.  See these articles:

We need to demand to know Mustang Heritage Foundation’s vetting and approval process for all trainers, including trainers used for the Extreme Mustang Makeover.

Here is video of Eli Slabaugh “training” a horse:

This was on the petition site:

“Eli Slabaugh is a horse “trainer” that competed in the Extreme Mustang Makeover competitions. Recently a second video of him “training” a horse was released. The video shows Slabaugh lunging the horse while PULLING him/her down then WHIPPING the animal. A few seconds later you see Slabaugh KICK the horse as well. There was another video so this video is a second event of this happening. There was a previous video of him that was reported but he was still able to compete.”

Here is the petition:

“To whom it may concern

I’m writing you on behalf of the horse community to let everyone in charge at ANY EQUINE EVENTS know that the act that this poor excuse of a human did in the video shown is UNACCEPTABLE, DISGUSTING and most of all WILL NOT BE TOLERATED.

Myself and the rest of the horse community are standing by this petition to have Eli Slabaugh BANNED from competing as well as his horses being taken away until he receives punishment. The horse community and myself are letting you know that if he isn’t banned from equine events and doesn’t receive thorough training your organization that welcomes HIM (Eli Slabaugh) and any other people who treat animals like this WILL BE PROTESTED HEAVILY.”

20 replies »

  1. That’s so called horse trainer should be put in prison. At this stage of my life I cannot understand how anyone can be so cruel and heartless. Someone should take that Whip and give him a good thrashing everyday for about a month see how he likes it. I am so glad that he cannot touch a Mustang but what does he does do to other horses?

    Liked by 2 people

  2. THIS PISSED ME OFF! When You Lack the skill set to train you go for the abuse, The BIGGEST PET PEEVE I HAVE IS LACK OF TRAINING SKILLS CAUSING ABUSE. I have relentlessly said in my 48 years of life, this is Not and has Never been training, it’s anger, it’s vile reprehensible human interferrance. Anyone who abuses and calls themselves a trainer, simply converts to BS. THERE’S all types of methods and no they don’t require hours and sticks and flags, just creative thinking and investigating the thought process of the horse. He could speed up the training simply understanding the horses response, instead he ruins the idea of how to get a horse to accept training. The Makeover is Not simply for the faster trainer it’s for the most creative without abuse. Trust me behind closed doors this is Nationwide. With talk of horses being feral, useless, overpopulated, and needing slaughter this is where the horses find abuse. All those words are used to incite anger at the horses taking their value from them, providing a plateau for people venting anger yet attempting to win using the horse only to gain the notoriety or financial gains. Training is pride, efforts combined between horse and trainer to perform in any aspect willingly and appropriately. These are Not trainers in settings like above, these are people lacking the creative toolkit a trainer, a real talented trainer employs. BAN HIM, he will still abuse horses, he needs to be charged with abuse and think about getting some training himself.

    Liked by 3 people

      • AND this organization that prides itself on helping the mustangs, certainly must do better research on the trainers that come forward! Sounds like that wasn’t done in this case & makes me wonder – how many others? We only see & know about the few horses that win & are adopted. What about the other horses brought into this competition? In fact, what does happen to the remaining mustangs – the ones who DONT win? Does anyone here have any idea? We all are well aware that they don’t get to go “back home”!

        Liked by 3 people

  3. I cannot say the words about this Eli Slabaugh on this blog that I want to say.

    I can say this:
    Cruelty to animals, also called animal abuse or animal neglect, is the human infliction of suffering or harm upon non-human animals, for purposes other than self-defense or survival.


  4. From a recent Mustang Heritage Foundation email, it lists prizes and then follows with this statement:
    “But the best reason to enter this competition is to earn the trust of a wild horse.”
    And the horse in the video would reply, “I have been emotionally terrified and physically punished and mentally scared almost to death over and over by this person … is there no mercy for us, the innocent? I have learned to trust only one thing and that is this human is a monster.”

    Liked by 1 person

    • As a lifelong owner/trainer and teacher, this video is beyond the pale and reminded me of what always seems to happen when power-hungry people use any and all means to dominate helpless other beings.

      That horse has already given up (learned helplessness) and is not even fearful, just trying to escape as calmly as possible but the war bridle is pulling him to his knees repeatedly. Even with this abuse he seems forgiving and calm, but not the “trainer.” For me this speaks volumes about why wild horses should remain wild animals, in the wild, and only a very select few ever adopted. They deserve better than this too-familiar example provides (I have seen many adopted formerly wild horses in the hands of people who have zero horse experience or knowledge, and even those with the best intentions ended up selling these unfortunate horses a year or two later, some ending up in the kill pens).

      The TIPS program works pretty well, and in CO the GEMS collaboration was working as well, too, but I suppose that was why funding was cut.

      Liked by 2 people

  5. I hoped the days of the war bridle were over. Remember well seeing it used when I was a kid. Anyone who “needs” an appliance (because that’s what this is) in order to train? They don’t want to train or teach – they want to dominate! If that’s the purpose – it is animal abuse – no other word for it.


    • Agreed — and wonder just what is this horse being “taught” here? He (?) moves away from inflicted pain from a whip behind him, to be pulled to his knees by the warbridle pressuring his poll, then he lays almost inert, only to be whipped up and pulled down again. He probably thinks he is about to be eaten by a human and is biochemically preparing to die. I have known other “trainers” to subjugate horses into similar collapse, thinking they “won” over the horse, but assure you they may have “won” the battle but lost the war, as that horse will never forget, and most won’t forgive. Owning a silenced slave is pretty far from having a healthy relationship with any living thing.


  6. Ohhhh how I wish horse would have kicked him back!!! POS trainer… Ya, trainer all right…gets the job done at horses expense… Shame on the videographer if is owner allowing…kudos if videographer is the one who posted this for all to see…

    He just competed in the Colt Starting Challenge this weekend, (looks like 4th time) and won competition. Shame on Russell Beatty for allowing horse getting whipped so badly, but then I’m, he was pretty much as aggressive, while he was a contestant as well


  7. How many retarded morons does it take to destroy a beautiful, intelligent animal? Just one.
    I missed this petition as well, and would love to know what legal retribution this creep received, if any?
    I know what instant retribution I would have delivered if I had been an eye witness to this insanity, and I am a Grandmother.
    Goddam this a**hole to the lowest bloody hell, and every sadistic cretin like him. They have no right to be within 20 miles of any horse.
    (I do not ‘play nice’ anymore!)

    Liked by 1 person

  8. In fact, if I had witnessed this insanity firsthand, ol’ Eli Slobber would have been crab-crawlin’ to the nearest exit begging for his mommy…and his scalp would be hanging from my rearview mirror. He belongs in a strait jacket in some padded prison cell, along with the Cattoors, whose maniacal abuse is legendary.
    When will these sadistic creeps be held accountable?

    Liked by 1 person

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