You Know You’re From...Athens: Maleah Redmann

Published: Feb. 7, 2022 at 9:34 PM CST
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ATHENS, Wis. (WSAW) - We’ve all had that moment. When we get caught up in the excitement of an event.

For Maleah Redmann, it was the 2019 Midwest Horse Fair. The Mustang Legend night. When she saw someone do something so cool, it got her to thinking.

“I’m going to do that someday,” she said.

4 or 5 months later, she had her first Mustang named Renegade. From that moment, she was all in.

”I got hooked,” she said with a smile.

A self-taught wild mustang trainer, with a keen sense of observation, for the last 2.5 years.

“I take, kind of, what I’ve learned from what other people have done and then I apply it to that individual horse and find what works,” Redmann said. “If something doesn’t work the first try, I try a little bit different until I figure out what works for that horse.”

Maleah would never call herself a natural, but her cousin will.

“You see what she does and the patience,” said Laurie Gering. “And she breaks it down into such small steps, to her its just a natural way of doing it.”

“All that time with them and learning from them really, kind of, helps me build a bond with them and understand them,” said Redmann.

“Mustangs in the horse world are like pitbulls in the dog world. They’re misrepresented,” added Gering.

It’s people, or trainers, like Maleah showing wild mustangs can be reigned in. So far, she’s found homes for four.

“Put a good foundation on this horse to make it safe and handleable. So then, I can give them their dream horse and in return I get to know I found a horse a home and got it out of holding.”

She has 3 mustangs and a mini-horse of her own.

”They’re like potato chips, you can’t have just one,” she joked.

Her latest addition will be her greatest challenge. ”A 4-month-old grant zebra.”

PJ is short for ‘Paper Jam,’ because the printer ran out of ink. He was purchased at an Ohio auction by a fellow trainer, but Maleah will break him in.

“I’ve done my research and zebras are nothing like horses, unfortunately. So our ideas of training it like a mustang is not going to work.”

PJ will work with Maleah until at least May. Giving her the time and patience needed.

“It’s going to be really slow. Just repetitive, taking your time. Not trying to focus so much on the results but rather the little pieces at a time.”

Her work with PJ and the other mustangs will be saddled with school.

”I’m on track to graduate a year early from UW-River Falls,” she said, “and then hopefully go to UW-Madison for vet school.”

Not your typical vet.

”Exotics or large animals. I really just want to give back to the animals that have given so much to me.”

Wherever school takes her, training will always be a part of her life.

“She has an incredible connection with these animals,” said Gering.

Doing something that’s so cool.

“I have so much to learn. I think I’ve barely scraped the surface,” Redmann said.

Wisconsin is one of four states to not have statewide ordinances for owning zebras. Instead its left up to individual municipalities. Maleah checked off those boxes accordingly.

Meanwhile, she’s still trying to find a home for one mustang.

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