Mineral Wells Index, Mineral Wells, TX

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December 22, 2013

Local mustang trainer featured on Nat Geo WILD series

(Continued)

Dittmer said he enjoyed working with the producers and didn’t feel extra pressure that he was being filmed. He has competed on the big stage many times before, such as in Madison, Wis., when he missed first place by 4.5 points in front of a crowd of 10,000. He said he was driven by the challenge to compete in what he called the “biggest and toughest” mustang show around.

“I was really pretty at ease with it,” he said. “The only pressure that was on me, I put on myself. The money has never been higher, but I’m not a money-driven person. I’m more challenge-driven. It was a lot of work and it wore me out, but it’s all good.”

Dittmer introduced the Index to Iggy, Iron Man and Ivan; three gorgeous mustangs whom Dittmer has made very approachable and trusting equine partners. Dittmer’s spirited personality and experience with breaking horses using his special technique of “pushing them to softness” made him a natural fit for the show.

“I’m not claiming to be the best, but people bring real tough horses to me and I don’t give up on them when other trainers might,” he said. “I take pride in that. It just takes so much energy. You’ve got to give them special attention, it’s not just like you ride them an hour every day.”

After 30 years in the saddle, Dittmer originally intended for this competition to be his last, but based on what happens in the season finale of the show – which was pre-recorded – he may think differently.

As for being on the show in general, Dittmer said he had a great experience and learned a lot about the production aspects of a television show.

“They did a great job,” he said of the show’s production team. “I think I really got fortunate. I was real skeptical because I’m not a big fan of reality TV. Most of it’s just trashy. Now, I like Duck Dynasty, but that’s about the only one. We didn’t really know. They could have made us look like a bunch of knuckleheads. Things are cut and edited, but it’s all good. I was happy with it. But it does take a bunch of your time.

“Everybody’s expecting it to be a big hit, but who knows. I’m not worried about it. It’s not like I’ve lost anything.”

To watch Dittmer and the other mustang trainers chase the million-dollar prize, tune in to Nat Geo Wild.

The season finale premieres Dec. 28 at 9 p.m. Check local listings for re-runs of other episodes.

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