Every 13-year-old girl dreams about having her own horse. Jennifer Brockman got more than she could dream of: her own wild mustang.
Brockman, who said she has always loved horses, began working at horse trainer Patti Mosbey's ranch about a year and a half ago.
Mosbey had adopted three young mustangs with the idea to get young people involved with them. Brockman was the perfect match.
"I know how a girl feels about wanting a horse," Mosbey said.
Though Brockman had no idea of Mosbey's intentions, Brockman began working a 2-year-old mustang named T.Z.
"At first T.Z. was the ugly duckling," Brockman said. But after she began to work with him she said she fell in love.
When the annual Wild Horse and Burro Festival rolled around a few months later, Brockman begged her mom and Mosbey not to let T.Z. be adopted.
She showed him in the show, and when she finished she was asked to stay in the ring.
"They were reading something and I wasn't paying any attention until the end," Brockman recalled.
That was when she was told that T.Z. was officially hers. Mosbey had given him to her.
"I started crying because I didn't understand what was going on," she said. "Of course everyone there knew except me."
Brockman's mom Marianne Maigatter said, "She looked at me because she couldn't believe it was real, and ran and hugged Patti." Almost everyone in the arena was in tears, she recalled.
A year later, Brockman's efforts of working with T.Z. at least once a week have paid off. She showed him at last month's Wild Horse and Burro Festival and took first place in three classes. Recently she became the first person to ride T.Z.
"He did great," Brockman said. "He didn't even care."
"There is nothing he won't do if (Brockman) asks him to and he understands," Mosbey added.
But for this high school sophomore, the dream gets even better. T.Z. lives with Mosbey, but her family has been building a home for T.Z. and four other horses at their house.
By the end of the summer, Brockman will be able to see and work with T.Z. every day.
Brockman and Mosbey plan to send T.Z. to a professional horse trainer, who can take the time to train him.
College is in the horizon for Brockman, but she said nothing could pull her apart from T.Z. She is thinking about veterinarian school at Colorado State University, and her family is already thinking about places T.Z. could stay in Fort Collins while she is there.
"We will never part," Brockman said. "I will keep him forever."