ALBANY, Ore. - When first glancing at the 2-year-old mustang, the soft-eyed animal appears as peaceful as it's name.
"We call him EZ," said his trainer, Blake Powell.
But just two months ago, EZ was among a heard of wild horses roaming in eastern Oregon.
"He was pretty standoffish, he didn't want anything to do with anyone," Powell said.
The Bureau of Land Management picked up EZ along with 49 other mustangs and handed them over to horse trainers in five different states.
Fifty trainers and their mustangs will compete in the Extreme Mustang Makeover competition later this month.
Each trainer is given a mustang with a similar age and weight. The task is to "make over" the mustangs within 90 days.
Powell is using a horsemanship you don't see everyday.
"There's no prying and jerking," Powell said. "The idea is to go slow and you're never in a rush or anything."
The soft style of training is something that he learned from Albany horseman Marv Ramsey.
Ramsey focuses more on the Vaquero style of training which includes gentle handling of the horses.
"We start out in a 50 foot round pin," Ramsey said. "We get them looking at us, stopping and facing us, and get their ears working."
The horsemen use gentle training attire for their horses in the early stages.
"We start out with a snaffle bit to get them really light to feel," Powell said.
The Vaquero style of training also includes building up trust between the rider and the horse.
"To be that in tuned with your horse where you can, your body naturally just shows him and you move off in the same manner," Powell said.
As EZ nears the end of a 90 day training period, both trainers can't get over how far the wild horse has come.
But the horsemen add that the training is always a work in progress.
"You're constantly training them," Powell said. "Everything behind it is just to produce an animal that's an amazing thing to ride in the end."
The Extreme Mustang Makeover competition is set for June 29 through July 1 at the Linn County Fair and Expo Center in Albany.