Yes, you too can care for, then own a “Living Legend”–a wild horse found running free on Western range lands. He could be the great-great-great-great* grandson of a Spanish conquistadore’s runaway mustang, a Calvary horse, a native American steed. These powerful, beautiful, wild horses of legend and lore have few natural predators, and are federally protected. Their numbers double approximately every four years.
Adopt a descendant of the Wild West.
In 2009, nearly 37,000 of these descendants of the Wild West roamed Nevada, California, and Wyoming. “Another 32,000 are tended in corrals and pastures in Kansas, Oklahoma, and South Dakota” according to Tanya Hanson of the Wild Rose Press. The Bureau of Land Management rounds up thousands of wild horses every year, placing them in BLM Adopt-a-Horse Centers all over the West, and Midwest.
225,000 wild horses and burros have been adopted since 1971.
Qualified people can adopt wild horses and burros from the BLM. After caring for an animal for a year according to regulations, adopters receive title and ownership from the federal government. Of course, the BLM has specific requirements for housing adopted horses, such as 400 square feet of shelter per horse. The extremely reasonable $125 fee makes adoption feasible, although veterinary and other care and feeding of these animals is estimated to cost around $1000 a year in 2009. Adopt-a-Horse is a popular program, and more than 225,000 wild horses (and burros) have been placed since 1971. However, more adopters are always needed.
What to do with your own wild horse.
With patience, gentleness and time, wild horses have become “champions in dressage, jumping, barrel racing, endurance riding, and pleasure riding, ” according to the BLM’s website. They are sure-footed, intelligent and strong. Many are ride-able when adopted, having been trained while in BLM holding and adoption centers.
Wild horses are living symbols.
Hear the thundering hooves of wild horses on the prairies and plains? That’s the sound of the Old West, and it has grown faint. Drought, wildfires and land development have changed the American landscape, threatening the range lands and wildlife. The U.S. Department of the Interior has plans to open more wild horse preserves in the Midwest and East, which will be open to the public as ecotourism. Yet, that doesn’t mean you can’t have your own four legged, living symbol of American history: a wild horse.
Where to find a wild horse.
Wild horse training agreements between the BLM and state correctional institutions or private contractors are in place in Colorado, Kansas, Nevada and Wyoming. These are adoption centers, as are the permanent adoption centers linked here: Arizona | California | Colorado | Illinois | Kansas | Nebraska | Nevada | Oklahoma | Oregon | Utah | Wyoming |
*Please add more “greats” at your own discretion.