AUGUSTA — Did you know that thousands of wild horses still roam America’s western rangelands? Too many in fact, and that is why the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) periodically offers these “Living Legends” to the general public for adoption.
One such unique opportunity is coming to Augusta, New Jersey, on Saturday, Sept. 11, from 8 a.m. – 5 p.m. But plan to come on Friday, Sept. 10, from 2-7 p.m. to preview the mustangs, all in need of good, caring homes.
Acting BLM-Eastern States Director, Tony Herrell, said, “Your willingness to give these sure-footed, hard working animals good homes helps protect the western ranges while providing you with an incredible companion.”
About 40 animals will be up for adoption on a first come, first served basis, at a cost of only $125 for animals less than three-years-old and $25 for animals three-years-old and over. In addition, you can take home a buddy animal for only $25 when you adopt any animal at the full fee of $125. The event is free of charge and open to the public.
Wild horses that have been gentled have been trained to participate in western riding events, dressage, and trail riding. They are noted for their endurance and intelligence and make great additions to your farm or ranch. With patience and perseverance, so much is possible with your mustang as well as hours of recreation. New Jersey has a number of equestrian trails in area parks, such as High Point State Park and Wharton State Forest, not to mention private stables located throughout New Jersey.
There may be wild burros also available for adoption. The working abilities of these animals far outweigh their reputation for stubbornness. Did you know burros are known to have a calming effect on nervous horses? Aside from being a stable companion, these wonderful animals offer sheep and goat protection, halter breaking, and pulling plows on the homestead. There is no limit on the relationship one can have with an adopted burro.
“While the adoption process is simple and straightforward, anyone considering adopting a wild horse or burro should remember that the animals are wild and require gentling and training,” Herrell said. Many adopters are delighted to provide a home for a wild horse or burro that western rangelands cannot support.
Prospective adopters must have sturdy corrals that are 20’ x 20’ (or larger), at least 6 feet high for an adult horse and at least 5 feet high for burros and horses younger than 18 months, and have a shelter directly attached to the corral. Adopters must provide a stock-type, step up trailer (ramps or split two-horse type trailers are not allowed). The BLM staff will halter and load animals onto the adopters’ trailers.
For more information on the application process, call 1-866-4MUSTANGS or visit www.wildhorseandburro.blm.gov to download an application.
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