As I mentioned in my previous post, I had the pleasure of attending a BLM mustang adoption event. My friend graciously allowed me to share this special experience with her as she went through the process of adopting her very own mustang.
For those of you unacquainted with the BLM Mustang and Burro Adoption process, here is a quick run-down. More information can be found on the BLM’s website:
The basic terms of adoption outline that if your application is accepted, you assume responsibility for that animal’s care and safety, you will not transfer the animal for more than 30 days to another location without prior approval of the BLM, and most importantly, the animal’s title will remain with the Federal Government for at least 1 year after the Private Maintenance and Care Agreement is executed and until a Certificate of Title is issued by the BLM.
The application is fairly straightforward but detailed. You’ll need to provide all the basics: name, address, pertinent numbers, and contact information.
Next, you’ll need to outline the exact dimensions of your corral, shelter, feed, water, and trailer.
The specified minimum dimensions for the corral are provided on the last page of the application and vary on a state by state basis.
Once all the paperwork is approved and you’ve selected your mustang or burro, you will pay the adoption fee. The fee is typically a flat $125, but can vary depending on how many times the equine has been featured at an adoption event. Several of the adoption horses that we saw in the pens were on their third and final adoption event and their fees had dropped down to a sad and ominous $25. If they weren’t adopted at the event, then they would be sold outright and all the adoption safeguards would be dropped.
The Paul’s Valley facility in Oklahoma is known as a “final destination” for many mustangs and burros. They get circulated through holding facilities throughout the country, and Paul’s Valley is usually the last stop before the animals are simply sold outright when they exhaust their three adoption chances.
I try not to get sucked into the cliche of the “scrubby little mustang,” since I know that as a breed, they truly come in all shapes, sizes, and types. However, I honestly didn’t expect to see such good looking horses in such an odd place.
The real stars of the show were the separated mustangs that had already been adopted via online auction. We suspected that they set aside the best looking mustangs for online auctions.
My friend and all of us in her entourage finally came to a consensus on this adorable gelding:
He’s a three-year-old bay-dun (not sure if that is an actual color?) gelding with a dorsal stripe. She thinks she is going to call him Spartan, which I think will fit him very well. He seems to be very bold and curious and seems to be a decent mover. It has been about a week since he arrived in his new home and my friend has already been able to approach him for the first touch and remove his lead rope! I’m so excited to see all that she’s going to accomplish with this awesome little guy. You can follow their progress on her youtube channel, Morseman Horsemanship.
And who knows? Maybe we’ll go on this journey again some time and I’ll be able to try it for myself.