BLM Mustang adoption - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 13 Old 06-18-2010, 12:52 PM Thread Starter
Join Date: Mar 2010
Location: Solway MN
Posts: 1,032
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BLM Mustang adoption

Has anyone ever done it?

My first horse was a BLM mustang who was my babysitter. Its been 20+ years since he passed away, and I've always wanted to honor him by adopting a mustang. Buck was the hands down, most trustworthy horse I have ever met.

If you've done it, how did it go? Any advice you'd give? What would you do differently?

Spent a whole hour today laying in a pasture, waiting for a sparkling vampire to show up. Alas, I woke up and looked over, only to find a mound of horse crap. Sigh.
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post #2 of 13 Old 06-18-2010, 01:27 PM
Join Date: Oct 2009
Location: Northern Nevada
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I don't know anyone who's adopted one directly from the BLM, but my friend adopted one out of the Nevada State Prison training program. These are young horses, "green broke" by the inmates. He was IIRC about 3 when she got him, which was about 5 years ago. He's become a very strong & well-mannered horse (except for trying to get more than his share of treats & brushing), one that she'll trail-ride anywhere.

However, she does have a good bit of experience working with & training horses. So it depends on your experience, the age of the horse, etc.
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post #3 of 13 Old 06-18-2010, 02:20 PM
Join Date: Mar 2010
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Cool that you'd like to adopt a Stang, Draftrider! They're so wonderful! The Black Hills Wild Horse Sanctuary in S Dakota has a few dvd's by their trainer, & maybe you could talk with him as well. I took care of winter feed for one Stang there a couple of years back, so got to name him ("Noble").
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post #4 of 13 Old 06-18-2010, 04:04 PM
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I know way, way more mustang adoption horror stories than I do success stories. The success stories have common threads: experienced horsepeople with a suitable facility that wanted the experience of starting totally from scratch. The horror stories all have common threads too: Inexperienced people (who had either "rode all the time as a kid" or had taken some riding lessons) who didn't know what they were getting into, didn't have adequate help and didn't have the correct facilities.

That said; you've had one before, and I assume you've had previous experience breaking from scratch and socializing an unhandled horse, so if the idea appeals to you, I say go for it.

I got to the point where I really preferred starting completely unhandled horses because 1.) nobody else had made mistakes and screwed them up 2.) I knew exactly what they knew and had done and exactly what they didn't.

I do want to add one more caveat though -

You will probably end up with as much or more money in the mustang when you've produced a finished horse than it would take to buy a finished horse right now. But I'm guessing that you're interested in this because you want the experience, so that may not matter as much to you.

Good luck!
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post #5 of 13 Old 06-18-2010, 04:15 PM Thread Starter
Join Date: Mar 2010
Location: Solway MN
Posts: 1,032
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Thanks everyone. I would consider Maddie to have been a wild horse- she was totally unhandled when I got her. Born on range, her first experience with people was me, loading her into a trailer with a series of panels and gates.

I do have facilities for an unhandled horse. I've been reading though that many mustangs in holding facilities DO get handled. I may even get one that has more handling than Maddie did.

I am not concerned about the money- sure the initial adoption of 125$ or so is nothing, I can get free horses all day off Craigslist around here. I just want the experience mainly. =) Hoping beyond hope I'll find another Buck too perhaps.

Spent a whole hour today laying in a pasture, waiting for a sparkling vampire to show up. Alas, I woke up and looked over, only to find a mound of horse crap. Sigh.
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post #6 of 13 Old 06-18-2010, 07:27 PM
Join Date: Aug 2009
Location: Cuyahoga Falls, OH
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I have always wanted to adopt a mustang. I just don't have the money right now, nor do I have the facility for it anymore due to our theraputic riding program that is growing extremely large. I'm definately going to think about it whenever my fiance' and I get our own place and whatnot.

- If today was your last day, and tomorrow was too late, could you say goodbye to yesterday?
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post #7 of 13 Old 06-19-2010, 12:07 AM
Join Date: Apr 2007
Location: MD
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My former BO adopted 4 out of greediness (because they were very cheap, like $125 2 of them, and 2 for $25). Unfortunately having no experience with horses plus using a "trainer" (to whom I wouldn't even trust to brush my horses) gave a very bad result: 1 smart beast looking to get rid of you when possible, 1 completely unrespectful to everyone baby, and 2 mental wrecks (one from previous "adoption", one because of an accident).

I've seen couple VERY well trained mustangs in the barn I used to trail ride in. I mean they were amazing horses. So it all depends on how you deal with them and train them (which is true for any horse anyway).
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post #8 of 13 Old 06-19-2010, 07:25 PM
Green Broke
Join Date: May 2008
Location: Oregon
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My family adopted from the Oregon herd for years when my Grandpa was still alive and able to break horses.

Basically it was a lottery system. You drew numbers and the got to choose the best of the horses. You had to have a stock trailer (no two horse) and there were other requirements as far as what kind of corral etc you had to have when you brought the horse back.

Sometimes we got lucky and got early draws and sometimes not so lucky and the horses that were left weren't worth getting.

My Grandpa trained them then sold them to the Forest Service for riding and pack horses.

Unless it weighs a ton... it's just a horse. Draft horse motto.
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post #9 of 13 Old 06-19-2010, 07:31 PM
Join Date: Jun 2010
Location: Idaho, USA
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If you are prepared (and it sounds like you are) I would definitely reccomend it. I thoroughly enjoyed the experience!
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post #10 of 13 Old 06-19-2010, 10:06 PM
Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: Higgins, TX. YeeHaw!!
Posts: 22,258
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I have 2 that I trained. I didn't exactly adopt them from the BLM so much as buy them off adopters that realized they had bitten off much more than they could chew from a really spicy pepper. LOL. Dobe was completely unhandled when I brought him home but now, he is one of the better horses we have. I can get on him and do almost anything and though he still has his moments of hyperreactivity to outside stimuli, it is completely controllable. Koda had had a bit of handling by the time I got him though he still didn't know anything. He wouldn't lead and someone had screwed up training him to lift his feet for the shoer. The only good thing about him was that he just wasn't terrified of people like Dobe was. Neither of them ever offered to buck during training and they made very nice horses. If you have the experience and facilities, then I say go for it. I would like to get another one someday. The only thing with them is that I have noticed they seem to have a heightened fight/flight reflex and if you push too hard, they can turn on you.

Always remember that feeling of looking at a big, open country over the ears of a good horse, seeing a new trail unwind ahead of you, and that ever-spectacular view from the top of the ridge!!! Follow my training blog:
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