Adopting a Mustang
I'm preparing to adopt a BLM Mustang this summer and I'm both excited and nervous. The plan is to have the horse with a trainer that I like and trust for a full year, while I continue to master my skills and prepare myself for taking over.
There's a part of me that has that "What are you doing? This is wild horse we're talking about!" nervousness though.
For the record. The reason I want a Mustang to begin with is because as a military wife, I know what it is like to have to live at the whim of the government. Whether what the BLM is doing is right or wrong, there are horses now that need dedicated owners and good homes, and I have a home to provide and the willingness to be a dedicated owner. I fully acknowledge, I'm probably going to spend thousands of dollars training my "cheap" horse, and that doesn't phase me at all. I'm also not hung up on the "I will tame the wild creature with my love and it will be magic and sparkles." I used to rehab injured birds of prey. I have a healthy respect for what "wild" means.
I've been thinking and researching this for months now. I feel in my heart it's the right way to go.
Wish me luck!
And any advice?
mustangs ugghh. Good luck though
Out of curiosity, how long have you been working with or riding horses? Do you have any of your own?
I've been working with and riding horses for about five years including a few that weren't exactly easy to handle, and I've got another year where the Mustang will be with the trainer where I will be understandably highly motivated to make sure my skills are the best they can be. I'm just going to do my best to take things one step at a time. I have no greater ambitions than walking slowly down a trail with the horse, and even then I acknowledge it is going to take time and patience to get there.
In some areas they adopt out mustangs that have been trained, there is a program in Nevada that has an auction 3 times a year for saddle broke ones. I don't now what area your in but it might be worth it see if they have the program near you, you'll pay more upfront but in the long run you'll save alot on training.
Good luck! It's definitely an incredible process, and the success often depends largely on the age and temperament of the specific mustang that you're adopting.
Some of the mustangs are letting you touch/groom them and yielding to pressure etc within the first week of getting them. No joke. Others will always be a little more tricky. My advice is to get someone familiar with mustangs to help you choose one.
If you're on Facebook, look up the group called Happy Mustangs... they're an amazingly supportive community with all sorts of great advice and resources when it comes to adopting and training a mustang.
Most of all, have fun and stay as involved in the process as you can. I think you've made a wonderful choice to have a trainer helping you, but part of what makes this such an incredible process is experiencing first hand those tiny special moments that add up to create an amazing bond.
The trainer I'm going to work with has lots of experience with Mustangs and has saddle trained many of them. I really like how she works with the horses and the results, so I feel good about having my horse with her until it is saddle trained and then has some extra miles on it. I'm welcome to come and help her when I can, and I'm looking forward to that process. Then when the horse comes to me, I won't be on my own either. I'll have a support to help me here too.
When I go to adopt, my list of priorities looks something like this.
Gender, though I'm not quite sure which way I should fall on the gender divide.
Anything else I should be looking for?
I think that's a pretty good rank of things to look for. Are you going to one of the offsite adoptions, or to one of the holding facilities to pick one?
I went to the holding facility in Burns, OR and I felt like a kid in the candy shop with so many gorgeous horses and I could only pick just one!
In terms of gender, I would advise leaning towards a gelding for the first time. It's often been said that mares can be trickier and more temperamental, though there's always an exception to the rule. Another thing to consider is that it's not uncommon to find out later that the mustang mare you adopted has a bun in the oven. If you're not ready for that, a gelding is a good way to go!
They were just large ponies.
They were awful looking.
Additionally, not all mustangs are anywhere near being the same as all the rest. You can find one of practically every shape, color and size. Maybe your neighbors just have bad taste when it comes to choosing horses.
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