Question For Professional Trainers (which i'm not) - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 75 Old 09-22-2019, 12:56 PM Thread Starter
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Question For Professional Trainers (which i'm not)

Were the BLM to drastically reduce the requirements for Mustang purchase/adoption due a the passage of H.R. 961, which hasn't yet occurred, to the point that a large group of unhandled horses could be purchased in one lot at the current rate of $125 per head to be trained for resale to the general public, would it be possible for a professional trainer to realize an acceptable return in consideration of the expenditure of time and money?
therhondamarie likes this.

The Mustang has no place in modern society. The Mustang belongs on the range or in a supportive forever home.
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post #2 of 75 Old 09-22-2019, 04:09 PM
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I'm also curious.

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post #3 of 75 Old 09-24-2019, 09:24 AM
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Given on how many really nice broke horses end up in kill pens because there arenít enough buyers for an already flooded market I canít see the demand being very high.
There are some lovely mustangs out there but a lot are just scrubby ponies.

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post #4 of 75 Old 09-24-2019, 10:41 AM
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Originally Posted by Hondo View Post
would it be possible for a professional trainer to realize an acceptable return in consideration of the expenditure of time and money?
I am not a horse trainer, but have been around people who are starting mustangs and deal with mustangs quite a bit. I am in the no group.

Training a mustang takes more effort up front to get them gentled, handled all over and ready to be ridden. I don't know of any professional trainers who have the time to do that with one mustang, let alone a whole herd (what ever number that may be). Plus the finished horse (if, indeed they could be called finished) would not sell for the amount of time a trainer would have to put into the horse.

If there was really a market for this, you can bet some trainers would already be on it. I know some trainers who LOVE mustangs, have competed in the challenges and would jump on this in a heartbeat in training only mustangs if there was a market for the horses. There isn't - and the trainers still has to pay their bills. I don't know any of them that would responsibly take a herd of mustangs at a reduced cost to train - they would end up with the entire herd, minus one or two that would sell. Plus those horses would be taking up a spot for a paying client - typical price here is $800/month for full time training. Plus add in the fees for vets & feed & farrier ... I don't see any of the professional trainers I know who would even consider it.
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post #5 of 75 Old 09-24-2019, 11:07 AM
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I'm not a professional trainer, but I vote No. Even after they were trained, you'd be hard-pressed to find a buyer. If you figure each horse would need 60 days at the current training price of $500 - $800/month, that's still $1000 - $1600 in just training fees for the horse, not to mention vet fees, farrier, and feed. So, low end estimate of $1800 - 2000 as a sale price on the mustangs.

I can buy a green broke registered Quarter Horse, Arab, or FoxTrotter for that. If I look hard enough, a really nice one with papers in need of a good home. Why would I want a mustang?

There's a nice mustang for sale here. He's been for sale for quite awhile. Lots of trail miles, he's done obstacle challenges, mounted shooting, ranch work -- a good handy broke horse. He's currently priced at $1000 with no takers down from $3000. Untouched weanlings sell for $1000. That pretty much illustrates how many people will buy a mustang... a friend of mine has offered $500 for him as a spare horse for her family if they get desperate. I'm pretty sure if he's not off the seller's hay bill by the time it snows, she'll have scored a nice horse that would have cost her 10x as much if he were a Quarter Horse.

Trainers who work with mustangs either do it for fun, or because a client has a mustang they are willing to pay to get a good start on. If there was a market for trained mustangs, trainers would have bought up a bunch of them by now, and they haven't.

Last edited by SilverMaple; 09-24-2019 at 11:22 AM.
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post #6 of 75 Old 09-24-2019, 11:28 AM
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There is a really nice 8 year old mustang mare for sale just north of me. She is a gorgeous dun with a nice build who is trained and even kids can ride her. She's priced at $900. Figuring in the cost to adopt, vet, farrier, time...I can't see that this would turn a profit unless you could figure out how to make them bomb proof and kid safe in a short time since those horses are worth their weight in gold. But that is so highly unlikely and quite honestly could any professional trainer stake their reputation on that?

Personally, I feel like it would be a super fun and rewarding opportunity to do that, but I have neither the time nor the space to take it on. Nor am I a professional trainer.

to ride on a horse, is to fly without wings
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post #7 of 75 Old 09-24-2019, 11:52 AM
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No, the only people who would likely take advantage of such a deal would be kill-buyers who'd come up with creative ways to smuggle the horses across the Mexican border.

Look, I realize that you had a really good experience with your personal Mustang and I can't help but admire your passion for Mustangs in general. But you seem convinced that the public are going to rush to buy every last Mustang if the BLM/The Government does/changes [Insert whatever here].

That will not happen. Anyone can go and buy a Mustang from the BLM directly for only $125. And more often than not, even less then that! At the last Internet Adoption I saw numerous horses being offered up for $25! Even those horses had no takers. So clearly price is not a factor.

Not to mention, the BLM already has a similar program in place. You can buy a Sale Authority horse (IE: Any Mustang over ten years old or younger horses who have been passed over for adoption three times) outright! No yearlong wait to receive title, only a $75 price tag, large groups can be purchased (As opposed to just four per year with regular adoptions) and so forth. So clearly even lowered requirements is not a factor.

Very few to no trainers specialized in Mustangs until the BLM and various other entities began making it "worth their while" with free publicity and more importantly prize money.

The BLM already has a wide-spread training system in place via the US prison system. They can get away with funding it because they don't have to pay the prisoners, plus the prisoners themselves are eager to take part in it.... in-exchange for more privileges for good behavior. Not because they're just "dying" to work with feral horses.

Theirs quite simply no money to be made in training Mustangs without incentive.

Mustangs are of extremely limited value because they come with no pedigree, have little to no re-sale ability, aren't really even a "breed" (Anyone can tell you that every individual varies widely from one another), have no specialized skills of which to exploit and are far above the training and handling abilities of most horse trainers let alone the average member of the public.

They only have some appeal to the pleasure horse market.... which is already saturated with horses of practically every breed imaginable. And those horses come with pedigrees, re-sale value, establish breeds/crossbreeds, specialized skill-sets and can be trained and handled by most anyone.

As I've told you in the past, Mustangs have effectively no place in the modern world and that's the position I'm sticking too. We're just going around in circles at this rate.
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post #8 of 75 Old 09-24-2019, 04:00 PM Thread Starter
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I have realized although $125 is a low price for a horse, very few individual have the experience or time to train a fully unhandled adult horse.

What got me to wondering and posting this thread.....................

First, the BLM site states that only one Mustang can be adopted by the same person every 6 months and that it takes a year before a resale can be made. And the adoption criteria although reasonable is more complex than just buying from an individual.

Second, there is a cowboy working the ranch adjacent to me that spent 3 years or so training horses on the largest ranch in Texas. Forgot the name of the ranch it's on the net.

He and 2 other trainers trained 300 2 year olds each year. The ranch produced around 300 per year. I didn't get all the exact detail but gathered the idea that they did a set routine with a certain number each day with the batches changing daily.

At the end of the year the best would be selected with the rest going to an auction held on the ranch. He offered that they all were good horses but the ones that stood out were retained for ranch use and also competitions that the head trainer competed in. I don't remember pinning him down on exactly how broke they really were. Many working cowboys have no problem with a little bucking at the start of a day.

So I wondered:

If they could do that, what about going through the same routine with Mustangs? I haven't seen him recently but plan on asking his opinion when I do. Also, there is a ranch/training facility about 30 miles from me that breeds and trains Thoroughbreds and I know that trainer. I plan to ask him also, but thought in the meantime I'd see if there were any professional trainers here that would offer an opinion.

I guess not. Plus, I got to thinking, even if it could and did succeed in emptying the Mustang holding pens, that could very possibly leave more private horses without a future home.

So in the end, reducing the number of horses born seems to be the only option of reducing the number of unwanted horses short of just offing them.

The main thing I like about Mustangs, or really just any horse that is raised from a baby under feral conditions, is that there is just no other way a horse's foot can develop with the strength of the horse raised in the proper feral conditions. Proper meaning not lush marsh land.

There was a wild horse living on the ranch where I spent 5 years. I would watch in amazement as that horse traveled through areas of heavy volcanic rock and cat's claw as if he were traveling on pea gravel in a paddock. Areas where I had personally rode Hondo and knew just how bad they were.

Thanks for the replies so far. I'll keep waiting for a trainer to show up.
Aquamarine likes this.

The Mustang has no place in modern society. The Mustang belongs on the range or in a supportive forever home.
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post #9 of 75 Old 09-24-2019, 04:09 PM
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DISCLAIMER: I am not a professional trainer, nor a trainer of any sort. I have people who are. I'm more of a gentler and then the younger, braver, more horse savvy peeps get to do the hard parts and I pay them.


I'm in the no brigade as well. What I do believe is there is a very small niche market for them.

That said: My husband has figured out they'll pay YOU to take on a BLM horse. We can have 4 on our place. Our friend, a judge who has a BLM herd on his 3000 acres, has adoption events twice a year. Those are weanlings and yearlings, and they are previously handled by humans (Probably born in holding pens and not out on the open range). They do not come off his 3000 acres but are brought in by the BLM.

I told hubs I would agree to try a couple out, as long as they are very young and I get to choose which ones we adopt. They are to be kept, started, and then sold once titled (if they aren't total rubbish horses).

I'm not going to let him do the picking, nope. I want in the pen with them, and I want to watch them for a while, see how they move, how well they're put together, how they react to stimuli, how truly people friendly they are. I will be really darn picky. There will be no wholesale 'group' of older horses coming to the place. I don't have the time, nor enough health insurance for that.

Any younglings adopted will be kept separate from my already owned horses.

"We are here to laugh at the odds and live our lives so well that death will tremble to take us."
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post #10 of 75 Old 09-24-2019, 04:52 PM
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I paid $2000 for a well broke Mustang and he was the best horse I ever owned. He was the most safe and sane trail horse that even my neighbor who had $10,000 Quarter Horses would borrow him if she needed an extra horse for guests. He was honest. He was sound. He was safe. He had hooves that would make Quarter Horses green with envy. He was awesome!

Unfortunately I lost him in his early 20's to colic. But I would buy another horse like that in a heartbeat. I'm sure they aren't all like that of course. He may have been a one-of-a-kind. But let me tell you, he was an ambassador for Mustangs anywhere he went. He was just the perfect trail horse for me.

He was 14.3 and 1200 lbs. Maybe had had a little draft in him. I wish all horses had legs and feet as good as he did.

John was a BLM horse out of Wyoming.

There used to be another member on here, Smrobs, who had a couple of good BLM Mustangs she used as ranch horses and talked fondly of.

So I don't know exactly how good the market is, but I would consider a well trained BLM horse as an equal to any other breed of horse, with our without papers, in the $2000 or less price bracket. $2000 is actually the most I have ever paid for a horse and if a horse has papers or not doesn't matter to me. I don't ride the papers. I want a sound, safe, well broke riding horse.
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There's a lot of stupid out there!
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