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Im looking into adopting a BLM mustang, any good pointer on what to look for? Im into gameing and all types of performance and im getting into cows. Were would be a good place to get one and what should i really look for?
 

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If you want to be competitive you should look the other way. Very few mustangs are worth the time and expense it takes to get them broke to ride and doing well at anything. If you have alot of experience training horses then you might be okay but you can buy registered well bred horses for only a little bit more than a mustang and they most likely haven't been starved and inbred for several generations like the mustangs.

That being said if I wanted one I would look at the ones from Oregon, Southern Idaho and Northern California. I would NOT get one from Utah. The mustangs here live on very sparse desert and have been more ill managed than the others.
 

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ditto, ditto, ditto what kevinshorses said.

In this market, for the BLM adoption fee and the transport you can find a nice well broke horse suitable for pleasure and some local showing.

Most mustang adoptions I'm familiar with did not end well; the ones that did are ones attempted by experienced horsepeople who had started unbroken horses previously, or by people who had the facilities and resources to get help with the horse when they needed it.
 

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i know a place in kentucky and one in tennessee that has mustangs and starts them for you.all of them are from the blm and they are very gentle.they are the same price as the ones in the blm program.they have all kinds of mustangs there and the mustamgs are alot friendlier than the freshly caught ones.
 

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PaintedBrat,
My avatar is from my Mustang mare. I would not trade her for an $80,000 warmblood performance horse. Her hooves are like steel, she is very healthy, and she has very fine gaits.

Challis came from the Challis, ID herd, and has either cavalry or draft horse in her background. She is larger and bigger boned than the Utah horses.

There is a trainer incentive program from the Mustang Heritage Foundation. Trainers will gentle the horse, and you can get them for the same adoption fee. You can also attend one of the Extreme Mustang Makeover events, and bid on one of the horses that have competed.

There is a definate difference in the psychology of a domestic and a feral born horse. You need to know and understand the difference before you go this route. The Mustangs are very strongly driven by herd behavior. Talk to a trainer, and observe the horses before signing on the bottom line. It's just different. If you have patience, and are flexible, they make a great partner.

Go to the Extreme Mustang Makeover site, look up the trainers near you, and go talk to them. You will need to find a trainer that understands the Mustang. If a person believes they are trash, they will treat and train them like trash. Pick the trainer carefully.
 

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I have it on good authority that the reason some of the mustangs in Idaho are bigger and of higher quality is that some of the ranchers would (or still do) go out and shoot the stallions and put thier own higher quality stallions out with them. The same things happened in Oregon and Northern Nevada.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
I do understand that they are alot of work, and that is exactly what i want. I'd rather have to spend hours working hard to get a horse to trust me then be able to jump on a horse that i just purchesed and have no connection with it.

Breeding isnt realy an issue with me, i dont care if a horse is purebred or wildbred. i just like a sturdy horse with alot of heart.
 

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The best horse I have EVER owned is a BLM Mustang. No kidding! He is reliable, sane, and respectful. I can ride him in a group with careless people galloping by and he listens to ME. He is the best horse I have ever ridden about listening to the rider and not just following what the horse in front of him is doing.

I can't take any credit for his training though, I bought him already trained from his original adopter. He is from Wyoming, and he is only 14.3 but he is built like a tank. Size two shoes (when he used to wear shoes) and is built a lot sturdier than my neighbor's QH's. I can ride him with anyone and no matter what they are riding, I never feel outclassed because his behavior as good or better than everyone else's horses.

He was also a former roping horse (heeler) and was also used for packing, hunting, and trail riding. I think the secret to his success is that he has had tons of training from his first owner.

The only thing that I notice is "different" about him from other horses I've owned is that his is very careful and self-preserving. He never plows through anything. He wants to check out trail obstacles and make sure they are up to his safety standards! He also took a while to warm up to me when I first brought him home and is more cautious of people in general. But he is so smart and sane and respectful! I love "puppy dog" type horses, but it is really nice to have a horse that respects you this much!

Yeah, I just can't sing his praises enough. Here we are with a wild stud out on the forest. And a few other photos I just had to share. :D I just wish I knew what went "right" with John, because every horse should be this nice of temperment and training. And sturdy! That's my one pet peeve with alot of QH's, they have such small bone and feet on large bodies. My Mustang is a tank!
 

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I have it on good authority that the reason some of the mustangs in Idaho are bigger and of higher quality is that some of the ranchers would (or still do) go out and shoot the stallions and put thier own higher quality stallions out with them. The same things happened in Oregon and Northern Nevada.
Kevinshorses,
I think that historically the NW timber industry turned draft horses out with the herd, and then collected the offspring to work. Draft MARES would work better in this fashion than stallions. This would date to the 1880's to the 1930's.

The Challis, ID herd is down to about 240 horses. That is too few to not be inbred. What you said about local ranchers inserting their own stallions into the herds makes sense. Otherwise, in the 20 generations since the timber industry used horses, they would not be sustainable as a herd.
 

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I have it on good authority that the reason some of the mustangs in Idaho are bigger and of higher quality is that some of the ranchers would (or still do) go out and shoot the stallions and put thier own higher quality stallions out with them. The same things happened in Oregon and Northern Nevada.
Happens here in Oregon quite a bit. That and people releasing horses with the herds on purpose or they get in with the herd on accident. My family adopted mustangs from the Burns herd for years. We got such a variety of 'mustangs' it was pretty evident there was something else getting in with those horses!

They are a lot of work. Generally way beyond what you would get with a youngster that was used to people already. How it worked when we were doing it, you'd get a ticket and that was the order you got to choose your horse first. My Grandpa was always pretty lucky and generally got his pick of the crop.

That said, sometimes getting them into the trailer was a bloomin' nightmare. Even with the extra large stock trailer we had. Getting them out was an equal nightmare. My Grandpa had a gift with horses though and we would train them and sell them to the Forest Service for pack and riding animals.

To the OP, I think your mistaken if you think you can't develop a connection with a just bought already broke horse. If you think you are going to get an immediate connection with a mustang, think twice. They seem to be harder to get their trust, but once you do, they'll do anything for you.

If you have no experience with mustangs I wouldn't adopt one without having spent time with people that know them. It's really asking for trouble.
 

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I do understand that they are alot of work, and that is exactly what i want. I'd rather have to spend hours working hard to get a horse to trust me then be able to jump on a horse that i just purchesed and have no connection with it.

Breeding isnt realy an issue with me, i dont care if a horse is purebred or wildbred. i just like a sturdy horse with alot of heart.
PaintedBrat,
Don't enter into this to save the horse. Go into this as with any horse purchase. Look at the horse in front of you. Regardless of breed, does the horse have the personality that you are looking for? Does the horse's conformation fit the intended use? Is the horse healthy? What do the hooves tell you about the previous year of the horses life?

There is an excellent series of articles by Dr. Deb Bennett in Equus during the past few months. It talks about proportion, breed, bone structure, and use.
 

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You're not saving the the horse from anything anyways. If nobody adopts them they spend thier lives getting fat on the government dollar.
 

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Probably the best preparation for adopting a BLM mustang is to get in contact with your local equine rescue organization. Trust me, they have lots of BLM mustangs :)

But seriously, it will give you the opportunity to look over a lot of them without any pressure. You can also talk to the rescue personell about why the original adoption didn't work; and what their recommendations would be for an new adopter. If you get lucky, there may be some BLM mustangs at your local rescue that have begun basic socialization, which is a huge plus. Doesn't mean that they won't form a bound with you, but just that they've figured out that the things that walk on two legs aren't scary and are the source of good things.
 

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I have 2 mustangs and I love the breed. However, I agree with Kevin. I was fortunate to get the ones that I did. They are fairly well conformed with only minor flaws. However, if you are looking for a horse that you can be competative on, mustangs are probably not the best choice. They generally don't have the speed needed for most gymkhana events and they have absolutely no natural cow savvy. Everything that you want them to know, they have to be taught, even more than your regular quarter horse. Mustangs have never been bred selectively for anything other than survival and thus, have no specialized mentality. Most quarter horses, paints, appys, and even some tbs will have some natural cow sense because they have been used for that for so many generations. Mustangs don't.

That being said, if you are just looking for a companion that you can have some fun with, a mustang might be just the horse for you. However, if you are less than a very experienced horseman that has trained many horses, you should really look for one that has been trained by a professional. Training a mustang is not like training a domestic horse, their fight/flight instinct is through the roof and many of the unhandled ones will turn on you with even the slightest pressure. These horses pretty well fit into the "jack of all trades, master of none" group. They make wonderful using horses so long as looking pretty or being perfect doesn't matter. I do challenging trail rides and some ranch work (penning, sorting, roping, etc.) and mine are wonderful partners for what I do. But, I don't care if something takes all day to get finished, and sometimes it does because they are just not as proficient as other breeds.
 

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Lots of good advice and info here. I agree with most of it.

Like people are saying...as a competition horse, a mustang will likely not be your best bet. As cow horses...I don't know about that one.

My BO owns a mustang that was taken off the Nevadan range as a 6 month-old. He is massive and quite the character, but spooks at every darn thing. Sometimes you will have to deal with a greater flight instinct in those born in the wild than what might be present in a lot of domestically bred animals.

I think it's cool that you're thinking of adopting a 'stang, but I hope you will not let the romanticism of adopting a wild horse interfere with your decision. Mustangs are a ton of work and it's difficult to know what you're going to get when you head out to those auction/adoption type things. For a general trail mount and yeah, "jack of all trades" horse, then they might be a good bet. But for an animal that you hope to compete on in such a specialised field...perhaps not so much. And if you are still dead-set on owning a mustang, buy one from a pro trainer or make sure you send it to one. Even then, as far as working cows go, it's not a sure bet it'll work out. :)
 

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If you want to be competitive you should look the other way. Very few mustangs are worth the time and expense it takes to get them broke to ride and doing well at anything.
That is the most ignorant thing i have ever read. Look Up on you tube , Sonny Garguilo and America .And look up sonny Garguilo mustang challenge. America was a wild mustang that he broke and trained. He is a natural horsemanship trainer here on long island. That mustang is by far the most well trained versitle horse i've met. And PERSONABLE , he LOVES sonny.. ANY horse can do ANYTHING if trained the correct way.


100 days and this is the finished product.
simply amazing.
bridle-less and all. the horse is amazing

 

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ANY horse can do ANYTHING if trained the correct way.
WRONG. I can tell you now that not ONE of my horses could jump an olympic height showjump course no matter how well trained they were. My Arab could NEVER be successful in WP no matter how well trained. My stockhorse could NEVER do well in an open hack class no matter how well trained. Most sprint bred TB's could NEVER bury their *** in the sand after a cow like a QH cutter.

Conformation and mind DEFINATELY matter.

If your statement was true, then there would be NO point of having individual breeds.

That is the most ignorant statement I have ever heard.
 

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Training cannot override build - It cannot replace want or try or mental aptitude. It can't support a horse with weak hocks enough to be sound to do high level cutting. It can't change a WP horses natural low head carriage to enable it to do modern dressage. It can't create the instinct to work a cow.
 
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