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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Could someone tell me a bit about adopting a BLM mustang? How much the fee to adopt is, anything you know.
I'm extremely curious about it and would eventually love to adopt one.

If you've done it I'd love to see a picture of the one you got, and hear their story!
Thanks!
 
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The fees vary. You can go to a holding center and buy or you can bid online. There is an application process you must complete as well which includes veterinary references, references of your ability to care for the horse, proof you have a suitable facility, etc.
 

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I have adopted two. The first was Cash, who I needed a horse for work for the following week, and so I got him in a prison program. That was an auction that works how any other auction works as far as pricing. Horses go higher than you would expect.

Queen I got from the gather of our cattle range. I had to wait for them to process and go to the holding pen to pick her out. It was a great and surprising experience. I would completely recommend it. She cost $25, and I got $1000 back for the adoption. $500 at six months (which I actually can’t find that they sent), and $500 after titling. They came and looked at her and made sure I had kept up with her before giving me the title.

The paperwork is simple. Corral size varies depending on age, and they do require you keep them in a smaller corral than I anticipated in the beginning. Other than that, the requirements in the paperwork were not difficult. I did them online.

Here is Cash, now 6, through the years. I’ll do a different post for Queen. Although I don’t have pictures for it in this group, Cash is a really good rope horse. That is his best skill. The funny picture of me backwards was from a crazy game of horse.
Horse Sky Working animal Horse tack Saddle
Horse Sky Working animal Horse tack Horse supplies
Horse Sky Helmet Working animal Equestrian helmet
Sky Vertebrate Horse tack Halter Working animal
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I depends on the horse. That is true of quarter horses as well though, for what I do breeding in a quarter horse helps, and obviously you do not have that in a mustang to choose from. So, when I bought Queen, I chose her based upon this dressage article on athleticism. Boy is she an athlete! Lol. Lucky for me she is very cowy.

Now, Cash is a good rope horse, and a good work horse. Yet, he is not an athlete. He couldn’t place running barrels (although maybe he’ll make a liar out of me when my daughter borrows him this next weekend to run barrels.), he couldn’t place in a reining (although he has all the movements down well, he is slow about everything). He’s not fast. He’s a tank, and he’s all power, and that doesn’t lend itself to agility or speed. It does have its own perks, but those are not them.

Queen could do anything anyone else could do thus far. As I said, I picked her using all of those rules, which was a funny tool for me to use. She is such an athlete she can jump out of my picket fence corral when she gets upset. It’s lowest spot is 5’5”. She’s exceptionally fast, and she’s agile. She looks like she should be a colder horse, but she’s not. I don’t know how as she grows her size will end up effecting her, but at two I’d put her up against any other two-year-old at an athletic competition.
 

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I know in Florida there are several who take on 'stangs needing first touch and handling, progressing to ridden when appropriate age and maturity is reached.
These people do this for love of the animal and a safer place for a animal to land a forever home with people who want but not have the skills to take on a feral or near feral animal.
My understanding is there is not a large fee, but you do fill out BLM papers and investigation process same as anyone does.
Your housing, fencing, transport of the animals must meet with approval and vet, farrier are contacted to see if you have other animals and their care plan/protocol followed.
I think the fee is $125. If there is a return payment or stipend given IDK.
After 2 years, you are again interviewed if not visit done, checked conditions and the horses ownership is given to you if you meet the needs and have taken care of.
The person who does the initial gentle and work...somehow she must be given incentive but not sure what...maybe that $1000 knave referenced she is given and that affords the animal what she does...
I know here she often has 12 babies, sometimes more or less in various stage of interaction from pictures I've seen of her among her animals.
Maybe someone like that is in your area if you want a animal with a bit of training on it, but still much of a clean slate to mold and teach.
I know if you "adopt" a pregnant mare and she foals in your care you can sell the baby and not jump through hoops of the BLM and that baby is also not tattooed as all BLM adopted are. Today with how micro-chipping has progressed I don't know if that identifier is still branded seen or injected microchip.

Many 'stangs have multiple breeds mixed in by their appearances.
The range herds at times had exposure to private stock that got loose from ranches or that 'stangs crossed into protected range and actual riding herds just turned out for R&R periods of time....still happens today so indeed you can have Quarter Horse blood mixed in.
I've seen paint, appaloosa, some heavier draft influences seen, from smaller to 16+ hand horses in the adoption pens when they have traveled here to our state. I think more common I saw large 14 hand to mid 15 hand, stockier appearing, the bigger horses not quite as common thinking they are scooped up faster since today many are centered on larger sizes not necessarily traits fitting the job you wish to try with the animal.

I've never adopted myself because I feel I don't know enough, have enough skills to teach and gentle a feral and am honest about it.
I have the facility to have them with no problem, but not the confidence or hours I feel the animals deserve.
I see many day cowboys here, the range rider riding stangs and you could not give them enough to sell their mount...they are hardy and really smart. Their riders are very loyal to their animals.;)
🐴... jmo...
 

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So I think those rules vary by what state you come from. For example, I only had to give my vet’s contact information. Maybe they called her, maybe they didn’t, I don’t know. I did not have to provide a farrier, but we do all our own feet. The corral requirements do vary depending on state. Some require a shelter, some require some sort of protection, like trees.

Now, when it was time to title Cash, it was the beginning of covid. People were out of office and things were crazy. They allowed me to have a vet or farrier sign off on the horse. I got a farrier to come look at him, because I didn’t want to pay the vet fee and had a buddy who was shoeing horses.

With Queen life is back to more of a normalcy. I had the person who manages the horse program in the BLM come and overview her. It took a little time to work out, because the weather was not cooperating. She is a very nice woman, and she brought an intern with her. I watched as she explained everything and taught her to do the overview. They did find Queen a bit heavy, but not too heavy, at a 5.

This is something I work on, but the filly just wants to be heavy! Lol. She is in fairly hard work (we had a main horse go out, and so Queen was brought into a work position early), and she isn’t overfed, but she packs on weight. I don’t know if it’s an age thing and she’s getting ready to grow or what, but I won’t starve a horse in work.

I agree with @horselovinguy that I wouldn’t part with either horse. I have to laugh, because I’ve had a lot of good horses through my life, and Cash is the horse I have most ever been asked to sell. I get asked to sell him once every couple months anymore. It blows my mind! I was teased unendingly about purchasing the giant, and now everyone wants him!
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Thank you guys, great information! I'm really interested in adopting one.
Can I ask one more slightly silly question?

How do they look like a wooly mammoth one week and then the next a sleek, gorgeous horse?
I'd imagine y'all help clean them up a bit? 😂
 
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Lol @lovetolope. Queen came in November. She is a wooly mammoth in the winter. She has the longest coat, as much as the fjord. Cash doesn’t get quite as hairy, but he’s still probably a bit longer haired than you’re probably used to in the winter months.

Yes, they do definitely change as a horse with good nutrition and working. The blm feeds really well, but Queen was only with them for a month. On the mountain they often look poor. Work of course builds up muscling, but they are fit when they come down, just underfed.
 

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The first mustang I trained was super easy. He wasn't afraid of anything or anyone. Very laid back and chill. The second one was extremely difficult. It took a full year of groundwork before I felt she was even ready to begin ridden work. I never fully trusted her.

You don't know what you will get as far as temperament, and what their previous experiences are. I would recommend getting a weanling or yearling. They have less baggage. They can get traumatized in holding, during roundup, and being chased through chutes. She's
 
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