How to Adopt

How it works: We tame and train horses for the BLM and the USFS. Our horses are available for an adoption fee of $125. For the first year of your adoption, the government retains title to the horse. At the end of that time, with evidence that the horse has been adequately taken care of, you receive title to your horse. 

You must be approved by the government and sign a contract that says you will not abuse, neglect, or sell the horse during the year-long adoption period. You can train, ride, or simply enjoy having a horse, but you cannot use it for bucking stock, wild horse racing, or sell it into the slaughter system. You can arrange for someone else to adopt it, but you cannot give it away. 

The USFS and BLM use different application forms. Generally we collect your information over the phone and submit it to the government for you. You pay the adoption fee and any transportation charges when the horse is delivered.

We deliver: We will deliver your horse. The charges are generally less than $1 per mile, but vary if we can arrange to deliver multiple horses on a single trip. Our facility is in northwestern New Mexico. You can also come pick up your horse here. We have guest accommodations for overnight stays for people coming from a distance. You must have a covered stock trailer to haul your mustang if you pick it up yourself.

In most cases, although we are not required to, we will take horses back that are not fitting into their new home. We will ask the adopter for the expenses of transportation. We are happy to help you with training questions.

We will not allow anyone to adopt more than 2 horses. Ninety percent of bigger adoptions fail. We will not allow people to adopt a mare and a stallion with the intention to breed mustangs. If you would like a mustang foal, we can get you one.

What you get: A horse adopted from Mustang Camp has received extensive gentling and training in the basics of how to live with humans. 
Your horse will know:
  1. how to lead in familiar areas, 
  2. how to stand tied, 
  3. how to let humans clean its hooves, and 
  4. how to load into a stock trailer.
They will have been handled by multiple people and should have a positive attitude about humans. We cannot desensitize them to all possible circumstances, but if you are quiet and friendly with your new mustang, chances are that you will succeed as a trainer.
  1. Print out an Adoption Application form
  2. Fill out, sign, and submit the Application to Mustang Camp
Mustang Camp, PO Box 620, Blanco, NM 87412

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 If you have trouble with the forms, we can help. Give John a call at 505-419-9754

About adopting a mustang from the government:

The government makes it easy to adopt horses if you have the facilities to safely keep them and have the basic understanding of how to take care of a horse. You are adopting the horse from the government and not from Mustang Camp. Our job is simply to find the people who want to give the horses a home, put them together with the government, and let the paper-pushers take over. Once you have adopted a horse through us, however, we are here to support the horse by being available to you to ask for help.

If the horse you want is 10 years old or older, it is not an adoption. You are actually buying the horse for $25 and it is yours from the moment you give the paper work to the government official. You have to agree not to resell it into the slaughter network or treat it inhumanely. 

If the horse is younger, the process is adoption. The horse will remain the property of the US government for the first year. Someone from the program will call you occasionally to check that you and your horse are doing alright. They will try to hook you up with help if you need it. After the year is up, you will receive some papers in the mail that get filled out and signed off by a government official or veterinarian. This might be the livestock inspector or a local BLM or Forest Service person. They check that your animal looks like it is being cared for appropriately and that its hooves are not being neglected. When you return the form, the government sends you the title and the horse is yours.

There are some things you can't do during that year.
  • You can't sell or give away the animal. You can arrange to have it reassigned to a new home. This requires a $25 fee and starts the clock over again so the animal remains public property for another year.
  • You can't brand the animal or remove or alter it's freeze brand.
  • You can't sell it's carcass if it dies.
  • Sell the services of or commercially exploit the animal  (example: bucking stock )
  • Maliciously or negligently injuring or harassing a wild horse or treating them inhumanley.
  • Destroying a wild horse without authorization from the U.S. Forest Service, except as an act of mercy.
There are some things you must do during that year
  • If the animal gets injured, sick, or dies, you must notify the adoption representative.
  • You must let the government representative inspect the animal when they want. They don't want to invade your privacy, only to prevent tragedies of neglect.
  • You must be liable for the animals and any damages they might cause.
Then there are things you can do during that year
  • train your horse
  • use him/her to ride, pack, or drive or other recreational activities.


Subpages (1): Online Adoption Form
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