Wild Mustang and Burro Training Facility

It’s time for land managers to get serious about implementing a sustainable, humane, and

professional process to get wild horses and burros into private ownership. With almost every

wild horse territory overpopulated and degrading, the land managers have their hands full.

They need a way to efficiently dispose of excess animals that is humane, respectful, and acceptable

to the diverse stakeholders involved in this issue.

Training gets animals adopted and into private homes. Several university studies of the

economics of the BLM adoption program have shown this. When the perceived value of the

animal exceeds the asking price, people are eager to adopt them. This matches our experience

of having trained and placed more than 600 horses into private placement. We first proposed

a large scale gentling program to the BLM in 2012. They opted instead to have small scale

training programs relying on amateurs and prisoners, with the attendant headaches of unpredictably

variable results, high rates of adoption failure, shuffling paperwork by mail with

thousands of individual adopters, and the financial burden of indirect costs of working with

organizations with broader missions. These are unneccessary problems. It’s time for a more

professional approach.

We are proposing to build a dedicated (and replicable) wild horse and burro training facility,

staffing it with professionals, and providing a very efficient adoption service to help solve

the American mustang crisis. We are seeking a grant of just under $1.4M and a committment

to keep us supplied with horses and burros.

The following proposal details this facility, it’s operation, and our thoroughly documented

taming protocols. We hope that you will realize the value of this systematic approach and will

find a way to help us to make this a reality.

There is no limit to the number of positive outcomes for these animals.

Valoroso was a stallion that wandered off the Navajo Nation. After training and gelding, he went to live with a doctor in Albuquerque, NM.

Captain Morgan was gathered in Nevada. After training, he became a trust-worthy family horse in Roswell, NM.

Shanti arrived a very fearful horse. Now she lives in the high mountains near Telluride Colorado with a llama.

Raphael didn't know that humans could be friends when he arrived with us. Now he is a trail horse in Reno, Nevada.

Click here for a PDF digital copy of our proposal.

In Phase 1 we start out with a smaller facility and train our staff.

In Phase 2, all systems are operational and ready for expansion.

In Phase 3, we are producing 750 adoptions per year with five trainers.

The estimated cost of this project is 1.4million

Talking Points

Campaign Objective: To inspire people to give money, time, or expertise to help save captive mustangs through our novel but thoroughly tested plan for training and adoption.

I hope readers:

  • sense the urgency of implementing a new solution quickly.
  • find hope for addressing what seems an intractable problem.
  • see our plan as a rational science-based approach.
  • sense the boldness and daring of our maverick solution.

What are the benefits?

Benefits to the animals - gets 200 to 1000 per year of these iconic animals out of holding facilities to a more enriched life. Saves them from slaughter. Example: we have placed over 500 animals and most of them become important parts of people's lives where they are loved and cared for.

Benefits to equine science - provides an opportunity to study the taming process. Example: Despite limited time, we have produced innovative research on laterality in wild horses, flight distance as a measure of tameness, comparison of negative and positive reinforcement in reactive animals, and the need for education of trainers in the equine rescue rehabilitation environment. Much more will be possible when the volume of horses is higher and the work of training, management, logistics, adoption and research is better distributed.

Benefits to government - disposes excess horses in a humane way and gives them better options for wild horse management. Example: if the BLM or USFS had a less litigious option, money saved in legal fees fighting the advocates could pay for the solution. Government employees that care about the animals will be very happy to avoid the controversy of bloodshed.

Benefits to us - allows us to continue our mission in an effective way. Example: we have spent 10 years trying to convince the BLM or USFS to try this. We realize the limits of our old location, we had to move or close. We were not ready to give up.

Benefits to the major mustang adoption program, The Mustang Heritage Program - we will be training and adopting horses under them and our success will be recorded as their success.

Benefits to animal welfare organizations (AWO) - helps animals that otherwise have a tragic end that they have not been able to address. Example - other than the development of PZP by HSUS the AWOs have not felt capable of addressing this huge problem and mustang issues have not be defined as "of interest". This project allows them to engage in the solution in a way that is consistent with their core values of preventing animal suffering.

Benefits to animal lovers - provides them with a source of pride for making a difference. Provides them with a positive story about themselves. Example - people love to watch the taming and training of individual animals we tell on social media. It gives them hope and models a compassionate solution to life's problems.

Benefits to adopters - They can adopt a living legend and have a animal they can handle without extensive training. An animal will be trained to a consistent criterion that facilitates later stages of training. It will be much easier to visit MC to shop for mustangs in the current location (near pavement).

Benefits to local economy - heritage tourism, local economic benefit to services and farmers, doesn't take money out of the local economy. Brings in a pro-social academically oriented workforce. Example - Mustang Camp should have daily tours and a gift-shop museum staffed with local community members.


Contact Information:

Patricia Barlow-Irick, Executive Director MC

phone: 505-419-2575

email: patricia@mustangcamp.org

La Llorona had several things going against her as a riding animal. After she was trained, she found a home as a companion animal in the prairies of eastern Colorado.

Zula got a little extra training by an enthusiastic class. Zula now lives near Socorro, NM with Speedy, a pinto gelding.

Eevee arrived in a herd of jennies, all of whom sped through the same training plans as the mustangs. Eevee is now pulling a cart in Durango, Colorado.

Fireball was gathered from the Sulfur Range in Utah. Her student trainer fell in love with her and adopted her. She is now a trail horse in Los Alamos, NM.

There is no limit to the number of positive outcomes for these animals.