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5 Must-Knows Before Adopting a Wild Horse or Burro

The allure of the untamed, a symbol of the wild west, the wild horse or burro may seem like a dream come true for many equestrian enthusiasts. But, diving into the deep end of wild horse adoption is no small matter. Here’s what you should know before you take the leap.

1. Understanding Your Eligibility and Equestrian Experience

Venturing into the world of wild equine adoption is not just about age or past records. Yes, you need to be at least 18, and a history tainted with animal cruelty would require you to rethink your decision. But beyond that, your aptitude for handling these majestic creatures is paramount. The transition from the wild to structured environments demands acute observation, rapid decision-making, and effective problem-solving. Planning to mount your newly-tamed mustang? Ensure your horsemanship skills are impeccable, complemented by abundant patience and an enthusiasm for adopting novel techniques.

2. Infrastructure Preparedness

Dreaming of expansive pastures for your wild companion? It’s essential to see through their eyes. Releasing them into vast spaces might mean you’ll end up searching more than enjoying their company. To strike the right balance, a minimum of 400 square feet of appropriately fenced area, suitable for their age, is non-negotiable. This isn’t merely for confinement but to facilitate vital care routines – from hoof-care and vaccinations to regular vet visits.

3. The Transport Requirements

Bringing your wild companion home isn’t as simple as it might seem. You’ll need a specially designed trailer. The specs? A stock or horse trailer equipped with a specific rear gate type and a mandatory covered top. If your trailer features dividers, they’ll need to be detached or fastened back. And a small pro-tip: inspecting the condition of your trailer’s floorboards is crucial. Don’t overlook it!

4. Finances are Front and Center

Adoption is just the beginning. The ongoing costs can be hefty. From feed, training, vet care, to the periodic deworming – expenses pile up. The BLM (Bureau of land management) might offer financial assistance (up to $1,000 in some cases) to defray some of these costs. They’re also likely to drop by for a check-in within the first six months to ensure everything’s going smoothly.

5. Ownership Comes with Time

Even after you’ve brought your wild horse or burro home, the federal government retains ownership for a year. Once this period lapses, you’ll receive a Title Eligibility Letter. Upon having a qualified professional (like a vet) vouch for your care of the animal, you’ll be granted a Certificate of Title. If you’ve purchased rather than adopted, you’ll gain immediate ownership. But here’s the catch: these rules aren’t just bureaucracy. They’re in place to prevent the illegal slaughtering of these animals, ensuring they truly find loving homes.

Bringing a wild horse or burro into your life isn’t just about fulfilling a personal dream. It’s a commitment, an oath to provide a safe haven for a creature that has known the fierce freedom of the wild. It’s a journey of understanding, patience, and, above all, respect. Explore adoption options at the Wild Horse and Burro Online Corral from the BLM.


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5 Must-Knows Before Adopting a Wild Horse or Burro