Mustang Adoption in Monroe NC

What: Mustang Adoption; Where: Simpsons Event Center, Monroe, NC; When: August 8-10, 2024

If you have ever considered acquiring a mustang or burro from out west, you will have your opportunity this August in Monroe, North Carolina. This is because the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) which is the government agency in charge of America’s wild mustangs, will be holding an adoption event at the Simpsons Event Center from August 8-10, 2024. Around 100 animals are expected to be available for adoption, according to a press release from the agency. The event will be open to the public August 8-9 from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., and August 10 from 8 a.m. to 12 p.m. BLM staff will be onsite to provide more information and assist with the adoption application process.

“The BLM has placed nearly 300,000 wild horses and burros into private care since 1971,” said Southeastern States District Manager Robert Swithers. “This is an opportunity to provide a good home to one of America’s living legends.”

The mustangs will be unhandled and untrained, although they may be familiar with people, and some may even accept a head-scratch or eat out of your hand. Although there is not yet a list of which horses will be coming to North Carolina, they are likely to range in age from yearlings through about 10 years old, and are most likely to come from Nevada, where the majority of wild mustangs reside.

Mustangs are an enduring symbol of the American West. They descend originally from Spanish horses brought to the New World by the Conquistadors. Some horses may have escaped; others were set loose in wild areas where the conditions were ideal for them to thrive. Over the centuries, these Spanish horses interbred with other types that came west as riding horses, ranch horses, pack animals, work horses and others. As a result, today’s mustang comes in a variety of colors, shapes and sizes, and many are athletic, intelligent and highly trainable. There are mustangs that compete in barrel racing, ranch events and competitive trail, polo, hunters and jumpers, eventing and dressage, and some even succeed at the highest levels.

 

Prospective adopters must recognize that any animal that they adopt will require a significant investment of time and patience. These are wild animals, accustomed to taking care of themselves, and teaching them to look to humans for comfort and guidance can be a process, possibly a long one.

However, people who have adopted mustangs say that it is all worth it, and many find themselves coming back for more.

“They are like potato chips,” said Lisa Mallory, who runs Halfway to Heaven Mustang Rescue in Aiken, South Carolina. Lisa and her husband Bill Finger specialize in gentling wild horses to prepare them for success in new homes.  “When you train a mustang, there’s absolutely nothing like when they give you their trust. Sometimes, it just clicks and it’s the most amazing feeling.”

Adopting a mustang costs $125, and adopters even have the opportunity to earn that money back (and then some) through the BLM’s Adoption Incentive Program. This grants adopters $1,000 “when they receive title to their animals after successfully caring for the horse for one year.”

In order to be eligible to adopt, applicants must be at least 18 years old and have no record of animal abuse. Homes must have a minimum of 400 square feet of corral space per animal, with access to food, water, and shelter. Adult horses require a 6-foot fence, while if you adopt a yearling, a 5-foot fence will suffice. You need to be able to pick up your new horse in a stock-type trailer, with swing gates and sturdy walls and floors.

To learn more about BLM’s Wild Horse and Burro program, visit https://www.blm.gov/whb.

 

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