‘Tis the season for two of the county’s largest wild horse adoption events: theBLM Adoption Tour and the Extreme Mustang Makeover. If you’ve ever considered lending a hand to the horses of the American West, your chance might be right around the corner.
Both programs offer spectators the option to view and bid on BLM mustangs, and both will be making stops at various cities around the country for the next few months. Think you might have the yen for a project and an extra stall on the farm? Here’s how you can make a difference for a wild horse in need.
1. The BLM Adoption Tour
On April 1-2, 40 BLM horses ranging in age from yearlings to five-year-olds will be offered for adoption in Ewing, Illinois. Those interested in bringing home a horse can submit an application during the preview on Friday, April 1st. Prospective owners must meet certain adoption requirements, which include things like proper fencing; an enclosed facility with access to food, water, and shelter; and a stock-type trailer for transport. You also have to be at least 18 years old (sorry kiddies).
The adoption fee for horses under three years of age is $125, but a second horse or those three years old and older may be adopted for just $25. All animals on the BLM Adoption Tour have been examined by a veterinarian and have been Coggins tested, dewormed, and vaccinated.
Also on the schedule next month, stops in:
- Paul’s Valley, Oklahoma (April 12)
- Lufkin, Texas (April 15-16)
- Nampa, Idaho (April 17)
- Queen Creek Arizona (April 22-23)
- Knoxville, Tennessee (April 29-30)
In May, the BLM will be making stops in Florida, Virginia, New Mexico, Wyoming, and Michigan. Adoptions are also offered online (including one running through March 29th) at regular intervals. The next full period of online adoption will take place April 19th – May 3rd.
You can learn more about BLM Internet Adoptions here or view the full schedule for the BLM’s Adoption Tour here.
2. The Extreme Mustang Makeover
If you haven’t already been wowed by the incredible feats some of America’s best horse trainers are able to accomplish in just 100 days with a mustang they drew at random to prepare for adoption, you will be soon. But what’s even better? Each of the wild horses participating in the challenge are offered at auction at 10 events around the country starting this month; meaning they’ve already been backed and trained in a variety of disciplines—from dressage and reining to jumping—before you pick them up.
Adult mustangs are auctioned off at the close of the events, which feature $25,000 worth of cash and prizes for competitors and a chance to qualify for the main event: the Top 10 Freestyle competition. Most horses offered for adoption are reasonably priced; adoption horses at the most recent Gonzales, Louisiana competition, for example, sold for between $200 and $6,400.
The 2016 schedule includes stops in:
- Horseshoe Park & Equestrian Centre, Queen Creek, AZ (April 21-23)
- Jacksonville Equestrian Center Jacksonville, FL (May 6-7)
- CSU B.W. Pickett Equine Center Ft. Collins, CO (May 20-21)
- Reno-Sparks Livestock Events Center “Reno Rodeo” Reno, NV (June 18-19)
- Missouri State Fairgrounds Sedailia, MO (July 14-16)
- Ford Idaho Horse Park Nampa, ID (July 29-30)
- Topsfield Fair Facility Topsfield, MA (August 5-6)
- Virginia Horse Center Lexington, VA (August 25-27)
- Will Rogers Equestrian Center Fort Worth, TX (September 15-17)
Trainers interested in participating in the 2016 Extreme Mustang Makeover can still apply for a mustang to train and present at the Fort Worth, Texas competition in September through April 1, 2016. (But you’d better hurry!)