News.bytes Extra, issue 533
Horses, Burros Find New Homes in Santa Rosa Area
Residents of the Santa Rosa area provided new homes for 14 horses and five burros, when the BLM brought its Wild Horse and Burro Adoption Program to the Sonoma County Fairgrounds over the weekend of May 19.
BLM wrangler Grant Lockie moves a group of horses toward the loading chute, preparing to load a young filly into an adopter’s trailer. Grant is riding Bubba, a mustang from the Fox Hog Herd Management Area near High Rock Canyon, Nevada.
The 30 mustangs offered for adoption were from northwest Nevada ranges near High Rock Canyon. They were gathered last fall as part of the BLM’s work to maintain wild populations at sustainable levels. Some mustangs offered for adoption had already been halter trained by BLM volunteers. (text continues among photos below)
Griffin, a halter trained gelding, stands patiently as Ally Lewis of Sonrisa Stables adorns his mane with ribbons and bows. Equestrian students at the stables in San Martin had worked with Griffin in preparation for the adoption event. He was adopted and will return to Sonrisa Stables for additional training. Sonrisa Stables owner Karen Topping is a long-time supporter of the BLM wild horse and burro program.
In addition to prospective adopters, event visitors included those who have a adopted and trained mustangs. They proudly demonstrated that once wild horses are highly trainable and capable.
At top, Carol Spears of Sebastapol allows her adopted Mustang, Molly, to say hello to stablemate Jacinta. Both mustangs are boarded at Wind Horse Ranch in Sebastapol. Ranch owner Kathy Sparling happily accepts the moniker of “mustang enabler,” as she is tireless in promoting the values of America’s wild horses. In the lower photo, Mike Kerson of Napa leads Ruby, left, and Sparky into the arena. Mike and his wife, Nancy, are longstanding wild horse program volunteers and organizers of the biannual Napa Mustang Days event.
Colton Shields, a horse trainer from Lassen County, was on hand to offer demonstrations on calm ways to gentle and begin training mustangs. At top, using a gentle touch, lead rope and halter as training aids, he works patiently with a mustang bearing a distinctive lightning bolt marking. In the lower photos, Colton is able to achieve the all-important first touch, a milestone in the training process.
The BLM’s next California adoption opportunity is June 9 and 10 at the Clovis Rodeo Grounds. Mustangs and burros can be adopted year-round at BLM corrals in Susanville and Ridgecrest. Details are available here.
- Jeff Fontana , Public Affairs Officer, BLM Northern California District (May 23, 2012)
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