BLM Logo
Central California District
Release Date: 04/05/12
Contacts: David Christy , (916) 941-3146  
News Release No. CA-CC-12-46

Horses, Burros Available for Adoption in San Jose, Including Halter-Gentled Yearlings

Residents of the San Jose area will have the opportunity to add a horse or burro to their families, when the Bureau of Land Management brings its Wild Horse and Burro Adoption Program to the Santa Clara County Horsemen’s Association, 20350 McKean Road, San Jose, on Saturday and Sunday, April 21 and 22.

Thirty horses will be available for adoption: 10 yearling geldings, 10 yearling fillies, five geldings 2-3 years old and five mares 2-3 years old.  Five Jack burros and five Jenny burros also will be offered for adoption. Horses will be from the High Rock area’s Fox Hog, High Rock, Nut Mountain, Wall Canyon and Bitner herd management areas.

Horses can be previewed on Friday, April 20, from 2-5 p.m. The event runs from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. both Saturday and Sunday. A silent competitive bid will run from 9 a.m. to 10 a.m. Saturday. Animals not taken during bidding will be available for a $125 adoption fee.

“In addition to the 40 head of wild horses, we will have four horses that have been halter gentled by girls’ teams from Taylor Made Farms, Sonrisa Stables, in San Martin,” said Doug Satica, manager at BLM’s Litchfield wild horse and burro facility near Susanville.

Three teams of girls ages 8 to 17 will compete against their riding instructor, Karen Topping, in showing their horses. The four yearling geldings, three bays and a palomino from Bitner and Fox Hog, will be offered for adoption. Teams from Sonrisa Stables have halter gentled horses for adoption in previous adoptions at San Jose.

"With spring and summer days ahead, this is a good time to begin training an adopted mustang or burro," said Satica.  "Our horses and burros are certified to be healthy and they are ready to begin training."
The horses are from herd management areas in Northeast California and Northwest Nevada.  Burros (donkeys) came from Southern California deserts.
All available animals have received de-worming treatments and vaccinations for West Nile virus, rabies and common equine diseases.  All have negative Coggins test results.  Adopters receive complete health records for their animals so they can begin health care programs with their veterinarians.
To qualify, adopters must be at least 18 years old and have no convictions for inhumane treatment of animals.  BLM staff members will interview all prospective adopters to be sure they meet the BLM adoption requirements.

Newly adopted horses and burros must be kept in corrals with at least 400 square feet of space per animal (20 feet by 20 feet), surrounded by a fence built of pipe or boards.  The corral enclosure must be six feet high for adult horses.

Horses under 18 months old can be kept in corrals with five-foot fences, and four-and-a-half-foot fences are allowed for burros.  Adopters must provide a two-sided, roofed shelter to provide protection from extreme weather.

"Adopted animals should be kept in this corral until they can be approached, handled, haltered and led," Satica explained.  "Non-gentled animals should not be placed in large, open pastures."

At the adoption event, Adopters must provide a halter and lead rope.  BLM wranglers will halter and load adopted animals.  Adult horses must be transported in stock trailers with side-swinging gates.

Title to adopted wild horses and burros remains with the federal government for one year.  After providing a year of good care, adopters can receive title.  The BLM or a representative will check on the condition of the animal during the adoption period.

"Wild horses are strong, loyal, intelligent and very trainable," Satica said.  "Adopters love their horses for pleasure riding and trail riding, back country packing, ranch work and competition.  People train their burros for back country packing, pulling carts, and riding."

Wild horses and burros are protected by a federal law, the Wild and Free Roaming Horses and Burros Act.  The law recognizes the animals as "living symbols of the historic and pioneer spirit of the west," and requires the BLM to manage the wild herds.

The BLM periodically gathers horses and burros to control herd populations on ranges shared with wildlife and domestic livestock.  Herd sizes are controlled to ensure there is sufficient feed and water for all range users and to ensure that natural resources are not over-used.

For additional information on the adoption event or wild horse management, contact the BLM toll free at 1-866-4MUSTANGS or the Litchfield Corrals at (530) 254-6575.   Information is also available online at

The BLM manages more than 245 million acres of public land, the most of any Federal agency. This land, known as the National System of Public Lands, is primarily located in 12 Western states, including Alaska. The BLM also administers 700 million acres of sub-surface mineral estate throughout the nation. The BLM's mission is to sustain the health, diversity, and productivity of America’s public lands for the use and enjoyment of present and future generations. In Fiscal Year 2015, the BLM generated $4.1 billion in receipts from activities occurring on public lands.

Central California District   2800 Cottage Way, Sacramento, CA 95825  

Last updated: 04-11-2012