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Wild Horses and Burros Adoption

BLM Colorado's Wild Horse and Burro Program

Wild Horses

BLM Colorado has wild horse herd management areas: Piceance/East Douglas, west of Meeker; Little Book Cliffs Wild Horse Range, northeast of Grand Junction; Sandwash Basin, in the northeastern part of the state; and Spring Creek Basin, southwest of Montrose.

In 1986, the BLM and the Colorado Department of Corrections in Cañon City formed a partnership creating the Wild Horse Inmate Program (WHIP), which is administered from the Royal Gorge Field Office. Select mustangs are trained by inmates who undergo both classroom and on-the-job training through an accredited college curriculum. Since the inception of the program, more than 3,000 inmates have participated. They have gentled or trained more than 5,000 animals gathered from western rangelands.

Colorado adopts about 150 wild horses and burros each year. Wild horses and burros are offered for adoption once a month at the Canon City WHIP and occasionally in other areas of the state.

You Can Adopt a BLM Wild Horse in Colorado Year-Round

BLM holds adoptions at the East Cañon Correctional Complex outside Cañon City twice a month. You can usually choose from more than 1,000 wild horses and burros. The minimum adoption fee is $125 per untrained animal, $1,025 for saddle trained mustangs and varying prices for halter trained animals.

You must be a pre-approved adopter in order to make an appointment. Please schedule your appointment no later than the Tuesday before the adoption you would like to attend.

To request an application, call the Royal Gorge Field Office at 719-269-8500 or download an application here.

Individuals interested in adopting a wild horse or burro may obtain information from the Bureau of Land Management by:

  • Writing BLM at 3028 E. Main St., Cañon City, CO 81212
  • Calling the Royal Gorge Field Office at 719-269-8500

Field offices are responsible for herd management in their areas. Volunteers are occasionally needed for foal-count or gathers. Please contact the respective field office if you would like to get involved:

  1. Little Bookcliffs, Grand Junction Field Office at 970-244-3000
  2. Spring Creek Basin,  Tres Rios Field Office at 970-882-7296
  3. Sandwash Basin,  Little Snake Field Office at 970-826-5000
  4. Piceance/East Douglas,  White River Field Office at 970-878-3800

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