More than 70 percent of the animals available for adoption in Helena were snatched up at a recent event.
“Eight of the ten burros offered went to private care and 23 of the 34 horses found homes,” said Nancy Bjelland, adoption coordinator for the Montana/Dakotas. “Overall, we were pleased with the turnout for the adoption; we also had several people interested that may attend a future event.”
Steve Mantle, a Wyoming horse trainer under contract with BLM, provided two training demonstrations and talked to many people individually. Generally, the horses that Mantle had worked with prior to the adoption brought higher than the minimum bid of $125. His demonstrations attracted large crowds.
Another highlight was the participation of three U.S. Border Patrolmen with their recently acquired wild horses. The horses are used to patrol the rugged border in northwestern Montana from Glacier Park west. Titled operation “Noble Mustang,” the horses should save taxpayers money while keeping borders more secure.
The patrolmen gave impromptu demonstrations on their newly acquired horses to show how the mustangs could be trained and gentled in a short time if people were willing to invest the time and energy needed.
Operations ran smoothly thanks to a seasoned cadre of BLMers who handled the tasks of setting up corrals, feeding, watering, moving, sorting and loading. Montana/Dakotas employees included Jared Bybee, Larry Padden, and Rick Ekwortzel, assisted by wranglers from Oregon and Nevada. Nancy Bjelland, Teri Bakken, Marilyn Krause, and Howard and Robin Lemm helped with the administrative end of the adoption.