The U.S. Border Patrol recently added to their growing stock of BLM mustangs pulling tough duty along our nation's borders. The agency recently adopted six mustangs from BLM at the Hutchinson Correctional Facility (HCF) in Hutchinson, Kan. The mustangs were gathered from BLM-administered public lands out west and transported to HCF to be trained by inmates in a special rehabilitation program there.
Agents from the Border Patrol's Rio Grande Valley Sector, based out of McAllen, Texas, visited HCF in early June 2011 to look into adopting several mustangs for their newly established mounted patrol. Many other Border Patrol sectors on both the northern and southern borders already had experience using mustangs, having adopted nearly 100 from BLM at a prison training facility in Canon City, Colo. The adoption of these horses from HCF represents an expansion of BLM's partnership with the Border Patrol.
The horses will enable the Rio Grande Valley Sector to gain better operational control over the border, thus providing greater security to the United States. Due to the rugged and remote terrain the Border Patrol is responsible for securing, horses meet the agency’s needs by being capable of working in areas virtually inaccessible to motorized vehicles. Wild horses are renowned for their strength, endurance, agility and intelligence, characteristics bred into them in the wild that make them ideal for such challenging work.
BLM's partnership with HCF allows it to offer gentled wild horses for adoption to the public year around. This unique program not only adds value to the horses, it also helps inmates develop important life skills – such as discipline and respect – to aid in their eventual reintroduction into society.
Senior Patrol Agent Roman Garcia poses with one of the mustangs recently adopted by the U.S. Border Patrol. Mustangs are a sturdy breed ideal for the challenging work of patrolling remote border areas.
Supervisory Border Patrol Agent Mary Olivares (front), Border Patrol Agent Christopher Mitchell (center), and Senior Patrol Agent Roman Garcia (rear) take three of their newly adopted mustangs for a ride outside the walls of Hutchinson Correctional Facility, before transporting them to McAllen, Texas, for duty along the U.S.-Mexican border.