U.S. DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIORBUREAU OF LAND MANAGEMENT
|Nevada Wild Horses & Burros|
Saddle Horse Training Program
|The line up…about 15 saddle trained horses are offered at each adoption event.|
|One of the many Nevada mustangs gentled at the Correctional Center. Each horse receives 120 days of training, but they are still “green-broke”. They will need daily training and handling when they arrive at their new home.|
|Each adoption event begins with a Grand Entry.|
|There is plenty of time to preview the horses and talk to their trainers before each adoption starts. (Just remember…you may not wear blue clothing, blue jeans, tank tops, or shorts…and you will need to check your driver’s license, keys and cell phone at the gate).|
|Horses are adopted through a competitive oral bid. To qualify to bid, download BLM’s “Adoption Application under Adoption Schedule and Information” at www.blm.gov/wo/st/en/prog/whbprogram.html, complete all the required fields and bring it with you the day of the adoption. Or, fill out the adoption application the morning of the event. Once your adoption application is reviewed and approved, you will be issued a bidder card and be eligible to bid.|
Q - When I take my adopted horse home, what should I expect?
A – Here is some “sage” advice from Hank Curry, Trainer.
These horses are green-broke. They are for the most part very gentle. But they may overreact to new objects and appear spooky until they decide it will not harm them. (A spooky object could be anything they haven’t seen before. It may not be scary to you, but could be very scary to them. For example, they have seen a wheel barrow, but not a bicycle. They have seen men on foot but not a man carrying a backpack. They have little contact with women and are sensitive to perfumes or hairspray. Their sense of smell is sensitive and so is their hearing).
If you haven’t ridden your horse for about a week, double check yourself, your horse and your equipment before you go for a ride. The following steps are important:
1. Catch your horse. When you want to catch your horse, indicate to the animal that you want to catch him. Don’t hide the halter or try to sneak around. Take your time, petting establishes confidence, and the horse should willingly accept the halter.
2. Basic ground work and drills. With the halter on your horse, ask him to lead, back up, yield his shoulders, and yield his hip. Repeat these drills until the horse is respectful and responsive. The horse will usually drop his head, blink, chew or possibly all three. At this point, you are taking command. Be sure to pet the horse when he gives a good response.
3. Lunging. Lunging your horse is a good exercise and a means of showing the horse you have control. Put him through his gaits: walk, trot, canter and stop, back up. Reverse directions. When the horse gets to be responsive, he is starting the warming-up process. Now would be a good time to groom him and saddle-up.
4. Warm Up. Lunge the horse both ways, stop, back up. Reverse directions and repeat stop, back up. Now put a snaffle bit on your horse and repeat these lunging exercises. Now tighten the cinch on your saddle and repeat. If the horse responds well to “whoa”, reverses and backs easily, he is probably ready to ride.
5. Warm Up Area. Use a good solid corral. If a round pen is not available, you may use a square pen but a somewhat restricted area will help you control the horse. When the horse is respectful and responds well…Enjoy Your Ride!
Q – When and where will information about upcoming adoptions be posted?
A – Interested adopters can find a catalog posted on the BLM Nevada web site (www.blm.gov/nv) about one month prior to the adoption event. The catalog includes a description and photograph of each animal.
Q – When are adoptions held?
A – Adoptions are generally held on the second Saturday in October and February, and the last Saturday in May or the first Saturday of June. A special saddle trained horse adoption is also normally held the third Saturday in August in association with the Western States WH&B Show at the Livestock Events Center in Reno.
Q – Why can’t I where blue jeans to the Correctional Center?
A – This is a security issue and for the public’s personal safety. Prison inmates wear blue jeans that allow security guards to readily distinguish between inmates and the public.
Q – Can I bring my children to adoption events at the Correctional Center?
A – Yes. However, children may not wear blue clothing either. Additionally, parents are responsible for assuring their children remain with them at all times.
Q – Can we preview the horses available for adoption before the sale date?
A – No. Since this a prison facility horses cannot be viewed until 9:00 a.m. the morning of the adoption.
Q – How do I pre-qualify to bid on a horse?
A – You can pre-qualify in two ways: (1) print a copy of BLM’s adoption application, fill it out completely, and bring a copy of your completed application with you the day of the adoption; (2) fill out an adoption application the day of the adoption. Once your application has been reviewed and approved, you will be issued a bidder card and will be eligible to bid.
Q – Do I have to be present to adopt a wild horse? Can I send my friend?
A – You must be present to adopt a wild horse. You cannot send a family member or a friend.
Q – What is the average sale price of horses trained by prison inmates?
A – Prices vary widely. The starting bid for any wild horse is $150. Bids of $2,000-$4,000 are not uncommon. However, the average price is about $800 to $1,200 per animal. It really depends on how many people are interested in one particular animal.
Q – How much training do the horses actually have?
A – These horses are green-broke which means they have received 120 days of training by the prison inmates. These horses will continue to need daily training to reinforce the basics they have learned.
Q – What are the facility requirements?
A – Although these horses are green broke, each horse should be kept in a pen no larger than 20’ X 20’ until the animal gets used to its new surroundings and you. The corral should be at least 5-feet high and of heavy duty construction using poles, pipes, or planks with at least 1 ½ inch thickness and without dangerous protrusions. Barbed wire and large-mesh-woven, stranded, and electric materials are unacceptable for fencing.
You must also provide shelter from inclement weather and temperature extremes for your adopted wild horse. The shelter must have, at a minimum, two sides with a roof, good drainage, adequate ventilation, and access for the animal. Tarps are not acceptable.
Q – Do I have to pick up the horse I adopt the day of the adoption?
A – BLM prefers you take the horse home that day, but special arrangements can be made with the prison to pick up the animal in a couple of days.
Q – Can I get a refund or exchange my adopted horse for another in the future?
A – No refunds, credits or exchanges will be approved. For more information on this policy, or about adopting a prison-trained horse, please call: John Axtell, BLM-Nevada Carson City District Office, (775) 885-6146.
Q – Can the public continue to have horses trained at prison?
A – Yes, but you need to make arrangements with Hank Curry, who works for the prison, to get on a waiting list. It could take up to one year to get your animal into the training program. Training usually runs about $500 per month for training and feed.
Q – What are the BLM’s trailer requirements for hauling my horse home?
A – Horses will be loaded into stock type trailers only (single-horse or two-horse side by side trailers cannot be used). A three horse slant load, a four horse trailer, or a gooseneck stock trailer are acceptable. No drop ramps are allowed. For additional information refer to the following:
BLM requires stock-type trailers that meet the following minimum requirements:
• Covered top, sturdy walls and floors, and a smooth interior, free from any sharp protrusions. Two-horse trailers are not acceptable.
• Removable partitions or compartments to separate animals by size and sex, if necessary.
• Rear swing gate only. No drop-ramps are allowed.
• Trucks with stock racks are not acceptable.
• Ample head room.
• Floor covered with a non-skid material.
• Adequate ventilation.
BLM personnel will inspect the safety of each trailer and reserve the right to refuse loading if the trailer is unacceptable.
Q – What kind of training methods are used at the prison?
A – Least-resistance training (what comes naturally to the horse).
Q – How many horses does BLM in Nevada have trained per year?
A – The Correctional Center trains about 40-60 animals per year. More animals are not trained due to the size of the facility and the expense involved in training a wild horse.
Q – What is the average size of a wild horse?
A – Wild horses are generally 14.2 hands. The common colors of wild horses are sorrels, bays, and browns. Occasionally, we have grays, duns, roans, and paints.
Q – Where can I obtain an adoption application?
A – You should call your local BLM Office and request an adoption application or you can print an application from the internet at www.blm.gov/wo/st/en/prog/wild_horse_and_burro/What_We_Do/wild_horse_and_burro0/adoption_application.html
Q – Can we have our adoption application pre-approved?
A – Yes, but BLM encourages you to download an application from the internet and bring it to the adoption with all fields completely filled out. Or, fill out an application at the prison the day of the adoption. Once your application is reviewed and approved, you will be issued a bidder card and will be eligible to bid in the oral competitive bid adoption.
Q – Does BLM accept personal checks? What other types of payment are accepted?
A – The BLM accepts personal checks, money orders, American Express, Discover, VISA, MasterCard, travelers’ checks, and cash as payment for adoption fees.
Q – How many people show up to adopt at each event?
A – The number of interested adopters has continually grown since the Correction Center started training wild horses. Each event generally averages between 15 and 30 qualified adopters.