Volunteering and Mentoring Opportunities
The BLM is always looking for people to assist the agency's Wild Horse and Burro Program. Volunteering your time, services, and expertise is a very rewarding experience and helps the program educate the public about mustangs and burros. As a volunteer, and likely an adopter, you have the opportunity to promote mustangs and burrros and educate the public.
Ambassadors for the Wild Horse and Burro Program
One very easy way is to "showcase" your adopted and trained wild horse or burro at adoption events. It assists the potential adopter appreciate the beauty of the animal. If you can show people pictures of your mustang or burro shortly after adoption or even prior to your adoption while the animal was still in one of the BLM's temporary adoption locations, it provides a visual image of what you see when you initially adopt is not what you have after grooming, one-on-one care, and love.
You can also present other pictures to the potential adopter. Examples might be: during the training process, grooming, hoof, and veterinary care; also simple, yet very comforting and relaxing, trail riding. If you present your mustangs or wild burros at equine expos, shows, or events, this is also an excellent way to exhibit their versatility. A wild mustang or burro has the capability to be trained and accomplished in any discipline that a domestic equine can be.
Additonally, the BLM is always in need of volunteers to assist in posting flyers about adoptions and events coming to your area. It is a simple and easy way to help the BLM promote adoptions. Please check with your state or local office on how you can volunteer.
All promotional activities must be approved and coordinated through the Public Affairs Specialist assigned to each adoption.
Many BLM states offer this demanding volunteer opportunity. This type of volunteering involves communicating with adopters and informing them of any areas of non-compliance, helping to correct any problems, and arranging timelines and follow-up inspections. Volunteers also work closely with compliance officers to provide compliance reports. Your local BLM office is the best place to start on receiving compliance training. Also, national training courses have been established.
In this opportunity, volunteers conduct tours to interested parties at BLM facilities.
A thorough understanding of the wild horse and burro program and the facility is required, including all areas within the facility that are not open to the public. Tour groups may be large or small in nature or may simply be individuals interested in adopting. A key skill is the ability to develop a good rapport with potential adopters and interested parties. If you are familiar with the facility and the animals available for adoption, you may also be able assist the adopter in the selection of an animal.
Being a mentor or an adopter's assistant is likely one of the most valuable services you can provide to the new adopter of a mustang or burro.
There are many different ways on how support, guidance, and encouragement can be provided. Many new adopters may not understand that wild horses and wild burros are exactly that -- wild. For this reason, being a mentor who has already adopter a horse can help make the new adoption of a wild horse or burro into a success. Mentors provide adopters opportunity for feedback and suggestions.
If you are interested in being a mentor, please contact your state or local office.