Young horses, handled by 4-H youth, hail from Idaho’s public rangelands

Boise DO
Media Contact
Heather Tiel-Nelson

NAMPA, Idaho–The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) in partnership with the University of Idaho Extension 4-H program, will offer wild horse weanlings for adoption during the Idaho Horse Expo April 5- 7. These horses have been handled by 4-H youth, and their training progress will be showcased during a trail challenge where they navigate course obstacles. The challenge will occur on March 30 at the BLM Boise Off-Range Wild Horse Corrals just off Pleasant Valley Road beginning at 10 a.m.

The young wild horses will be available for public viewing April 5-7, during the Idaho Horse Expo at the Ford Idaho Horse Park in Nampa. The dedicated efforts of 4-H club members will come to fruition during an exciting competitive bid adoption event, scheduled for 1:15 p.m. on Sunday, April 7.

Youth from seven different Treasure Valley area 4-H Clubs picked up their young charges in late February, and have been working with the animals to lead, load into a trailer and pick up their feet. All wild horses were gathered from Idaho’s public rangelands in the Owyhee Front last fall.

To qualify, adopters must be at least 18 years old and have facilities that meet the BLM’s requirements. Title to the animals remains with the federal government for one year, after which adopters can apply for title. Detailed information about adopter qualifications and facility requirements can be found online.

Since 2009, the BLM Idaho Wild Horse and Burro program in concert with University of Idaho Extension 4-H youth development, has successfully paired youth with young wild horses. More than 400 wild horses have been placed into private care, hundreds of youths have developed wild horse handling skills and since the BLM shares a portion of the adoption proceeds, more than $99,000 has been raised to support Idaho 4-H Clubs. This year, youth from Desert Sage, Desperados, Oasis Riders, Ranchers & Riders, Reynolds Creek, Saddle Tramps and Willow Creek 4-H Clubs are participating.

The BLM is responsible under the Wild Free-Roaming Horses and Burros Act for protecting and managing wild horses and burros on public lands. The agency periodically removes animals from the range when populations exceed levels established to allow wild horse and burro herds to thrive in balance with other range users, including wildlife and permitted livestock. These animals are then available for adoption at events throughout the country.  More information about the BLM's Wild Horse and Burro program is available at