BLM Logo
Lander Field Office
Release Date: 05/24/12
Contacts: Sarah Beckwith    

Wild Horses Find Homes at Wyoming Honor Farm Adoption

The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) and the Wyoming Honor Farm held their spring wild horse and burro adoption and gentling clinic May 18-19, in Riverton, Wyo. One burro and 16 halter and saddle-started horses found new homes after beginning the gentling process with inmate trainers at the Honor Farm.

Trainer shows horse at adoption.
The first horse of the adoption is shown by an Honor Farm trainer.
A bid is placed at the adoption.
A bid is placed at the Wyoming Honor Farm adoption.
Trainers show burros.
Trainers show the burros, always popular  with the crowd.
Horse loaded on trailer.
Lady, a 3 year old bay from the McCullough Peaks Herd Management Area near Worland, is loaded on a trailer bound for her new home.
This is the 24th year that the BLM and the Honor Farm have worked together to train and adopt wild horses. Two adoptions are held at the Honor Farm each year and the next one is scheduled for August 24-25, 2012.

Honor Farm Training Supervisor Jeff Martin demonstrated the gentling process on Friday, emphasizing the necessity to lay the groundwork with the horses. “The repetitive round pen work that we begin with is very important,” Martin said. “It builds the foundation for halter work, saddling the horse and finally the rider being accepted by the horse. Without groundwork, there will be no respect and partnership between the horse and the trainer.”

Potential adopters and those just interested in the process gathered Saturday morning for the adoption. Martin and BLM Wild Horse Specialist Scott Fluer talked about the history and experience of each horse as it was brought in by its trainer.

Adopter Bonnie Ballou was looking for horses that were proven and chose three saddle-started horses as well as a beautiful two year old halter-started palomino. “I could tell by the way the trainers rode them that they were well-trained,” Ballou said of her new charges. Ballou plans to use the horses for ranching on her Angus bull, sheep and cattle ranch north of Hulett, Wyo. She hopes the two younger horses that she adopted will also become “kids’ horses” for her grandchildren.

“The Honor Farm staff did a fantastic job of offering the horses and making the event run smoothly,” said Fluer, who also served as the auctioneer at the adoption. The high bid of the day was $1000.00 and the average bid was approximately $234.00.

The Honor Farm has found that the wild horse training program contributes to inmate rehabilitation. All inmates of the Honor Farm are given productive, meaningful work and some spend long days working with wild horses gathered from Wyoming public lands, readying them for adoption.

There are two wild horse adoptions in Wyoming in June: the Mustang Versatility Trail Ride Buckle Series on June 16 at the BLM Wild Horse Holding Facility in Rock Springs and an adoption on June 23 at the Mantle Wild Horse Training and Adoption Center in Wheatland.

The complete adoption schedule can be found by visiting For more information about the Honor Farm, visit

The BLM manages more than 245 million acres of public land, the most of any Federal agency. This land, known as the National System of Public Lands, is primarily located in 12 Western states, including Alaska. The BLM also administers 700 million acres of sub-surface mineral estate throughout the nation. The BLM's mission is to sustain the health, diversity, and productivity of America’s public lands for the use and enjoyment of present and future generations. In Fiscal Year 2015, the BLM generated $4.1 billion in receipts from activities occurring on public lands.

Lander Field Office   1335 Main Street      Lander, WY 82520  

Last updated: 05-24-2012