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Should You Adopt?

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SHOULD YOU ADOPT A WILD HORSE OR BURRO?

CLICK ON A SUBJECT AREA FOR MORE ABOUT ADOPTING A MUSTANG (WILD HORSE):
Where to Adopt l Many Ways to Adopt or Buy a Mustang or Burro l Selecting the Right Horse for You  l 
Adoption Requirements
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Housing and Fencing  l How to Read a Brand l  Are You a Good Adopter Candidate? l Ways and Places to Adopt l Sale Authority Horses  l   Adventures in Halter Training l Mustang Heritage & History I
Mustang Link to History


Your heart says "YES!" but your friends say, "Are You Crazy?!?!?"

WHO IS THE BEST CANDIDATE
TO ADOPT A MUSTANG?

  1. People with little or no prior horse experience
  2. People who rode as a kid and want to get back into horses after many years
  3. Recreational Riders
  4. Experienced, serious Horsemen
  5. Professional Trainers
  6. Ranchers, Farmers, and others who use horses for their daily work
  7. Children
  8. Senior Citizens

WHO IS THE WORST CANDIDATE
TO ADOPT A MUSTANG?

  1. People with little or no prior horse experience
  2. People who rode as a kid and want to get back into horses after many years
  3. Recreational Riders
  4. Experienced, serious Horsemen
  5. Professional Trainers
  6. Ranchers, Farmers, and others who use horses for their daily work
  7. Children
  8. Senior Citizans

The answer to both questions is “ALL OF THE ABOVE”
People from all backgrounds have succeeded with their adopted Mustangs, and people who have failed also represent the full spectrum of horsey backgrounds.

  • "Horse Sense" helps.

  •  Commitment is essential.

  •  Open-Mindedness and Adaptability are helpful.

  •  If you think you know it all, this horse will probably show you otherwise.

  •  If you feel religious-like fervor for a particular step-by-step program or school of horse training, you may find that the horse does not agree.

  •  If you have little or no previous experience with horses: Like the horse you will be working with, you are a "Blank Slate." To succeed, stack the cards in your favor by finding experienced people to help you. This can be accomplished by studying horse training DVD's, attending horsemanship clinics, hiring a trainer to work with you and your horse, or taking lessons.

  •  Always listen to your own "gut" - hear what others say but do what you think is right for you and your horse.

  •  Each horse is different, and each adopter is different.

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CAN YOU AFFORD TO ADOPT A MUSTANG?

BLM horses can be obtained inexpensively (usually $125). But don't be fooled by the low entry price. Horse ownership can be expensive. Hay prices continue to rise, and if you can't keep your horse at home, can you afford boarding fees, year in, year out? Also veterinary and hoof care are ongoing expenses. Such prices vary regionally, but don't get the horse until you are confident you can assume the financial responsibility.

Boarding vs. Keeping your horse(s) at home. If you live in town, boarding will be a must. If you live in an area that is zoned to allow horses, you have a choice. Boarding may appear to be the more expensive option. However, if you're a first-time horse owner, having an experienced barn manager to help you take care of your horse is valuable. If you travel frequently, boarding may be preferable over trying to hunt down a barn sitter every time you leave town. Another consideration is the horse: Horses are highly social and it is hard on a horse to live alone. If you only have one horse and your horse cannot see other horses from your home corral, he or she may be happier at a stable.

Hay, grain and bedding. Hay costs vary widely across the country. In the Western states, hay is becoming increasingly expensive, due to drought, water shortages, foreign markets competing for supplies, and hay-growing land being converted to other uses.

Vaccinations. You can learn to do it yourself, or you can pay a licensed veterinarian to do it. But be sure to get your horses vaccinated for at least the diseases that are fatal: rabies, West Nile, Encephalitis, Tetanus, etc. - Check with your vet for recommendations for your local area.

Coggins test. If you travel with your horse for any reason, you will probably need a new Coggins pulled each year. If you travel across state lines, you may need a new one every six months. If your horse never leaves your property, you will likely only need one every two or three years – or never. Regulations vary by state, so consult your vet.

 HOW MUCH FEED WILL YOU NEED TO BUY?

An average 1,000-pound saddle horse will eat 20 lbs. of forage each day (roughly 2-to-4 flakes of medium quality hay). If buying in quantity, count on between 3.5 and 4 tons per horse per year.

Grain is not normally needed by a healthy horse under normal conditions, but a small treat now and then never hurts. Be careful of feeding too much grain, though.

 

Adopt A Mustang l Should You Adopt? l Where to Adopt l Selecting the Right Horse for You l Adoption Requirements l How to Read A Brand l Mustang Heritage