Current BLM Adoption Schedule:            

Here they come! Adoptable horses step out of the trailer at the beginning of a weekend satellite adoption

This little filly reminded me so much of Ruby!
Here she is being filmed by a local TV station, after her initial gentling as part of Lesley Neuman's demonstration. The on-site trainer at adoptions will often work with your newly-adopted horse, if he or she has time - it doesn't hurt to ask!

A recent trend with weekend adoptions in California is the availability of a few halter-trained horses at each adoption. These are horses gentled and trained by volunteers or BLM wranglers. These horses give a new adopter a head start, since the most intimidating part - the initial gentling and basic halter training - is already done.

In California anyway, the burros often sell out as soon as the bidding starts. If you want one, get there early!

A Weekend Adoption is an excellent place to adopt a BLM Wild Horse or Burro. 

The Weekend Adoption, aka "Satellite" (not to be confused with satellite TV ) is usually a 1 or 2 day event that comes to local fairgrounds. 

The BLM brings an assortment of horses of all ages and usually some burros, sets up corrals, and offers them for adoption to the public. 

You must be a qualified adopted to get a bidder number. To qualify, you have provide an approved home for your new animal (there are specific requirements as to fencing, shelter, water supply, etc. For more information, click HERE)

Each district may run the auction as they choose. Some areas use a silent auction format, some use live auction, and still others put all the bidder numbers in a jar and draw them out one by one. The first bidder drawn gets first pick, second gets second pick, and so on down the line.

The obvious advantage of a Satellite Adoption is, of course, that's probably closer to you than the BLM holding corrals.

Even if you live within driving distance of a holding facility, you may still prefer to adopt at the Satellite Adoptions.

  • For one thing, you can get right up close to the animals, so you can evaluate them and get a feel for each individual.
  • Also, there are lots of folks around who have already adopted mustangs and burros who are there to talk with you and answer your questions.
  • Usually there is a gentling (notice I did not say "Breaking") demonstration by an expert trainer.

For a schedule of BLM Traveling Adoptions coming up, Click HERE

Many adoption events feature an expert trainer, such as Lesley Neuman (above) who provide gentling and training demonstrations.

Another trend at California adoptions is to use experienced volunteers to show the public how to work with wild horses. Here, Edona Miller works a nice blue roan mare.

An unusual form of Weekend Adoption is the Trapsite Adoption. These are seen occasionally, and are ideal for someone with experience who wants a "pure" horse who has not been around humans at all, except for being captured. At these adoptions, interested persons adopt directly from the trap site, within a short time after capture.

Something you should know about the horses at the trapsite adoptions is that they are likely to be much more frightened, flighty, and "crashy" than  horses who have been in a holding facility for awhile, since they are so recently captured.

Horses who have already spent some time in captivity, have been fed and watered by humans, run through chutes, given shots and blood tests, loaded and unloaded into trucks and trailers, etc, have had some of the "edge" taken off their wildness by the time you adopt them.

Horses adopted from facilities or weekend adoptions are still quite wild, but nothing like a freshly gathered horse! If you choose a trapsite horse, BE PREPARED! A solid tow vehicle is a must!

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