There are a number of ways to adopt a Wild Horse (Mustang) or Burro:

1. Adopt Directly From a BLM Facility
2. Adopt at a BLM Traveling Weekend Adoption

3. Adopt a gentled horse from from the Mantle Ranch or other Contractor Program
4. Adopt from the Quarterly Internet Adoption
5. Purchase an Already Titled Mustang - Private Party Sale
6. Adopt from a Rescue or Volunteer Group
7. Adopt from a Non-BLM wild horse or burro: Click here to learn about Comstock, & Sheldon USFWS horses & burros
8. There are several Prison Programs in the US. Carson City, NV, Riverton, WY, Crabtree in OK, Canon City, CO,
Central Utah Correctional Facility in Gunnison, UT, and perhaps others, that saddle train wild horses for adoption to the public.


National Adoption Schedule for BLM


Carson City, Nevada
Warm Springs Correctional Center

Gunnison, Utah Internet Adoption (with some shipping to other states)

Canon City, Colorado
(click on Services>Wild Horse Program)

BLM Adoption Requirements (Requirements to adopt from Rescue Groups are usually similar)

1. Go to a BLM Facility (Be sure to make an appointment first!)

Photo: Janet Tipton, of weanlings at the Butterfield BLM Corral in Utah

The largest is Palomino Valley Center, outside Reno/Sparks, Nevada. There are also 2 facilities in California, and one each in Oregon, Colorado, Utah, Oklahoma, Nebraska, Wyoming, & Illinois.

This is the best way if you want one NOW, or if you have a particular color, size, etc. in mind - or if you just want to choose from the largest selection. The disadvantage is that you may not be able to get up very close to the animals, so it is hard to get a feel for each one's personality or the fine details of an individual's conformation.

2.BLM Traveling Weekend Adoption aka "Satellite" Adoption
For Schedule, Click Here: National Adoption Schedule for BLM

See "Weekend Adoption" page

Periodically, the BLM brings a weekend Adoption Event to locations, such as a county fairgrounds, or in conjunction with another event.

This is probably the most popular way to get a mustang (or burro or wild mule). You can watch them at close range, and adopters often report that they really "connected" with their adoptee. Many people report that their mustang "picked them" by making eye contact, coming toward them, or in some other way appealing to their hearts.

The disadvantage is that many others may want the same horse you want, and you can end up in a bidding war. Paying high prices is good for the Wild Horse & Burro Program, but may not be good for you.

This uniquely-patterned Carter Reservoir colt was the subject of a bidding "war" at an Adoption Event. While the rest of his pen-mates either went unadopted or for minimum $125 bid, he went for $1000!  

3. Go to an Adoption or Sale held at a Cottage/Contractor program:

such as the Mantle Ranch or one of the Prison Gentling Programs (See National Adoption Schedule for BLM for info), or another mustang rescue agency, (see below). In the Eastern States, the CARR RANCH in Ternnessee has horses and occasionally burros for adoption.

Silver State Industries, a project of the Nevada State Department of Corrections, gentles and adopts out BLM wild horses, as well as wild horses that are not protected by the Wild Horse & Burro Freedom Act (horses roaming on private or other non-BLM lands, the so-called "Comstock" horses)

The Mustang Mavericks Drill Team's horses are primarily "graduates" of the Carson City, Nevada, prison's wild horse training program.

Click here for: Current Carson City Prison Offerings

4. Adopt over the Internet

during one of the BLM's regularly scheduled Internet Adoptions. The Internet Adoptions allow people to adopt no matter where they live (in the USA, that is)

5. Buy an an already titled mustang from an adopter who wants to sell.

Good places to look:

6. Adopt From a Rescue or Mentor/Volunteer Group

Ginny Freeman of "Hole In The Head Gang" horse & burro rescue,
with a group of Sheldon burros

Rescue Organizations often have mustangs - sometimes fresh from the range, other times "re-adopts" saved from homes where things didn't work out, or cases of neglect and abuse.

7. Adopt a "Comstock," Sheldon, or other Non-BLM Wild Horse or Burro


See also: for more in-depth coverage of each topic

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