If you prefer a mobile-friendly site, click here

Adopt a Mustang!
(Wild Horse, not the Car!)
Wild Horse & Burro Watching
Gentling and Training
Mustang Mules
Wild Horse & Burro Herd Areas
Mustang * Horse Colors
Our "Wild " Herd
How to Read a Brand

Cool Stuff to Buy:
Helpful Videos
"Working With Wild Horses" Book


This is a non-commercial, independent website, owned and written by Nancy Kerson, for the benefit of actual and potential adopters of BLM Mustangs and Burros and similar animals.

The following items are offered for sale by my husband and me, in order to cover the costs of maintaining this website an a few other volunteer horse websites I maintain (www.napamustangdays.com , www.napacountylivestockcouncil.comwww.calicomtns.net )

Mustang T-Shirt


Sizes & Style

Working With Wild Horses, Second Edition
Working With Wild Horses (book)
Second Edition 
Printed Book $23
$7.50 Download

Now available on iTunes!


Kitty Lauman:
From Wild to Willing:
Using the Bamboo Pole to Gentle Mustangs
More from Lauman Training available now!

2-DVD set: almost 3 hours of instruction!

$39.95 plus $5 shipping/handling = $44.95 total

BUY 2 DVD Set:

Can't Order Online?
No Problem!
Just email us and we'll tell you
how to mail order

Lesley Neuman:
The First Touch
Gentling Your Mustang

Lesley works with 3 wild horses at a BLM adoption, and very clearly explains what is happening, what she is doing, & what she sees in each horse as it progresses. Study this video and you can learn "pressure and release" gentling techniques to gentle your own new mustang!


Help for Burro adopters!
Crystal Ward
Donkey Training

All the basics of gentling, handling, and training. A MUST for new burro adopters! Good for domestic donkeys, too!



Order online from Video Mike


This website:
Copyright 2001, 2002, 2003,
2004, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016
All Rights Reserved.
I am happy to share, but please give me a credit when you "borrow" things off my website! Thanks!

This website is owned and created by Nancy Kerson, a private citizen - I am not the BLM or any other branch of  government!

Information about BLM adoptions is offered as a service, to help mustangs and burros find homes and to promote public appreciation of
wild horses and burros.

For information about the BLM
Wild Horse & Burro Program,
please call (866) 4MUSTANGS
or Click

Please direct adoption questions
to the
BLM, not to me.

And I sure as heck am not a Mustang car dealership!

I am not interested in buying or listing or otherwise
promoting your sale animals or breeding program. Don't ask.


Mustangs 4 Us
   Home   l   Mustang/Wild Horse History   l   Mustang Heritage   l   Adopt a Mustang! (Wild Horse, not the Car!)

How to Read a Brand l
Wild Horse & Burro Watching   l   Gentling and Training Wild Horses   l   Burros   l   Mustang Mules   l    Wild Horse & Burro Herd Areas/ Where the Wild Things Are   l    Mustang * Horse Colors   l   Genetic Testing Helpful Videos  Events   l   Links   l   "Working With Wild Horses" Book l Mustang T-Shirt

Where & How to Adopt l
 Selecting the Right Horse for You  l  Adoption Requirements
How to Read a Brand l    Adventures in Halter Training l Mustang Heritage & History I Mustang Link to History



Photo: Emily Stevenson Kerson
There may be as many reasons to adopt or purchase a Mustang as there are adopters. But here are some of the most popular reasons:

Adventure & Personal Satisfaction

Helping a wild horse transition from wild to best friend can be immensely meaningful and satisfying. Most people recall that their "first touch"  - the first time their Mustang allowed them to touch the horse - as one of their peak life experiences.

Adopting an already trained horse is also an exciting adventure, opening up new worlds of events, activities, and opportunities to advance your horsemanship.

Clean Slate

A Mustang fresh off the range is "pure horse" - they come with no pre-existing baggage, no stuff that you will have to un-do. By the time you are ready to ride, you will thoroughly know your horse, and whatever he knows, you have taught him.

Many adopters appreciate the opportunity to learn about horse behavior and the natural horse mind, that having wild-born horses provides.

Low Entry Price to Horse Ownership

$25 for a "re-assignment" horse, $125 standard adoption fee, $275 starting bid for saddle-trained;

Due to widespread breed "snobbery" titled, well-trained Mustangs sell for a fraction of their equivalent with a pedigree.

Even a free horse is not free - it does cost money to keep a horse! But the entry price for a mustang is attractive to many people.

Historical Connection

Mustangs are truly America's Horses. From the Spanish Conquistadors, through the Great Native American Horsemen, explorers like Lewis & Clark, Mountain Men, pioneers, homesteaders, ranchers, "Buckaroo" and "Vaquero" cattlemen,  and the Military Remount Program, as well as the Dust Bowl-Depression Era and the coming of the tractor
- IT'S ALL THERE - coursing through the blood of America's wild horses.

"Mother Nature is the Best Breeder"

Most Mustangs have excellent functional conformation with strong bones and feet, and hardy constitutions.

Strong Feet

"No hoof, no horse." Mustangs tend to have excellent feet with thick hoof walls and correct hoof shape for many years of healthy riding.


 Sound Minds

They know where their feet are, they don't waste calories running around being stupid, and they are motivated to survive! Wild horses who have been born into a functioning wild family band are well-socialized and know their manners. Such horses do not need to be taught to "give to pressure" nor to respect personal space.

Genetic Vigor & Health

Contrary to popular opinion, Mustangs have a high degree of genetic health, and very low incidence of inbreeding. BLM monitors and manages herds for genetic health.
Many domestic breeds have developed diseases and weaknesses associated with inbreeding, line-breeding, & human selection based on an unbalanced emphasis on just a few traits.

So far, Mustang herds are free from HERDA, HYPP, and other genetic diseases.


Health & Care Considerations

Most Mustangs are "easy keepers" who can thrive on a diet of just clean hay and a salt lick. Mustangs are tough and hardy, with excellent recovery ability.



There are four primary ways to get a Mustang or Burro from the Bureau of Land Management:

1. ADOPT - This is the most common method

2. PURCHASE - under the 2005 Burns Sale Authority revision of the Wild Horse & Burro Act. Sale Authority includes any horse over 10 years of age and a growing number of perfectly desirable young, healthy horses who have been offered for adoption 3 times and not chosen ("Three Strikes You're Out") simply because there were more horses in the adoption event than adopters.

If a horse is Sale Authority (SA) it is for sale and not adoption, and vice versa - if for adoption, you can't buy it outright.

3. ADOPT A HORSE OR BURRO TRAINED through a Mustang heritage Foundation program, such as TIP or Extreme Mustang Makeover. The horse is trained through the MHF program, but is still a BLM horse or burro, and the one-year titling period applies. These horses or burros may be halter-trained (TIP and BIP) or they may be saddle trained (EMM).

4. ADOPT A PRISON-TRAINED HORSE through one of the many partnerships BLM maintains with correctional facilities. These horses are usually saddle-trained.

One man's experience:
Mustang wild horse adopter Doug Gorman with a young wild horse that he is training
Photo: California BLM

"For the last ten years, I have been using my Mustangs as Mounted Posse horses, and they just work out great.

Once a year, our Posse takes a 150 mile ride across the old Mojave Trail.  Each year that I have gone I have taken a Mustang.  I even brought along another one for the Drag rider. After that trip, he was purchased by one of the riders, as she no longer wanted to ride her Arab.  She has ridden him ever since.

I recently took a non believer to Nevada, and we got a mustang for him.  He, too, has changed his opinion. 

A child checks out a pen of wild burros at a BLM adoption
Photo: Emily Stevenson Kerson

The real reason I chose these horses was the price, and the fact that they are part of our western history.  It wasn't until I owned one that I found out what great horses they are.  I can truly say that my horse Dot, a white leopard appaloosa mustang, is my best friend. Once you own one, they hook you!"

 - Doug
Gorman, California BLM Volunteer

George Lane and one of his BLM Mustangs that he uses to pull Wells Fargo Bank's famous stagecoach! George reports he appreciates the Mustangs' soundness and quiet, sane minds.
Mustangs generally excel at trail riding, being accustomed to life in a natural environment, and knowing where their feet are. They feel at home in wilderness, many preferring trails to arenas. Wind? They grew up in it!

"Just a Trail Horse"? Actually, it takes a lot of training, skill, and connection between horse and rider to be a good trail horse.

Chance, a mustang mare owned by Arizona Lindy, illustrates the versatility of the hardy mustang - she excels in both Endurance and arena competition

Sound Feet, Sound Minds
"Mother Nature Breeds A better Horse"

Experienced horse people like Mustangs because of their sound feet, hardy constitutions, and sane minds. Horses on the range, growing up in a functioning natural herd structure, are socialized in a way that few domestic horses are. They know their manners!

Mustangs are masters of body language. They are masters at reading energy and intent in other animals and people. They respect their leaders.

They are wise and sure-footed in uneven terrain. They know where their feet are. They don't waste calories, their sense of self-preservation is much stronger than most domestic horses. Therefore they will never allow themselves to be spent out - they always keep a reserve, so they will get you back home again!

Three members of US Marine Corp Mounted Color Guard sitting on three palomino Mustangs
The US Marine Corps Color Guard uses BLM palomino  Mustangs exclusively

Sparky and Ruby, along with Tonopah and Charlie - all BLM mustangs, completed the 72-mile "Fearful Crossing" pioneer trail ride from Lovelock to Fallon, Nevada, with energy to spare and 100% sound feet.

BLM Story about 2012 Mustangs at Tevis: 2012 Tevis Cup Buckle Winner, Judy Shatir and Sweetie Pie

Mark Montgomery and his adopted BLM mustang, Cody, finished the 2016 Tevis Cup in 33rd place out of about 200 starters - quite an accomplishment considering that over half of the entries didn't even finish at all

Ladybug & Janet Tipton 
Ladybug does everything - English, Western, even harness driving. But she mainly excels in Endurance.

Char Antuzzi & Sir Galahad, BLM Mustang at Tevis Cup"I like the mustangs because...the day they are born they do an endurance ride," Antuzzi said.

Char Antuzzi & Sir Galahad, who competed for several years in the Tevis Cup Endurance Ride.

Read Char's account of winning her first Tevis Cup Buckle


A Horse Just In From The Wild is A Clean Slate

Mustangs come with little "baggage." For many horsemen, this is the most compelling reason. When you adopt a Mustang, you are getting "pure horse" as Nature intended, without the overlay of  a past with other people's mistakes. When you start with a wild horse, earn its trust, and participate in the training, you know that horse at a deep level that is rare with domestic horses. This is a horse with no prior training, no prior mistakes, no prior spoiling or human-caused bad habits.


Elisa Wallace has wowed the hunter-jumper world
with her incredible Mustangs.

America's wild herds enjoy a high degree of  Genetic Vigor

Contrary to the commonly held opinion that mustangs are inbred, Mustangs actually enjoy a higher level of genetic health than most domestic horses.

BLM works closely with genetics experts such as Dr. Gus Cothran to monitor herd genetic health, and to manage the herds for continuing health. Most Mustang gene pools are healthy and vigorous, with excellent genetic variability. No HYPP here. No HERDA. No Doc-O-Lena Disease.

Mustangs generally have Good Health, and most are Easy Keepers

Range-hardened mustangs are tough and inclined to good health. Countless adopters can relate tales of mustangs surviving injuries and illnesses that would have killed the average horse. Due to many generations of living in harsh conditions, they are "easy keepers" - seldom requiring expensive supplements or rich feeds. Living on the range, mustangs have learned, generation after generation, not to waste calories. In this way, they tend to be level-headed, calm, easy-going animals - not the skittish, flighty creatures often conjured up by the word "wild."

Horses that can look this good  when they live HERE will thrive with regular feed, water and shelter and vet care

Working with wild horses provides Adventure & Personal Growth & Satisfaction

Efren Segura's new mustang from Calico Mtns can already perform tricks!

Many people, like myself, find that the experience of earning a wild horse's trust, and then training it to become a wonderful saddle horse & companion is an exciting and meaningful experience that enriches their lives tremendously.

An adventure begins: A newly-adopted mustang is loaded into the trailer


Experienced adopters agree: learning to work with a mustang has made them a much better horseman !

Adopting a BLM horse offers a Low Entry Price to Horse Ownership

You can't beat the price - $125! (or Sale starting at $25)


Please understand that horse ownership can be expensive. Even a free horse can be expensive! In addition to housing and fencing (or paying a monthly boarding fee), food, veterinary care, tack and gear, wild horses need training!

The reason for the low adoption price is not that the horse has low value, but that it is untrained. When you purchase a domestic horse, you are mainly purchasing training. I firmly believe that anyone can gentle a wild horse who makes a personal commitment to learn and "keep showing up". But eventually the horse needs training. Training for the saddle does, in most cases, require professional help for a good outcome. Budget for it!

If price is the main attraction, think hard about whether or not you can actually afford a horse.

Can you afford feed, hoof care, and veterinary care over many years? If you don't have your own property, can you afford to pay board for your horse each month? What about training? A wild horse needs training!

On the other hand, the low price is not necessarily a bad thing! Many people report that the low price originally attracted them to mustangs, but what really hooked them was how great the horses turned out!

Adopting a "Living Legend" provides a Historical Connection

Left: Photo by William J. Carpenter, Center: Cavalry Soldier and mount, Right: Open Range Ranching in the old days

Many people find a thrill in owning "a Piece of History," "A Living Legend."

From the Spanish Conquistadors, through the Great Native American Horsemen, explorers like Lewis & Clark, Mountain Men, pioneers, homesteaders, ranchers, "Buckaroo" and "Vaquero" cattlemen,  and the Military Remount Program, as well as the Dust Bowl-Depression Era tragedies, and the coming of the tractor, with its concurrent decline in horse-ownership during the 1930's, 1940's and 1950's - IT'S ALL THERE - coursing through the blood of America's wild horses.

Click here for Owning a mustang is truly a link to History!

Use the following links to explore wild horse adoption topics:


Powered by WebRing.