Mustangs 4 Us
"FREE TO GOOD HOME"
Regardless of the reason, the reality is that the adopter failed to make a real commitment to the animal, and did not choose to seek - and if necessary, budget to pay for - appropriate help.
Now they have a horse - often in its prime adult years between 6 and 14, that may be "friendly, curious, affectionate and sweet" but hard to catch, impossible to administer veterinary care or to trim its hooves without sedation, and dangerous to handle.
At 8 or 10 or 12 years it is no longer a matter of "potential." Most horses that age are seasoned animals in their prime.
Not that older horses aren't capable of being saddle trained. Certainly they are. They tend to take much longer, require even more commitment on the part of the adopter, and sometimes need different training techniques.
In today's market, people looking for a green or untrained horse have a choice: They can choose from a huge pool of healthy "blank slate" youngsters with their lives ahead of them. Or, there are these older horses - animals who may already have spent half their lives, and may have suffered neglect in the hoof care and nutritional departments. Both types of horses will need equal amounts of training - which would you choose?
WHAT'S WRONG WITH A PASTURE ORNAMENT?
Absolutely nothing really. The law does not require that a horse be trained, and BLM adoption regulations do not require it, either - just good care. To provide good care, an animal needs to be able to be safely handled, at a minimum.
Keeping a mustang as an untrained pasture ornament would be fine if you could guarantee that you will provide for the animal for its entire life, but how many people can honestly do that? And when the time comes that you either no longer can keep it - or no longer want to keep it - the mature untrained horse usually has no future - through no fault of its own.
Folks, if you are thinking of adopting a Mustang - PLEASE - MAKE A COMMITMENT TO GET YOUR ANIMAL TRAINED in a timely manner. For most of us, that means budgeting the money to hire a trainer - or - if part of the reason for adopting is for our own growth and education - hiring someone to teach us how to train. (If you can't afford to get it trained, can you afford a horse at all? Can you provide feed, vet care, worming, vaccinations, hoof care, fencing, housing, and tack? Even a free horse is not cheap!)
Most people can, if they make a commitment and put in the time, successfully gentle a horse to the point that it is no longer terribly afraid of people. But to become a good, reliable riding horse, the horse needs training, and training takes skill and experience. For most adopters, it is not a good "Do-It-Yourself" Project. Do not adopt without considering training!
Volunteer mentors can be helpful to get you get off to a good start, and to work through an occasional "bump" along the way, but you will need to accept responsibility for getting yourself and your horse the solid, in-depth professional training that your horse deserves. And that usually means paying for it.
THINK TWICE BEFORE RESCUING:
more and more horses are finding themselves in need of rescue. But
what good is being rescued if later on, the horse needs to be
rescued from the rescuer? People often "rescue" with the best
intentions, but find themselves in over their heads - the horse may
be too hard to handle, or the person may find themselves with too
many mouths to feed, too many hooves to trim, etc. and become
Never, ever take on the responsibility for a horse unless
you...yourself...personally can support the horse(s). If a hardship happens,
and you can no longer support the horses, please have a back-up
plan! It is especially risky to "start a rescue" with the intention
of asking for donations to pay the bills. Relying on the willingness
of the public to pay for your horses is a very shaky business model! If you do find yourself needing to re-home a
horse or burro, here are some good resources: Facebook:
Never, ever take on the responsibility for a horse unless you...yourself...personally can support the horse(s). If a hardship happens, and you can no longer support the horses, please have a back-up plan! It is especially risky to "start a rescue" with the intention of asking for donations to pay the bills. Relying on the willingness of the public to pay for your horses is a very shaky business model!
If you do find yourself needing to re-home a horse or burro, here are some good resources: