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Adopt A Mustang!


Information, Inspiration, & Resources for Adopters of Wild Horses (Mustangs) and Burros, and others who love them

Click HERE to download our free "Adopter Handout"

Photo: Emily Brooklyn 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:

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. 

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!

Mother Nature Is The Best Breeder

Most Mustangs have excellent functional conformation with strong bones and feet, and hardy constitutions. Life on the range demands strong hooves and a hardy constitution.

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.

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."

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

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.

Historical Connection - Link to History

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.

Adventure and 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.

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.

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

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. 

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.

Low Entry Price

$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.


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!

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