Aug. 28, 2013 -- The Bureau of Land Management and the Wyoming Honor Farm will host a wild horse adoption and gentling clinic Aug. 30-31 in Riverton, Wyoming.
Adoptions held this year are significant because they mark 25 years of a successful partnership between the BLM and the Honor Farm (a minimum security prison for men) to train and adopt wild horses gathered from Wyoming’s public lands. The first cooperative adoption was held in 1988. Almost 70 adoptions later, approximately 3,500 wild horses have found new homes after beginning the gentling process with inmate trainers.
On Friday, Aug. 30, the Honor Farm will offer a free clinic to discuss the gentling program, followed by a preview of the horses. The clinic will feature demonstrations by Honor Farm Training Supervisor Jeff Martin focusing on catching a horse, advance and retreat, picking up feet and beginning to ride. The gentling clinic runs from 1-3:30 p.m. and is open to the public.
On Saturday, Aug. 31, the gates will open at 7:30 a.m., with the competitive bidding beginning at 10:30 a.m. Approximately 30 halter- and saddle-started horses will be available for adoption. All horses offered have been trailered and have had their feet handled. Applications for adoption will be accepted on both Friday and Saturday. A covered four-horse trailer with a swing gate is required to adopt.
The BLM recently recognized the Honor Farm for the long-standing collaboration. “Thank you for 25 years of partnering with us,” said BLM Wyoming State Director Don Simpson. “By training these horses, you are helping us manage wild horse populations on public lands.”
The Honor Farm has found that this program also contributes to inmate rehabilitation success. Trainers and wild horses make positive strides together by learning to respect and trust each other. Trainers learn that through communication, patience and respect, even a wild animal will respond positively. Inmates who are released after working in this program have a greater chance to succeed in the outside world.
Lunch concessions will be available at the adoption. The Honor Farm is located one mile north of Riverton. Take US-26 to Honor Farm Road. For more information, visit www.blm.gov/wy/st/en/programs/Wild_Horses.html, call 866-4MUSTANGS (866-468-7826), or call BLM Wild Horse and Burro Specialist Amy Ruhs at 307-352-0375. For more information about the Honor Farm, visit http://corrections.wy.gov/wildhorse/HorseHistory.html.
Please remember that firearms, alcohol, drugs and dogs are not allowed onsite at any time. Cell phones, cameras, video equipment and tobacco products must be kept locked in one's vehicle while onsite. In order to maintain a positive environment for visitors, a reasonable clothing standard must be adhered to. Shorts and form-fitting clothing are prohibited.
The BLM manages more than 245 million acres of public land, the most of any Federal agency. This land, known as the National System of Public Lands, is primarily located in 12 Western states, including Alaska. The BLM also administers 700 million acres of sub-surface mineral estate throughout the nation. The BLM's multiple-use mission is to sustain the health, diversity and productivity of the public lands for the use and enjoyment of present and future generations. In Fiscal Year 2012, activities on public lands generated $4.6 billion in revenue, much of which was shared with the states where the activities occurred. In addition, public lands contributed more than $112 billion to the U.S. economy and helped support more than 500,000 jobs.