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Mustang Adoption project

$105 of $50k goal

Raised by 5 people in 11 months
Alan Hefner  RENO, NV

Mustang adoptions



The North American Mustang, wild horse, is in danger of being protected to death. Ever since the federal government was placed in charge of the “management” of the wild horse herds,  and the traditional management by ranchers outlawed, their welfare has been increasingly endangered. Herd populations have been showing the devastating effects from the spread of disease, starvation, and overpopulation.

The major problem for mustangs (wild horses)

BLM, the agency charged with overseeing the mustang, wild horse, herds does the best that any federal bureaucracy can do. Their main form of management is periodic gathers, roundups, of herds to thin a population that doubles every four years.

This practice does thin the herds out in the wild but, it introduces a new problem. What to do with the horses that were rounded up and culled from the wild horse herds?

Early on, the BLM tried using a method of first putting the mustangs, wild horses, up for adoption and if the horse found a home with an adopter, all was good. If the horse did not get adopted for an extended period of time, then it would be offered for sale to the highest bidder. Some horses found homes through this process but many of them were bought by slaughter houses to be used for pet food and other products through the rendering process.

Understandably, those who love our mustangs, wild horses, raised an uproar over the idea that some of them would end up at slaughter. However, most of those same people raising an uproar were either unable or unwilling to adopt them and are unaware of how they can personally help each of the horses.

The BLM changed the rules so that mustangs, wild horses, would no longer be sold to anyone who might end up killing the horse.

Now, mustangs are kept in long term holding until they can be adopted, or they die of old age. Really. It’s much worse for the mustang to be kept penned up and warehoused like that but, that’s what is happening.

Horses in holding waiting to be adopted




Why aren’t people adopting mustangs (wild horses)?

Think about it a bit. Mustangs are WILD. Their instincts are those of prey animals who look for, and see, danger all arund them. People, humans, are natural predators. These hrses are vey smart and see us as the predators we naturally happen to be.

As a result, the mustang will ty to protect itself fom us! That can be by running away or, if running away is not an option, using its hooves and teeth to make us go away.

In othe words, it's a 1,000 pound animal that is trying to save its own life by any and all means! Would you want to just take on an animal that is in such a state of fear?

You might if you have a few hundred acres of land that you could simply turn the  horse out on so it could be relatively free and you can afford to feed it but, if you want a horse you can interact with or even ride, that is NOT an attractive proposition.

What’s the answer?

That is a multifaceted question! There is NO simple “just do this” answer to all the problems facing our mustang, wild horse, herds. However, there are things that can be done to help reduce the problems.

A couple of non-profit groups have bought up large tracts of land to place mustangs onto. These wild horses are carefully managed to ensure that their herds don’t multiply. All male mustangs are gelded. That is a GOOD thing for those places.

Another non-profit organization, the Mustang Heritage Foundation, is focused on getting our mustangs (wild horses) to people who will gentle and train the horses so that they have a happy domesticated life.

Once gentled and with some vey basic training, the mustang horse becomes a much more desiable horse for people who want an easy keeper they can tain fo just about any riding they desire.

Here is where we come in to help our mustangs (wild horses)!

High Desert Heirloom is a “for profit”, private, corporation. We intend to do our part in finding good homes for mustangs (wild horses) through the process of gentling and training them so that people who are looking for a horse for personal use will feel comfortable adopting one of these wonderful animals!

We’ll be joining the Mustang Heritage Foundation’s “Trainer Incentive Program“. The purpose of the program is to provide initial gentling and training for mustangs, wild horses, so that they will be more attractive to potential adopters. Once gentled, the horses are made available for adoption. The fee to adopt these horses is just $150!

Why would anyone want a mustang?

That’s a legitimate question! Mustangs have no “lineage” like breeds such as Arabs, Thoroughbreds, Morgans, etc… They are not “purpose bred” but are bred in nature through natural selection. The mustangs in the U.S.  now have a large percentage of the original spanish horses breeding but, through the years, other breeds such as draft breeds have also been introduced. So, many people do not see an, or any, advantage to owning a mustang.

However, mustangs, wild horses, HAVE managed to breed for the best qualities needed to survive on their own in the wilderness! Only the best of stallions manage to gather a herd of mares because the mares simply will not allow a lesser stallion to breed with them.

As a result of this natural selection breeding, mustangs have developed into a super tough breed that can not just live but THRIVE in even the harshest environments.

A mustang, once gentled, becomes one of the most reliable, easy maintenance, high endurance mounts around. They are highly intelligent and will readily take on any task asked of them. Ranchers used to love going out to a wild herd of mustangs and round up horses for ranch work because they knew that once they got that horse trained, it would fearlessly, and happily, do whatever they asked of it.

Mustangs can also easily be trained for trail riding, back country pack work, dressage, hunter-jumper, reigning, and even rodeo roping events. About the only thing Mustangs won’t be able to excel at is racing.

So many people are looking for good, solid, reliable horses but simply do not know that mustangs posses those qualities. Our goal is to change that. Through our gentling program and our efforts at publicity, we hope to get at least a dozen (possibly as many as 48!) horses per year adopted.

Please consider donating what you can to our effort! All donors who contribute $25 or more will receive exclusive training videos produced by us!

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Update 6
Posted by Alan Hefner
9 months ago
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Things are moving forward...slowly...eve so slowly. We've changed locations though. Now, instead of using our 80 acre parcel of land, we'll be using our 57 acre parcel.

The change is due to simple logistics and cost to develop!
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Update 5
Posted by Alan Hefner
10 months ago
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After more evaluation of two properties, it has been decided to concentrate on the 57 acre property instead of the remote 80 acres. The expense of putting in a new road to the 80 acres, 1 mile of absolutely new road plus 2 miles of improving an existing trail, added to the cost of drilling the well 100' deeper than will be required for the 57 acres plot was the major factor.

Our 57 acre plot has a county maintained road right to the western edge and well depth should be only about 300' maximum.
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Update 4
Posted by Alan Hefner
11 months ago
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Mustangs that have lived the first three or four years of their lives "in the wild" before being captured are the most level headed, eager to learn, SOLID, horses I know of!

The video here is of a trainer who is working with a mustang for the Extreme Mustang Makeover for 2016. Trainer and horse are only in their 8th week of training! The trainers who enter this competition must take an untrained mustang and train it to as close to "finished" as possible in only 100 days!

You would be AMAZED at what these treasures of the west can do!

https://youtu.be/KsnHohxD1jE
Only 7 weeks into training!
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Update 3
Posted by Alan Hefner
11 months ago
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Our work to perform survey work ran into a snag the last time out. The vehicle started acting up and we had to make repairs.

This next week, we'll get back out there to continue the work.
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 1.5K shares on Facebook
Read a Previous Update
Lori Anderson
10 months ago

I gotta say, I don't agree with your comment (pasted below) I think it may deter any patient, skilled horse person from even trying to gentle a Mustang themselves. Is the statement true? Sure it is, up to the point you say "every time you got near it". I was surfing to find some of the people to network with me who have also recently adopted and found your article. There is help out there so that people can make there own decsion, for instance this basic artlicle is a good start: http://www.mustangs4us.com/WorkingWithWildHorses-E4-2010.pdf (I am NOT promoting it, I don't know this org.) And I love what the Mustang Heritage Foundation is doing to promote mustangs, but be gentle with the steriotypes please :) Why aren’t people adopting mustangs (wild horses)? Think about it a bit. Would you want a 1,000 pound wild animal that is absolutely terrified of you at your home? A huge, wild, animal that sees YOU as a deadly enemy and WILL try to defend itself by kicking, striking, biting, every time you got near to it?

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$105 of $50k goal

Raised by 5 people in 11 months
Created March 1, 2016
KW
$10
Karen L Wood
10 months ago
$10
Kathi Wright
10 months ago
$25
Anonymous
11 months ago
DZ
$50
Dana Zimmerman
11 months ago

Bless you for undertaking this project. Much luck to you and our four legged friends.

$10
Anonymous
11 months ago
Lori Anderson
10 months ago

I gotta say, I don't agree with your comment (pasted below) I think it may deter any patient, skilled horse person from even trying to gentle a Mustang themselves. Is the statement true? Sure it is, up to the point you say "every time you got near it". I was surfing to find some of the people to network with me who have also recently adopted and found your article. There is help out there so that people can make there own decsion, for instance this basic artlicle is a good start: http://www.mustangs4us.com/WorkingWithWildHorses-E4-2010.pdf (I am NOT promoting it, I don't know this org.) And I love what the Mustang Heritage Foundation is doing to promote mustangs, but be gentle with the steriotypes please :) Why aren’t people adopting mustangs (wild horses)? Think about it a bit. Would you want a 1,000 pound wild animal that is absolutely terrified of you at your home? A huge, wild, animal that sees YOU as a deadly enemy and WILL try to defend itself by kicking, striking, biting, every time you got near to it?

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