A new proposed program sponsored by the Bureau of Land Management would increase the availability of trained adoptable mustangs for the equestrian public. We’ve got the details!
It’s no secret that thousands of mustangs are available for adoption annually through the Bureau of Land Management or BLM — and that mustangs can excel in just about anything they attempt, as showcased by Elisa Wallace’s fleet of eventing mustangs, the Unbranded team’s 3,000-mile border-to-border ride and the numerous Extreme Mustang Makeover champions of years past. However, mustang adoption numbers have been dropping steadily in recent years: over 6,000 mustangs were rehomed in 2004, while only about 2,000 mustangs found homes in 2014. Trained mustangs (and burros) are more likely to find homes than ungentled animals.
Building on that fact, the BLM is hoping to implement the Trainer Ambassador Program, or TAP, by early 2016, to increase the number of trained horses for placement into private care (what most of us refer as “adoption”). As starting a totally unhandled wild mustang can be an intimidating and time-consuming prospect to the average horseperson, having a program in place that builds a solid foundation will greatly enhance the mustang’s appeal to the public. Through the TAP, horses will successfully reach one of two levels of training: basic halter and saddle training by Foundation Trainer Ambassadors or specific training in a discipline by a Specialty Trainer Ambassador. The BLM hopes to have the pilot program in place by the end of the year.
The BLM is currently seeking feedback from the public: whether you are a trainer, horse professional, potential adopter or just a fan of the mustang, your comments are welcome and will help the BLM shape the Trainer Ambassador Program — please click here to open a new window with the BLM’s survey and questionnaire. Surveys are due by November 7, so if you are interested in any part of this program don’t hesitate to learn more.
The Trainer Ambassador Program is currently scheduled to select an initial group of trainers to get started in 2016. If you’ve always dreamed of owning a living piece of American history but weren’t sure how to begin, this program may offer you the perfect solution.
Go mustangs, and go riding!