If You Adopt a Wild Horse, the US Government Will Pay You $1,000

Bring home the original mustang

March 28, 2019 9:00 am

Believe it or not, wild horses are still a thing in America. 

There are 67,000 of them roaming in regions from Arizona to Oregon, along with 15,000 wild burros (donkeys). And according to the Department of the Interior’s Bureau of Land Management, this is a rare modern instance where there are too many mammals out in the wild.  

Public rangelands are fragile ecosystems, and as droughts and overpopulation thin pastures, horses end up hunting for garbage on the side of highways. Fortunately, you might be able to help. The Bureau of Land Management’s Wild Horse and Burro Program is now paying qualifying Americans $1,000 to adopt a wild horse and raise it. The Bureau has legitimately coralled thousands of mares and stallions across the West. They’re all listed in a database here, and are aged anywhere from nine-months-old to eight-years-old. 

While there should probably be a better long-term solution for addressing  overpopulation issues than just moving the horses, gentling them in sturdy shelters saves them from an increasingly vengeful environment while saving the government a lot of money. Paying out $1,00o to each adopter ($500 at the outset, another $500 after the horse has lived in its new home for a year) costs the government half of what it pays to fund the nourishment of these horses on their own. So, we’re pro on this initiative. If you’re interested, here are a few key matters to consider:

  • Adopt a horse born within the last year, if possible. They’re easier to gentle.
  • You can feed them straight hay … don’t worry about splurging on any fancy stuff. These are mustangs; they’re built as tough as they come. 
  • Make sure your corralled shelter is six-feet-high
  • It should live on a property that’s (at the very least) one acre in size. Two acres is preferred

Image via Unsplash
h/t The New York Times

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