IDAHO — In September, the Bureau of Land Management rounded up over 200 wild horses from the Four-Mile Wild Horse Herd north of Emmett. Now, those horses are ready for adoption, and the community got their first look at these wild horses today.
"It is exciting, and it is fun for them to see these horses," Heather Tiel-Nelson, BLM Public Affairs Specialist, said. "There is so much color in these herds, they are a good size, good conformation, and Idaho horses do have a lot of popularity with our adopters."
BLM spent the past couple of months preparing the wild horses for adoption.
"Once we take them from the range they entered the Boise Off-Range Wild Horse Corral, and then we began the process to prepare them for adoption," Tiel-Nelson said. "That includes a round of vaccinations, deworming, and a schedule like that so they can be prepared to go into private care."
A process that is part of its management strategy to prevent wild horses from overwhelming public lands.
"We have been tasked by Congress to manage these horses in balance with other uses with our ultimate goal being healthy wild horses on healthy rangeland," Tiel-Nelson. "So, when a wild horse herd can double in size it can quickly outgrow the lands capacity to sustain that herd in a healthy manner."
For this Four-Mile Wild Horse Herd, their healthy management number is between 37 and 60 wild horses. In September, the total number was well over 200.
"That is why today we are offering the ability for the public to view these horses. We have about 200 horses here for the public to come and take a look at and we are offering them for adoption through a variety of avenues," Tiel-Nelson said.
One of those avenues includes online adoption through BLMs Online Corral starting Feb. 15. Every interested adopter will need to fill out an application.
"BLM is really interested in assuring that these animals go to good homes," Tiel-Nelson said. "Depending on the age of the animal adopters have to show that they have the appropriate size and height of corral to care for the animal, they can never be convicted of an animal cruelty charge, and they have to be at least 18."
Some of these wild horses will be adopted through their Mustang Mania Program.
"The Mustang Mania trainer incentive program coming up is where the trainers adopt a horse, and they work with that animal for a good number of days," Tiel-Nelson said. "Then they will compete in an in-hand showcase in Nampa over the fourth of July weekend, and that is always fun to watch."
A good number of the younger horses from this herd will go into the University of Idaho 4-H program.
"Where we partner our younger wild horses with our 4-H club members," Tiel-Nelson said. "It is a great win-win cause 4-H kids get to learn great horsemanship and horse handling skills, and then they offer that animal for adoption at the end."
For more information on these wild horses or to apply to adopt one, click here.