BOISE — The Mustang Mania Training Incentive Program allows people to adopt a wild horse or burro, train it, and then showcase what the horse has learned later this summer in a competition in Nampa.
It's part of a partnership with the Bureau of Land Management to help manage wild horse herds and it continues to grow in popularity. In the past six years, the Zimmerman's out of Caldwell have helped 600 horses find new homes.
"We have 67 animals going into private homes, which gets them off the government's feed bill," said Matt Zimmerman. "So it's kind of a win-win situation for everybody."
The Boise Wild Horses Corrals are part of the BLM's wild horse management program, which has witnessed wild herds more than triple in size since the 1970s to more than 85,000 animals. Horses have no predators, so the BLM steps in to prevent wild horses from starving.
"So in addition to being over-populated on the range, we are also feeding 50,000 wild horses and burros off the range," said Heather Tiel-Nelson of the BLM. "It is a tremendous cost... Our budget for 2019 is $81 million, and three quarters of that goes towards caring for these animals off the range."
The Mustang Mania TIP also gives trainers--both adults and children--a unique challenge to attempt to train a wild horse and then showcase what that horse has learned on July 6 & 7 in Nampa.
"I want that bond to go from a horse that has never been touched, is timid and afraid of people, to going and having willing partner that is right next to you," said Jamece Vincent of Caldwell.
To see more on people picking up these wild horses, check out the video.