Bureau of Land Management to offer wild horses, burros for adoption or sale in Lorton
Wild horses and burros from public rangelands in Western states will be available for adoption or sale at an event managed by the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) this Friday and Saturday at Meadowood Special Recreation Area, 10406 Gunston Road in Lorton.
Yearling and burros may not always be available at the event. It is unknown at press time, how many horses or burros may be available at this event; however, a public viewing will begin Friday, from 9:00 a.m. – 6:00 p.m. The adoption, which is free and open to the public, will begin at 8 a.m. Saturday. These events are scheduled in partial fulfillment of the Wild and Free-Roaming Horses and Burros Act of 1971, which directs the BLM and U.S. Forest Service to manage for healthy herds on healthy rangelands.
The adoption/sales program is one way the BLM manages the size of horse and burro populations in the wild. Prospective adopters/buyers must be at least 18 years old and able to provide access to feed, water, and adequate shelter. The basic adoption fee is $25, however, the fee rises to $125 for animals that have been gentled. Title to the animal will be awarded to the adopter at the end of one year if all conditions of the adoption agreement have been met.
As part of the BLM’s effort to find good homes for wild horses and burros removed from public lands, the agency offers financial incentives to encourage qualified people to adopt eligible animals. Through this program, qualified adopters are eligible to receive $500 within 60 days of the adoption date and an additional $500 within 60 days of titling for each animal, which normally occurs one year from the adoption date. The incentive is available for all untrained animals that are eligible for adoption, including animals at BLM facilities, off-site events, or through the Online Corral: https://wildhorsesonline.blm.gov/.
Wild horses are known for their keen intelligence and sure-footedness, and have been trained for many uses. They have become champions in dressage, jumping, and endurance riding; and they excel in difficult scenarios, such as performing search and rescue missions in hazardous terrain. Burros are particularly adept at packing, guarding, riding, and serving as companion animals.
Rich Garner, a horse trainer experienced in gentling wild mustangs, will be on site demonstrating gentling and training techniques on Friday and Saturday. He has trained wild horses for Extreme Mustang Makeover competitions sponsored by the Mustang Heritage Foundation, BLM’s partner in managing America’s Living Legends. To learn more about the Mustang Heritage Foundation and their work with wild horses and burros please visit http://mustangheritagefoundation.org/.
The BLM is committed to the safety and health of these animals, and manages them in a manner consistent with the Bureau’s overall multiple use mission, which includes cattle grazing, energy production, and recreation. Through land use planning that involves public participation; the BLM determines the appropriate number of wild horses and burros, which can be supported by herd management areas designated on public rangelands in western states. Nationally, over 4,600 animals were placed into private care in FY 2018.