The Great Escape Mustang Sanctuary is now training and adopting out wild horses captured by the Bureau of Land Management.
Long hailed as an American West icon, over 270,000 mustangs have free-roaming capabilities on public acreage in the western USA. But when these equines step into private land, the BLM steps in to round them up, carting them off to the sanctuary or sticking them in the Wild Horse Inmate Program (WHIP) where they are fostered by prisoners.
Trying to make a wild horse approachable, let alone ridable, is no easy feat, which led to the Extreme Mustang Makeover training competition throughout various country-charm states in the U.S.
In the past, adopting a mustang required not only a load of paperwork, but also a lengthy commitment from well-meaning horse lovers. Now, with the aid of this sanctuary, the pressure has been eased significantly for those looking to home a mustang. GEMS acts as a middle-man for interested adoptive parents, helping with the forms and providing a tamed farm companion.
Individuals deemed unadoptable find a forever home in the grasslands at GEMS. BLM aims to assist with promoting the adoption process by holding adoption events at the Colorado sanctuary.
BLM spokesman Steve Leonard said, "Our goal is to find every horse a home, every horse that finds a home is (a) good for the horse and (b) good for the BLM as a whole because it's a financial strain on our budget to be holding horses."
Taxpayers could get a relief, too, since their dollars were previously going toward the holding care of captured horses.
On GEMS' website, they advocate animal and human equality with a quote from Chief Seattle of the Squamish natives. The chief said:
"We are part of the earth and it is part of us. The perfumed flowers are our sisters; the deer, the horse, the great eagle, these are our brothers. The rocky crests, the juices in the meadows, the body heat of the pony, and man--all belong to the same family."
The sanctuary's current efforts in horse welfare suggest they are carrying out Chief Seattle's words of wisdom.