Crystal Cowan with Wild Horses

(Crystal Cowan) My name is Crystal Cowan and I work for the Bureau of Land Management, Wild Horses and Burro Adoption right now in Tonganoxie Kansas. The reason we have these adoptions of these wild horses is they roam on our public lands out west and there is just too many of them for the land to support. So we gather off a certain number each year and offer them up to the public for adoption. If we didn’t do anything about the numbers they would double in numbers every four years. So we do give contraceptives and then we do gathers as well. So we encourage the public to come and adopt these horses and take them home, and gentle them and train them and make them into whatever they want to be. If it’s a companion animal or a donkey or a burro for their cattle, livestock, or train the animal for endurance riding or trail riding or just whatever they prefer. Another thing folks do with them is ranch work. They make really good ranch horses. We’ve got some ranchers who adopt these and they come and pick out their good ranch horse and they use them for ranch work for a few years and then by that time they’ve received title, it’s no longer property of the federal government, and they sell them and get a new one and start with that one. We cover Oklahoma, Kansas, Texas and New Mexico. And we have an adoption van somewhere throughout our foster area once a month. Another thing that we help out with are the extreme mustang makeover events, and we usually have the pickups in Paul’s Valley, Oklahoma, for our events at home in Ft. Worth. This year was in Decatur Texas. We also ship animals to other pickup locations or help out with other extreme mustang makeover events. So, it’s really neat to see what the trainers can do with those horses in just 120 days. My personal favorite is the youth, especially whenever the youth have a summer to work with the horse and just see that bond between the youth and the yearling or the young horses, really remarkable. So whenever they’re gathered out west we prep them. So we first take them to a facility, we give them vaccinations, we pull blood for Coggins, we worm them and then we brand them. You can see the freeze mark on the left side of their neck. Its angle symbols we can code it decode it and read it. It’s kind of like the horses security number in a way. The first two symbols are the year of birth, and then the facility that prepped it and then the last four are– so that makes the brand you see on left side of their necks. So in Kansas we have a couple of events coming up and then one all year round. So we have a Wild Horse and Burro Expo and Show. This we’ll be our 22nd one to have and it’s going to be in Salina, Kansas, this year. They’re at the Saline County Fairgrounds October 14th and 15th. And we’ll have a show, a trainer doing gentling demonstrations, games on horseback on Friday night. Lot of prizes for the adopters and it’s free for any freeze branded horse. So will be a lot of fun. For folks who want to adopt any other time in the year Hutchinson Correctional Facility is a short-term corral and they keep around 350 wild horses there throughout the year. Folks can make an appointment and call, and go in Monday through Friday and adopt. They can also get on a waiting list to adopt a trained horse for the same $125 adoption fee. For the requirements to adopt, you must be at least 18 years of age and have no prior convictions of animal abuse, and then have a proper corral to put the animal in. These horses are wild, so the minimum AQHA requirement for an adult horse is six-foot tall centers with access to shelter and food and water with a minimum of 20 by 20, like 400 square feet. So that’s not very big. And once the animal is gentled and the adopter can provide medical care and lead the animal. Then they can put them in whatever pasture they feel comfortable. It’s five foot for yearlings, and then four and half for burros. All the animals up for adoption have a negative Coggins, and all have vaccinations and deworming. When the adopter adopts, they’ll receive a health sheet and it shows where the animal is from, if it was gelded, what date, if it needs gelding, and then vaccinations, deworming is on the bottom and then a negative Coggins is stapled to the back. They receive an application for title, 12 months later. They will then have a Farrier, trainer, and veterinarian, someone knowledgeable on horses to sign off on it saying they’ve seen the animal in good care and then mail it in to us then we mail them a title. That means that the animal is considered private property. We then have the adopter’s information as well as the horse’s information; then they’ve completed the adoption requirements.

No Comments Yet.

Leave a reply

You must be logged in to post a comment.