Admittedly, adopting and training a mustang isn’t for everyone, but it sure is fun to look at available ponies, right?
The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) is doing an internet adoption with tons of adoptable mustangs right now. This was going to be how I got mine before I found out that I could get one from the Mustang Million adoption. So obviously I think it’s a fine way to pick out your mustang. This round, the holding facilities seem to have done a really nice job of taking pictures and there are some VERY stunning horses available. I would have been more than happy to pick one of these guys up, but I wouldn’t trade my Smokey for one 🙂
I guess I want to offer a little insight as to how I picked Smokey by giving my thoughts on a few of the horses they have listed online. I went through about the same process narrowing it down at the auction for Smokey as I did going through the galleries on the BLM website.
The nice thing about checking these guys out is that it’s not like going to the pound and picking out a dog. You’re not saving their life. If they don’t get adopted: 1. They have no idea they were eligible to BE adopted and 2. They’re going to stay on government land, munching our sweet, sweet tax dollars. Since we can’t slaughter them (and yes, I’m pro slaughter, but I’m sure I’ll go over that at a later date), they get to live out their years on government land fat and happy. So don’t feel bad letting them not get adopted, they’ll be just fine!
There’s a few primary things I look for – suitability for what I want in a finished horse, temperament and overall look. I was looking for a cowy sort of horse, something I could turn into a reiner, cutter or western pleasure mount. I wanted an even weight distribution with a low set tail on a relatively small horse. I was also happy with a smaller horse because I didn’t want to be intimidated by it nor did I want it to have any grad illusions of jumping its fence (Smokey is plenty short and still thinks about this, clearly). If I were looking for a hunter prospect, I would be looking for a much different set of traits in the horse, so just bear with me on some of this. I’m by no means an expert, so feel free to form your own opinions and let me know what you think!
First off, let me link you to the online gallery of horses. Take a look through and pick out your top 5. Below, I’ll review a few of my favorites.
I’ll start with a paint mare from Sheepshead, OR. I love paints and horses with weird colors, so bear with me on this. This girl has unreal markings. Her face is refined and she carries herself evenly and appears to have good balance. I like her leg position on the moving pictures, it doesn’t seem she’s over reaching or doing something weird. Her pictures are also relatively calm. As she’s 6 years old, I would guess she’s pretty confident in herself already.
The next horse is a 2 year old blue roan gelding. I like blue roans, they have a special spot in my heart. I like this guy’s expression. His face has great marking and he seems like a neat little horse. He’s got a short back and low tail set, so I think he’ll be sturdy and able to bring his butt up under him with proper training. His headset is a little high for my liking, but I suspect that’s more out of alertness than anything.
I’m kind of a redhead myself, so this horse really caught my eye. He’s a 4 year old red roan standing 14.3 – so relatively tall. He’s got a great body shape with a longer back, heavy butt and generally trim figure. His ribs don’t bother me as I figure putting weight on him will be easy. He seems healthy, but on the thin side. I like his muscling. This is a lot like Smokey’s shape, though he’s more filled out and appears to be a bit wider in general. I love his ears and expression. This guy is in my top three.
Next up is the current stunner of this online adoption. His bid is already above $1,000 and he’s a huge head turner. I can only imagine that if you can train him to do anything that will put you in a show ring, the judges will never take their eyes off you. He’s 3 years old and 14.2 hands, so he’s relatively large for a mustang. I love the sharp outlines of his marking and the tri-color paint thing he has going on. Body type wise he looks sturdy and well-muscled. He looks alert but not too spooky and every even in his stance. He’d be in my top three if I could afford him.
This 3 year old grulla gelding really caught my eye as well. He’s fairly short at 13.3 hands, but I would expect him to grow a little. He has an incredible build for a 3 year old (perhaps he’s somewhat older) and a gorgeous head. I love the profile of his nose. He was recently captured (February of 2013) so I would expect him to be very shy. His pictures indicate that’s the case as most of them are of him spooking, or at least appear that way. He’s in my top three, but I’d have to be feeling adventurous to pick him.
I’m not big on mares and fillys but I really like this next horse. She’s a 2 year old dun filly and she’s got hunter prospect written all over her. I like her overall carriage and long legs. She’s got what appears to be a great trot and alert confidence. Great color for a hunter and I feel she’d be adorable over jumps. If I were into huntseat and had the money for another, she’d be my top pick for that.
This horse started with three strikes against her, but I came to fall in love as I looked through her pictures. She’s a cremello (strike one) mare (strike two) and she’s 5 years old (strike three). Aside from this, she’s gorgeous. She looks like a cremello Fresian and her movement would probably kill me in person. Her uphill carriage and overall body type put her into that dream horse category. For a cremello, I love her face and eyes. I’d definitely consider her for dressage or huntseat of some sort.
This guy is my top pick from this online adoption. He’s a 4 year old 15.2 hand palomino paint. I love his muscling and his expression. He’s got a low set tail and appears to keep him butt up under him for the most part. He isn’t strung out when moving. He’s got great size and check out those feet! I love how they’re big, solid and look to be in good shape. He’s got great color and markings. I love his facial expression and he seems confident and relaxed. Only hesitation is that I might be intimidated by a horse this big, but with such a kind eye, I think I could manage.
This last horse is just a treat. She’s a 5 year old mare that’s chocolate palomino. She’s got old school foundation Quarter Horse traits and I love her refined face. She’s got size at 15 hands and a butt that won’t quit. I can see her excelling in the cow pen or show ring.
There’s too many horses up for adoption for me to even begin to scratch the surface, but this is my take on this particular set. These are all eye catching horses and I expect that pretty much all of them can be made into something that someone would want with the right training.
If you’re interested, this adoption runs until June 6th and all of these horses will be available to bid on until the auction closes. Check out the BLM website for adoption rules and what you need to have in order to pick one up and house it.