There are around 86,000 wild horses that roam across America, with about 55,000 of them now living in government-run quarters.
Each day, many of these wild horses face an unknown fate, but fortunately, there are ways we can help these incredible animals.
Despite the laws in place to help America’s wild horses, many of them still face uncertain futures, as their freedom is at risk. From Kiger Mustangs in Oregon to Chincoteague Ponies in Virginia and Maryland, many wild horses need our help.
Every year, thousands of Mustangs are rounded up, sometimes with the use of inhumane tactics. There is a constant battle over land, as the horses compete with livestock and other wildlife. As a result, many of these magnificent creatures end up in undesirable situations when they should be running free.
Here are seven ways you can help to save wild horses.
If you are planning to buy a horse, consider adopting a Mustang. Mustangs are versatile and intelligent, making them wonderful horses to own.
You can adopt a Mustang through the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) or a rescue sanctuary. When adopting a Mustang from the BLM, prices start at $125 for horses with training and $25 for untrained horses. Age, training, and gender will factor into the adoption fee of each horse.
In order to adopt from the BLM, you must meet their adoption qualifications and fill out an application. Once you are approved, you can move on with the adoption process.
The BLM also runs an incentive program, where people will receive $1,000 after adopting a qualified untrained or unadopted Mustang.
Adopters only have to pay a $25 adoption fee for an eligible horse. Upon adoption, you will receive $500 within 60 days of adopting and $500 within 60 days of titling.
Mustangs from the BLM can be adopted at in-person events or online auctions. Each new bed is increased anywhere from $5-$250 until the auction is over.
There are several non-profit organizations and rescue groups that adopt Mustangs out to qualified homes. They offer wild horses that come straight from the wild or horses that have some training on them.
Certain organizations will rescue and rehabilitate Mustangs from abusive and neglectful situations, or from previous adopters who are no longer capable of taking care of them.
In addition, you can also adopt a Chincoteague foal from the annual Chincoteague Pony Auction that is a part of the Pony Swim. Proceeds from the auction go to the Chincoteague Volunteer Fire Company. You can also adopt a Colonial Spanish Mustang from the Corolla Wild Horse Fund.
If you are not in a position to adopt a wild horse, you can sponsor one. By sponsoring, you pay a monthly or annual fee to help with the care of a Mustang.
Sponsorships generally start at $50 and go up from there. The money from your sponsorship goes to help cover different aspects of care such as food, water, shelter, veterinary expenses, and other needs. Oftentimes, those who sponsor will receive a photo, information, and updates of the horse they are sponsoring.
Some of the organizations you can sponsor a wild horse include the Black Hills Wild Horse Sanctuary, ISPMB, Corolla Wild Horse Fund, Return to Freedom, and Ever After. Each of these organizations have several wild horses you can choose from to sponsor.
Donations are vital for non-profit organizations and rescues to operate. They help cover the cost of rescuing horses as well as providing food, water, shelter, veterinarian expenses, and other basic care.
Any size donation, whether $5 or $1,000, will help save America’s wild horses. By donating to a reputable organization, such as the ones listed above, you can rest assured that your money is going to a good cause.
Be sure to also check out the gift shop of the rescue as well. Many wild horse rescues also have gift shops where all or part of the proceeds goes to helping horses. This is a great way to make a difference while also getting a gift for a horse lover.
4. Write a Letter to Congress
Since they don’t have a voice of their own, our wild horses need us to advocate for them. Writing to Congress is one of the best ways to get your voice heard.
There are several issues you can write about to Congress to help improve the lives of wild horses. They include supporting safe, effective, and humane fertility control that can end roundups, ending slaughter, and oppose the zeroing out of Wyoming Herd Management Areas.
The American Wild Horse Campaign and Return to Freedom both provide letters you can send to Congress to advocate for wild horses. All you have to do is fill in your information and then send it online to Congress.
5. Sign Petitions
Petitions are another great way to advocate for wild horses. By signing a petition, you are helping get your voice heard and making a difference for wild horses.
There are several petitions online that advocate for wild horses, whether it is for protecting their land or stopping the slaughtering of these beautiful creatures.
6. Share Educational Information With Others
Not only is it important to educate yourself on America’s wild horses, but also others as well. The more people are aware of what life is like for Mustangs, the better the chance people will step up for them.
It is important to learn all about wild horses and to get all the facts right. Social media is a great place to share educational information about Mustangs and what their lives are like.
Also, read our guide on 6 types of Mustang horses.
Depending on where you live, it may be tricky to volunteer but if you are able to, it can make a huge difference. By volunteering, you are helping to raise awareness while also helping improve the lives of Mustangs.
There are many great volunteer opportunities available to help make a difference. They include documenting and taking notes on wild herds, mucking stalls at rescues, and other barn chores. You can even become a darter (administering birth control) or become a spotter (identifying and tracking horses from records).
If you are interested in volunteering, check out the opportunities available at The Cloud Foundation, Ever After, American Wild Horse Campaign, Corolla Wild Horse Fund, and The Wild Horse Rescue Center.