Wild Horse Mentors at the
Stockton Wild Horse Adoption
March 31, April 1, 2001

ALL 98 animals were adopted!
The rolling tool shed out of mothballs
Although the BLM held wild horse and burro adoptions in other cities in the region, this was their first adoption in Stockton. The public turnout was extremely good with adopters coming from as far away as Bakersfield to the south and Sierra Nevada Mountain communities to the east. Not only did a good crowd appear, but they seemed more well informed about wild horses and what adopting a wild horse involved.

The BLM used it's new adoption trailer and new picnic tables for the adopters which were first class.

Bakersfield District's new adoption trailer
The informational material the mentors brought included the "Wild Horses Across America" album and a display board. Our objective was to show some reality stories of adopted wild horses being used. The display included such features as "Special Horses for Special Kids;" wild horses used in equine facilitated therapy (handicapped riding) and for the developmentally disabled. We also had a feature on the Ft. Riley Army mustangs, as well as photo collages of mentoring activities, arranged by year.

Lifesavers Wild Horse Rescue provided a grant to print the "Gentling Wild Horses 101" feature in booklet form. These were given by the BLM to first time adopters. We had other recent adopters who asked for horse and burro training booklets at the LRTC table.

One of the LRTC display tables
There was also interest in adopter education programs, including a few people who expressed serious interest in going down to Lancaster in May (a 6 hour drive) for the 3-day workshop being held there.

We didn't have copies printed yet of the donkey training booklets or specific technique booklets, however Sharon did print up some drafts on her computer which several people asked for.

Sharon giving helpful info to an adopter
Out of 98 animals brought in for the adoption all 78 horses and 20 burros were adopted, 86 on the first day alone. The high bid for a burro was $340.00 for a really nice jennet. The high bid for a horse was $325.00 for a 4 year old strawberry roan mare with black points.

Lesley Neuman gave some great round pen demonstrations all day.

Melissa Schurr was present and provided "short haul" trailering services for adopters who didn't have compliant trailers.

22 adopters on the "First Come-"
First Serve" list for 26 horses remaining
Public turnout was so strong so early that BLM was literally swamped with adopters. This led to long lines at the cashier's window and a delay in getting the second "first come first served" round started. Some ideas were kicked around to prevent this from happening again if so many people show up at one time at future adoptions.

We believe that there were several reasons that this adoption was a success.

The adopting public is generally becoming more informed. The internet can be credited as a significant vehicle for this information.

The BLM did an excellent job in generating publicity about the event. Media notices and "advertisements" were accurate and relevant.

Trailers lining up at the loading chute
"Safety net" programs by mentoring groups helped build adopter confidence that he/she could successfully adopt and gentle a wild horse or burro.

Modern range management practices are producing consistently better horses. Out of 78 horses and 20 burros, there wasn't a bad looking animal in the bunch.

For a schedule of other upcoming California adoptions, please click Here.

Check out Stockton's 2002 Adoption

CA Wild Horse Adoptions
Most California adoptions start with a silent auction. Clipboards for each horse are attached to the adoption pens. Registered adopters have an hour to place bids on the clipboards, competing with each other in $5.00 minimum increments.

At the end of the silent auction, the "winners" are posted or called out. If a bidder is high on more animals than he/she wants, the animals that are passed go to the next highest bidder.

The remaining animals are sold on a "first-come first-served" basis for the posted minimum bid.

All bidders and first-come first-served adopters must meet compliance requirements.
Click here for adopter tips and compliance information.

This is not a BLM operated or BLM sponsored site. It is run by private wild horse and burro enthusiasts.

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