Least Resistance Training Concepts
Project Activity Album

Part One

In partnership with
This is not a BLM site. This project is a product of cooperation between the BLM, LRTC and Lifesavers.
The participating nonprofit groups are solely responsible for the content in their presentations.

The theme for the 2002 Salt Lake Olympic Winter Games is "Our Western Heritage." What would our western heritage be without a living history exhibit of wild horses and burros; living symbols of the old west and descendants of animals brought to this continent by explorers and early settlers?

The Bureau of Land Management (BLM), who manages over 50,000 wild horses and burros on federally owned public lands, has arranged to put some of these animals on public display at the Soldier Hollow Olympic venue in a range-like setting that all visitors can view.

To be fair to the animals, those put on display needed to be gentled; to be comfortable around humans and to be able to be maintained in a more "domestic" environment. Thus a plan was conceived where volunteers known as "Wild Horse Mentors" would work with these animals long before the Olympic Games began. The animals that gentled well and were comfortable around people would be included in the display.

While there were hundreds of good horse herds to choose from, the BLM decided to display horses from Utah, Nevada and California. These states provided sufficient diversity to show the various types of horses found on public lands.

Three project locations were selected. LRTC volunteers worked with horses in in the Salt Lake City area and Knightsen, in eastern Contra Costa County, CA. A third segment project was conducted in Lancaster, CA by Lifesavers Wild Horse Rescue. The Utah horses were naturally worked in Utah. The California horses and the burros were worked in Knightsen and the Nevada horses were handled in Lancaster.

Project Objectives

The following text is reproduced from BLM's project description.

The purpose of the Olympic Wild Horse Gentling Project is to promote awareness and interest in America's Wild Horses and Burros, as well as to promote awareness and interest in BLM's partnership and relationship with a broad spectrum of volunteers who assist BLM's Wild Horse and Burro Program. Furthermore, the Wild Free-Roaming Horses and Burros Act is ultimately the result of the voluntary work of numerous "ordinary citizens." For this reason, the animals on display at the Winter 2002 Olympic Games will have been gentled and trained by "ordinary citizens" who are enrolled as volunteer members of groups that provide mentoring services for BLM wild horse and burro adopters.

Animals will be selected from Utah, Nevada and California herds. In addition, three burros will be selected. The wild horses and burros will be picked up by their assigned mentoring organizations, gentled, and taken to Salt Lake City in sufficient time to acclimate to the Utah winter weather. Volunteer mentors in the Salt Lake City area will continue to work with the animals through the end of the project.

Approximately two horses from each state (UT, CA, and NV) and two burros will be selected to be used in the Olympic display. The remaining animals will be kept as "back up".

After completion of the Olympics, all animals will be offered and promoted by BLM to the general public for adoption through an internet adoption.

Artist's rendition of the display
These journals will take you through the daily lives of these animals and volunteers from truly wild animals to well adjusted Olympic participants.

Continue to Part Two;
Gentling and Training Approaches

The Three Projects and their Animals

Wild Herd Populations
Most wild herds multiply at an annual rate of around 17%; some even higher. Without natural predators horse populations will increase to the point that the environment will be damaged. Removing excess horses for adoption is one effective horse management tool.

What is a Wild Horse Mentor?

Album of Wild Horse Workshops

Return to LRTC Wild Horse Mentors

Return to KBR World of Wild Horses & Burros

Return to BLM Wild Horse & Burro Adoptions

Go To KBR Horse Net