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Bureau of Land Management adopting horses this week

Updated: May. 6, 2021 at 7:09 PM CDT
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SULPHUR SPRINGS, Texas (KLTV) - If you are looking for a horse, saddle up. You might be able to get one for as little as $25 on May 7 and 8. But there is a catch. These horses have never been ridden and are as wild as they come.

If you’ve never been to the Sulphur Springs Civic Center, you might be a little surprised when you walk in. It’s partly an indoor rodeo arena. And it’s the perfect venue for the Bureau of Land Management’s Wild Horse and Burro Program according to Crystal Cowan, Wild horse and Burro Specialist.

“It’s an area that we’ve been wanting to come to so hopefully folks come out and adopt a horse,” Cowan said.

It’s the BLM’s first trip to Sulphur Springs, and their mascot Bob the Horse seems to like it. There is a $25 adoption fee, but it’s an auction, just in case more than one person wants a specific animal.

“We want to make sure that folks have thought about what it takes to take of a horse and it has a good sturdy coral to put them in because they are wild,” Cowan said.

Bob is spirited, but not considered wild anymore. So BLM requirements for an animal are:

“Six foot tall coral for adult horses. Five foot for yearling and four and a half for burros. Access to shelter and food and water. Usually 20 by 20 which is just 400 square feet,” Cowan said.

They will have 80 horses and 40 burros.

“A lot of animals will be adopted for 25 dollars. There’s some flashy horses coming. There’s some Don. Some really pretty Palomino horses coming and those may bring more than their adoption fee. It’s just kind of what someone’s looking for,” Cowan said.

The animals are herded out of the wilds of western states as population control. Cowan says they can double in number in four years. Now, like back in 1983 when I shot video of a roundup in Colorado, they herd the animals by helicopter.

“They’re roaming on BLM public land, and there’s just too many of them for the land to support,” Cowan said.

Breaking a horse isn’t easy and can be expensive so there is a 1000 dollar incentive for adopters.

“They’ll receive the first 500 dollars about three months from adopting, and the second 500 dollars a year later after they’ve received title,” Cowan said.

Crystal hopes it goes well on their first outing to Sulphur Springs.

“This facility has been great to work with so I hope it’s successful so that we can come back,” Cowan said.

And even though Bob’s a “neigh sayer,” he probably wants to come back too.

If you want to adopt a horse, get to the Sulphur Springs Civic Center by 10 a.m. Friday to do paper work. The bidding goes noon to 6 p.m., and then 8 a.m. to noon on Saturday.

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