GRAND JUNCTION, Colo.
The Bureau of Land Management has completed the gathering of wild horses from the Little Book Cliffs Wild Horse Range, the first gather since 2007. While weather was problematic, BLM officials say the horses were extremely cooperative.
Together the BLM and Friends of the Mustangs trapped a total of 37 horses, 13 of which were candidates for removal. While they originally set out to gather 15 to 25 horses, officials say it was a success.
Some horse owners say there's nothing quite like a wild horse, "The bond you have with them is unlike any horse, you become part of them and they look to you and truly love you," said Josie Gilbert, a wild horse trainer.
Gilbert has been around the wild animals for as long as she can remember, "I think that Mustangs have formed me as a person. My mom got her first when I was two."
She's watched the horses gathered from the day they were born, and understands how special they truly are.
"The hard thing is taking the time to earn their trust. They just had their whole life changed. They are looking for someone to be their rock."
Christopher Joyner, public affairs specialist of the west district BLM, said, "If you're going to adopt a Little Book Cliffs wild horse, you need to know what you're getting into. The rewards are great, but the challenges are great too."
Officials say the gather was necessary for the future of the Little Book Cliffs Wild Horse Range.
"Had multiple years of drought, conditions started deteriorating on range," said Joyner.
While the BLM doesn't like conducting gathers, it will give folks a unique opportunity, "Someone will be going home with a horse. Going home with an American icon. You're taking home a living legend of the American West," Joyner said.
With patience and dedication, adopters will have a lifelong companion.
"It's true love," said Gilbert.
- Saturday Sept. 28 at the Sheriff's Posse, located at 25 Road and F 1/2 Road
- Bidding begins at 9 am and ends at 10 am
- Thirteen wild horses plus five burros up for adoption
- Must register ahead of time
- Folks who take home a horse do not retain ownership for one year
For more information, visit the BLM's website here