A message from Alex Kappert, Executive Director
Americans are intrigued when they find out that each of us has a heritage even today that includes owning thousands of wild mustangs and burros roaming on public lands. A certain mystique surrounds these majestic horses and adorable burros, yet many Americans are unaware that they even exist.
Wild horses and burros have been federally protected since the Wild Free-Roaming Horses and Burros Act was signed into law in 1971. Today, there are approximately 90,000 wild horses and burros roaming on the range in 10 states across the West. The federal government manages and cares for an additional 50,000 in holding pens and pastures.
The animals in holding are cared for with taxpayer dollars. Since the average horse can live to be nearly 30 years old, the average lifetime cost per horse is estimated to be tens of thousands of dollars.
The Mustang Heritage Foundation is a key part of the solution to safely caring for these animals and reducing taxpayer expense. We are dedicated to successfully relocating excess wild horses and burros from holding to good homes and have placed more than 16,000 wild horses and burros into private care since 2007.
We work on behalf of these beautiful creatures by mustering a network of generous donors and caring trainers and volunteers who aid in our mission to help bring more animals out of holding by the federal government and into private care. These efforts provide a huge savings to taxpayers and allow thousands of Americans to share in the cherished heritage of the American Mustang.
The issues and solutions are complex, but a significant part of the answer is providing incentives to our network of trainers who not only work to gentle the horses and burros, but also work diligently to find capable, loving adopters and provide them with support and education. Our trainers’ backgrounds and qualifications are thoroughly reviewed prior to being admitted to the Trainer Incentive Program.
These trainers exhibit a commitment to the animals and their adopters that is heartwarming and way beyond what might be expected. That commitment is the key to successfully matching mustangs to their lifelong homes.
Our network of enthusiastic trainers, combined with our special events like the Extreme Mustang Makeover, facilitate adoptions. Last year alone, the Mustang Heritage Foundation placed almost 2,500 animals into private care, and by doing so, saved the taxpayers more than $122 million.
A second key part of the Mustang Heritage Foundation’s solution is philanthropy. Donor dollars help us host more events and provide educational programs that raise people’s awareness of the possibility that they can afford to give a loving home to these animals. The Mustang Heritage Foundation uses donor contributions to help people understand that mustangs can do everything that any other horse can do.
These animals can be life-changing for those prepared to adopt them. With training, mustangs are capable of doing any activity that other horses can do, from trail riding to performance events to working on ranches. Adopted burros often become accomplished pack animals and also make wonderful companions.
Finding good homes for wild mustangs and burros is noble work, and the trainers, fans, adopters, supporters, donors and sponsors involved with the Mustang Heritage Foundation are proud to care for this beautiful part of America’s legacy.