Become an Approved Tip Trainer
The Trainer Incentive Program (TIP) is a successful training and adoption program that engages talented horse trainers nationwide. Trainers gentle and halter break BLM-branded horses and burros, then market the animals and find them new homes. Once a home is approved by the BLM, TIP trainers are reimbursed up to $1,000 for their training and marketing efforts.
In order to become a TIP trainer you must be at least 18 years old and a member of the Mustang Heritage Foundation. You must also meet the Bureau of Land Management facility requirements.
Applications take 2-3 weeks to process. You will be notified by email of your approval and the number of animals you may have in training at one time. The number of animals is determined by the size of your facility.
Interested trainers are encouraged to review the rules and regulations.
Pick up animals for training
Animals may be picked at any of the BLM pick-up locations on the map below. Some BLM offices allow TIP animals to be picked up during satellite adoptions. Be sure to contact the BLM office to schedule your pick-up.
Animals must be leading, loading in a trailer, allowing human contact for grooming, picking up all 4 feet to be considered as ready for adoption. The requirements must be met within a minimum of 10 days and a maximum of
Find a qualified adopter
Trainers are responsible for finding qualified adopters. There are a variety of ways to advertise your horses and burros to help in this process, including social media, flyers/posters, and advertisements. The Mustang Heritage Foundation offers a marketing toolkit to TIP trainers with tips on how to best advertise their animals. You can also find adopters and advertise your available animals in the TIP Facebook group.
Finalize the adoption
In order to finalize the adoption, trainers should provide the potential adopter with the BLM adoption or purchase application, as well as the mailing address for the BLM Office of Jurisdiction where the application should be mailed. Trainers may also help guide interested adopters through the process by providing the Adopter Info Form.
Adopters are responsible for submitting their completed application to the appropriate BLM office of jurisdiction.
Once all required paperwork has been submitted to the Mustang Heritage Foundation and BLM, trainers will be paid for their training and marketing services.
Tip Trainers: Become a Tip Storefront
The TIP Storefront program is designed for TIP trainers with a proven track record of successful placements and the facilities to hold and care for at least 20 wild horses and burros at one time.
TIP Storefronts gentle wild horses and burros and finds them adoptive homes. TIP Storefronts may also serve as pick-up locations for other approved TIP trainers, adopters or purchasers.
To be eligible for consideration as a TIP Storefront, you must be a current TIP trainer with a successful record and meet the BLM requirements for holding 20 or more animals at one time.
Trainers interested in becoming a Storefront should complete the Storefront Interest Form.
Frequently Asked questions
How do I become a TIP Trainer?
Interested trainers must complete the Trainer Incentive Program application and submit it to the MHF office or online. You will be contacted within two weeks by MHF via phone, email or mail to let you know if you have been accepted. The BLM office of jurisdiction may also contact you prior to MHF approval to discuss your facility. Final approval will come from the TIP director.
What is the minimum age to become a TIP trainer?
You must be 18 years or older to apply for the Trainer Incentive Program.
How long does it take to become a TIP trainer?
The process typically takes 1-2 weeks. However, it can take longer if your application is incomplete and/or missing references, a required membership, a completed facility form, etc.
How do I submit my TIP application?
You can submit an application online, or send it in the mail to our office.
Which facility form can I submit?
You will need to complete the blank Facility Form that is included with the application.
Can my references be related to me?
What happens if I change addresses while I am a TIP trainer?
If you change your mailing address, please call our office or email the TIP director to have your contact information updated in our system. In order to change the physical address where you will be training your TIP animals, you will need to re-submit a facility form prior to making this move.
How long does my TIP status last?
Once approved or renewed, you are considered a current trainer until October 1 of the next year.
Do I have to re-apply or renew every year?
If you are considered an active TIP trainer, you will be able to “renew” your status every October. A renewal notice is sent out to all active TIP trainers in September of each year and must be completed in order to remain an active trainer. If you are not an active TIP trainer, you will need to re-apply.
What qualifies an animal as gentled?
Per the Trainer Incentive Program Rules and Regulations, an animal is considered gentled and ready for adoption, once you are able to halter and lead, pick up all four of its feet, and load it into and out of a trailer.
How many animals can I train at one time?
When you apply to become a TIP trainer, you will be approved for a total number of animals (1-4) to have in training at once. This number is based on your submitted facility form, and varies per trainer.
Is there a minimum number of animals that I must train to keep my status as a TIP trainer?
In order to remain an active TIP trainer, you must gentle and adopt out at least one animal annually.
What is the time limit to gentle an animal?
You have 90 days to gentle the animal and locate an adopter.
Do I have to keep the animal for the full 90 days?
No. You must have the animal in training for a minimum of 10 days prior to adopting it out.
Who finds the adopter?
The TIP trainer is responsible for locating an adopter and providing them with the necessary information to contact the appropriate BLM office and become approved.
Can I adopt the animal myself?
Yes, however, you will not be eligible for the TIP payment.
I have an animal who I am unable to gentle. Now what?
If you are unable to gentle the animal you have in training, you can make an appointment to return it to a Storefront trainer or BLM off-range corral near you.
My circumstances have changed and I no longer have time/other resources to be a TIP trainer. What do I do?
If you do not want or are unable to be an active TIP trainer, please call our office or email the TIP director with this request to be removed from the current list of trainers.
What facilities do I have to have?
Minimum Facility Requirements:
Measurements: Approved Trainers must provide a minimum of 400 square feet (20 feet x 20 feet) for each animal adopted/purchased. “Fence broken” adult mustangs need to be maintained in an enclosure at least 6 feet high, 0-18 months old 5 feet high and burros 4.5 feet high. Un- gentled animals should not be released into a large open area, such as a pasture, as the animal may not be easily re-caught for training or veterinary care. However, once the animal is gentled, it may be released it into a pasture or similar area. Materials/Construction: An acceptable corral must be sturdy and constructed out of materials such as; poles, pipes, or planks (minimum 1.5 inches in thickness) without dangerous protrusions. Barbed wire, large-mesh woven, stranded and electric materials are not acceptable for fencing. Posts must be a minimum of 6 inches in diameter and spaced no farther than 8 feet apart. Horizontal rails should be 3-inch minimum diameter poles or planks at least 2” x 8”. If poles are being used, there should be a minimum of five horizontal rails, and with 2″ x 8″ planks, there should be at least four rails. No space between rails should exceed 12″. All rails should be fastened to the inside of the post with either heavy nails or lag screw. A shelter must be provided for your mustang and/or burro(s) in cases of inclement weather and temperature extremes. Contact your administering BLM office for shelter requirements. Applicants will not be approved until all facility requirements are met.
*For more information on BLM facility and shelter requirement visit blm.gov/whb and click on adoption requirements under Important Documents.
What is my financial obligation to each animal?
- Provide adequate and good quality feed and water for each animal on a daily basis to maintain a BCS of 4-6 at all times. All costs to be covered by the trainer.
- Provide adequate and good quality health care for each animal including, but not limited to, all veterinarian and farrier needs. All costs to be covered by the trainer.
- In the case of serious injury or death of the mustang or burro, trainers are required to notify the MHF TIP Director and BLM office of jurisdiction within 24 hours of the occurrence. Trainers will be required to submit a veterinarian’s report to MHF and BLM OOJ within 24 hours. All costs to be covered by the trainer.
- Arrange to have any deceased or euthanized animals disposed of in accordance with all state or local ordinances/requirements. All costs to be covered by the trainer.
- Contact a farrier, if farrier care is needed. All costs to be covered by the trainer.
- Maintain possession of the animal until it is released by the BLM to the new adopter, purchaser, or returned to a satellite adoption or designated BLM Holding Facility. If returning the animal, you must contact BLM to coordinate and discuss the nearest BLM location for return.
- Individuals are responsible for all costs associated with the humane care of the animals while in their possession, including facility maintenance/repair, veterinarian care, farrier or disposal costs, and feed/grain and other needed supplements. None of these costs will be reimbursed by MHF or BLM.
How much do I get paid for each animal?
Once the animal has been gentled, the adopter approved and all appropriate paperwork submitted, the TIP trainer will be paid the set fee. Mustangs of all ages will be paid at a flat rate of $1,000. Burros of all ages will be paid a flat rate of $750.
TIP animals that are adopted without meeting all three training requirements will be paid a flat rate of $500. This is to be indicated by the adopter/ purchaser on the Training Assessment form, as well as by the TIP trainer on the Invoice form.
Can I ask a purchase price for the animal in addition to the $125 BLM fee?
Trainers cannot advertise animals as FOR SALE, unless notified by BLM that the animal is sale eligible. The adoption or purchase price must be advertised as $125 made payable to the Bureau of Land Management.
Trainers cannot charge any type of “holding”, “deposit” or “application” fees. Adopters/purchasers are only required to pay the $125 BLM adoption/purchase Fee. After the adoption/purchase is complete, trainers and adopters/purchasers may enter into private arrangements for continued training, boarding, etc.
How do I claim my money for a gentled animal?
All TIP trainers are required to submit a complete TIP Invoice form (completed by that TIP trainer) along with the completed Training Assessment form (completed by the approved adopter).