I Want All The Mustangs


The catalog for the Saddle-Trained Wild Horse Adoption at the Northern Nevada Correctional Center (NNCC) is out and I WANT ALL THE MUSTANGS.

What is the NNCC Saddle Horse & Burro Program?
It’s a partnership between the BLM and the Nevada Department of Corrections-Silver State Industries. Basically, prison inmates that are part of the program get about 120 days to start a wild horse or burro from the BLM. The animals are gentled and saddle-broken, and by the time of the adoption they are considered green-broke. Most can walk, trot, canter and do basic lateral work. Three or four times per year, there is an auction at the NNCC and the horses are adopted out to qualified homes.

Here’s the thing with mustang adoption. I want to do it some day. The problem that I’ve found is that it’s really, really hard to actually search for adoptable mustangs online. Most that I’ve found on the BLM website are 14-15 hands and as a 5’9″ human that’s not going to work for me. So this adoption program makes is really easy for me to find a few gentled and started mustangs that are tall enough. Even if I would theoretically have to drive from Wisconsin to Nevada. Details, people. Details.

So when the new adoption catalog came out I was super excited! The adoption event is on October 15th (which is my birthday – if anyone wants to get me a mustang + board for life, that would be perfect thanks). The photos in the catalog aren’t the greatest for judging confirmation but it’s a starting point.

Here’s the catalog.

I pretty much have to rule out anything under 16 hands unless they’re young enough that they might grow a bit more yet. But lucky (unlucky?) for me there are two horses that meet that requirement in this batch.

screen-shot-2016-10-06-at-11-00-47-amHi, he looks like Barbie’s dream horse right? 16.2 hands. 6 years old. It’s hard to judge his build here. In his video he does look like a pretty nice mover but has a heck of a chunky neck on him.

And then there’s Patrick. I think it’s hilarious that his name is Patrick because that is my boyfriend’s name. He’s a 16 hand red roan and I love the look of him. The horse, not the boyfriend. I mean…I love the look (and many other things) of my boyfriend, too…MOVING ON.


Again, it’s not a great picture for judging his build. In his video (below) there’s a little bit of a potentially weak hock/twist that shows up at the walk moving away from the camera.

But the red roan! And while he’s tight and seems nervous in his video, there’s something about him I like. In my mind I’ve already renamed him…Horse Patrick (as opposed to Boyfriend Patrick) becomes shortened to HP, which obviously is what Potterheads such as myself call Harry Potter. And with the most famous redheaded family in that series, this horse practically names himself Ron Weasley. Or maybe Arthur Weasley because Arthur is an adorable name for a horse, am I right?

Anyway. All of this is 100% theoretical because I’m not actually in the market to buy a horse. Financial responsibility and all that. Adulting sucks, guys. Also I would never choose a horse without some expert insight, particularly in the case of choosing a green-broke mustang.

I first started getting interested in mustangs by listening to Horses in the Morning, my favorite podcast ever. One of the hosts, Jamie, had adopted a mustang from the NNCC program shortly before I began listening and then in February this year adopted a second one. Listening to her experience with her mustangs got me on board with the idea that mustangs can do anything. Then I started following Elisa Wallace pretty closely and love that she is a top-level eventer who also does amazing work with mustangs. Again: These horses can do anything!

More information about the NNCC Wild Horse & Burro program can be found here.

Which mustang would you adopt from the October Adoption Event?

All photo credits are to the BLM/Northern Nevada Correctional Center.

11 thoughts on “I Want All The Mustangs

  1. Getting Patrick for your birthday. Now that would be priceless! That aside, this was a great post. I didn’t know anything about the mustangs or this program. I wonder why we don’t see a few more of them around?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. They’re not as common in the Midwest (thought that’s changing verrrrry slowly). I believe there’s a shipping drop off point in Michigan, so if you purchase one from the BLM online they’ll bring it there for you. They also just had an adoption event here in WI really close by but we were at the show that weekend so I couldn’t go see them in person! They just haven’t been super popular or “in fashion” but several competitions like the Mustang Million or Extreme Mustang Makeover have been helping to repopularize them, along with several big names in the horse world adopting, competing and sharing about them on social media. Plus a documentary came out not too long ago called Unbranded (it’s on Netflix and it’s good, Boyfriend Patrick liked it a lot too!) where a group of guys adopted mustangs and then rode them from Mexico to Canada. You should watch it!


  2. I went to this auction and it was a lot of fun. I would highly recommend checking it out sometime. Even the shorter horses are often stockier enough to take up your leg well. My husband is 5’10” and his Mustang (from a previous prison sale) is only 15.1hh and works well for him.

    Liked by 1 person

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