Member Stories

From Wild to Mild

We all know how special these horses and burros are and, if you're like us, you love hearing unique adoption stories, training stories and sharing in successes. We've selected a few unique stories from our members to share here, but if you have your own special story you'd like to highlight, shoot us a quick email!

Brian and Warrior_450x450

Brian & Warrior

B. 2018, Green Mountain HMA

After seeing photos of available horses at a local holding facility, Brian picked a few that caught his eye. He and his wife had to go to the facility to take care of some other business and decided to take a look around while they were there. Brian had asked his wife to not tell him the tag numbers of those he had picked out in an attempt to "blind" himself to see if his in-person selections matched. A nice looking, dark bay gelding walked right up to Brian - one of the ones he had selected from the photos.

Unable to adopt that day, the gelding was shipped to the Wind River facility for an adoption event and Brian was there with bells on. He told himself if the gelding came up to him again, he would bring him home. Sure enough, he came right over and the rest is history.

Warrior, as he is now called, was Brian's first wild horse he's trained from start to finish. They are currently working their way through mounted enforcement classes and Brian hopes that Warrior will receive his certification in 2022!

Amanda and Cricket_450x450

Amanda & Cricket

B. 1989, Nevada HMA

Gathered in the mid-90s, Cricket eventually found herself as part of an inmate training program in Kansas. At the culmination of the training program, she was offered for adoption and purchased by a guiding outfit in Estes Park, CO.

In the summer of 2000, Amanda began work at the guiding outfit and was assigned a slight, but stocky bay mare named Cricket. Knowing nothing of the brand on her neck, Amanda soon learned what that meant and Cricket's sorted history. After several summers as part of the outfit, it was clear that Cricket would never be suitable for the dude string and, in fact, didn't get along with most of the guides either...until she met Amanda. They fit together like two puzzle pieces and Amanda worked out a deal to bring the mare home to Texas with her at the end of the summer.

Cricket moved with Amanda all over the US, eventually landing in Louisiana where she would live out her retirement until she passed away in 2017 at the ripe old age of 28.

Colt and Pedro_450x450

Colt & Pedro

B. 2015, Bullfrog HMA

Colt's family had been wanting to add a burro to their herd of branded beauties for many years and the time was finally right. Amanda, Colt's mom, reached out to Burro Basecamp (a MHF/BLM storefront for burros) with a wish list a mile long. She wanted something big enough to pack out an elk, friendly enough to get along with the other horses already in the home, and a calm (but smart) demeanor. Several shipments came and went with no burro to fit the bill. Then Amanda found out she was expecting Colt and had to add another requirement to the list - ridable. She wanted this special burro to be Colt's first ride!

In February 2020, Amanda got the call. Nicki from Burro Basecamp had found the perfect burro - Pedro. He checked all the boxes and she invited Amanda down to meet him. So, Colt conveniently in tow, Amanda went down to meet Pedro and the rest is history. He came home just before Colt was born and in August 2021, Colt and Pedro competed in their very first show - Wyoming Mustang Days!

Mahima and Apollo_450x450

Mahima & Apollo

B. 2017, Fallon, Nevada

At the same point in time that Mahima was first falling in love with Mustangs, a wild soul was born in Southwestern Nevada - tag 5539. At an adoption event in Boise, the small, bay gelding didn't stand out to Mahima at first. As Mahima closely looked over the many horses, 5539 lifted his head out of his forage and she caught a glimpse of his kind eye - he would be her first choice. She brought the 11 month old gelding, now Apollo, to his forever home in Carlton, Oregon.

Mahima, nervous as this was her very first mustang, soon found that Apollo was a diamond in the rough. His quirky personality, quick learning abilities, and small stature made him unique and Apollo bonded with Mahima quickly.

Mahima refers to her work with Apollo as her greatest horsemanship experience thus far. Over the short 4 years that Apollo has spent on this Earth, he has coined a great reputation in Oregon and Idaho. In 2021, he and Mahima were awarded the Wyoming Mustang Association's Mustang Ambassador Award. Through this, Mahima hopes Apollo will continue to be an ambassador for the breed, and inspire folks to adopt a mustang of their own.
Keshia and Barbie_450x450

Keshia & Barbie Doll

B. 2013, Wyoming Honor Farm

Keshia had recently purchased her first home with her husband, Ethan, which had a three stall barn and some acreage, but she told Ethan she wasn't going to own another horse - they were too expensive and too much work. During this same time, while working as a nurse at the Wyoming Honor Farm, Keshia's mom, Clara, also began working the wild horse adoptions they host throughout the year. After seeing Barbie in action, Clara adopted her in 2015 as her first mustang.

While helping haul Barbie back to Clara's house, Keshia started dreaming of what her life would be like with Barbie. She knew the horse was special and regretted they weren't taking her to Casper. After a weekend full of watching Keshia with Barbie, Clara could see that they were soulmates. Clara took her daughter and son-in-law to dinner shortly after and signed over ownership to Keshia!

Since then, they have accomplished so much as a team and Keshia can't imagine her life without Barbie. And Clara? Well, she ended up with many more mustangs in her pasture!