The TIP program has been a great incentive to motivate trainers and potential adoptees to reassure BLM mustangs a home. Although it is only a drop in the bucket, it gives some a fair chance to be reintegrated and educated. As Tom Roberts once said: “If you are fond of a horse and wish to do him a real favor – train him well. Teach him good manners, good habits both in the stable and under the saddle. You need never worry about the future of such horse. You will assure him of friends wherever he goes. Perhaps the greatest kindness you can do any horse is to educate him well.”
While the sad truth is that the future of thousands of feral horses won’t hold a happy ending, I still want to help aka educate as many as I possibly can which will allow them to find forever homes. Hence my involvement with the Trainers Incentivce Program. TIP minimal requirement to advertise a horse as adoption ready is catching, haltering, picking up all 4 feet and loading in a trailer. Personally I don’t believe it to be sufficient. My horses will benefit from a thorough education, which includes being under saddle, working cattle and riding many miles through open and rough country. In a sense they will regain their freedom.
The program allows a training period of 90 days during which the trainer also has to find an adoptee that will have the chance of purchasing a trained horse for $125. After the adoption has ben successful the BLM will pay said trainer a sum of $1000. This sum barely covers feed and board.
Working with these feral animals is extremely dangerous and requires a solid training facility as well as an individual that is willing and capable of working with such an animal. After travel expenses to pick up horses from the holding facilities, feed, board, farrier and occasional veterinary expenses, the $1000 dollars may cover just about the first month of training.
Many of you want to help preserve and save these iconic beings but not everyone can adopt a feral horse. Financial support is the other option. Instead of donating money to private groups or organizations that truly only spend the said money to publicize a temper tantrum or big banners that point fingers at who’s doing what wrong etc., why not invest into the people that are actually getting their hands dirty and doing the hard work for basically no compensation.
Here is a gross breakdown of the expenses:
Travel expense $ 300
Feed $ 500
Board $ 900
Farrier $ 100
Veterinary $ 200
If I want to be able to keep staying involved in TIP I need to figure out a way of raising $2000 before I pick up a horse for training. This is where you can help me make a difference.
Trainer Incentive Program (Trainer Anreiz-Programm), i
(for more Information, https://mustangheritagefoundation.org/tip/)
Bureau of Land Management;
(for more Information, https://www.blm.gov/adoptahorse/)
The European colonization of the Americas brought about the return of horses. Fossil records have shown that horses were native to the North American continent, and actually moved to the Eurasian continent by crossing over the land bridge that once connected Russia to America.The genus was extinct by the time the Spanish conquistadors came ashore in North America but as Spanish horses were lost, stolen or merely turned loose onto the western plains, they began to prosper in small, free-roaming bands. The lands they lived upon were unfenced, sparsely watered and of varied terrain, but Predators were few and the bands could move as conditions dictated.
The biggest challenges to the horses’ prosperity lay in the climate and humans. The herds became bigger and bigger. Eventually they started competing with ranchers' cattle for grass or causing damage to farmland. The public-lands ranchers and farmers were determined to protect their livelihoods and so the hunt of the wild horse began. It eventually turned into gruesome roundups with helicopters and sales of the wild horses for dog food.
In 1971 Wild Horse Annie finally succeeded in having a law passed which prohibits the pursuit and killing of wild horses on the public lands as well as the killing of any horse in slaughter plants in the USA. However this didn't stop the conflicts. Ranchers wanted to prioritize the grazing of cattle on these public lands. With the attempt of controlling the reproduction of the herds and giving both animals enough space to coexist, the BLM started rounding up herds of horses and after segregating them according to age and gender, they relocated them into holding pens. Here, these feral animals that have never experienced separation and confinement, will commence a emotionally and physically draining process of wait. Wait to meet their new fate.... or not. Many of these animals are deemed "too wild or too old" for domestication, hence they spend many years in these facilities.
In order to move forward and find a solution as well as a balance it is crucial to find homes for these majestic creatures. Yes they are wild, yes they are feral, yes they can be dangerous, yes it is really hard and challenging to tame them, but it is not impossible. I'm reaching out to everyone who feels affected by this. Who can't walk away from their fates. Sure, money helps but for how long and how efficiently? Education is key, good working hands, trainers, a functional herd management system that is delegated by people who care, breeding control of any domestic animal and strict identification laws following immense fines of abandonment.
Now we need to talk about this matter. Now we need to make a difference and break the viscous cycle so that we can keep healthy herds wild and re-home as many animals as possible.