FORT WORTH -- Mustangs run wild on federal ranges in several western states.
About 40,000 horses in all; far too many for the land, or the federal budget to support.
"We need to get those numbers down to about 28,000," said Paul McGuire of the Bureau of Land Management.
He said another 40,000 mustangs already have been removed from federal lands to await adoption.
That's the reason for a mustang adoption event at Will Rogers Equestrian Center in Fort Worth. Horse trainers have come from Wisconsin to Mexico in search of the perfect mustang.
"You have to have patience, patience, patience," said Chewy Jaureguy.
But wild mustangs are smart, say experts with the Mustang Heritage Foundation.
"Very sensitive. Intelligent," Kyla Hogan said. "And they seem to bond with with humans a lot faster than domestic horses."
About 150 will be up for adoption Friday at noon, and another 150 at noon on Sunday. The next preview time is 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. Saturday.
Bidding starts at $200, and there are restrictions to protect the animals.
"An individual, when they take the animal, they don't actually own the animal yet," said Paul McGuire of the Bureau of Land Management. "It remains the property of the federal government for a least one year. It prevents someone from trying to turn around and sell the animal for a quick profit."
The goal is to use adoption to reduce the size of wild herds.
"Healthy herds on healthy lands," McGuire said.
And there's a healthy incentive to adopt.
In September, trainers can bring their trained mustangs back to Fort Worth and compete for $1,000,000 in prizes.
But you don't have to be a trainer to adopt.
Since the mid 1970's, the BLM adoption program has placed more than 250,000 mustangs.
For more information, go to www.mustangheritagefoundation.org.