North coast equine enthusiasts will have the opportunity to adopt a halter-trained wild horse or mule, when the Bureau of Land Management brings its wild horse and burro adoption program to the Humboldt County Fairgrounds in Ferndale, Saturday, Feb. 12.
The adoption event, being held in conjunction with the Back Country Horsemen of California Redwood Unit Pack Clinic, will feature five mustangs, ranging in age from 1 to 4, and one weanling mule. The animals are certified healthy and ready to continue training.
Anyone interested can preview the animals when they arrive at the fairgrounds Friday, Feb. 11, at about 3 p.m. The adoption event gets underway at 9 a.m. Saturday, with two hours of silent bidding. Animals not adopted during bidding will be available on a first-come, first-served basis after 11 a.m.
To qualify, adopters must be at least 18 and a resident of the United States. Adopted animals must be kept in a corral that offers at least 400 square foot per animal and is surrounded by a six-foot fence built of pipe or boards. Five-foot fences are allowed for horses under 2 years old.
Title to adopted animals initially remains with the federal government. Adopters receive title after providing a year of good care.
The animals coming to Ferndale were gathered from public land ranges in the BLM’s ongoing work to manage wild populations in balance with other range users and available rangeland food and water.
The day-long pack clinic is open free to the public and provides opportunities to learn about a variety of packing-related skills including knots, load balancing, camp cooking and highline setup.
The event features a horsemanship clinic with trainer Jerry Tindell. Registration and fees are required for this horsemanship clinic.
Information on the adoption opportunity and the BLM Wild Horse and Burro Program is available by calling 866-468-7826 (866-4MUSTANGS) or by visiting www.wildhorseandburro.blm.gov. Pack clinic information is available at https://redwoodunit.com/pc.html.