Horse News

Rock Springs Wild Horse Holding Facility Reopening



ROCK SPRINGS — The temporary closure of the Bureau of Land Management Rock Springs Wild Horse Holding Facility will end on Monday, Feb. 22, 2016. Although construction has not been fully completed, the BLM will reopen the facility for public tours and adoptions.

The facility will require several temporary closures through mid-summer while construction is completed. Included with the facility construction will be maintenance and improvements at the Kiosk site that overlooks the facility.

Parties interested in tours or adoptions should always pre-arrange activities by contacting Kathi Fine at 307-352-0292.

To learn more about the BLM Wyoming wild horse adoption program or the holding facility, please visit their website.

12 replies »

  1. Where is the data?

    H-4700-1  WILD HORSES AND BURROS MANAGEMENT HANDBOOK (Public) BLM Handbook – 31 – Rel. 4-116 07/07/2010 To achieve these objectives, monitoring efforts should focus on the following:
    • Evaluate current year’s forage production and water flows.
    • Evaluate/measure use, map patterns of use and monitor seasonal distribution/movement.
    • Evaluate WH&B body condition.

    Data collection to accomplish the above could include:
    1. Photographs and Field Inspection Notes. Document observations on current year’s growing conditions (average, below average or above average precipitation and soil moisture); plant phenology (are plants maturing earlier or later than normal); and forage production and water flows (average, below normal, above normal). When taking photographs, label each photograph with the date and the location to facilitate re-photographing the area in the future.

    2. Use Mapping. Map utilization of current year’s growth. Where possible, document forage utilization by WH&B in rest pastures or prior to livestock use. Where separation of use by type of animal is not possible, map total utilization at the end of the season. Use the information collected to identify and establish key areas, determine distribution, and seasonal use areas. If mapping utilization of the HMA on an annual basis isn’t possible, focus monitoring on measuring utilization at key areas used by WH&B within the HMA on an annual and continuing basis.

    3. Utilization. Estimate the proportion of annual forage production used by herbivores (WH&B, domestic livestock, wildlife, and insects).

    4. Residual Vegetation or Stubble Height, Woody Species Use or Streambank Alteration. Measuring stubble height, use on woody species, and the degree of streambank utilization occurring annually (especially in rest pastures or prior to livestock use) may also be helpful in documenting resource impacts associated with WH&B use.

    5. Grazing Use Records. Summarize the actual grazing use (animal unit months of forage) by livestock, WH&B, and wildlife by unit or pasture for the year.

    6. Weather Data. Document information on temperature, precipitation, and growing conditions.

    7. Animal Condition. Using the Henneke Body Condition Scoring (BCS) system, document the number of animals seen, where they were observed, and their BCS class. Document average group size (e.g., animals are concentrating in large groups or scattered, small groups, evidence of lameness, or other possible animal health concerns). This information may be used to assist in the evaluation of TNEB within the HMA.

    When collected,


    Copyright 2005
    Pete Ramey

    One day, we took a road trip to a BLM holding facility. Some of the horses there had arrived from the wild only six weeks ago. We were eager for the opportunity to get some close-up photos of them, but they were not even remotely similar to their brothers and sisters in the wild.

    After only six weeks of domestication in what I would consider a “natural boarding” situation, the spell was broken. There were nice horses there, don’t get me wrong, but they were only shadows of their former selves.


  3. “Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled, That Congress finds and declares that wild free-roaming horses and burros are living symbols of the historic and pioneer spirit of the West; that they contribute to the diversity of life forms within the Nation and enrich the lives of the American people; and that these horses and burros are fast disappearing from the American scene. It is the policy of Congress that wild free-roaming horses and burros shall be protected from capture, branding, harassment, or death; and to accomplish this they are to be considered in the area where presently found, as an integral part of the natural system of the public lands.”
    PUBLIC LAW 92-195



    After all these years, my family and I made our first trip to see the wild horses of the western United States. My work has been dramatically influenced and inspired by the study of these horses and their hooves.

    So, I walked into wild horse country thinking that I was on a tourist trip; confirming what I already knew. I could not have been more blind. I could not have been more wrong. They were much, much more than I had ever imagined. What I write here, will probably sound very similar to what my predecessors have written. I don’t know if anyone’s words can get the point across to the world, but I have to try. I thought I was ready, but what I saw literally blew me away. I have worked on thousands of horses, all over the world. I spent six years of my life in the saddle from daylight till dark. I’ve had the privilege of working on some of the finest horses, for the finest horsemen in the world. Understand that after two minutes with the wild ones, I knew that I had never seen a true horse. I literally had no idea of their potential.

    How has the horse world ignored the remarkable lessons the natural horse has to offer us? Only a few people have noticed them and very little time has been spent studying them. The true wild horse is an endangered species, because true wild horse country is almost gone. We had better learn to treat them as such and get all of the answers we can from them before it’s too late.

    Picasso & Lightning Reunited


  5. We visited the Rock Springs holding facility last summer, and it was very sad. To see so many horses confined that were once running free was very hard to comprehend. There simply have to be better answers.


    • Thank you for your personal observations … although sad. Yes, there is a better answer and that is to follow the law that states that the wild horses and burros are to be PROTECTED where they were found and where they cost the tax-payer nothing and where nature intended them to be… and where they are free-roaming as nature intended.
      “Our National Wild
      Horse and Burro Program and related federal land
      management policies are so flawed that the longterm
      survival of these animals is in serious jeopardy,
      as is the health of the public lands on which they
      reside. Those federal agencies responsible for the
      implementation of the program, the Bureau of Land
      Management (BLM) in the US Department of the
      Interior and the US Forest Service (USFS) in the
      US Department of Agriculture, have lost sight of
      their legal mandate to “protect” wild horses and
      Quote from:
      [available for $2 purchase which includes postage – and/or you can read it online for free at


      • GG, I agree with your words. While I support those making massive efforts at providing sanctuaries, ultimately they represent failure to me. Taking wild horses off the range without a proven overpopulation externalizes all those costs off the BLM and onto taxpayers and private citizens. The sanctuary operators rarely have enough funds and must constantly try to raise money to care for these horses whose place at the public lands table is already paid for by all of us. Unless off-range sanctuaries are fully funded and also fully accessible by the public, this model is beyond broken. Wild horses need to be kept wild, in the wild, as the law intended both in intent and letter.


      • Exactly. There is NO reason for these wild horse and burro removals and destruction procedures … because there are NO excess wild horses and burros on their legally designated land. In 1971, when Congress passed the Wild Free-Roaming Horses and Burros Act, these animals were found roaming across 53,800,000 million acres. That amount of acreage could support more than about 250,000 wild horses and burros but even after 22,200,000 acres were stolen from the American people by government agencies the remaining 31,600,000 acres could support more than 100,000 wild horses and burros today. It is currently independently estimated that less than 20,000 wild horses and burros are living on their legal land today and yet the government continues its aggressive removal and destructive management toward total wild horse and burro extermination.


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