Cowboys and -girls are known for wearing smart, colorful shirts, especially in show events like rodeos. This spring, when inmates at Wyoming Honor Farm in Riverton showed the wild horses and burros they had gentled, their sweatshirts were all the same hue — prison blaze orange.
The U.S. Bureau of Land Management’s event on May 31 and June 1 saw 56 animals adopted from the Honor Farm program. A 3-year-old black gelding named Diesel brought a record price of $5,700. He came from the Divide Basin area, the BLM said in a release, removed from an “overpopulated” herd.
More than 200 persons attended the event from Wyoming and surrounding states. They took home 28 saddle-started horses, 13 halter-started horses and 15 pack-saddle trained burros, the agency said.
The National Outdoor Leadership School was among those adopting. The school, headquartered in Lander but which operates a ranch in Boulder, has adopted 19 mustangs from the BLM and Honor Farm program over the years.
Jen Sall, NOLS Rocky Mountain director, used to run the ranch and said an older mustang already in the NOLS program inspired her. “He was just so darn good in the mountains,” she said. She needed to see whether the performance was because of the breed.
“They’re amazing,” she said of mustangs. “Their feet, stability, endurance, work ethic…. “They are, in my own opinion, the heartiest.”
The Honor Farm program gives adopters a better idea of an animal’s potential, she said, compared to adopting horses that haven’t yet been gentled. “You get an insight into their temperament — having been around humans for a time,” she said.