Equifest at the Bannock County Fairgrounds

Tamed wild mustangs up for adoption at two-day event

Equifest at the Bannock County Fairgrounds

POCATELLO, Idaho - For the next two days, tamed wild mustangs will be available for adoption at the Bannock County Fairgrounds.

The Bureau of Land Management is hosting an Equifest.

Eight-year-old Ellise Ison is an experienced rider. She's been riding her horse, Weston since she was 6, and other horses since before she could walk.

"I like horses because I grew up around them, and they just comfort me," Ison said while walking around the fairgrounds with him.

She also comforts her horse, which is something I experienced when her horse Weston took me for a ride.

He used to be a wild mustang. Now he's a riding horse that has competed in over 50 competitions in the United States.

But Weston isn't the only wild mustang-turned-riding horse. There are six trained horses available during a live auction Saturday at 7 p.m.

"They're really solid, reliable horses," said Sarah Wheeler, BLM public affairs specialist.

Also on Saturday, six wild mustangs from the Challis area are up for a silent-auction adoption.

But the Bureau of Land Management has made sure to bring in an expert trainer, Mario Johnson from Georgetown.

"He does a great job," said Wheeler. "People can see how easily you can halter break these horses with some simple training techniques."

The BLM partnered with Idaho 4-H groups, and those groups actually trained the horses.

The BLM is charged with maintaining wild horse populations, among their many other duties. When they gather the horses every two years, they check them for adoption and training potential.

Now they are just looking for folks to take care of the horses at their own homes.

"Some people may have an aversion to adopting a wild horse," Wheeler said, "But I think they'll see if they come down that these horses can make great animals, they can be trained incredibly well and they can do amazing feats."

In order to adopt a horse, there are certain requirements you need to meet.

If you're interested, you can go to the event and fill out an application on-site.

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