We adopted a BLM burro

A couple of weeks ago I posted about adopting Sherlock, a BLM Mustang in this post.  Today I’m going to introduce you to the BLM Burro we adopted.   The process is similar to adopting a mustang.  If you want to read all about that, it’s in the same post about Sherlock.

What is a burro?

A burro is considered a small donkey.  Ours stands about 40 inches at her shoulder and even though we haven’t officially had her weighed, we guesstimate she’s about 300 pounds.  They don’t have many predators and are known for their strength.  Burros are great companions and most of them are gentle with a sweet disposition.  She is no exception.

BLM Burro on adoption day in Fort Worth

Look at that face and those tiny feet!  Look at those ears!  Oh My Golly – I love her!

When the Mister and I went to Fort Worth to pick out a burro, we fully intended to get the dark brown one in the back.  But when I saw her face, I told him nope – I want her.  The one that looks like she ripped open a sack of flour.

BLM burro training in small pen getting used to human interaction

Because she had lived in the wild, we had to put her in a small pen, gentle/train her, and let her get use to human interaction.  During the first week she was rubbed all over, lead around with a halter through an obstacle course, and tied to a tree.  All of that is a big deal and a lot for the first week!

Remember with Sherlock we had Trainers that had dealt with Mustangs before.  They helped a lot this time too but one of the coolest things about her training is that the Mister did a bunch himself.  It might be that we’ve had a few years experience dealing with Sherlock but I’m leaning toward it being her sweet behavior.

An adopted BLM burro after training



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Bringing her home

We wanted to get to know her first so it took us a while to come up with a name.  Since she looked like she had gotten into the flour we started off with baking type names (cupcake, sugar pie, honeybun).  No one agreed so we tried feminine southern names (Dixie, Petunia, Magnolia) which didn’t work either.  We then thought of favorite book characters and finally settled on Scout (from To Kill a Mockingbird).  It really fits her personality – girly yet tomboyish, sweet, smart, stubborn yet curious, and we are surprised at the strength that comes with her small stature.

BLM burro and owner in new surroundings

When we first brought her to Navasota, she was nervous about her new surroundings and intimidated by the big black Mustang that now shared a pasture with her.  All Sherlock wanted to do was check her out but she was all like Aaahhh, get away you crazy thing!   It took a couple of days but now she’s his little shadow.  I’m sure Scout thinks Sherlock is Prince Charming and he thinks she’s the annoying wart on the frog.

BLM Mustang and BLM Burro together in pasture

Besides her coloring, her personality, her ginormous ears, her itty bitty feet, her chubby belly and her velvety soft nose, my favorite thing about Scout is her braying.  She brays when she wants food or when Sherlock has been taken away for a ride etc.  She sounds so pitiful.  After every whiny moment she lets out a snort like You people just don’t get it.  Turn up your sound and watch the video.  God love her.

If you decide you need a burro or mustang and want to get one, don’t forget about the BLM!  They have adoptions all the time and so many need loving homes.

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Welcome Home Wednesdays

Why we adopted a BLM Mustang

One of the many pleasures when visiting Navasota on the weekends is checking on the animals that are there.  One of those special animals is our BLM Mustang, named Sherlock, that we adopted about 5 years ago.  BLM stands for Bureau of Land Management.  They protect and manage the animals under the authority of the Wild Free-Roaming Horses and Burros Act of 1971. Their goal is to ensure and maintain the herd populations on healthy public lands.  Sherlock was rounded up from Saylor Creek, Idaho.  The area in which he roamed and grazed burned so his entire herd of about 200 were gathered and moved for survival.  When a gathering has to happen, they are either put up for adoption in hopes of a better life, or put into long term holding facilities (which are 200+ acres each) until their natural habitat has grown back and they can be returned.

Picking up the Mustang

I’ll never forget the day we drove to Pauls Valley, OK to pick him up.  It was rainy and cold but we didn’t care.  We had waited so long for him to arrive.  When it was our turn to get him into the trailer, we saw a scared, nervous, strong willed young horse with eyes that looked so sad it was almost pitiful.  He had no clue what was happening to him.  All he knew was he was being taken away (again) from his home and the other horses.

BLM Adoption Day in Pauls Valley, OK

You can’t just adopt a wild horse and be able to ride it or really even get close enough to touch it.  They have had very little interaction with humans so they need to be gentled and trained.  The little interaction they have had has been to Freeze Brand his neck (the painless permanent way to identify them), to check their teeth for a general age, and to spay/neuter the horses.  I would imagine each process being horrific.

Our trainers, Caitie and Elliot Holtzman are two of the most wonderful people on this planet.   They had trained mustangs before and were eager to show us how to care for him.

Day 1 was an eye opener.  Not that I expected fuzzy feelings from him or that we’d be best friends.  I just didn’t expect such anger and resentment.  Sherlock wasn’t happy with being roped or being put into a small pen.  Why would he?  Just imagine though if we had put him into a large pasture right away – we would have never been able to catch him.  I had to keep telling myself – he’ll come around, he’ll stop wanting to kick us, he’ll love us one day.

Adoption day 1 of a BLM Mustang

It took a couple of weeks but he finally calmed down enough to understand no one was going to hurt him or eat him for that matter.  He started to see we were only there to give him a better life with regular meals, mani/pedi’s, fly spray, cool water to drink, mud to roll in and to play beauty shop every once in a while.

BLM mustang process of handling

Life of our adopted Mustang

There is seriously so much I could tell you about the adoption process and how Sherlock has changed our lives forever.  I love that horse more than he’ll ever know.  He knows when I come to see him that I have treats.  He’s been known to sniff my pockets if I don’t pull them out fast enough.  Macy, our middle child, rides him and continues his training.  Since she never feeds him treats (insert rolling eyes), I get to be the treat momma.  I guess that’s what being a grandma is going to be like.  Spoil them rotten then give them back to the parents.  😉

BLM mustang eating grass

BLM Mustangs napping in the sunshine

He has a pretty good life.  He eats, he plays, he rolls in the dirt then takes naps with his buddies.  Occasionally we play dress up and put him in a Christmas parade or in a competition.  Every year the BLM hosts a Mustang Only competition somewhere in the U.S.   It’s a get together to show off what the horses have learned, play games with the them and compete.  The last event is a costume competition.  Oh the costumes!  Sherlock has been dressed as a poodle, a skunk, a TY Beanie baby, and a rainbow carousel horse.  I’ll let you guess which two costumes won him the prize.

BLM mustang in a christmas tutu.

All of that was before we moved him to Navasota.  Now days he runs from one end of the pasture to the other sounding like thunder.  He still plays in the dirt, hangs with the dogs, and gets into all kinds of mischief.  He has been called several new names – Mr. Mess, Sherly, Swirly, Big Butt, Brat, Best Bud, Turd (only Macy calls him that), and Mr. Handsome to name a few.

BLM mustang checking out the treat bucket on the back porch

BLM mustang checking out the dogs

Mustang and cows sharing food

Everyone seems to like him.  Although I think the relationship with the cows is a mutual tolerance.  He gets to chase them around and they try and eat his grain.  Over all he really does have a wonderful life.

Mustang and Addison

BLM mustang and Macy



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I believe if we took him hack to Idaho to let him roam free, he’d just stand there asking us “When are we going home and where is my food?”  He is quite loved and has quite the life.  There’s no doubt about that.

If anyone ever wants to learn more about adopting a BLM mustang, contact us.  We’ll be happy to chat about everything we’ve learned and how our experience has been exceptional.  #lovemymustang