Wild horses find new homes

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FRUITA, Colo. (KKCO/KJCT)-- Almost 30 wild mustangs were looking for a new home Saturday morning in Fruita. The Bureau of Land Management held the adoption event after relocating the horses from the Bookcliffs.

"We thought this would be a good project for us for the winter time," said Rifle resident, Kim Murchison.

Kim is looking for a new horse to use as a teaching tool.

"I have a student that works for me and she does a lot of support for me," Murchison said.

Her hope is that she can tame what once roamed the range.

"She's going to actually be spending a lot of time with the horse and doing a lot of groundwork with it for the first two years, and then eventually riding it," Murchison said.

After the BLM took them off the Little Bookcliffs Wild Horse Area, Kim says they seem to be in good shape.

"I think it shows with how quiet the horses are here, and how quiet they are around people that they haven't been manhandled and they've been treated well," Murchison said.

And she knows firsthand they needed to get out of the Bookcliffs.

"As bad of a year that we've had, when we rode up there three weeks ago, there is not a lot of food," Murchison said.

But before Kim can take her horse home, she must meet BLM standards.

"Adopters have to have appropriate facilities, making sure that you can feed and care for the horse, and appropriate shelter," said Associate District Manager for BLM, Kristen Lenhardt.

And not just for now, for the long haul.

"The Bureau of Land Management goes out and makes sure that the horse is being taken care of, and that the horse is in a good space," Lenhardt said.

The real goal is to put horses in good homes.

"The ideal candidate for us is to have someone that has an interest in horses, and really wants to create that bond with them," Lenhardt said.

As for Kim, she already sees the horses a family.

"We ride up in the herd all the time and so we've seen a lot of these horses and their parents and stuff like that," Murchison said.

All 27 horses at the event were adopted to new families.

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