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Wild Horse Program

by Cheryl Cadue last modified Apr 12, 2017 12:45 PM
Kansas Wild Horse Program

"Saving Horses and Changing Men"

Since 2001, inmates at Hutchinson Correctional Facility have aided the U.S. Department of Interior’s Bureau of Land Management (BLM) in alleviating the over-population of wild horses on federal lands in the western United States. Left unchecked, the horses can multiply to the extent that the land would not sustain their numbers, resulting in starvation and other problems for these animals.

Through a cooperative agreement with the BLM, a dozen minimum-custody inmates care and train the wild horses with the goal of making them suitable for adoption. The program also provides inmate work opportunities that help inmates reintegrate back into the community.With the ability to house up to 499 horses, HCF uses donated materials to train horses rounded up by the BLM. HCF also receives a per diem for housing and care of the horses. Each May, HCF holds a horse auction with the sales benefitting the BLM to continue the program’s funding. Horses that are not adopted are transferred to long-term holding locations where they live out their lives. The BLM estimates that approximately 14,000 wild horses will need to be relocated and held until the current crisis abates.

For more information about the program, visit the Bureau of Land Management’s web site at

Frequently Asked Questions:

What are the requirements for adopting a wild horse?
The potential owner must attain an approved application through the BLM. Once approved, please contact Hutchinson Correctional Facility  at (620) 728-3296 Monday thru Friday for more information.

How much does it cost to adopt an untrained wild horse?
Persons adopting untrained wild horses from the Hutchinson Correctional Facility are charged a $125 fee that is forwarded to the BLM to cover administrative costs.

Can a person purchase a horse that is saddle trained?
Yes. Selected horses will be available for purchase that has been saddle trained.

What is the cost of a saddle trained horse?
The current price for a saddle-trained mare or stud horse is $746. This fee includes the BLM adoption fee of $125, $186 for feed and $435 for training. For a gelding the price is $796. BLM receives the adoption fee and cost of gelding if applicable. The remainder of the money goes to the Department of Corrections to fund the program.

What is considered to be a successful trained horse?

  • Easy mounting and dismounting
  • Knows the commands for walk, trot, lope and keeps its head and body collected
  • Can turn either direction, stop and back up on command
  • Can pick up all four feet
  • Can load and unload in a 4-horse trailer

When are horses available for adoption?
Horses are available for adoption at the Hutchison Correctional Facility, Hutchison, Kansas on the first Friday of each month between the hours of 9:00 a.m. and 2:00 p.m.

Where can one obtain information about how to adopt a trained or untrained horse from the Hutchison Facility?
Those wishing to obtain information about adopting a trained or untrained horse from the Hutchison Correctional Facility may contact one of the following persons:

Inmate Management Hutchinson Correctional Facility

* Bureau of Land Management

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