Wild Horse Program

Arizona Correctional Industries (ACI) and Bureau of Land Management (BLM) are working together with Arizona Department of Corrections (ADC) inmate population in a drug-free work environment. Under the guidance of experienced animal trainers, wild horses obtained from BLM are domesticated so that they can be offered for adoption. Known as our Wild Horse Inmate Program (WHIP), it operates in a state-of-the-art facility and employs a staff of professional horse trainers who provide horsemanship, animal husbandry and farrier skills.

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BLM’s top priority is ensuring the health of the public lands so that the species depending on them – including the nation’s wild horses – can thrive. To achieve that end, the BLM’s wild horse program must be put on a sustainable course that benefits the animals, the land, and taxpayers.

After passage of the Wild Free-Roaming Horses Act in 1971, the BLM became the managing agency responsible for protecting the wild horse habitats on BLM land. The first wild horse gather in Arizona occurred in 1977 and was conducted near Alamo Lake in the west central portion of the state. Since that time, more than 12,000 wild horses have been captured and removed from the public rangelands in western Arizona. To maintain their population at about 1,600 animals (a level that the desert habitat can support) the BLM continues its population control program by gathering excess horses and offering them to the public through the BLM’s Adopt-a-Horse Program.
Our facilities, located at the state prison in the town of Florence, Arizona, include a training center within the prison itself and the holding center open to public view where adoptions are finalized.

National Wild Horse and Burro ProgramThe Training Facility, where up to 72 wild horses are “gentled” at any one time can be visited by appointment (and includes a DOC background check). Through their participation in WHIP, inmates:

  • Receive hands-on-training in the equestrian field.
  • Work to learn about the care and treatment of animals, while building self confidence.
  • Learn the value of patience, warmth and respect for all living things.
  • Gain employable skills they can use upon release.

The holding center, where more than 900 wild horses and 85 burros are currently cared for, can accommodate up to 2,000 animals. It is situated across from the prison complex about a mile from the intersection of Butte Avenue and Route 79 in Florence. The public can view the facility from the parking area and can visit within the fenced area by appointment and during special adoption events held throughout the year.

In the news:

You Can Adopt a BLM Wild Horse or Burro in Arizona Year Round. Please review the adoption fees and BLM requirements for adopting one of these beautiful animals. To request a tour of either facility or arrange an adoption, contact:

Wild Horse and Burro Program Manager
(520) 868-4011 x5932

38 Responses to Wild Horse Program
  1. Hello Randy Helm !!

    Wow, great article!

    This is the first time I read the whole article.
    Thank you so much it is helpful and clear.

    I will visit again !!

  2. Hello, this is an amazing program. For the inmates at the Florence prison. Who would be the person to contact for an inmate there if really interested in this program? He has experience in horses & ranch work. Thank you.

    • Thank you for your interest in this wonderful program, Nancy
      When there are positions available for inmates to work with the horses and burros, announcements will be posted in the units where the inmates eligible to participate live.

  3. Hello Randy Helm !!

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  4. Nice site and i like it.

  5. Great! Thanks for sharing such an informative posts so keep it up man!!

  6. Very interesting.. Nice
    Thank you..

  7. Great! Thanks for sharing such an informative posts so keep it up man!!

  8. Great article and look very useful. Thank you…

  9. Streaming Drama Sub Indo April 2, 2019 at 4:42 am Reply

    This site is very interesting.. Thank you..

  10. […] the beginning of the credits photos of actual inmates and horses from the Inmate Wild Horse Training Program are […]

  11. This is so nice website, thanks friends

  12. […] with Robert Redford as an executive producer, “The Mustang” has its inspiration in the Wild Horse Inmate Program, which partners prisoners with mustangs and burros culled from public lands, and leads […]

  13. […] with Robert Redford as an executive producer, “The Mustang” has its inspiration in the Wild Horse Inmate Program, which partners prisoners with mustangs and burros culled from public lands, and leads to […]

  14. […] with Robert Redford as an executive producer, “The Mustang” has its inspiration in the Wild Horse Inmate Program, which partners prisoners with mustangs and burros culled from public lands, and leads to […]

  15. […] supervisor of the Wild Horse Inmate Program at Arizona State Prison Complex in Florence, a mainstream plan to address recidivism by instilling […]

  16. Thank you for giving me the oppurtunity to comment on this very interesting site

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  18. Thank you for giving me the opportunity to comment here, this site is very useful for me and very interesting

  19. Happy to hear the program. It’s more interesting with the video added in the artcile. Well-deserved a 100% support!

  20. Good, very helpfull, increase my knowledge about horse
    Glad been here

  21. Where do I send my completed adoption form? I found multiple BLM office addresses in Arizona, there are even two just in Phoenix. Thank you.

    • Thanks for your interest in adopting, Joie,
      Individuals interested in adopting a wild horse or burro may obtain information from the Bureau of Land Management by:
      Writing: BLM Arizona State Office, One North Central Ave., Suite 800, Phoenix, AZ 85004
      or Calling the Arizona State Office at 602-417-9421
      During the Federal Government shutdown, you can contact WHIP Manager Randy Helm directly at: 602-448-5019

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  23. I’ve been looking for articles as good as this for a long time, so lucky to find them now here, thank you very much

  24. Thanks a bunch for sharing this with all people you really know what you are talking about! Bookmarked.

  25. I’m interested in knowing prices and how we select?

    • Thanks for your interest, Lisa,
      Adoption information is available on the Adoption page. And you can contact Randy Helm [(520) 868-4011 x5932] to arrange to visit the holding facility to make your selection.

      • Are you accepting donations of used tack?

        • Laurie,
          We would love to have donated tack.
          We are in constant need of a variety of horse and burro equipment.
          Please let me know what you have to donate as there are some things we do not use in the program.
          We will be able to provide you with a donation receipt.
          Thank you for considering us. I look forward to hearing from you.

          Randy Helm
          Supervisor- Wild Horse Inmate Program
          Arizona Correctional Industries
          1305 E. Butte Av
          Florence Az

  26. Please add video with long duration 🙂

  27. Randy Helm talked about the the wild horse inmate program at Superstition Mountain – Lost Dutchman Museum, Thursday, Feb 22, 2018

  28. Please make a video about horse training or catch wild horse

  29. Keep it up, very nice informations

  30. Great! Thanks for sharing such an informative posts so keep it up man!!


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