As one of our British supporters remarked: “One day I'd like to come visit and see mustangs running wild where they're meant to.” America’s wild horses are universally recognized and cherished as American icons. Yet, our wild herds are a mostly-untapped ecotourism resource.
Horse lovers, wildlife enthusiasts, as well as those with an interest in the history of the Old West, should be given the opportunity to enjoy wild horse excursions year-round. In addition to non-intrusive observation of wild horse behavior and herd dynamics, in-the-wild management itself could become part of a unique experience for visitors to herd management areas. In this manner, the American wild horse could establish itself as an economic resource on the Western range and better its chances of long-term survival.
Today, wild horses and burros can be found primarily on government-designated Herd Management Areas in Arizona, California, Colorado, Idaho, Montana, Nevada, New Mexico, Oregon, Utah and Wyoming, but also in Maryland, North Carolina, Hawaii, and even in the Bahamas.
While Eastern states have embraced their wild herds as an economic resource, in the West, whose spirit its wild herds truly embody, the Bureau of Land Management has failed to acknowledge the wild horse as having any value on the range. So, when you opt to spend your summer vacation trekking to the western states to view wild horses in their natural habitat, you support the horses' value on public lands.
With a bit of luck, you will be able to witness horses in their truly natural state, traveling in small bands made up of a stallion and his harem of mares, or in bachelor bands of young stallions. Please be respectful of the horses as you view them and always remember that these are wild animals. Stay on marked roadways, avoid water holes and leave all gates as you find them. Remember, it is illegal to chase, harass or harm wild horses or burros, or to let your dogs chase them. This is particularly important during foaling season. Be sure to bring a pair of binoculars and a telephoto lens for your camera so you don't disturb the animals by getting too close.
Please keep in mind that most of these are remote, untouched areas. Prior to setting out on a wild horse viewing trip, make sure to contact the local BLM field office for current updates on herd movements, fire restrictions, road conditions, maps, and other pertinent information.