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Wild Horse and Burro Program

Curly and his band in Forest Service corrals.
Curly and his band in Forest Service corrals.

Curly's Story

In December 2004, 12 wild horses were removed from the Jicarilla Wild Horse Territory on the Carson National Forest in northern New Mexico. The Jicarilla Wild Horse Territory (WHT) is comprised of 74,630 acres with an appropriate management level of 50-105 horses. Current population on the territory is in excess of 200 horses. To maintain healthy animals on healthy, sustainable rangelands, some horses need to be removed and placed in adopted care. The horses are being gathered using a bait trapping method, which is very low stress for the horses, but also very time consuming. To achieve appropriate management levels, the horses are gradually being captured and removed and offered for adoption near Farmington, New Mexico. Gathers are not taking place during the identified foaling season of April 1 through June 30. The horses on Jicarilla WHT are a mix of cavalry remounts and escapees from the Apache Nation. The horses have been residing on the territory since at least the late 1800s. “Curly” and his band were among the 12 horses gathered and offered for local adoption on February 5, 2005.

Picture of Curly and Renzo Fancellu.
Curly and Renzo Fancellu.

Renzo Fancellu adopted Curly, a 5 year old stud, and one of his band mares. On May 4, 2005, Mr. Fancellu reported the following to the Forest Service.

“I don't know if I told you but Curly became a Daddy on April 3rd. The colt looks just like him. I think I am going to call him "Play Boy". I haven't tamed mama yet. She is so protective of the colt that she makes it difficult. The colt is very tame and has become very comfortable with us. He is the first horse I have had born to me. I started riding Curly this past weekend. He plow reins pretty good and responds to leg pressure well. I got him to move out easily. It took me 30 minutes to teach him what it took me two days to teach my three year olds. He is so incredible. I just use a bosal on him. We have become great friends. He was so easy to work with. He never bucked or kicked. He accepted the saddle without stress.

Something really touching I want to tell you. I turn Curly loose to eat green grass out in front of the barn. I kind of panicked when he ran to the back fence when a band of brood mares came up from the river. He ran to the fence to check them out . He immediately did a u-turn and trotted over to his stall where his mate was standing. The two of them together are like a couple from a Norman Rockwell painting. The bond these two have is really touching.“

-Renzo Fancellu

Picture of Curly's band mare and colt.
Curly's band mare and colt.

This success story is not unique for horses from the Jicarilla WHT. Many reports from adopters rave at the ease to which these horses are gentled. For more information on these wonderful animals and for adoption opportunities, please contact Stan Dykes at the Jicarilla Ranger District in Farmington, NM (505-632-2956) or visit the Carson National Forest's Wild Horses web page.

US Forest Service, RGE
1400 Independence Ave., SW, Mailstop Code: 1103
Washington DC 20250-1103

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Last modified: Thursday, 28-Mar-2013 15:56:13 CDT