Sky Mountain Wild Horse Sanctuary envisions a world in which all wildlife live free and thrive within healthy ecosystems.
The mission of Sky Mountain Wild Horse Sanctuary is to create healthy ecosystems for wild horses and to provide sanctuary for vulnerable mustangs where they live free.
Freedom — we value freedom and work for wild horses roaming wild with their family bands throughout their natural lives.
Wildlife & Wild Lands — we value a whole ecosystem approach and work for conserving wild land to sustain wild horses, all wildlife that share it with them, and the environment.
Humanity, Science, & Technology — we value the most respectful and humane treatment for wild horses joined with scientific and technological innovation and work to translate these into action for healthy wild horses and healthy wild lands.
Collaboration — we value building strategic, respectful collaborations and work for continuous learning and action to achieve larger gains for wild horses, wildlife, and wild lands.
Ethics — we value integrity, strategy, gratitude, and sustainability, and direct efforts toward what we stand for while living our values in all of the sanctuary’s work.
The Sky Mountain Mustang Band & the Sanctuary
The mustangs who inspired the creation of Sky Mountain Wild Horse Sanctuary were rounded up and removed from the Jarita Mesa Wild Horse Territory in the Carson National Forest in early 2007. Sun, Moon, Fire and Luna were adopted based on their poor health and apparent family band connection. These mustangs were gaunt and ragged from starving during a bitterly cold, snowy winter out in the forest, and their future looked bleak. Luna, pregnant at adoption, gave birth to Starlight three weeks later. Wild horses roam together in family bands and form deep bonds, and the sanctuary was created with the commitment to keeping this band together and restoring their freedom. Today, wild horses who become part of Sky Mountain Wild Horse Sanctuary run free together for the rest of their natural lives. The sanctuary is a no-kill, non-breeding refuge committed to an ethic of life-long protection and freedom for mustangs.
At the heart of all that is the sanctuary is the vision of wild places where wild horses live free and thrive as part of a healthy ecosystem. Through creating connections between wildlife, wild land, and humans, a better world is possible. The sanctuary is a 501(c)3 non-profit corporation, inspected and licensed annually by the New Mexico Livestock Board and registered in good standing with the New Mexico Attorney General’s Office. You can give freedom to more mustangs and protect the wild places they roam by joining the community of supporters of the sanctuary ~ the Sky Community.
Mustangs in New Mexico and the West
Sky Mountain Wild Horse Sanctuary envisions wild horses free in numbers healthy for them and for the lands they roam. Wild horses are regularly removed from their home territories in New Mexico and throughout the western U.S. to reduce herd numbers. The maximum number of horses allowed in Wild Horse Territories and Herd Management Areas, called the appropriate management level (AML), is set by the Forest Service and the Bureau of Land Management who manage public lands where wild horses live. AML is based on factors such as range condition, forage and water availability, and the number of privately-owned livestock permitted to graze on these lands. Mustangs that are not adopted after roundups are sent to holding facilities managed by the Bureau of Land Management, where they may be offered again for adoption, left to live in holding facilities, or sold for slaughter.
It is difficult to know the number of wild horses left in New Mexico and the West – they don’t exactly stand still for counting. The Wild Free-Roaming Horse and Burro Act was passed in 1971 in response to the shooting, poisoning, and capture for slaughter of wild horses and burros. The Act was designed to provide federal protection for these native wildlife species. Sky Mountain Wild Horse Sanctuary collaborates with diverse partners including the Sky Community, students, scientists, members of tribal nations, personnel from federal and state agencies and other organizations working for wild horses to protect them and their freedom. Learn more at Endeavors, and join the Sky Community at Connect.