Wild horses now working with U.S. Forest Service


After initial hesitance, two wild horses are now members of the U.S. Forest Service’s mounted patrol program.

In 2018, Congress authorized the transfer of excess wild horses and burros to begin work for government agencies after being removed from the land.

“Government agencies using federal wild horses to do their day-to-day work is a promising strategy we can use to find ?additional homes for ?excess horses, and it showcases these animals to more members of the public,” said Scott Fluer, Bureau of Land Management program officer for the Wyoming Honor Farm.

Katrina Haworth, a mounted patrol coordinator for the U.S. Forest Service, was one law enforcement officer who was initially skeptical of wild horses being used as patrol horses. That changed once she saw the horse’s work with trainers.

“I had the opportunity to see how the Honor Farm trainers work with their horses, starting with essential groundwork and spending the time to instill a great foundation,” she said. “I brought that information to the decision-makers and made the case that we could bring good, lightly-started young horses to the program for little to no cost.”

When Haworth visited the facility last spring with two other USFS officers she was looking for an easy-going temprement, durability and the disposition needed to overcome obstacles. Two horses, Max and Waylon J, fit what the Forest Service was looking for and they were taken from Wyoming to Montana for additional training for their new patrolling jobs.

“I exposed Waylon J to many different things he has potentially never seen or had to deal with before,” USFS Officer Corey Scevers. “With a little patience and drive we worked through these obstacles together and we grew together as the year went on........I’m really impressed with the start we have and the things we were able to accomplish in our first summer together. Don’t get me wrong, there are things we still need to work on but I’m looking forward to the challenge and continuing this relationship throughout my career.”