Free Roaming Horses of Placitas Background

The County and members of the Placitas community continue to grapple with humane, legal, and sustainable solutions for the area’s free roaming horses. In 2014, the County commissioned a task force administered by the nonpartisan policy organization New Mexico First to share information and suggest solutions for the humane treatment of the horses, sustainability of the environment, and potential actions for residents, neighborhoods, and government agencies. The report offered a sound mix of potential next steps, some of which took place. However, efforts by community members and the County to implement the recommendations, have been fractured and challenging for a whole host of reasons, and since then herd sizes have only continued to grow. One potential solution is to establish a multi-jurisdictional board to help manage the horse-related plans.


Current Situation

Though some community groups have continued their work in the Placitas area and put certain measures in place, recently, Sandoval County has been working with the Bureau of Land Management and the New Mexico Livestock Board’s Office of the State Veterinarian to develop a Joint Power of Agreement on a cooperative fertility control program. This process, however, remains slow as each entity continues to work through legal matters.  But even at that, mere fertility control does not create the full measures needed to truly and sustainably resolve the situation with the free roaming horses in Placitas.

As such, the County asked, in Fall 2018, for Placitas residents to take a simple feedback survey in order to determine community desire as we continue to contemplate prospective legal and humane solutions in partnership with other government entities and local residents. The results of that survey are below. In addition, the County also created a Free Roaming Horses Advisory Council to formulate ideas and plans to address the free roaming horse issues.


Feedback Survey

The community feedback survey on the free roaming horses of Placitas closed at the end of the day on Monday, October 15. The results will now be analyzed by New Mexico First. We thank everyone for their participation. Click the link below to read through the survey results report.


Free Roaming Horses Advisory Council

On November 8, 2018, The Sandoval County Board of County Commissioners passed Resolution No. 11-08-18 and its associated Bylaws establishing The Sandoval County Free Roaming Horse Advisory Council (“Council”) in an effort to more effectively address the issue of the Free Roaming Horses of Placitas.

Learn More About the Council

Upcoming Events

On November 9, 2018 at 3 p.m., two national subject experts will provide a public education session on wildlife fertility control and Porcine Zona Pellucida, or PZP.

PZP is considered the industry standard fertility control vaccine that has been successfully used in wild horse populations for decades. Its use in wild horses was pioneered by the late Dr. Jay Kirkpatrick, with whom Dr. Ruthberg and Dr. Turner worked closely. Presenting at the free public education session will be:

• Dr. Allen Ruthberg – Click here to read his bio
• Dr. John Turner Jr. – Click here to read his bio

Missed the public education session? Click Here to Watch the session video.