Free Roaming Horses of Placitas


Residents 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.

In the fall of 2018, Sandoval County asked for Placitas residents to take a simple feedback survey in order to determine community desire as prospective legal and humane solutions continue to be contemplated. The County also created a Free Roaming Horses Advisory Council to formulate ideas and plans to address the issue. Included in this Advisory Council were members of the community, the County, and representatives from both the Bureau of Land Management and the New Mexico Livestock Board. The Advisory Council ultimately presented the Commission with a series of recommendations, many of which still hinge upon essential resources and more importantly the legislative fix needed for full scale remedy of proper, protected refuge for some and legal adoptions of others.

The County also contracted with Mt. Taylor Mustangs (MTM) to administer a fertility control program for the free roaming horses in the Placitas area through the use of PZP (Porcine Zona Pellucida), which is considered “the” industry standard wildlife fertility control method that has been successfully used for decades. Mt. Taylor Mustangs is a local professional organization that has been providing humane, safe, science-based management of wild horses on both public and private lands since 2004. They are considered subject experts in this highly specialized field and their professional experience includes the development of nationally recognized innovations and sustainable practices.