Many readers may be surprised to hear that hundreds of wild horses and burros roam the hillsides in the Western United States. There are so many of them, in fact, that herds often destroy farmlands or interfere with livestock grazing. In the past, the methods used to control herd sizes usually involved euthanasia but due to activism on the part of horse lovers, the Wild and Free-Roaming Horses and Burros Act of 1971 outlined a scheme for the humane management of wild herds.
Established in the fall of 1976, the Litchfield Corral outside of Susanville was the first facility opened in California, and is now the regional preparation center for wild horses and burros from Northern California and Nevada. There they are rounded up, vaccinated and then adopted out across the country. At capacity, the corral may act as a temporary home for as many as a thousand animals. Even if you’re not quite ready or able to take a horse home, you can come and see the animals in their native habitat and watch the wranglers ready them for adoption. The corral is open Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.