Unfortunately, the roundups can be traumatic for the horses and can lead to physical injuries, including scars. Moon Star’s scars are evidence of the hardship she experienced during her roundup, which occurred later in her life when she was already 12 years old and had likely already had foals.
The BLM found Moon Star to be unadoptable and sentenced her to an overcrowded, government-funded facility for the rest of her life. Long-term holding reduces the number of wild horses on public lands, and in theory, it prevents horses with behavioral issues or physical limitations from being sold for slaughter.
However, some people take in mustangs for long-term holding to get money from the government. After getting paid, they sell the mustang to slaughter to cash in a second time. That would have been Moon Star’s fate, but Mustang Valley Sanctuary stepped in to help.
Now, the shy mustang lives on the sanctuary’s 137-acre ranch, where she made fast friends with Kara, another unhandled BLM-branded mustang out of Nevada who was headed for the kill pen. Moon Star and Kara are happiest when they’re out with the herd, running free.
Although Moon star is in a safe place, she’s still very wary of humans and lives her life in fear. Because she can’t be touched or handled, it is incredibly difficult to provide medical care. In the winter, she’s unable to wear a blanket to keep warm because she’s terrified by the weight.
Despite the sanctuary’s best efforts, Moon Star is not a good fit for domestication. She is a wild animal and does not want to be ridden or partnered with. Fortunately, Moon Star can live out the rest of her life at Mustang Valley Sanctuary with people and a herd who love her exactly as she is.
Join the Fight to Save Mustangs: Donate Today!
It’s heartbreaking to think about the trauma that Moon Star has been through, but her story is an important one to tell. We believe it is vital to raise awareness of the plight of wild horses and the need for better management of their herds. Mustang Valley Sanctuary provides a safe haven for mustangs like Moon Star, and we rely on your support to protect these magnificent animals.