3 Strikes, you’re out, but to who knows where: The Story of Mustangs in Holding Facilities

Sale Authority


If a mustang has been passed over 3 times, they can be sold to anyone, unscreened (there is a simple bit of paperwork that can be done the same day horses are purchased), willing to pay $25.00.

In an age where some are paying kill buyers a fortune to simply purchase a horse, mustangs are being sold off for nearly nothing at holding facilities across the USA.

Truck loads of mustangs are sold in this manner. Some are purchased by good horsemen and women. Some are sold to inexperienced, unqualified people looking for a cheap horse. Many, many will inevitably be sold, en masse, to slaughter. Technically, they are not supposed to be slaughtered. But the fact is, some or many will be.

In 2012, it was discovered that nearly 2,000 mustangs had been sold to a known kill buyer through SA.


As of 2013, a limit of 4 mustangs sold to a single person was created, but the BLM has the authority to override this, as well as the guidelines as to what makes a horse an “SA” mustang. They end up mustangs of all ages and colors.

Heart of Phoenix has rescued several mustangs over the years, and some of our partners have worked extensively with mustangs. In 2018, we discovered that some of our fosters were only 3 hours from a holding facility that has SA mustangs.

We have made an appointment, and we will be working with a previous training farm we’ve collaborated some with in the past to assist several mustangs that likely have no chance of life with us coming to their aid this week.

We are asking our followers to step up to the plate and help assure at least 2 mustangs are saved from what very well could be a ride to Mexico to be slaughtered.

If you want to help us, our goal by Thursday, please. We aim, as always with a new intake, to have $1,000 per rescued horse to cover initial transport, feed, hay, worming, vetting, dental work and farrier care, though these mustangs will also require training beyond what we usually encounter, we really want to cover initial expenses.

Donate here:



or mail a check to:

HEART OF PHOENIX / PO BOX 81 / Shoals, WV 25704

As always, you know your dollars save lives and do the most good possible with HOP!


All photos in this blog are of Mustangs in holding facilities and used by permission, though not SA Horses, any of these horses could have faced becoming SA horses at any point.

To learn more on this situation our mustangs face (among others), visit the links below:

“Three Strikes” (Adoption and Sale Authority)


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