Our Mission: Ensure Their Protection and Humane Management

The Salt River wild horses are the historic and majestic creatures roaming the lower Salt River in the Tonto National Forest in Mesa, Arizona. They are the pride of the community, a favorite subject of photographers and the icon of the wild, free spirit of Arizona and the American West.

These wild horses were brought into the limelight during the epic battle  for their protection; the Salt River Wild Horse Management Group rounded up large herds of people who gave them a voice;  we stampeded congress and we worked toward positive solutions with Federal and State governments. It worked; while almost gone forever, today the Salt River wild horses are protected pursuant to Arizona Revised Statute 3-1491 (aka the Salt River Horse Act)  We are currently under contract to manage this herd humanely under the AZ Department of Agriculture (AZDA).

Needless to say that we are forever grateful to the public of Arizona and all of it’s legislators and politicians. We are also grateful for our Arizona State Department of Agriculture (AZDA) and the Governor’s office. Most of all we are grateful to all of YOU who continue to support us, and sustain our programs with your financial support, we cannot continue our work without you.

Together, we changed the course of history. Together we are preserving and managing an important historic and recreational resource. It is the culmination of everything we’ve worked so hard for, but it is also just the beginning.

Birth control darts used on Salt River horses

Volunteers from the Salt River Wild Horse Management group are stepping up with a plan to preserve the wild horses along the Lower Salt River in the East Valley. Today, certified members of the group used darts to administer mares with a birth control vaccine.

Managing Wild Horses Humanely

From making improvements in their habitat, to rescuing injured wild horses, to humane birth control,.. managing wild horses has many different aspects.  With our large volunteer force we monitor the horses daily, help them cross the roads when necessary and are available for emergencies 24/7. While we have been doing the same for many years unofficially, there were things that we were not able to implement before, like our humane PZP birth control program.

Under the AZDA, we can now implement every aspect of our humane management plan. It includes the following components:

  • Monitoring the health of the herd and keeping records of each individual as well as each band in it.
  • A humane fertility control program to stabilize the population.
  • Long term and short term emergency solutions; such as a feed program; diversionary feeding; returning horses that wonder outside of the habitat.
  • Installation and maintenance of fences and gates to keep wild horses safe from roadways.
  • Work with MCDOT to implement safety features and reduce horse-vehicle collisions.
  • Capture and rescue of fatally injured wild horses that would otherwise die a cruel death.
  • Give care and sanctuary to the rescued Salt River wild horses at our facilities.
What is Humane Birth Control and Why is it Important?

We use PZP (Porcine Zona Pelucida) immuno-contraception. It can be darted in the field without capturing wild horses. It is the only acceptable form of birth control for wild horses, as it does not harm nor influence their hormones and therefore does not harm or influence their reproductive behaviors and herd dynamics. Any other form of birth control, such as geldings or overyectomies, are cruel, expensive, and will influence their hormones, which is why we do not support those forms of birth control for wild horses.

Birth control is important, because the herd is fenced in by civilization on all sides and their resources are limited; therefore they cannot grow exponentially. The PZP program will give the older mares a break from having babies and give the younger mares more time to mature before having a foal. All mares will still be given a chance to contribute their DNA to the herd. The goal of this program is for each horse born in the wild, to be able to live out its life in the wild.

To date we have successfully darted 36 mares and will continue the program throughout 2019. It does not affect the foals that are already in the making for 2019, therefore the earliest we will see the effects of our birth control program is 2020. We monitor the mares closely before and after darting, we have seen no effects and no bumps or edema’s at the injection sites. The mares do feel the dart when it injects, and might give a buck; but they resume grazing 10 seconds afterwords.

After we have darted the mare, it prevents fertilization for one year. By implementing this fertility control protocol with our team of certified darters, we can stabilize the population humanely and thereby prevent any future roundups. We want to thank our coalition partner the American Wild Horse Campaign for the financial support for this program.

PLEASE Join us in this historic movement to ensure that these beautiful wild horses remain wild and free and managed humanely.

Your Year End Gift to the Horses is Tax Deductible

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Donation Total: $20 One Time

We continue to work hard for peace for the Salt River wild horses. This year we secured the State contract for the humane management of this cherished herd. We hope that through our work, we can set the example for humane management of wild horses everywhere. (as opposed to cruel roundups) Please will you support our important work?

Giving Care and Sanctuary:

Wild horses are very good at healing and at taking care of themselves in the wild, they have obviously done this for hundreds of years without human help; however nature can be very cruel sometimes and when there is unnecessary suffering and we can do something about it, we will. Most of the time, the  rescues are necesary due to human influences, such as barbed wire, cattle guards, traffic or accidental human interference. Once we rescue a suffering wild horse we are committed to providing that horse sanctuary and a quality life. But we cannot do this without you. Please consider becoming a sponsor for one of our wonderful rescued Salt River wild horses.

Many Ways to Help!

Gideon update: We want to thank you all so much for the interest in the smallest foal of the Salt River ever found. He was found alone under a tree as a newborn, very dehydrated and overheated. All of his new sponsors helped decide on his name in a vote, it became Gideon which means “little warrior”, so it is very appropriate. He is doing fantastic and is steadily growing from his mere 33 pounds. He lives happily ever after with his buddy Snow, also a rescued orphan. If you would like to become Gideon’s sponsor,  CLICK HERE!  

YOU can make a difference!

All of the SRWHMG non-profit programs are dedicated to safeguarding wild horse habitat and using humane standards of treatment.  Every dollar of your tax deductible donation will go towards the horses directly. To donate  click here.  For checks, our mailing address is: SRWHMG, 4610 N. 68th street #477, Scottsdale, AZ 85251. You donation saves lives. Thank you.

You can also connect with us through our social media pages;  follow srwhmg on facebook  follow srwhmg on twitter  

New Products Now Available!

Background: When the impound notice for their removal was posted, in 2015, we were very upset. We knew that it would take an unprecedented public outrage to prevent this disastrous fate. We gave it our all; we alerted the media, we held rallies and we filed an injunction in federal court. What happened next was amazing, it was the unprecedented public outrage we needed, and then some- the people of Arizona and its politicians gave these iconic wild horses a voice. Eventually, the Forest Service agreed to rescind the impound notice. Together, we changed the course of history for the Salt River wild horses, who now have a legal right to live on the Salt River in Arizona and are protected under State law. We are now under contract with the AZDA to manage them humanely. More than 100 news pieces can be found when you search “Salt River Wild Horse Management Group” , including pieces on CNN, the New York Times, USA Today, the Washington Times and our very supportive local stations ABC15, FOX10, CBS5/3tv and 12News. It is important to remember that the public wants to see these cherished wild horses remain in their habitat and treated humanely.

more saved


On the top of a steep mountain, three month old Mori stood all alone, disoriented and blinded with a broken skull. We rescued her on Nov 14th 2017. Her prognosis was bleak..

about salt river wild horse management group


The Salt River Wild Horse Management Group (SRWHMG) is an Arizona non-profit organization 501(c)3, dedicated to monitor, study and protect the Salt River wild horses, who reside in the Tonto National Forest, Arizona…

volunteer to rescue horses


There are so many jobs to do, from monitoring horses on the river, to fixing fences to keep horses off the roads, to organizing and fundraising. We have sales booths and events and also there is lots of mucking to do at our Facility!