FARMINGTON -- Nicky Savikis hopes to ride a wild horse someday.
The 12-year-old Farr West resident was one of many who studied possible horse selections at the U.S. Department of the Interior Bureau of Land Management's wild horse and burro adoption Friday at the Davis County Legacy Events Center in Farmington.
The adoption, which also runs from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. today, features 28 wild horses ages 1 to 4 and eight burros.
Today's adoption will feature a gentling demonstration at 10 a.m.
The animals are available at $125, with a special "Adopt-a-Buddy" program that allows one additional animal to be purchased for only $25.
"The least expensive part about owning a horse is usually the initial purchase," said Jared Redington, facility manager at the BLM's Wild Horse and Burro Center in Herriman.
"It's when you have to deal with the hay, the vet bills, the shoeing -- that's when it starts to add up."
The horses and burros are sold on a first-come, first-served basis.
Nicky's mother, Glenda, said they chose the adoption route for obtaining a horse because it's a way to give a horse a good home.
"I think she's already got her eye on one of them," she said of her daughter. "She loves horses, so we figured adopting one would be a good way to go."
Redington said potential buyers must go through an application process, which includes agreeing to care for the animal for one year before the transaction is final.
"After a year, we go and check on the facilities and a vet looks at the horse and we make sure it's being taken care of," he said. "Then they can apply for the title (to the horse)."
Redington said wild horses are found all over the Western United States.
Approximately 2,500 wild horses and 100 burros roam freely within 22 herd-management areas across Utah.
Most of Northern Utah's wild horses reside in the Cedar and Onaqui mountains, near Dugway.
Redington said the BLM determines how many animals a certain herd area can maintain, then sells the excess.
"We make sure we leave plenty out there to ensure we have a vital herd," Redington said. "Then if the ones we pull out don't end up getting adopted, we take them to long-term holding pastures."
Redington said the BLM doesn't send horses to slaughtering facilities.
"We give them a good home whether they are adopted or not," he said.
The BLM has several more adoptions scheduled in Utah this summer.