Horses and burros ride out two quakes and now are ready for adoption

Burros peer through a fence at Ridgecrest Wild Horse and Burro Corrals on Monday. The animals were unfazed by two big earthquakes near the facility.
(Irfan Khan / Los Angeles Times)

Grant Lockie was checking on the horses at the Ridgecrest Wild Horse and Burro Corrals on July 4 when a magnitude 6.4 earthquake shook the ground.

The animals didn’t mind much, and the corrals functioned as usual the following day, said Lockie, facility manager for the Bureau of Land Management-operated facility. “They just moved around and then they stopped and went right back to eating, and everything was good,” he said.

But when a second, larger quake struck Friday evening — a magnitude 7.1 that sent tremors from Long Beach to Las Vegas — Lockie was home. When the electricity and water went out, he knew he had to come up with a plan to keep the horses hydrated.

“I got everything settled at home, and the next morning, we came in,” he said.


A quick inspection at the corrals showed that a few things had fallen off shelves in the office, but the horses were unscathed. Lockie then began putting water tanks out for the animals.

The facility ended up with more than enough water after trucks were lent from El Mirage, Calif.

Now, Lockie is gearing up for the Trainer Incentive Program, an adoption event by the Mustang Heritage Foundation in which trainers are matched with adopters or purchasers of horses and burros. This year, 83 animals are up for adoption.

“It’s an inconvenience, but we’re here taking care of the animals all the time so we have protocols in place to take care of them on a moment’s notice,” Lockie said. “It is what it is. Life is good, and we’ll get through this.”

Horses maneuver around a worker at Ridgecrest Wild Horse and Burro Corrals on Monday.
(Irfan Khan / Los Angeles Times)

Twitter: @r_valejandra