San Diego Border Patrol uses inmate program to train horses in horse patrol units

SAN DIEGO (KUSI) – Over the last four decades, the San Diego sector has created a variety of specialty units to further the mission of the U.S. Border Patrol, one of those units involves horses.

At least 80 percent of the U.S. Border Patrol’s horses actually come from an inmate training program in prison.

This program teaches inmates skills to use after prison while training horses to be a valuable resource for border protection.

The Wild Horse Inmate Program known as WHIP trains mustangs to be saddle-ready horses.

The program, ran by the Bureau of Land Management, uses inmates to domesticate wild mustangs over the course of 4 to 6 months. Inmates teach the horses to tolerate bridles, saddles and respond to commands.

When the mustang is ready, he or she is sold to the U.S. Border Patrol for around $500.

Today the San Diego Sector Horse Patrol unit has 12 agents assigned with a total of 19 horses.

The horse patrol unit covers from the Pacific Ocean, Imperial Beach Station, to East of Boulevard and from the international border to South of San Clemente. This is roughly 60 linear miles in both directions, and terrain that changes from beach to mountain.

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