Frequently Asked Questions

A family band runs together at the Sanctuary's Hill Property, also known as the Hidden Sanctuary. Photograph by Rianna Schmidt 2018


Where do the mustangs come from?

All of our mustangs were born in the wild and consist of mustangs from the BLM, Rare Breed Preservation herds, and Sanctuary-Born Descendants. 



What types of mustangs do you have?

American, Spanish, Curly, & Choctaw Mustangs all make their home at the Black Hills Wild Horse Sanctuary.



What is IRAM?

IRAM stands for the Institute of Range & the American Mustang. It is the foundation started by Dayton O. Hyde to protect and preserve the land and the mustangs. IRAM is a private 501(c)3 organization registered in the state of South Dakota doing business as the Black Hills Wild Horse Sanctuary.



How long have you been here?

Dayton O. Hyde founded IRAM in 1988.



Are you part of the BLM?

As a private non-profit organization we do not have any public views on BLM laws or regulations. However many of our resident mustangs were born on Herd Management Areas governed by the BLM. Over the years we have adopted BLM mustang bands rounded up by the BLM in an effort to give the family bands a new life of freedom outside a BLM holding facility



Do you receive federal or state funding?

No, the sanctuary is supported by donations & tourism.



Are you tax exempt?

Yes, donations to IRAM are tax deductible contributions under the laws of the Interanl Revenue Service.

Our EIN is 46-0401462. As an organization in the State of South Dakota, IRAM pays South Dakota Sales tax and Fall River County Property tax.



Why do you have cattle?

Our red angus herd helps us qualify for Agricutural Property Tax, as horses are not classified as agriculture in the State of South Dakota. The Agricultural Status helps to lower the IRAM property taxes.

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Call 605-745-5955

Monday - Saturday

9 am - 5 pm MTN time


Melinda Kersten



Susan Watt



Karla LaRive