No! When I bring home a new Mustang, I prefer to leave them without a halter and especially without a lead rope. I do this for a few reasons...
People commonly want a halter and long lead rope put on their Mustangs before coming home to assist in the gentling process. People believe that dragging a rope will help teach the horse to lead because when they step on the rope, they have to give to the pressure. I strongly disagree with this! On the contrary, most commonly, when a horse steps on their drag rope, they hit the pressure abruptly which jerks on their face and causes them to pull through that pressure in a resistant mindset.
As I develop horses, I strive to encourage softness from beginning to end. This means that I want to protect the horse's sensitive face from any abrupt pressure. The more constant rubbing and pressure on a horse's face, the more dull they become! Horses are incredibly tolerant and can learn to ignore a significant amount of discomfort...but when my goal is to have a soft and responsive horse, I want any pressure on their face to mean something and not be ignored. Anytime a rope is dragging on any horse (not only Mustangs), it desensitizes the area that I want to preserve for the hackamore and bit. I deeply regret leaving drag ropes on horses for so many years.
In addition, leaving ropes dragging on any horse can be dangerous as they can get tangled in fences or even around their own legs!
But isn't it easier to gentle them with a lead rope already attached??
While it may be easier to make first contact, it doesn't necessarily speed up the gentling! What I mean is that while a horse may allow you to touch them when restrained, they may not necessarily want to make contact with you willingly. I prefer to encourage the horse to seek out my touch instead of forcing a first touch onto them. (If you're interested in how I do this, refer back to the blog article titled "Faith 'the Untrainable' Mustang".
So why not at least have a halter put on?
While the wranglers at the BLM pens are skilled at what they do, I prefer a Mustang's first experience being haltered to be a bit different. When Mustangs are run into a chute to be haltered, they are already in a flighty state of mind. They are not thinking, they are reacting. Then a halter is put on them while they're in this reacting state and they form a negative association with haltering. I want a horse's first haltering experience to be while they are in a calm, thinking mental state. This prevents head shyness later in life.
I know these preferences may seem tedious to some, but these are little things that make big differences as we strive to develop soft, willing, and confident horses!