What type of breed is a mustang horse?

Headshot of Mustang horse. Also Known As: BLM (Bureau of Land Management) horse, American wild horse, Range horse

The Mustang is a wild horse that may currently be found throughout the western United States. The name Mustang
originates from the Spanish words mesteo or monstenco, which signify stray or wild. Originally
They were Spanish horses or their relatives, but they became a mix through time.
There are various breeds. These were the horses which changed the lives of the Native Americans
residing on or near the Great Plains. As European settlers came farther west they brought
their horses with them. Some were killed by Indian incursions, while others were released as wild animals.
Stallions ripped down fences to add tame mares to his herd, or a tame horse fled.
due to the fact that the original horses had fled the Spaniards. Draft breeding
was one of the horses that contributed to the Mustang herds. Also the Indians bartered and
Captured horses were traded across tribes, completing the distribution.

Civilization drove herds of wild horses from the eastern United States west.
They finally crossed the Mississippi River to join the herds in the west. French
Blood was added to the mix from herds pushed out of the Detroit region as well as from
French settlers in the New Orleans area in the South.

Mustang standing in the grass. The old-type breed is another breed that most likely contributed to the blood of the Mustang.
East Friesian. Throughout a ten-year period in the late 1800s and early 1900s,
The US government imported around 150 stallions from Germany each year.
The old-style East Friesian was a hefty warmblood or carriage horse.
was acquired to draw big carriages or artillery. So wherever the US calvary was found
These horses were discovered during conflicts in the west, and no likely some escaped and were added.
their blood to that of the American Mustang.

Before the western frontier, vast herds of wild horses did not represent a significant challenge.
As the United States grew more populated, cattle and other grazing animals were introduced.
native range. The barren areas of the west could not sustain a big grazing population. Three Mustang horses running through a field. animals, and it became protocol on certain ranches to kill Mustangs. The population
The number of Mustangs around the turn of the century was believed to reach two million.
By 1926 the population had been halved. The present population fluctuates but is quite small.
30,000. Congress approved the Wild Free-Roaming Horse and Burro Act in 1971, which protected these animals.
these animals. The task is shared between the Department of the Interior’s Bureau of Land Management (BLM) and the Department of Agriculture’s Forest Service.
of administering this law.

Throughout the 1970s, the number of wild horses rapidly increased due to this protection.
until population management became a big problem. Amendments in 1976 and 1978
The issue and necessity to dispose of the animals were addressed in the original 1971 Act.
being removed. The agencies kept working toward acceptable management levels.
To achieve such objectives, extra animals have to be removed. This actions was taken
in order to meet the requirement that the Secretary of the Interior “must promptly”
To attain proper management levels, remove extra animals from the range.”
The statute requires the elimination of any superfluous animals in order to “establish a healthy natural ecological system.”
balance to the range, and shield the range from degradation caused by
over population.”

A Mustang horse walking in green grass and wildflowers.

The Adopt-A-Horse initiative began in 1973 in Montana’s Pryor Mountains as a way to help needy horses.
A compassionate method of distributing surplus animals. Through this program excess animals are
The horses and burros were made available to the public for $125 apiece. Adopters
must satisfy specific standards for supplying safe transportation and lodging for
the creature. The animals remain the property of the government for one year following
the adoption. The adopter is required to provide a statement from the end of the year.
a veterinarian, extension agent, local humane officer, or other appropriately qualified person
confirming that the animal has got sufficient care. After approval a certificate of title
is issued, and the animal becomes the adopter’s legal possession. These mustangs,
Although they need competent hands, they normally grow as trainable as any other horse bred.
From birth on a farm. Because they are largely the product of natural selection these
Animals are often excellent riders and endurance competitors.

A Mustang horse standing in front of a fence. The majority of Mustangs are light horses or warmbloods. Horses of draft conformation
are maintained on different ranges. The coat color is the full range of colors found in horses.
Despite the fact that the Spanish blood has been diluted, many of the horses still display Spanish characteristics.
characteristics. For numerous decades, it has been widely assumed that there is
There were no pure Spanish-type horses left in the wild horse regions. But in
In recent years, a few tiny herds have been discovered in remote places.
Blood tests revealed that they are significantly derived from Spanish breeding. Among
these are the Kiger and Cerat Mustangs.


Bonnie L. Hendricks, International Encyclopedia of Horse Breeds, University of Oklahoma
Press, 1995.

I.L. Mason, 1996. A Global Reference on Livestock Breeds, Types, and Varieties. Fourth
Edition. C.A.B International. 273 pp.

Related Questions

  • What category is a mustang horse?

    Mustangs are often referred to be wild horses, however the word is debatable. Because they are descended from once-domesticated horses, they can be classified as feral horses.

  • What makes mustangs different from other horses?

    Unique Characteristics of the Mustang
    Because of its untamed background, the mustang is recognized for being tough and surefooted. These qualities make mustangs ideal as working horses and trail horses, since they can navigate terrain that other breeds might struggle with.

  • Are mustangs their own breed?

    Is there a variety of mustangs? The original horses brought into North America by the Spanish have bred with other domestic horses over the years and so mustangs are typically a mixture of several different breeds.

  • What is so special about a mustang horse?

    Mustangs are made to resist the running, weather, and dangers to life that come with free roaming. Mustangs are faster and more adaptable than the European varieties introduced to America’s eastern coastlines in the early days of our country. They are ideal for long-distance biking.

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