Mustang. The word itself just excites me. When I hear that word I think of the Wild West and of cowboys and Indians. I think of the untamed spirit of an animal that runs free with the wind. Recently I adopted a mustang. My goal is to gentle and ride him.
If you are unfamiliar with what a mustang is, let me explain it to you. A mustang is a feral horse. Some people will refer to them as wild horses, but mustangs are technically feral horses. Feral mean that the animal, a horse in this case, has escaped from its domestic home and it has been on its own long enough it is now living as a wild animal.
Mustangs are horses that are not native to the Americas. All the wild horses that had lived in the Americas died out in the last ice age. The mustangs that roam here are mainly derived from horses that escaped from the Spanish when they settled in Florida and Mexico. Over time ranchers wanted to cultivate the herds to fit their preferences, so they would kill the dominate stallions of the herds and release their prize stallions out to breed the mustang mares.
Most of the original mustang were descendants of Andalusian, Arabian, and Barb breeds of horses. However over time many other breeds have been added to the mix, and various herds of mustangs show evidence of Thorough bred horses, draft horses, and several other light breeds of horses.
Over the years mustangs have been captured and used in various ways. The Native Americans captured them and used them for hunting and transportation. The military used them for food. And at one point in U.S. history they were even captured and used to make pet food.
The mustangs today are protected under law, but they have disappeared from several states where they once roamed. Nevada is home to over half of all the mustangs in the U.S. Other states that have significant populations of wild horses are Wyoming, Oregon, Montana, and California.
The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) is responsible for controlling the number of animals that remain in the wild. The country side can sustain only so many. If they are allowed to over populate they will run themselves out of food and habitat. The horses that the BLM gather from the wild are moved to holding facilities where they are put up for adoption. Of coarse there are always more animals available for adoption than people willing to adopt, so the BLM is trying to decide what to do with the excess horses.
When I was 12 my dad bought me a horse that was out of a mustang mare. I broke the horse myself, and it was the best horse I ever had. I’m just starting on my adventure with my new little mustang. I’m sure he’s going to be the second best horse ever. You can follow my progress on here. I will be posting photos and videos on my step by step process of gentling my mustang.
For more information on adopting a mustang check out the BLM’s website. You can adopt horses on line or go to a holding facility near you and pick one out today.