The Mustang Horse Is Free-Roaming By Nature

By Marsha Klein

Anyone who wants mustang horse information can find it in abundance. It is an extremely interesting historical tale. This horse is not native to North America. But, over the years, it has come to be symbolic of the wild West and the days when it was being settled.

Spanish settlers brought this fine animal to America and after that their descendants were ridden by Native Americans who adapted them to their own use. Some people refer to them as feral, which is a misnomer as they are descendants of domesticated Spanish equines.

They are honored by the Congress of the United States as symbols of the days of the wild West. They represent the noble spirit of the pioneers. Currently, some herds are genetically linked to the Iberian horses. Others have interbred with horses that strayed from ranchers who owned them.

The Bureau of Land Management is responsible for protecting these magnificent animals. There is disagreement on their rights to the land as opposed to the rights of ranchers and their livestock. Many would disagree with current treatment of the Mustangs. There are round-ups and some say, in excessive numbers.

Now they are offered for adoption as a means of dealing with overpopulation. In 1900 there were an estimated two million roaming in herds in parts of North America. The military and the Native Americans rounded them up and trained them for riding. At one time they were slaughtered for pet food.

In the past they were herded by men in planes over the hot plains. Some collapsed and died in the heat. Others were said to have been poisoned to reduce their numbers. Now the Mustangs that roam on public land are protected by federal law.

The main predator of these animals is the mountain lion. Wolves and grizzly bears also pose some risk to their survival. With a mountain lion being fast enough and strong enough to kill a moose, the horses are no match for them. The human predator is forbidden by federal law from hunting them or poisoning them as they did in the past.

The current method of population control is adoption. They are rounded up in humane ways by using a tame horse, trained to lead them into a corral. They are then offered to those who agree to provide a good home and not sell them for at least one year. About 225,000 have been adopted as of 2010.

One senator proposed euthanasia as a way to decimate the population of wild Mustangs. He wanted to euthanize all those over the age of ten. One horse lover wanted to establish a sanctuary in Nevada for them. It is a wonderful idea. But, unfortunately, it would lead to continuing overpopulation.

The wild Mustang is a magnificent animal. He has beauty and the kind of spirit that is admirable to all sensitive human beings. Anyone interested in adopting one of them can find all the mustang horse information needed from the BLM or another source. Decimating these majestic animals by killing them seems unacceptable and even unpatriotic considering their history.

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