There are huge talks and discussions about the famous horse breeds that have well-known origins and recognitions and registries of famous association. There is also a breed with amazing characteristics but people consider it just as a wild horse breed.
It is the Mustang horse breed that is found wandering freely in the valleys and grazing in the grassy areas. Mustang horse is a feral horse, not a wild horse breed. The details about this breed will explain how it is not just a wild horse breed.
History and Origin of the Mustang Horse Breed
The Mustang horses are often found roaming in the western United States and it is thought that it has been here for centuries. Some consider that it might have its origin too in America.
The reality is that the Mustang horse has its origin in Spain. They were originally Spanish breeds but later on, they become a mixture of many horse breeds. This horse breed was brought to America from Spain in the late 15th century. The Mustang horses are often thought to be the descendants of the Andalusian and Lusitano horse breeds that also have a Spanish origin.
The arrival of the Mustang horse is often related to the arrival of Columbus and the discovery of America. These horses were Arabian and Spanish barb horses and they were tough and short with a swift. They reached the mainland in 1519.
These horses were adapted to the harsh climate of the desert. Soon they settled and began to populate the different regions of America. They spread heavily in the south, north, and central America in a short time and were named as Mustang.
Mustang word has its roots in the Spanish language. The word ‘mustengo’ meaning ownerless beast. It means that the Mustang horses were considered as wild or undomesticated.
The Mustang horse breed is not wild. It is the descendant breed of the domesticated horses. For centuries, Mustang horses have been used for hard works of farming, agriculture and also used in wars.
Today, more than 72,000 Mustang horses are found all around the world (source). Most of them are still found in the North American states including California, Wyong, Montana, and Oregon.
The Personality of the Mustang Horse
Mustang has been breed in Arabia and Spain and the harsh weather of these areas have made Mustang a tough, strong, and hardworking horse breed. Despite all the toughness, they are hot-blooded horses, and the element of sweetness, friendliness, and calm demeanor remains the prominent traits of a Mustang horse personality.
Mustang horses behave gently with new people but due they are overprotective for the person they consider as ‘leader’ and become aggressive if their leader gets threatened. Due to their alpha herd mentality, they start dominating other horses around them.
They get into a strong relationship with their alpha, the owner, trust him, and get eager to please him. The Mustang horses can be spirited, energetic as well as lazy, and laying back all the time.
The Physical Features of the Mustang Horse Breed
Mustang horses tend to have a short or medium-sized body. They are muscular and hardy horses with a narrow, well-defined chest, short back, and strong rounded hindquarters. They have a well-shaped head with brown, blue, or green almond-shaped eyes reflecting their intellect.
Their legs are long and strong that once helped them survive in the harsh climate of the desert. The back legs tend to be little hairy, with brush-like tail and mane, and the hooves are protected in strong and thick walls.
Height and Weight
The short Mustang horses can be as high as 60 inches and the medium-sized Mustang horses have a size ranging from 60 to 64 inches.
This small or medium-sized horse breed can have a maximum weight of 900 pounds.
This feral horse breed has a remarkably long life span as compared to other horse breeds. It can live up to 40 years.
Coat and Colors
The Mustang horses have solid-colored coats often with spotted and striking patterns like Appaloosa, Paint, and Tennessee Walking horse breeds. The solid colors can be chestnut, bay, brown, black, and grey. The patterns appearing on the horse coat are overo and tobiano. These patterns make the horses look amazing.
Nutrition and Feeding
Mustang horse has been adapted to the desert life to it has been trained to survive on sparse food and water. Grass, leaves, fruits, and vegetables with a proper ratio of vitamins and minerals can make a good diet for the Mustang horse. They also eat hay and grains.
Normally, living away from a desert, a Mustang horse can eat up to 5 to 6 pounds of food. This amount is quite less as compared to other horse breeds, especially the racing horses.
Health Issues of the Mustang Horse
This wild and strong horse breed is thought to be sound and healthy and none of the noticeable diseases or ailments have been found related to this breed.
Breeding and Gestation
The gestation period of the Mustang horse also lasts for about 320 to 360 days. The Mustang mares give birth to the foal in early summer during April or May. This gives time to the foal to grow and settle on its own before the arrival of winters. The population of Mustang horse breed gets multiplied every four years.
Uses of the Mustang Horse
This short but strong-boned horse can be used for several purposes.
- The Mustang horse has been used in wars of history. This strong horse can carry the fighters on its firm back on the battlefield.
- This strong horse has been used or rather misused for heavy and hard work of farming and agriculture like pulling carts and wagons.
- The Mustang horse was used for transportation in old times.
- Hunters used this strong and fast horse for hunting in the forests.
- It replaced the dog to herd the livestock.
- This amazing horse breed can be used after training for barrel racing, endurance riding, reining, jumping, race competition, and show ring.
- Proper training and care can result in turning the feral Mustang horse into a pleasure horse.
Grooming and Cleaning
The simple coat and brush-like mane and tail of the Mustang horse are very easy to groom and clean. Regular weekly grooming of the coat can make the horse look nice and will protect it from getting infected.
Washing the coat, mane, and tail with a shampoo and conditioner can make them clean and smooth in less time and effort. The detangler can protect the mane and tail from getting tangled.