HORSES OF THE WORLD
Mustangs are known as the "wild" horses of North America. They
are descendants from horses brought there by the Conquistadores in the 16th century.
Spanish settlers moving from Mexico to Texas encountered many Indian tribes who were first
inclined to eat the horses but soon appreciated their value as a means of fast
transportation. During the second half of the 17th century Indian tribes took horses from
the Spanish settlers and used them in mounted raids against the unwelcome intruders
acquiring even more horses. Eventually the Mustang spread further north to other tribes.
Over the time may horses got loose forming feral herds that flourished on the wide open
spaces of the Great Plains. At the beginning of the 19th century it as estimated that
about 2 million wild horses were living on the plains.
With civilisation spreading westward many Mustangs were killed, rounded up for farm work
and used for cross breeding. In the Boer War large numbers were used as army remounts.
Still more were killed during the 19th century for meat and pet food production.
In 1971 due to public pressure the government introduced an act to protect the remaining
Mustangs. Today reduced numbers still live in several mountain ranges of the United
States. Domesticated Mustangs make good riding horses.
variable conformation, generally sturdily built
Head: attractive, medium size head; finely pointed ears,
slightly hooked at the tip; fine muzzles
Neck: well crested
Body: short, broad back; deep well muscled chest
Legs: strong, clean limbs; dense bone
Feet: strong, clean; compact hooves
Mane: luxurious, silky
Height: 13.3 to 15hh
Temperament: intelligent, bold, gentle, calm, willing to
Qualities: tough, endurance, stamina, agile, courageous,
athletic, sure footed
Mustangs are good all-round riding horses. Their inherited toughness makes
them well suited for endurance riding. They are also suitable for
pleasure, trail and performance riding as well as driving, packing and cutting. Mustangs
feature in Indian tribal shows.