Where can you find mustangs? 1. Canada 2. United States America 3. Australia
SpeedWalking 4 MPH, Trot 8– 12 MPH, Canter 12 – 15 MPH, Gallop 25 – 30 MPHProblemsWolves and coyotes do not have the size and strength to attack and kill ahealthy, full-grown horse. Mountain lions and black bear are the onlypredators capable of bringing down a wild horse. But they cannot match theirspeed. Nevertheless, these predators will keep watch at the fringes of aherd, awaiting an aged or injured horse or a weak foal. Predators can pose aserious threat to the long-term survival of the band if they repeatedly prey onthe newborn and weakened foals.
Life styleHerding and speed help the wild horse escape from predators. Theirmain protective instinct is flight. Sure-footed and fleet, they spend themajority of their waking hours grazing, searching for food, or traveling towater. In good times and bad, the band wanders over vast acreage insearch of food. The constant travel by wild horses, often over hard androcky terrain, keeps them strong and any older and infirm horses. Weakhorses perish because of this constant travel. Another benefit of thisconstant travel is that it naturally keeps their hooves trimmed.
SizeStallions can reach 15 hands and weigh up to 1,000 pounds.However, the average wild horse is 13 to 14.2 hands high.Weight varies with height, but most are around 700 to 800 pounds.Quarter Horse type, another area may have wild horses with the characteristicsof a Thoroughbred, Standard, draft, Morgan, Arabian, or true Mustang type.
CharacteristicsThe wild appaloosa has descended from spotted Spanish horsesthat were further developed by the Nez Perce. Many herds alsoinclude horses of palomino coloring, a breed also originatingfrom Spain. Wild paints, also known as pintos, are also common.Paints were a favorite mount of the Plains Indians because oftheir natural camouflage coloring. About half of all wild horsesare reddish brown in color. Others are grey, black, white, greyish-brown , and palomino colored. The final word, wild horses comein all colors. Quarter Horse type, another area may have wildhorses with the characteristics of a Thoroughbred, Standard,draft, Morgan, Arabian, or true Mustang type.
FoodWild horses eat grass or roughage and drink water from seeps, springs, streams, orlakes. Adults eat about 5 to 6 pounds of plant food each day. Wild horses are able toprocess dry and course grasses and other vegetation. When grass is scant, they welleat anything that grows; leaves, goose bushes, young twigs, even tree bark. Theydrink twice a day and also seek out needed mineral salt deposits.
HabitatWild horses lead a semi-nomadic lifestyle in the vast semiarid reaches of the West.They may roam over a few to several hundred, even a thousand or more, square miles,depending on the lushness of vegetation and the availability of water and shelter. Theydo not camp at their watering sites as do cattle and sheep, probably due to a survivalinstinct.Historically, wild horses have been removed, displaced from more productiverangelands with good water. Moreover, western lands continued to deteriorate becauseof overgrazing by cattle. Today, the habitat of most wild horses are public lands. In thewest, these are desert scrublands with low rainfall and few water sources.
Pryor Mountain herd in MontanaThis has Colonial Spanish American heritage. This tough littlehorse, derived from the horses of Portugal and Spain, has beenpresent in this rugged mountain area for nearly 200 years.Over the last two weeks to round up horses of the Pryor Mountainherd in Montana. Their goal was to round up most of the 188horses in the area, and to remove all of the 39 horses outside thehorse range, living in Custer National Park, as well as 31 additionalhorses. I have followed this herd for 6 years photographing them 2– 3 times a year.
The Sulphur Herd in UtahWestern Utahs Mountain Home Range. This wild horsebecame known as the "Sulphur Springs Mustang", asaround the Sulphur Springs is where these horses canbe found. There is a harsh, mountainous environmentwith pine forests, steep hillsides, rough country, andalthough grazing has been improved over the lastdecade or so, it still takes a very tough horse to survivein those mountains. The Sulphur Springs mustang hasgreat stamina.
Kiger herd in OregonThe Kiger Mustang found on Steens Mountain in southeasternOregon. The Kiger Mustangs possess many characteristics of theoriginal Spanish Mustang.The Spanish Mustang was a part of early American history, havingroots in Native American history, and is the horse that helpedsettle the west. At one time it was thought to be extinct on therange.Kiger Mustangs have the physical conformation of oriental hot-blooded horses from which the original Spanish Mustangs. Theyare indeed a unique breed of wild horse.
Cerbat/Marble Canyon herd in ArizonaThe Spanish Mustang is a recognized breed of horse. In current times, only asmall group from the Cerbat (Marble Canyon area near Kingman, AZ).The 30,760-acre Mount Tipton Wilderness is located in Mohave County, 25miles north of Kingman, Arizona. Cerbat Mountains. Although Mount TiptonPeak, at 7,148 feet.The terrain in Mt. Tipton is extremely rugged. Water is relatively scarce in thispart of the Cerbat Mountains. Following rainy weather, pothole water isavailable, but can dry up quickly.The summer climate in this area is harsh, with temperatures in the daytimeoften exceeding 100 degrees. Temperatures are more moderate betweenOctober and April. During winter months it can be quite cold and snow ispossible at the higher elevations.
In Western Canada, settlement occurred later so horse populations oncenumbered in the millions. Also, there is clear evidence of horses until12,000 years ago with isolated finds. Evidence shows that in 1776, herdsof mustangs were kept in Manitoba and Saskatchewan. By 1790, Albertatribes had acquired mustangs from Shoshoni and under two decadeslater, there were extensive herds in the Kootenais, estimated at twomillion in total! Wild herds served as stock for Natives.There are four main herds of horses in Canada today: Sable Island inNova Scotia, two herds in B.C.’s Brittany Triangle (Chilcotin), and one inthe Siffleur Wilderness Area in Alberta. Herds in both B.C. and Albertahave shown evidence of Spanish blood, possibly from the “Spanishmustang trail” that came from Mexico up to the Canadian prairies.
Sable Island in Nova ScotiaThey descend from domestic horses who came to the Island in the late 1700s. Thehorses became wild and crossed with other horses which came in the 1800s and early1900s. Today we surely know, that the bishop of Boston tried to settle down on SableIsland in 1738 and due to this he brought cattle and horses with him. His efforts failed:the cattle were stolen by the fisher and the horses ran away – and became the SableIsland wild horses.According to this until today nobody can define the origin of the horses. Wild horseslike for example the Przewalkski Horse in Mongolia.
Two herds in B.C.’s Brittany Triangle ChilcotinThe Brittany Triangle itself is approximately 155,000 hectares, a visually stunningecosystem pine forest extensively dotted with small lakes, streams and associated withspruce and aspen groves. And of course there are the horses! Wild horses in westernCanada are found primarily in forested areas, typically lodge pole pine woodlandsinterspersed with pockets of dry grassland, shrub-land and sedge meadows, wherethey feed on a variety of grasses and sedges throughout the year. Most herds consistof 5-10 animals, although smaller and larger groups also occur. Horses are non-territorial, and home ranges of several herds may overlap. Although populations mayincrease under favorable conditions, high mortality rates due to starvation and topredation by cougars and wolves during severe winters are probably limiting factors.Since these horses arrived before European contact in the region, their origin wasmost likely from the Spanish stock which provided mounts for the plains Indians over400 years ago. This was the most likely source of horses at that time. Given there havebeen wild horses in the Chilcotin District for 200 years, we have no reason to thinkthey have not been in the Brittany Triangle just as long.
The Siffleur Wilderness Area in AlbertaIt is thought by historians that horses disappeared from the North American continent 8000 years ago. Some recentarchaeological finds show that they might have still been here as little as 2000 years ago. However, before the incursion ofthe white man horses were extinct throughout the Americas. The first horses reintroduced, arrived with Columbus in 1493.As the Spaniards continued to explore and claim territory the range of the horse began to expand. The natives, then beganto acquire these horses. Some of the horses escaped from the Conquistadors, some were stolen and others taken in battle.By the late 1500 hundreds horse had started to become an intricate part of the Plains Indian life. Around 1630 the firsthorse was brought back into what is now Alberta by the Blackfoot Indians. Through wars with other bands, these horsesbegan to roam free throughout the prairies in ever increasing numbers. The Cree, from the foothills and north, theKotenai, from south-eastern British Columbia also began to obtain horses through raids on the Blackfoot or capture of thewild horses. By the 1800 hundreds horses were a common sight and important part of the Native culture and that of theWhite man coming to explore and settle in this area. John McDougal, a missionary, in his journals, dated in the1850’s, documents wild horses and moose being preyed upon by wolves in the areas between the North Saskatchewan andOldman Rivers. The North West Mounted Police, upon coming to this area to bring law and order estimated there werethousands of wild horses in the areas that they settled.The horse became an important animal in helping settle and open this province. Our entire western culture and heritagefocuses around horses and the chores that they performed for us. The horse broke the land, hauled produce and helpedharvest our forests and crops. They helped the ranchers in the operation of their cattle ranches. They were an importantpart of the everyday life of the early Albertans being the only means of transportation.