Types of Wild Horses

There is more to wild horses than meets the eye.

There are mainly two types of horses that roam about in the wild.  Truely “Wild” horses are horses whose ancestors have never been domesticated or were never raised as captive horses

Feral Horses which are far more common and are often confused with Wild Horses are horses that have escaped (or their parents/ancestors in the case of long standing populations) from captivity and have bred naturally in the wild without human intervention.  Wild and Feral horses generally live together in small groups called bands from 3-5 adult horses with all of their immature offspring.  The most common type of Feral or Wild horse that can be found in the United States is the Mustang which is legally protected under federal law and can be most commonly found on public lands or in national or state parks in the Midwest and Western Unites States.  Many people often call feral wild horses, even though they are not truly wild horses because their ancestors were domesticated animals.  The major population centers of wild mustangs (the most common feral horses) are in Nevada where the mustang is shown on the state quarter to commemorate them, Montana, Wyoming, Oregon, Alberta and British Columbia. 

After Wild Roaming Mustangs were protected by the federal law, the BLM (Bureau of Land Management) was tasked with keeping herd sizes in manageable numbers.  Under the protection act, shooting or killing a Wild Mustang is illegal and can be prosecuted as a Federal Crime, because of that, capture tactics are used to capture wild horses and then sell them for adoption.  Although, to prevent the newly adopted horses slaughter for horse meat, the adopted horses are still protected under the act and cannot be sold during their first year in captivity unless approved by the BLM.  In conclusion, the Wild/Feral Horst populations of the American West and Midwest are an iconic American Icon that have and will continue to be a beautiful national symbol and Icon.

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