Adoption of a wild Mustang: pros and cons

Learn why you should or shouldn’t consider adopting a wild Mustang

When Spanish explorers of centuries past first came to the western half of the Americas in search of gold and other valuables, they brought horses with them to facilitate their travels. As time passed, some of the horses escaped and created a new breed of horse known as a wild mustang.

Over time other Spanish horses as well as ranchers ‘and farmers’ horses would get loose and end up breeding with the mustangs and creating herds of these animals. In the 1800s, there were over 2 million wild horses thriving in the wilds across the West, but unfortunately they were hunted for military use, pet food, and to keep them from eating the foods that ranchers wanted for their own horses and won. They were hunted to the point of near extinction and today fewer than 25,000 of them are still in the wild.

Because of this, in 1971, the United States government passed the Wild Horses and Donkeys in the Wild Act in an effort to protect this dying breed of horse. They later amended this law to allow the mustang raid and allow people to adopt a mustang as a pet. If you are interested in adopting a mustang as a pet, there are a few things to consider before deciding that a mustang is the right pet for you. Below are some of the pros and cons of adopting and caring for a wild mustang as a pet. You will notice that there are more and greater disadvantages in the adaptation of this animal than with many others.

What is your level of patience? To properly care for a pet mustang, you will need to realize that until now it was really wild. Because of this, it will not be as easy to break as a captive-born domesticated horse. You will need to learn or already possess the skills necessary to convince the Mustang that you are not going to hurt you and that you have your best interests in mind. If you have a lower tolerance threshold, you may want to adopt a younger mustang as it will be easier to train than an adult.

If you don’t have a horse yet or at least don’t have some knowledge about horses, you will have to think hard before adopting a mustang. Many people think they are helping when they adopt one without knowing much about horses. Below you will find information about the requirements to adopt a Mustang. It would actually be a disservice to the Mustang if it has an owner who doesn’t know what they’re getting into.

Do you have time to train the wild mustang? You should realize that there is a very small chance that you will be able to ride your pet mustang during the first year of adoption. You will have to work very hard to properly break up the horse and acclimatize it to human interaction. Because of this, it will take a long time for the horse to “get ready.” So if you are thinking of adopting a horse, you can ride it tomorrow; wild mustangs are not a good choice for you.

Are you ready for the surprise of a new foal? There is the possibility that a wild mustang adopted less than 11 months after being captured may be pregnant, so be prepared for this surprise, as well as for the attitude that will accompany the pregnant mare.

Do you have the proper knowledge and facilities to care for your injured or sick pet? These horses will be recently captured and therefore will be much more likely to become ill or suffer prior injuries than horses born in captivity. Therefore, it is imperative that you have medical knowledge in horse care or that you have the ability to hire someone who does, to facilitate any unforeseen illness or injury that may arise.

These are just a few of the downsides that come with adopting a mustang as a pet. Some of the advantages of adoption are that wild mustangs are a testament to the beauty of nature and undoubtedly these horses with proper training can exceed the expectations of even captive-bred horses. They are naturally strong, smart and mischievous and are to be admired for their benefits as well as their blemishes. Not only will you earn a friend when you adopt a wild mustang, but you will help preserve a part of the Old West.

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