What Is A Feral Horse? (Question)


  • Feral horses in Tule Valley, Utah A feral horse is a free-roaming horse of domesticated stock. As such, a feral horse is not a wild animal in the sense of an animal without domesticated ancestors.

What is the difference between wild and feral horses?

The so-called “wild” horses that abound in Australia and North America are actually feral. A domestic animal becomes “feral” simply by fending for itself when left in the wild, without being helped or managed by humans in any way.

What does it mean if a horse is feral?

A feral horse is a free-roaming horse of domesticated stock. Feral horses are descended from domestic horses that strayed, escaped, or were deliberately released into the wild and remained to survive and reproduce there.

Can you tame a feral horse?

Can mustangs be tamed? Mustang horses are known for having a wild nature, but they can be tamed and ridden like other horses. However, this process will take longer if they are taken directly from the wild — rather than bred in captivity — and they are not used to being handled by people, according to Horse Canada.

What breed of horse is known as a feral horse?

The Mustang is a feral horse found now in the western United States. The name Mustang comes from the Spanish word mesteño or monstenco meaning wild or stray. Originally these were Spanish horses or their descendants but over the years they became a mix of numerous breeds.

What happened to horses before horseshoes?

A thousand years before any one thought to write about the process, horses had some sort of hoof protection. Horsemen throughout Asia equipped their horses with booties made from hides and woven from plants.

Are feral animals wildlife?

Feral animals belong to a domesticated species like cats and horses, but live wild. Often they are the offspring of animals that belonged to people but were either let loose or escaped from confinement. Feral animals have few predators, and their populations can grow quite large.

Is feral the same as wild?

But you will often hear a fierce debate using the terms “feral” in a versus argument to “wild.” Feral is a term used to describe a domestic animal turned wild, almost exclusively to a species that is “non-native” to an area. We use the word “wild” almost exclusively to refer to a native species living in a wild state.

What’s the difference between a wild animal and a feral animal?

Feral is a status attributed to species based whereas wild is a connotation to the natural environment of a species. Only animals are referred as feral, but any type of organism could be referred as wild. • Feral animals have experienced the human handling, but wild animals never have.

Are there still mustangs in the wild?

Today, 86,000 free-roaming horses live on nearly 28 million acres of public lands across 10 western U.S. states, and 55,000 taken off the land now live in government-run quarters. With no natural predators, their numbers are growing by 15 to 20 percent each year, according to the bureau.

How smart is a horse?

Compared to humans, some scientists have stated that horses possess the intelligence of a 3-year-old child. Also, most horses can recognize themselves in the mirror, understand human emotion, and learn complex tricks or commands. Consequently, there is no IQ score for animals as we can find for humans.

Which states have wild horses?

Today, wild horses and burros are present on 179 different BLM Herd Management Areas (HMA), covering 31.6 million acres in Arizona, California, Colorado, Idaho, Montana, Nevada, New Mexico, Oregon, Utah, and Wyoming.

How old do horses live?

1. Przewalski’s Horse. Of all the horses on our list, Przewalski’s is generally accepted as the only truly remaining wild breed. Other horses that live wild today are descendants of domesticated animals.

What is an untamed horse called?

Horses that live in an untamed state but have ancestors that have been domesticated are called ” feral horses “. For instance, when the Spanish reintroduced the horse to the Americas, beginning in the late 15th century, some horses escaped, forming feral herds; the best-known being the mustang.

Which species of the horse family has never been domesticated?

Much like their equid cousins, the zebras and African wild asses, Przewalski’s horses have never been successfully domesticated. While there are those who would argue that all domestic horses (Equus caballus) are descended from Przewalski’s horses (Equus przewalskii), recent genetic evidence suggests otherwise.

Feral horse – Wikipedia

See Wild horse for information on horse species that have never been tamed. A feral horse is a free-roaming horse that was formerly kept as domesticated stock. As a result, aferalhorse is not considered a wild animal in the sense of an animal that has never been tamed. Some feral horse populations, on the other hand, are maintained as wild animals, and these horses are commonly referred to as “wild” horses in popular culture. Feral horses are descended from domestic horses who wandered, escaped, or were purposefully released into the wild, where they were able to thrive and reproduce in their natural environment.

” Semi-feral” refers to horses that live in a feral state but may be handled or controlled by humans on an as-needed basis, particularly if they are privately owned.

In the same way as wild horse herds are typically made up of tiny harems led by a dominant mare, feral horse herds are typically made up of more mares, their offspring, and immature horses of both sexes.

The simplest way to define horse “herds” in the wild is as groups of multiple small bands of horses that share the same region.

Animal bands change throughout time when young animals are forced out of the band they were born into and join other bands, or as young stallions fight older stallions for supremacy in the breeding herd.

Feral horse populations

Wild horse is a good resource for information about horse species that have never been tamed or domesticated. It is a free-roaming horse that was formerly kept as domestic stock. As a result, aferalhorse is not considered a wild animal in the traditional sense of an animal that has never been tamed. Although certain feral horse populations are maintained like wild animals, these horses are generally referred to as “wild” horses since they roam freely. Feral horses are descended from domestic horses who wandered, escaped, or were purposefully released into the wild, where they were able to thrive and reproduce in their natural habitat.

  • When a horse is living in a feral condition, but is occasionally handled or controlled by people, such as when it is privately owned, the horse is described as ” semi-feral”.
  • In the same way as wild horse herds are made up of tiny harems led by a dominant mare, feral horse herds are made up of mares and their foals, as well as immature horses of both sexes.
  • The simplest way to define horse “herds” in the wild is as groups of multiple small bands of horses who share the same region.
  • Animal bands change throughout time when young animals are driven out of the band they were born into and join other bands, or as young stallions battle older stallions for supremacy in the breeding grounds.

A viable free-roaming horse or burro population of 150–200 animals is required in a closedecosystem (such as the isolated refuges where the majority of feral horses are found today) in order to preserve genetic variety.

Modern feral horses

Wild horse provides information about horse species that have never been tamed. A feral horse is a free-roaming horse that was formerly kept as domestic stock. As a result, aferalhorse is not considered a wild animal in the traditional sense of an animal that has not been tamed. Some feral horse populations, on the other hand, are maintained as wild animals, and these horses are commonly referred to as “wild” horses by the general public. Feral horses are descended from domestic horses who wandered, escaped, or were purposefully released into the wild, where they were able to thrive and procreate.

  1. Semi-feral horses are horses who live in a feral form but are occasionally handled or controlled by people, particularly if they are privately owned.
  2. In the same way as wild horse herds are made up of tiny harems led by a dominant mare, feral horse herds are made up of additional mares, their foals, and immature horses of both sexes.
  3. Horse “herds” in the wild are best defined as groups of multiple small bands of horses that share the same region.
  4. The composition of bands changes over time as young animals are forced out of the band they were born into and join other bands, or as young stallions fight older males for supremacy.
  • The Kundudo horse, found in Ethiopia’s Kundudo area, is endangered
  • The Namib desert horse, found in Namibia, is also endangered.

North America is a continent that includes the United States, Canada, and Mexico. have a look at as well Horse management in North America’s free-roaming herds

  • The Alberta Mountain Horse, also known as the Alberta Wildie, is found in the foothills of the Eastern Slopes of the Rocky Mountains in Alberta, Canada
  • The Banker horse is found on the Outer Banks of North Carolina, United States
  • And the Banker horse is found on the Outer Banks of North Carolina, United States. Chincoteague Pony on Assateague Island, off the coasts of Virginia and Maryland, United States
  • Cumberland Island horse on Cumberland Island, off the coast of southern Georgia, United States
  • Chincoteague Pony on Assateague Island, off the coasts of Virginia and Maryland, United States
  • Chincoteague Pony Elegesi Qiyus Wild Horse (Cayuse) in the Nemaiah Valley, British Columbia, Canada
  • Elegesi Qiyus Wild Horse (Cayuse) in the Nemaiah Valley, British Columbia, Canada
  • Mustangs are legally protected in the western United States by the Wild and Free-Roaming Horses and Burros Act of 1971
  • They are also legally protected in Canada. In the United States, the Nokota horse is found in North Dakota
  • In Canada, the Sable Island horse is found on Sable Island in Nova Scotia.

South America is a continent with a population of over a billion people.

  • Lavradeiros is a town in northern Brazil. It is thought that little wild horses have established themselves in the Colombian páranos, where they are believed to be descended from introductions made by Spanish conquistadors. A tiny herd of wild horses lives on the foothills of the Cordillera Real, near the city of La Pazin in Bolivia. These animals roam the high-altitude grassland, which reaches elevations of up to 4700 meters above mean sea level. It is unknown where this critically endangered herd came from
  • Nevertheless, it is believed to be in Africa.
  • Misaki horse in Cape Toi, Japan
  • Delft Island Horse on Neduntheevuor Delft Island, Sri Lanka
  • Misaki horse in Cape Toi, Japan
  • Misaki horse in Cape Toi, Japan There is a belief that feral horses are descended from horses that were bred and maintained on the island during the Dutch colonization of Sri Lanka.
  • The Danube Delta Horse, which can be found in and around the Letea Forest in Romania
  • The Garrano, a feral horse native to northern Portugal
  • The Giara horse inSardinia
  • The Marismeo in the Doana National Park in Huelva, Spain
  • And the Welsh Pony, which is mostly domesticated, but has a feral population of about 180 animals that roams the Carneddauhills in North Wales. A second population can be seen roaming the eastern reaches of the Brecon Beacons National Park.
  • Australia’s Brumby, New Zealand’s Kaimanawa horse, and the Marquesas Islands horse on Ua Huka, the Marquesas Islands, French Polynesia’s Marquesas Islands horse

Semi-feral horses

The United Kingdom is home to herds of free-roaming ponies that live in seemingly wild circumstances in a number of locations, including Dartmoor, Exmoor, Cumbria (Fell Pony), and the New Forest. Similar horse and pony herds may be found in other parts of the European continent as well. These animals, on the other hand, are not completely feral, as they are all privately owned and roam the moors and woodlands under commongrazing rights that belong to their owners, rather than roaming free. A part of them are halter-broken, and a lesser proportion are broken to ride, but they have been turned out for a period of time for a variety of reasons, including the weather (e.g., a break in training to allow them to grow on, a break from working to allow them to breed under natural conditions, or retirement).

In other circumstances, the animals may be owned by the government and kept under strict supervision on restricted reserves.

  • Southern France’s Camargue horse, found in wetlands in the Rhone River’s delta
  • Dartmoor pony, England
  • Primarily domesticated, but also found in semi-feral herds on Dartmoor. Pony from the Exmoor region of England
  • Primarily domesticated, but also found in semi-feral herds. The fell pony, although is primarily domesticated, is also seen in semi-feral herds in northern England, notably in Cumbria. Gotlandsruss is a semi-feral herd that lives in Lojsta Moor on the Swedish island of Gotland
  • It is endangered. A semi-feral Konik may be found in the Netherlands’ Oostvaardersplassen, where he has been primarily tamed. Despite the fact that the New Forest pony is primarily domesticated, it also exists in semi-feral herds in the region of Hampshire, England. Pottok is a breed of goat that is mostly domesticated, although it also exists in semi-feral groups in the western Pyrenees. It is a German pony called the Dülmen pony that lives in a wild herd in Westphalia with minimal assistance from people.
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Population impacts

Generally speaking, feral populations are contentious, with livestock farmers frequently at war with horse enthusiasts and other animal welfare groups. Feral horses have an influence on a variety of environments in a variety of ways. Especially in areas where feral horses descended from wild forebears that were indigenous to the area, a managed population may have little influence on the ecosystem, particularly if their primary territory is one where they do not compete with domesticated animals to a large degree.

If the population is allowed to grow to levels that exceed the available range, there can be severe repercussions on the environment.

Some areas where feral horses compete with domestic livestock, particularly on public lands where multiple uses are permitted, such as in the Western United States, have generated considerable debate over which species is most responsible for degradation of rangeland, with commercial interests frequently advocating for the removal of feral horse populations to allow more grazing for cattle or sheep, and advocates for feral horses recommending a reduction in the number of domestic livestock.

For example, the Chincoteague pony, which resides on Assateague Island, a national seashore with a sensitive coastal habitat, and the Misaki pony, which survives on a tiny refuge inside the municipal borders of Kushima in Japan, have significant historical or emotional significance.

Many feral populations are controlled by various types of culling, which, depending on the country and other local factors, may entail collecting excess animals for adoption or sale as well as other methods of population control.

Although it is costly and must be performed on a regular basis, fertility control is also occasionally used to keep women from getting pregnant.

See also

  • Horse behavior
  • A list of BLM Herd Management Areas
  • And other resources.


  1. Information about horse behavior
  2. A list of BLM Herd Management Areas
  3. And other resources.

External links

Wild horse yearlings were taken from Northern Nevada in 2012.” data-medium-file=” ssl=1″ data-large-file=” ssl=1″ src=”is-pending-load=1″ data-large-file=” ssl=1″ data-medium-file=” ssl=1″ data-large-file=” ssl=1″ data-large-file=” ssl=1″ data-large-file=” alt=”Wild horse yearling removed from Northern Nevada in 2012″ alt=”Wild horse yearling removed from Northern Nevada in 2012″ width=”353″ and height=”529″ are the dimensions of this page.

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  1. But the term “wild horse” actually sparks a heated discussion among horse lovers everywhere.
  2. Some think that the horses brought by the Spanish, as well as other animals introduced by immigrants, helped to repopulate the North American continent after it had been depopulated.
  3. It is believed that this smaller (about 12 hands) developed equid colonized Alaska, Yukon, and the Northwest Territories (the Yukon horse is similar to Preswalski’s horse).
  4. New technologies are demonstrating that wild horses did not become extinct on the North American continent more than 10,000 years ago, as previously thought; in fact, the period has been demonstrated to be substantially shorter.

However, you will frequently hear a heated disagreement between the phrases “feral” and “wild” in a vs argument against the term “feral.” Feral is a phrase that is used to describe a domestic animal that has gone wild, and it is nearly always used to a species that is not “native” to the location in question.

  1. With regard to “wild horses,” the most acceptable technical word would be “reintroduced native species.” This is in accordance with current scientific consensus.
  2. There is no disagreement over the origins of the animals; rather, there is a discussion about how the animals are managed on the land, as well as the underlying rivalry for public resources, which is the root of the debate (minerals, grazing land, water).
  3. When you consider the several authorities that are in charge of managing wild horses, this topic becomes even more crucial.
  4. The word “feral” is employed in the administration of Sheldon National Wildlife Refuge (Fish and Wildlife Service), and the goal is to eliminate horses from the refuge entirely.
  5. to management methods, Congress proclaimed them to be a wild species that was “integral to the system of public lands” and therefore needed to be managed accordingly.
  6. Management plans would need to be developed in order to protect the species (in the case of wild horses and burros, this would be necessary).
  7. There are several exceptions to the general rule of controlling any animal on public property.
  8. However, despite the fact that domestic European cattle have absolutely no evolutionary claim, they are controlled because to their contribution to the history of European colonization in the United States.

More discoveries have been made after this time, however this book is still available for free online: pg=PA148 lpg=PA148 dq=fossil+horse+great+basin+horses pg=PA148 lpg=PA148 dq=fossil+horse+great+basin+horses The source is bl ots=j6sgWkT7do, the signature is 1wWGw1k5sgM2Zm3OKXuvgcDH wU, the language is en, the sa=X, the ei is h9BjU4TUOIX5oATkgYLADQ, and the ID is ved=0CG8Q6AEwDA.

All of these things are modern inventions. Instead of asking “what club do you belong to?” while discussing management, we should be talking about the legislation.

What does feral horse mean?

  1. Horse that has gone berserk A feral horse is a horse that is allowed to wander the countryside and is descended from domesticated stock. As a result, a feral horse is not a wild animal in the traditional sense of an animal descended from domesticated stock. Some feral horse populations, on the other hand, are maintained as wildlife, and these horses are commonly referred to as “wild” horses in popular culture. Feral horses are descended from domestic horses who wandered, escaped, or were purposefully released into the wild, where they were able to thrive and reproduce in their natural environment. When these animals are not in close proximity to people, their behavioral patterns gradually return to those that are more similar to those of wild horses. Semi-feral horses are horses that live in a feral condition but may be handled or controlled by people on occasion, particularly if they are privately owned. Feral horses live in herds, harems, or mobs, which are collectives of their kind. Feline feral horse herds, similar to those of wild horses, are typically composed of small groups of horses led by a dominant mare and consisting primarily of mares and their foals, with some immature horses of both sexes thrown in for good measure. In most cases, there is just one herd stallion, however occasionally a few less-dominant males will remain with the herd as well. Horse “herds” in the wild are best defined as a collection of numerous small bands of horses that share a shared territorial area. Bands are normally on the tiny side, containing as few as three to five creatures, although they can contain as many as a dozen species. Band membership changes over time when young animals are pushed out of the band they were born into and join other bands, or as young stallions fight older stallions for supremacy in the breeding herd. Although in a closed ecosystem (such as the isolated refuges where most feral horses live today), the minimum size of a sustainable free-roaming horse or burro population is 150–200 animals, the minimum size for a sustainable free-roaming horse or burro population is 150–200 animals.

How to pronounce feral horse?

  1. Chaldean Numerology is a system of numbers that was developed by the Chaldeans. When it comes to Chaldean Numerology, the numerical value of a wild horse is 5
  2. Pythagorean Numerology is a system of numbers that was developed by Pythagorean philosopher Pythagorean numerology According to Pythagorean Numerology, the numerical value of a wild horse is:8.


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Word of the Day

On a regular basis, horseback riders may be observed grazing on the lawn of the Dungeness Historic District. Photo courtesy of the National Park Service A common mode of transportation on Cumberland Island was the horse-drawn carriage. Photo courtesy of the National Park Service

History on the Island

When Spanish missions were built in Cumberland in the late 1500s, it is likely that a few horses were transported to the area as livestock, but there is little evidence to support this. Horses were first mentioned on Cumberland Island in 1742, according to historical records. A corral within the fort was discovered by the Spanish during the struggle for Fort St. Andrews, which took place on the north end of Cumberland Island. The horses were between fifty and sixty years old. Island proprietors reported an estimated 200 domestic horses and a few mules maintained as free range livestock on Cumberland Island at the end of the 17th century.

During and during the Civil War, there was so much upheaval on the island that most of the horses were sold or otherwise evacuated from it.

At Dungeness alone, there were more than 50 horses stabled.

From the 1940s through the 1960s, horse owners on Cumberland Island kept horses as free-ranging livestock on their properties.

What is a Feral Horse?

In the case of feral animals, they are animals that were formerly domesticated but have regressed into their feral condition and have adapted to live in their natural habitat without the assistance or support of people. Horses have been kept as both free-ranging and confined livestock on the island throughout its history. During the mid-nineteenth century, horses may be found wandering the island with little or no care offered by islanders. Horses may often be observed in dune meadows, which is not unusual.

Wilson is a copyright.


The term “feral animal” refers to an animal that was formerly domesticated but has now reverted to its wild condition and adapted to live in its natural surroundings without the assistance or support of people. HORSES have been handled as both free-ranging and confined animals on the island throughout its history. Horses were roaming the island by the mid-1900s, with little or no care supplied by islanders themselves. Throughout the dune meadows, horses are regularly spotted. N. Wilson is the owner of the intellectual property rights.


The horses that live on Cumberland Island now are descended from current domestic breeds, which means they are not wild. In 1991, genetic research done on the island’s population by the University of Georgia and the University of Kentucky revealed that Cumberland horses are genetically closely linked to Tennessee Walkers, American Quarter Horses, Arabians, and Paso Fino horses (as well as other breeds).

Historical records corroborate these discoveries and also describe the introduction of American Mustangs, burrows, retired circus horses, and other specifically bought animals, as well as the introduction of American Mustangs, burrows, and retired circus horses.


Since 2003, the National Park Service has undertaken population surveys, yielding results ranging from 120 to 148 horses per year, depending on the location. These statistics should not be interpreted as a total count of all horses present, but rather as a gauge of the abundance of horses. It is possible that the overall number of horses on the island is 30 to 40 animals greater than the findings of the yearly census. Cumberland County is home to the only herd of wild horses on the Atlantic coast that is not controlled by a government agency (no food, water, veterinary care, or population control).

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Horses on the island can live for up to nine or ten years, depending on their condition.

Biologists have been able to study the influence of horses on the landscape of the island through the usage of exclosures (fenced areas that restrict horses from grazing there).

Ecology and Impact

Horses, like any other livestock, require a huge amount of feed and fresh water to survive. Grazing horses can be spotted in the salt marsh, dune meadows, fallow fields, and ancient lawns, among other places. They eat a variety of plants, including grasses, sedges, sea oats, and cordgrass. Spring water and a few ponds may be found along the length of the island, as can some other sources of fresh water. Horses are huge animals that can have a negative influence on the environment by trampling and eliminating natural plants from the places where they graze.

In addition to undermining dunes and stream banks, selectively eliminating native grasses and forbs, this impact has the potential to endanger the biodiversity of native plants and species on the island.


Visitors to Cumberland have been hurt by horses in the past, most commonly as a result of kicks, bites, and being knocked down by the animals. These are extremely large and strong creatures. Maintain a safe distance of at least 50 feet between you and them out of courtesy. Do not go too close to a horse. It may kick, bite, or charge if a horse believes you are approaching too closely. Generally speaking, if you are too close to a horse and it adjusts what it is doing due to your presence, you are too close.

You should move out of the way of a horse approaching you and try to place a tree, picnic table, or other large item between you and the horse.

If a horse comes to identify people with food, this might lead to the horse becoming reliant on human intervention for survival.

Both tourists and horses may suffer as a result of this. Horses are frequently seen on the island’s roadways and paths. Allowing a horse to pass you should be done with caution if you are on the same road as the horse is on. Photo courtesy of the National Park Service

15 Feral Horse Colonies From Around the World

When you witness a herd of wild horses rushing on a gorgeous beach, there’s nothing more romantic than it. But are they actually wild? Most likely not. Mongolia’s Przewalski’s horse is the only truly “wild horse” in the world. All of the other free-roaming horse and pony subspecies that are members of the Equus ferus genus are feral or semi-feral equines that are descended from a line of domesticated horses, according to the American Horse Society. It goes without saying that just because they aren’t strictly “wild” doesn’t mean they aren’t part of the natural world.

Check out some of the most well-known wild horse and pony populations from across the world in this gallery.


Photograph courtesy of aleksandr hunta/Shutterstock There is no wild horse quite like the mustangs of the American West in terms of cultural significance. These graceful creatures are derived from horses that were introduced to the Americas by the Spanish, but they have been crossbred with a broad range of different breeds over the centuries. As stated in the Wild Free-Roaming Horse and Burro Act of 1971, mustangs are considered “living symbols of the historic and pioneer spirit of the West,” and they “contribute to the diversity of life forms within the Nation and enrich the lives of the American people.” Mustangs are currently managed by the United States Bureau of Land Management (USBLM).

Brumby Horses

Photo courtesy of TTimm/Shutterstock Brumbies are wild horses that live free in Australia’s bushland and deserts. Despite the fact that brumbies may be found all across the continent, the most well-known populations can be found in the Northern Territory and Queensland, respectively. Brumbies, like many invasive species in Australia, are descended from escaped, released, or lost animals that date back to the period of the continent’s earliest European colonization. Brumbies are a threat to the environment and to human health.

On the other hand, as is the case with any invasive species population control approach, the issue of brumby management has been embroiled in dispute.

Konik Horses

Image courtesy of iPics/Shutterstock In Poland, where they have a long history as tough labor horses, this semi-feral horse breed is descended from wild horses. Today, many of these gorgeous ponies may be found in nature preserves, where they are carefully watched and bred in carefully regulated settings to ensure their survival. Historically, it was believed that Konik horses were the most recent descendents of the now-extinct European wild horse because of their basic markings (a dun colored coat and the presence of dorsal stripes), but this has since been disproved.

However, DNA testing has revealed that the breed’s mitochondrial DNA is identical to that of many other current domesticated horses, indicating that the breed is not endangered.

Chincoteague Ponies

Photograph courtesy of Stephen Bonk/Shutterstock They are one of the most well-known wild horses on the East Coast, and they live in the Chincoteague National Wildlife Refuge in Virginia. Despite the fact that they are commonly referred to as “ponies” because of their look, they are more closely related to horses genetically than to ponies. The title “Chincoteague” is further ambiguous because the horses are actually located on Assateague Island, which is divided in half by the state lines of Maryland and Virginia, causing more confusion.

Dartmoor Ponies

Photo courtesy of merc67/Shutterstock Dartmoor ponies get their name from the area of protected English moorland where they roam free. These ponies, which are distinguished by their low yet wide physique, are well-known for being exceedingly resilient. Their physical strength and endurance offer them an advantage in dealing with the harsh weather that is characteristic of the moorland’s environment. In common with many other wild and feral horses, the number of these equines has fallen significantly during the past century.

Namib Desert Horses

Namibia’s Namib Desert is home to three wild horses (Equus ferus). Danita Delimont is a Getty Images contributor. These extremely uncommon wild horses may be found in Namibia, Africa, where they live in the Namib Desert. The exact circumstances of their introduction into this hard environment are still unknown, while some believe that their ancestors were former German military horses that were brought to the region during World War I, according to certain beliefs. They are presently roaming the Garub Plains in the desert, where they are permitted to remain as a tourist attraction and historical curiosity.

Misaki-uma Horses

Image courtesy of JKT-c/Wikimedia. It is possible to see Misaki horses grazing in meadows around Cape Toi (“Toimisaki” in Japanese), which is located in Kyushu prefecture. The original progenitors of the Misaki breed were carried over from China by humans hundreds of years ago, as were the forebears of many other “local” horse breeds in Japan. Despite their extensive history, just approximately 100 people survive today as a result of a significant decline in population following World War II’s conclusion.

Camargue Horses

Photograph courtesy of Vadim Petrakov/Shutterstock Witnessing a herd of Camargue horses rushing over the waves is like to seeing the opening of the film “Chariots of Fire” for the first time. These graceful, grayish-white beauties are descended from an old breed of horse that originated in the Camargue, a protected wetlands area in southern France.

They are admired for their quickness, stamina, and toughness, among other qualities. Although many semi-feral animals spend their days wandering the marshlands, others are reared and taught by humans to herd cattle.

Grayson Highlands Ponies

Grayson Highlands State Park is home to a herd of ponies that graze. (Image courtesy of David Fossler/Shutterstock) If you’ve ever dreamed of trekking the Appalachian Trail, make sure to stop at Grayson Highlands State Park in Virginia to observe the wild ponies that roam free in the park. However, these beautiful equines are not native to the area; rather, they were imported into the area by the United States Forest Service some decades ago in order to combat overgrowth along the area’s previously timbered balds.

Welsh Mountain Ponies

Photograph courtesy of Gail Johnson/Shutterstock A larger group of closely related equines known as the Welsh Pony and Cob includes mountain ponies such as the Welsh Mountain pony as well as other breeds. All of these breeds have their origins in Wales, which predates the establishment of the Roman Empire. It is believed that the Welsh Mountain Pony (Section A of the breed group) is derived from a prehistoric Celtic pony, and while many have been tamed, a herd of roughly 200 animals still roams the Carneddu mountains in Snowdonia, Wales.

Danube Delta Horses

Image courtesy of iliuta goean/Shutterstock In Romania’s Danube Delta area, these fascinating critters may be found in the marshes and woodlands that dot the landscape. Even though feral horses have been present in this area for generations, the number of animals has increased to 4,000 during the 1990s, primarily as a result of humans abandoning their farms and releasing their cattle into the wild. Despite the fact that horses are an evident source of inspiration and interest, their unrestrained numbers constitute a severe threat to the indigenous plant life of the country.

Pottoka Ponies

Photo courtesy of Daboost/Shutterstock Pottoka horses are an ancient breed of horse that originated in the Pyrenees Mountains of France and the Basque Country of Spain. They have become increasingly endangered as a result of habitat loss and crossbreeding with other equine varieties, such as Iberian horses, Arabian horses, and Welsh ponies. What’s remarkable about the Pottoka is that they’re pretty good at “predicting” the weather, which is quite impressive. Herds will migrate into valleys ahead of heavy weather and then return to the highlands once the storm has passed, depending on the air pressure in the area.

Cumberland Island Horses

Photograph courtesy of Beth Whitcomb/Shutterstock With everything from a deep maritime forest to a 17-mile-long length of unspoiled coastline, the Cumberland Island National Seashore is a veritable treasure trove of natural wonders. The wild horses, on the other hand, are one of the park’s most well-known attractions. Cumberland’s wild horses are descended from a herd that was introduced to the island from mainland Georgia in the nineteenth century. The island’s feral horses are estimated to number between 150 and 200 individuals.

They are treated in the same manner as any other wild species, and no aid is offered to them. Despite the fact that they’re incredibly beautiful to look at from a distance, they can be rather physically aggressive when approached too near.

Garrano and Sorraia

Photograph courtesy of Zacarias Pereira da Mata/Shutterstock.com Among the indigenous wild equines found in Portugal are the Sorraia horses of the south and the Garrano ponies of the north – both of which are notable breeds (pictured). Both species are presently classed as endangered due to a loss in agricultural use value as well as predation, while recent preservation efforts have been made to re-establish and safeguard these breeds from extinction.

Banker Horses

Photo courtesy of John Wijsman/Shutterstock These equines, who are grazing on the marsh grasses of North Carolina’s Outer Banks, are thought to have originated near the shore, similar to other feral herds seen all over the Eastern seaboard. According to popular belief, they are descended from tamed Spanish horses that were introduced to the continent around the 16th century. A lack of nutrients in their diet, which results in stunted growth, has resulted in banker horses’ relatively tiny height.

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Feral horses

Horses (Equus caballus) were brought to Australia and New Zealand with the arrival of European settlers in the 1800s. It took time for animals to escape and be released into the wild, and they were first identified as a problem in Australia in the 1860s. In contrast to the Australian population, the New Zealand population is safeguarded by law. In 1992, it was believed that Australia had 300,000 wild horses, the most of which were found in cattle-raising zones in Queensland, the Northern Territory, and Western Australia.

  1. The number of horses changes significantly depending on the success of management initiatives, as well as the effects of drought and bushfires on the population.
  2. Feral horses are found in small numbers across New Zealand, with the majority of them concentrated in Kaimanawa on the North Island.
  3. It is thought that places frequented by horses during times of drought serve as significant refuges for a variety of native flora and animals.
  4. Both animals have a similar diet, and while there is likely to be more grass than each animal can take during normal seasons, competition is intense during times of drought.
  5. Feral horses, on the other hand, are unable to be de-stocked in order to protect pasture and breeding stock, like cattle can.
  6. They also thrive in the sub-alpine and alpine zones of Australia and New Zealand.
  7. In arid Australia, mortality is mostly related with drought, which results in famine, a lack of water, and the intake of hazardous plants that should be avoided.
  8. Under favorable conditions, the population can grow by 20 percent every year on average.
  9. To gather and harvest horses, the most typical approach is to congregate them near strategic locations such as feeding sites and water sources.
  10. Further densification decrease in arid Australia is mainly accomplished by helicopter-based shooting, which employs highly professional and well-trained operators.

It has also been recommended to utilize fertility control, but this has very limited relevance for large populations due to the difficulties in delivering the fertility agent, which must be supplied on a regular basis in order to maintain population control over time.

Feral Horse

In California, it is uncommon, with the majority of occurrences occurring in Modoc, Lassen, Mono, and Inyo counties. Isolated populations can be found in the counties of Tehama, Monterey, San Luis Obispo, Riverside, and San Diego, among other places. In open stages of a range of ecosystems, notably those of the Great Basin, this species can be found. The Owens Valley’s favored ecosystems include perennial grasslands, moist meadows, pastures, pinyon-juniper, Joshua tree, and desert scrub, among other things.

Habitats such as sagebrush are also used.

Range Map

The Horse’s Diet: Horses are grazers who also consume a variety of forage. Forbs and browse play a more significant role in areas where grass is limited. There is a vast variety of plant species that are employed. The majority of research (National Academy of Sciences 1982) demonstrate that grasses account for 80-90 percent of the diet. Grassy, open locations are the best places to find food. Mineral licks are used often, and dirt is consumed on occasion, most likely to remedy salt deficit in the diet (Salter and Pluth 1980).

  1. Open, grassy locations are best for reproduction.
  2. The likelihood of them watering more frequently increases during warmer weather (Slade and Godfrey 1982).
  3. Pattern: This species is most commonly seen in open, grassy regions.
  4. Having access to shade is critical during the hot months.
  5. Typically, they occur between 6-8 kilometers (3.6-4.8 miles) of water.

Species Life History

Activity Patterns: This species is active all year and is mostly diurnal. Migration and seasonal movements are non-migratory in nature. Tendency to establish stable bands that do not defend a territory in their home range (Feist 1971, Feist and McCullough 1976, Nelson 1980). Bands are typically made up of 4-6 females and one or two stallions. The home ranges of bands only overlap in locations where well-traveled roads pass through. Lone horses are generally old stallions who have outlived their usefulness and live in the gaps between the ranges of nearby bands.

  1. Slade and Godfrey (1982) defined formalized formalized formalized formalized (Slade and Godfrey 1982).
  2. The girls in the harem are arranged in a hierarchy of dominance and subordination.
  3. Although copulation occurs throughout the year, the peak mating time occurs during the foaling season in April and May.
  4. Gestation lasts around 340 days.
  5. Frequently, a female gives birth to young every other year.
  6. Females do not reach estrus until their third or second year of life, at which point they are kidnapped by the dominant male in a harem and raised as his own.
  7. Horse herds on excellent range can have a reproductive rate of up to 40 foals per 100 mares, whereas herds on bad range might have a reproductive rate as low as 20 foals per 100 mares (Slade and Godfrey 1982).
  8. Water sources are frequently the focal point of competition in dry ranges, and horses battle for fodder throughout the world’s ranges.

Despite the fact that coyotes and bobcats are occasionally known to feed on colts, the mountain lion is most likely the sole viable predator of the horse. All wild horses in California are feral, meaning they were bred from domestic stock and are not tamed.


California Department of Fish and Game, 1999. California’s Wildlife,Sacramento, CA. Written by: R. A. Hopkins, reviewed by: H. Shellhammer, edited by: J. Harris, R. Duke Feist, J. D. 1971. Behavior of feral horses in the Pryor Mountains Wild Horse Range. M.S. Thesis, Univ. Michigan, Ann Arbor. 129pp. Feist, J. D., and D. R. McCullough. 1975. Reproduction in feral horses. J. Reprod. and Fertil., Supplement 23:13-18. Feist, J. D., and D. R. McCullough. 1976. Behavior patterns and communications in feral horses. Z. Tierpsychol. 41:337-371. National Academy of Sciences. 1982. Wild and free-roaming horses and burros. Final Rep. National Academy Press, Washington, DC. 80pp. Nelson, K. J. 1980. Sterilization of dominant males will not limit feral horse populations. USDA, For. Serv., Rocky Mt. For. and Range Exp. Sta. Res. Pap. RM-226. 7pp. Pelligrini, S. W. 1971. Home range, territoriality and movement patterns of wild horses in the Wassuk Range of western Nevada. M. S. Thesis, Univ. Nevada, Reno. 39pp. Salter, R. E., and D. J. Pluth. 1980. Determinants of mineral lick utilization by feral horses. Northwest Sci. 54:109-118. Slade, L. M., and E. B. Godfrey. 1982. Wild horses. Pages 1089-1098 in J. A. Chapman and G. A. Feldhamer, eds. Wild mammals of North America. Johns Hopkins Univ. Press, Baltimore, MD. 1147pp.

Scourge of the West: ‘Wild’ vs. feral horses on public lands

At a watering hole south of Salt Lake City in 2018, wild horses throw up dust as they trot through it. (Photo courtesy of Rick Bowmer/Associated Press) Colorado Governor Jared Polis is just incorrect. He believes, like many other well-intentioned environmentalists, that wild horses on federal public lands should be given particular treatment. It’s time to take a deep breath and smell the sagebrush. It is past time to consider drought and natural environments, rather than merely soaring manes and hammering hooves, as the primary concerns.

  1. Interior Secretary Deb Haaland, requesting her to take a “more active, co-managerial role.” He has requested that the process be “more deliberate and inclusive.” I agree with you.
  2. Stallions cautiously guard their mares, and foals frolic in the open fields beneath the broad Western sky.
  3. The truth, on the other hand, puts an end to the myth.
  4. Hundreds of thousands of horses and burros were abandoned during the westward movement, and following the homesteading era, they were permitted to graze on their own for hundreds of years.
  5. There are no longer any uncommon Spanish mustangs.
  6. When it comes to trying to conserve wild horses, Americans are befuddled and uninformed.
  7. As historian James R.

(Photo courtesy of Rick Bowmer/Associated Press) Wild horse populations were discovered in distant regions across the Western United States in 1971.

As Childers said, “the bureau was having difficulty re-configuring multiple use to include wild horses as a different type of animal.” “Despite the fact that they are neither wildlife nor livestock, wild horses have been designated as a national heritage species under the new law.

It was impossible for horse enthusiasts to imagine what would happen when the wild horse population skyrocketed by 20 percent per year, destroying grasslands and indigenous flora while contending with other wild animals as well as domestic cattle and sheep.

Wild horses overgrazing their ranges was never considered by anybody.

We’ve now seen firsthand how vicious wild herds can be in their hunt for food.

Herd management areas are located across western states, including in Colorado, where the Piceance-East Douglas HMA is located southwest of Meeker, the Sand Wash Basin HMA is located 48 miles west of Craig, and the Little Book Cliffs Wild Horse Range is located northeast of Grand Junction.

“While some of the Little Book Cliffs horses may be traced back to Indian ponies, the bulk are decedents of horses who fled from or were put wild by ranchers and farmers,” according to a BLM brochure.

In 2018, a herd of wild horses gathers at a drinking spot west of Salt Lake City.

Alternatively, BLM staff members can attempt birth control by shooting contraceptive darts into mares using porcine zona pellucida, or PZP, but this must be done on a yearly basis for five years in order to be effective, according to the agency.

Many animals are never adopted and have little or no monetary worth in the marketplace.

∎∎∎ On the eastern plains of Colorado’s Rocky Mountains, I grew up with a dozen horses.

Sadly, we had to sell the string when I went off to college, but I’ve always thought that the exterior of a horse is beneficial to the interior of a man.

The manes are flying.

It is currently being re-examined scientifically since it is one of the Western icons that has been ensconced in myth.

The BLM is in charge of 180 HMAs.

Their latter years are being paid for by you and me, the taxpayers.

In 2018, wild horses drink at a drinking hole near the city of Salt Lake City, Utah.

In order to calm them down, I’ve leaned my head on their warm flanks for comfort.

I’ve also appreciated the comfort of sitting in a saddle knowing that a good horse will find its way home no matter how dark the route becomes.

Finally, in 2019, the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) tried a fresh strategy: it offered a $1,000 per head incentive to Americans who adopted wild horses as part of an Adoption Incentive Program.

According to a story published in May 2021 by The New York Times, “Records reveal that instead of being placed in loving homes, truckloads of horses were abandoned at slaughter auctions as soon as their adopters received government funds.” “Instead of protecting wild horses, a program meant to do so was instead supporting their extinction.” ∎∎∎ The Sand Wash herd in northwest Colorado was on the verge of extinction in 2021, during the hottest summer on record.

Because of dried-up water holes, the BLM was forced to remove additional horses from the herd.

Rather, the American Wild Horse Campaign claimed, the BLM should “prioritize the eradication of privately owned cattle and sheep that graze in federally protected wild horse and burro habitat,” rather than removing the horses themselves.

“Surely a country of entrepreneurs and animal lovers can figure out methods to maintain and nurture these iconic icons of freedom and natural beauty,” argues Kathleen Parker in The Washington Post.

Polis, fails to grasp the harsh ecological realities of an excessive number of hooves pounding an insufficient amount of range.

And what about the ranch families whose income is based on the sale of cattle and sheep that are becoming increasingly scarce?

There are other important markers of our Western history that we should not overlook. Andrew Gulliford is a professor of history at Fort Lewis College, where he is also an award-winning author and editor. Andy Gulliford may be reached at [email protected]

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