The American Mustang is descended from the Spanish horses. They were brought with the Conquistadors sometime around the 16th Century. At a certain point in time, more than a million mustangs roamed in North and Central America. Being a hardy animal, mustangs have managed to survive the wild for decades. Today organizations like International Society for the Protection of Mustangs and Burros or ISPMB have come up that work towards the protection and well-being of these horses. ISPMB in fact is the oldest wild horse and burro organization in the U.S.
Mustang is considered to be the embodiment of the spirit and freedom of the American West. Hence, there are many Americans who try to adopt these magnificent beasts. After all, adopting mustangs is not much difficult in the American West. Organizations like International Society for the Protection of Mustangs and Burros, in fact, have certain wild horse adoption programs. ISPMB actually led the efforts of creating the first adoption program for wild horses in the United States way back in 1968, while being led by Velma Johnston, the organization’s first president. This resulted in the development of the Bureau of Land Management’s Adopt-A-Horse and Adopt-A-Burro federal programs. These programs remain active even today.
While adopting mustangs can surely be a good idea, here are a few factors one need to keep in mind while caring for such wild horses:
- Mustangs are prone to be clever, long-distance travelers who are adept at getting through impediments fencing. Hence, after adopting such a horse, one needs to keep them inside tall, strong fencing, to make sure that they do not wander out.
- As mustangs feed themselves on just forage in the wild, they might not be much accustomed to grains and treats given to domestic horses. After adopting a wild horse, people should try to feed them grass hay and some alfalfa or all grass hay, to make the dietary transition easier. With time, they can be fed grains and any other items fed to the domestic horses.
- Gentling a mustang would require a certain extent of training and expertise. Hence, if a person is not too well acquainted with handling wild horses, they should try and hire a professional for this purpose. Mustangs usually have an even temperament and high degree of intelligence, which allows them to learn easily under the right trainer.
Once they adapt to domestication, mustangs can be loyal and smart horses. People can always contact organizations like International Society for the Protection of Mustangs and Burros if they desire to adopt a mustang. ISPMB focuses on the conservation of wild horses, and has fought for more than sixty years to preserve and protect herds of burros and wild horses. Hence, people can trust this organization to provide them with proper guidance on mustang adoption.