Wild Horse Solutions

SteensMountainSnowDustingreducedThere is a treasure hidden in the rocky outcroppings and High Desert swales of Eastern Oregon – the American Mustang. Over 2,500 wild horses roaming this landscape are living proof of nature’s program for survival of the fittest.

These horses are patchwork remnants of the history of the American West. Their genes include those of the Spanish horses that landed on Mexico’s beaches in the 1500’s and later dispersed from Mexico to Canada by native tribes, settlers, miners and armies on the move.

Over the decades, other breeds reached the North American continent from Europe and made their way westward with the human tide. The rigors of these journeys, and the consequences of war, left many horses, freed from their owners, to seek their own existence.

KWHWA017reducedBlood typing of Oregon’s wild horse herds today clearly traces the mustang’s genetic path. There are distinct markers of the Iberian horses, gaited North American breeds such as Saddlebred, Tennessee Walker and the Kentucky Mountain Horse. Also found are similarities to the light racing and riding breeds of the Quarter Horse, Thoroughbred, Morgan and draft horses. These horses provide us with a window into the history of settlement of the Americas.

Now, however, after hundreds of years of existence, this diverse genetic pool is threatened with extinction.

They need our help.

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