Content watched by Whocopied.me

Mustang Horse Breed Profile

Sharing is caring!

The wild mustang is a “living symbol of the historic and pioneer spirit” of the American West. While Mustangs are not “wild” in the true sense (there is only one wild species – Przewalski’s horse in Mongolia), these feral horses run freely throughout designated areas in 10 different states. Keep reading to find out about these unique and special horses.

History of the Mustang

If you read my article on the origin of horses, you know that over 50 million years ago, the tiny Eohippus roamed North America. The dog-sized forest dweller was the domestic horse’s first ancestor, but it completely disappeared from the American continent until modern horses were re-introduced in the 1500s.

The word mustang comes from the Spanish word mestengo, which means “wild” or “stray”. Spanish horses were often kept on the open range (rather than fenced in areas), and would occasionally wander off and create bands of feral horses.

Spanish influence

Spanish conquistadors arrived in the Americas in the early 16th century. At this time, horses were well integrated into European life, and the Spanish brought their fine cavalry mounts to conquer the New World.

As these settlers spent time in the Americas, their horses escaped or were released to fend for themselves. This created groups of feral horses that were often caught, tamed and sold.

Spanish horses are refined and elegant, but possess hundreds of years of careful breeding for strength, agility, and hardiness. These newly wild horses adapted well to the new environments, and natural selection weeded out those unsuited for the harsh conditions of the plains.

The Quest for the West

Fast-forward to the great American westward expansion of the 1800s. Settlers spread across the plains of the Great Basin, using hardy cow ponies to work with cattle and navigate the wilderness.

Native people used horses to hunt bison and move freely from place to place. Several tribes, including the Shoshone and Nez Perce, became skilled equestrians.

Clashes between these groups often resulted in the loss of domesticated horses into the wild, where their populations continued to grow. Larger, slower farm horses were also intentionally released in an effort to slow down the quick Native American ponies. This is why some of the herds contain animals with a slightly taller, heavier build.

Dog Food

By the 20th century, more people began keeping dogs and other house pets. Wild mustangs provided an easy source of food for these animals, and the commercial dog food industry took off.

Ranchers would gather wild horses and bring them to slaughterhouses for processing. However, they often used inhumane methods and caused great stress and pain to the mustangs.

Thankfully, the use of horse meat in dog food was outlawed in the 1970’s. (source)

The Wild and Free-Roaming Horses and Burros Act of 1971

In 1958, Velma Bronn Johnston (aka “Wild Horse Annie”) led a campaign to stop the inhumane capturing and slaughter of wild horses and burros. A massive letter-writing campaign led to a ban on air and land vehicles as a method of capturing wild horses.

This monumental piece of legislation changed the course of history for the wild mustang. Horses would no longer be rounded up with pick-up trucks, packed on trucks, and sent to slaughterhouses. 

The Wild and Free-Roaming Horses and Burros Act of 1971 changed all that. Signed into law by Richard Nixon, the WFRHBA was instrumental for the protection and welfare of the wild mustang. Important elements of this legislation:

  • It is illegal to harass or kill horses and burros on federal lands (also, do not approach or feed wild horses if you encounter them!).
  • Land must be put aside for these animals to roam freely. Over 25 million acres are currently designated for free-roaming horses and burros.
  • The departments of the Interior and Agriculture must maintain the herds appropriately for the ecological protection of both the horses and the land.
  • The Bureau of Land Management and Forestry Service must maintain “Acceptable Herd Levels,” which is the number of animals that the land can support effectively.

Not All U.S. wild horses are protected by this piece of legislation. Only herds managed by the BLM and U.S. Forest Service enjoy the protections afforded by the 1971 law. Other wild horses, such as those owned by individual states and/or tribal governments, do not have the same protections.

Mustangs Today

The Bureau of Land Management handles 245 million acres of land in the United States, with 26.9 million acres containing herd management. When the area cannot support the current population, horses are humanely rounded up and put up for adoption.

Horses that are not adopted are often sent to permanent private pastures, or to rehabilitation programs instead.

Wild mustang quick stats (source):

  • Between 50,000 and 72,000 mustangs currently live on ranges in 10 western states
  • 43,800 are housed in off-range corrals and pastures across the country
  • Over 235,000 mustangs have been adopted or placed into private care

The BLM is also working on other methods of population control, such as vaccinating mares with a birth control drug called PZP-22, sex-ratio skewing, spaying, and gelding. However, the most effective method of population control continues to be the regular round-ups and removal of horses. (source)

Health

On the range, only the strongest mustangs thrive. An adopted wild mustang is as likely to be as healthy as any other horse breed. In fact, due to the genetic diversity, they are not likely to suffer from any of the genetic health issues that plague purebred horses today.

All horses must be trained over time to accept visits from veterinarians and farriers, but even common objects such as feeding buckets can seem foreign and frightening to a wild mustang.

Also, the stress of being captured and contained in small pens with unfamiliar horses can result in minor injuries from bites and kicks. Care must be taken to train the horse, at a minimum, for basic handling.

A tamed mustang is a tough, hardy little horse that can make a wonderful companion for 20-30 years.

These horses often don’t need shoes, as their feet are hard and well adapted to scrambling on rocky terrain. They are also often easy keepers, since a steady diet of hay and commercial grain is a lot more nutritious than poor winter forage on the range.

Wild Mustang Diet

Mustangs in the wild have evolved to live off of food sources that most domestic horses wouldn’t even consider eating. “Hay” isn’t an option in the wild. Instead, these horses must roam miles each day to find food and water.

Wild horses do feed primarily on native grasses. In fact, 82% of their diet is usually grasses. When grass is not available they turn to shrubs and forbs for nutrition.

To learn more about the types of grasses, shrubs, and forbs consumed by horses on the range, check out my detailed article: What wild horses eat.

Colors

Because mustangs are such a genetically diverse group, they can come in nearly every color. Mustangs may be black, brown, sorrel, gray, chestnut, bay, cremello, buckskin, roan, or spotted with appaloosa or pinto markings.

More rare colors such as silver dapple, champagne, and pearl have also been observed. Check out my mustang coat color guide for photographic examples of the rainbow of colors you can see from the mustang horse.

Tripp – BLM Mustang from Blawn Wash, UT – Sorrel Tobiano – Photo by Jen Lyon Photography

Some of the more insulated groups of mustangs have more specific coat colors than other populations. For example, Kiger mustangs are often a light tan or dun color with primitive markings.

Wilbur-Cruce horses mostly come in solid colors like traditional Spanish horses, but blue roan is common. Shackleford Bank ponies are almost always solidly colored, but mainland mustangs are often splattered with unique spotted coat patterns.

Conformation

Mustangs are a unique breed. A wild mustang can look like a perfect traditional Spanish horse, or like an awkward leggy grade horse with no discernible breed influences.

However, mustangs have adapted to life on the open range. While they are a very diverse group in appearance, many of them share some common characteristics.

Mustang Horse Height

Mustangs are often on the smaller side, typically standing 14-15 hands high and weighing less than 1,000 pounds. There are, of course, exceptions to every rule and some herds have taller horses.

If you want a horse that is 16.3 hands, it is possible to find a taller mustang. Keep in mind that the taller they are, the more likely they are to get snatched up!

Actual physical conformation can vary greatly from herd to herd and horse to horse. The main components of a horse’s conformation are typically head, leg conformation, and body type.

Head

Cas – BLM Mustang – Beatys Butte HMA – Photo by Photo by Lori Ackerman Photography – Contributed by A. Huntley

As far as head types go, it is just as plausible to find a horse with a refined, Arabian type head, for example, as it is to find one with a coarse, blocky head and roman nose. The average mustang is somewhere in between, more like what you would find in a Thoroughbred or Quarter Horse.

Leg Conformation

Leg conformation runs the gamut as well. For the most part, mustangs have pretty good conformation with nice straight legs and well set hocks. Of course, there are exceptions and even wild horses can have conformational issues. Some to keep a look out for include:

  • Clubbed Feet
  • Parrot Mouth
  • Over at the Knee
  • Back at the Knee
  • Cow Hocks

Mustang Body Types

The body type of mustang horses tends to reflect what horses of the area were commonly used for. The wide-open grasslands provided ample opportunity to raise horses for your ranch without having to maintain food supplies to feed them.

As such, cattlemen, farmers and even the U.S. Government could simply turn out a few stallions and/or mares into the wild to intermix with wild herds.

During westward expansion, the US government released heavier carriage-type horses into the wild to breed with the smaller horses belonging to indigenous people (and slow them down). Also, heavier cavalry horses of Friesian descent would join wild mustang herds after battles.

Cattle ranchers, on the other hand, might be more likely to turn loose stallions or mares that produced great ranch horses. Horses that were easy to ride and could hold a cow when needed.

Grace – Red Roan BLM Mustang from Little Owyhee, NV HMA – Photo by L. Castro

Likewise, areas where farmers needed plow horses might have more draft influence. There are a few herds out there that have horses that are very short in stature. One has to wonder if these shorter horses, sometimes as short as 11 hands, are descended from mining ponies.

Body type among mustangs are consistently inconsistent. This is why some mustangs are heavier boned and bigger than their cow-pony counterparts. In areas where mustangs remained more insulated, their morphology stayed closer to the original Iberian ancestors.

Roundups / Gathers

While rounding up wild horses is ultimately in their best interest, it can be a traumatic and stressful experience. The BLM will often employ helicopters to drive the horses into pens, which can result in panic and injuries.

The BLM does track injuries and deaths as a result of the roundup. These numbers are publicly reported for each gather on a day by day basis. In addition, a few members of the public and the press are usually invited to observe.

Recently, there has been a push towards the use of bait trapping instead, as it is less invasive and causes less stress for the horses. Trappers place water and food inside pens featuring remote controlled gates. The bait lures the horses inside, and then trappers can close the gates behind them.

Branding

Photo provided courtesy of BLM

As mustangs are captured, they are branded with a freezemark. A very cold branding iron is applied to the horse’s neck that permanently changes the pigmentation in the color of the hair. This brand will tell you where the horse is from, the year it was born, and its registration number.

This is useful if you wish to purchase a mustang from a private seller who doesn’t have much information on the horse. Because mustangs have no written pedigree or registry in the traditional sense, knowing the approximate age and location where it was captured can be helpful to new owners.

Check out my article on decoding a mustang horse brand for a detailed walkthrough on what each of the alpha angle symbols mean, and how to translate the brand into numbers!

Uses

Mustangs are hardy range horses, and with extra special attention can make wonderful companions. While a mustang can excel in almost any discipline, they are especially suited for trail riding or endurance competitions. They’re surefooted, and won’t spook at the slightest bird or squirrel rustling nearby.

Mustangs can also make successful eventers, jumpers, ranch horses, and general riding horses. However, they often need a skilled hand to guide them – proper training techniques are important for gaining a mustang’s trust.

Mustangs are horses first. Born wild on the land, crafty and resourceful, these horses often possess a quiet intelligence that other breeds don’t.

Types of Wild Mustangs

There are several different types of wild mustangs in the United States, and some of them have specific characteristics since their populations were geographically insulated from intermixing with other herds.

The term “mustang” is typically reserved for wild horses that are managed by the Bureau of Land Management. The term “wild horse” is commonly used for horses managed by other organizations.

There are other specific groups of mustangs that are managed by the Bureau of Land Management, Forest Service, or specific Native American Tribes:

  • Devil’s Garden Mustangs.  Near Alturas, California
  • Virginia Range Wild Horses. Between Virginia City and Reno, Nevada. This is supposedly the herd that inspired Wild Horse Annie to start her letter-writing campaign for wild horse protection.
  • Salt River Wild Horses. Tonto National Forest in Mesa, Arizona.
  • North Dakota Badlands Horses. Also called Theodore Roosevelt National Parks Wild Horses (or TRNP horses, for short) these horses roam the park and have less genetic diversity than some other wild horse populations.
  • Tribal Lands Mustangs. Horses on tribal lands are not managed by the BLM. They are owned by specific American Indian tribes and may be branded, sold, or managed at the tribe’s discretion.

You can read more details about these groups of mustangs and their current statuses in my article: Types of Mustang Horses.

Adoption Programs and Incentives

One of the things the BLM has been getting better and better at each year is maximizing the number of ways individuals can adopt mustangs. Their goal is to find as many horses homes as possible and, in recent years, they have really stepped up their game to do so.

There are several different ways that any adoption organization can increase the number of animals placed. This includes education, outreach, accessibility to adoptable animals and partnerships with like-minded organizations.

Here are just a few of the wild mustang adoption programs and incentives currently available.

BLM Adoption Incentive

The BLM currently offers a $1,000 adoption incentive for individuals who adopt a wild mustang. This incentive is paid out in two payments. The first $500 after 60-days and the final $500 payment after the horse becomes titled.

Only wild mustangs are eligible for this incentive. Mustangs who have been trained through any of the BLM’s cooperative agreements are not eligible for this incentive.

Sale eligible animals are eligible for the adoption incentive if they are adopted. Keep in mind that just because a horse is eligible for sale, doesn’t mean it can’t be adopted.

In-Person Adoptions

Graphic Source: BLM Off Range Corral Directory (Used with permission)

The BLM maintains horses (and sometimes burros) at several adoption facilities throughout the United States. These facilities are designed to hold horses short-term so that they are easily viewable by the public.

These facilities offer a convenient place for potential adopters to learn about mustangs as well as have a large selection of animals to choose from when they are ready to adopt.

Each of the gold stars above represents an adoption facility. Western states have more facilities as that is where the majority of the free-roaming wild horses and burros live.

Keep in mind that the BLM often holds individual adoption events throughout the country, including in the eastern states.

Check out the BLM website for a complete list of BLM Off-Range Corrals.

On-Line Adoptions

In addition to In-Person adoptions, the BLM routinely holds internet adoptions through their “Online Corral“.

The signup process is easy and the adoption application process can be completed entirely online. Once you are approved, it’s like the Ebay of horses. You can place a max bid or bid as you go.

One of the great things about online adoption is that BLM offers a variety of pickup locations for adopters. The pickup locations vary from auction to auction but this is often a great way to get a mustang from one of the western corrals back to some of the eastern states.

There is no obligation to submit an application or bid on horses when you signup for the online corral. Feel free to check it out and be nosey. Be warned though, it can be dangerous when you come across the cutest mustang face you’ve ever seen! People complain about chicken math but I think mustang math is worse!

Mustang Heritage Foundation

In 2001, the Mustang Heritage Foundation (commonly abbreviated MHF) was “established with the mission of helping to increase the number of successful adoptions of America’s Mustangs”.

Wild Horse Training Events

The Mustang Heritage Foundation hosts several different mustang events, such as the Extreme Mustang Race, The Extreme Mustang Makeover, Mustang Magic, and the Mustang Open. All of these events feature previously wild mustangs adopted through the BLM, and trainers and riders can compete for cash prizes.

In the Extreme Mustang Makeover, wild horses and selected trainers are paired randomly approximately 100 days before the competition. Trainers work with these horses to compete in different competitive classes: handling and conditioning, a maneuvers class, and a trail class. The top ten finalists then compete in a freestyle finals performance, showing off their skills.

All horses are then put up for adoption or public auction. More than 4,000 mustangs have been adopted through this event since 2007! (source)

Trainer Incentive Program

The Trainer Incentive Program (abbreviated TIP) is a cooperative agreement between the BLM and the Mustang Heritage Foundation to recruit trainers to gentle wild horses and burros.

Through this program, horse trainers across the country can collect up to $1,200 per horse or burro gentled to basic training requirements. Horses adopted through this program can typically:

  • Be haltered
  • Lead
  • Pick up all four feet
  • Load into a horse trailer.

The adoption fee for a gentled animal is a very low $125 for approved adopters. The BLM does also offer sale horses through this program as well.

I participated in the TIP program for several years. For more details check out my article: Should You Become A TIP Trainer?.

Private Training and Competition Events

Black Mustang

In addition to events put on by the Mustang Heritage Foundation, other organizations often have competitions and events for BLM mustangs as well. Here are a few to get you started:

American Competitive Mustang Club

The American Competitive Mustang Club (ACMC) was founded in July 2018 by mustang trainers Erika and Shane Hunter with the mission of bringing mustang owners from across the country together to compete against each others for year-end prizes in a variety of events and challenges.

Their first year was extremely successful and the club grew by leaps and bounds. In their first year, they awarded 10 buckles and nearly $1,000 in other prizes.

The 2019 – 2020 season saw even more growth for the ACMC. This year they will award 30 buckles and 40% of their total income will be used for year-end awards, quarterly prizes, and special acknowledgment prizes.

The ACMC defines “mustang” as a horse “born or bred in the wild, to non-domestic parents”. We allow reservation horses, BLM horses, forest service horses, non branded mustangs that were born to BLM wild bred mares, and Chincoteague ponies.

They encourage mustang owners to compete in any discipline and offer over 15 divisions including in-hand, western performance, English performance, ranch work, versatility, walk-trot, youth, burro, endurance, trail riding, working mustang and more!

If competitions aren’t your thing, the ACMC also offers trail riding awards for the time you spend riding, ponying or hiking with your wild horse and burro. They also offer monthly challenges on their Facebook page that are awesome for setting goals with your horse and “competing” in a much more casual environment.

To join the American Competitive Mustang Club and for information about events, check out their Facebook page.

American Mustang Training Challenge

Organized by mustang trainers and advocates, Jen and Donna Smith Lyon, the American Mustang Training Challenge (AMTC) offers a variety of ways for proud mustang owners to showcase their animals.

The competition consists of two parts. For the training challenge component, trainers must pick up a wild mustang from a BLM adoption event. They can then compete with their mustang in a variety of in-hand and riding classes at the event.

Unlike the Mustang Heritage Foundation makeover events, eligibility is based on the horse’s pickup date and it is possible to find a horse to compete with even if you didn’t adopt a horse yourself. Horses do not have to be exhibited or trained by their adopters to be eligible to compete.

Mustang owners and enthusiasts who already have a BLM mustang adopted before the competition pickup window can choose to exhibit in the Mustang Freestyle Extravaganza where they have the opportunity to showcase their freestyle skills.

The freestyle competition allows all types of freestyles including liberty, in hand, driving, and riding. Best of all, exhibitors often combine different elements to truly wow the judges.

The event takes place in October in Norco, CA as part of the Norco Horse Affair. Dubbed “Horsetown U.S.A”, Norco is one of few urban horse communities that caters to the equestrian. The event is timed perfectly just before Halloween. Even if you can’t compete it is worth it to attend just to see all of the awesome horse and rider costumes!

For more information about the American Mustang Training challenge, check out their Facebook page.

BLM Records

Sample BLM Certificate of Title

BLM horses receive a government ID number once they are gathered. As I described above, this number is freeze branded on a mustang’s neck. The new owner receives a title one year after adoption which signifies the transfer of ownership from the US Government to the private adopter. While this is not the same as having the papers of a registered pedigreed horse, it’s a way to keep track of your mustang’s history.  

These certificates of title are often decorative, but, they can also be plain. Unfortunately, the BLM does not replace them if they are lost and the BLM does not track transfers once a horse has been adopted.

Only BLM mustangs who are adopted will receive a Certificate of Title. Mustangs who are purchased through the sale authority program will receive a bill of sale in lieu of a Certificate of Title.

Registries that Accept Mustangs

There are quite a few registries that accept wild horses and mustangs. Some focus on horses of a specific type, some on horses from a specific area. Keep in mind that, in most cases, the term “mustang” is used in the United States to describe an BLM horse.

The term “wild horse” is more typically used for horses managed by other organizations or agencies. For more information check out my article on the types of mustangs in the United States.

Keep in mind that any individual can “start” a horse registry and horse registries can be either for profit or non-profit. Neither designation makes any one registry better or worse than the other.

One of the benefits of a non-profit, though, is that decisions for the registry are typically made by a board of directors vs and individual person. This usually results in more stability of rules and regulations.

Non Profit Mustang Registries

  • US Wild Horse and Burro Association. This is one of the oldest wild horse registries and a 501(c)(3) non-profit dedicated to promoting wild horses and burros. More information about their organization can be found at uswhba.org.
  • Kiger Horse Association and Registry. Kiger mustangs must exhibit traits of the Kiger mustang group of wild horses – most notably, the light color and primitive markings. More information is available at kigerhorse.org.
  • Kiger Mesteño Association. Founded in 1988, this mustang horse registry focuses on Kiger mustangs. They also appear to register half-kigers as well. For more information visit kigermustangs.org.
  • Nokota Horse Conservancy. This organization registers the wild horses that are removed and adopted from the Theodore Roosevelt National Park. They also register crosses to these horses including crosses to other breeds. More information about the Nokota Horse Registry can be found here.

For Profit Mustang Registries

  • Spanish Mustang Registry. These horses are proven descendants of pure Spanish horses. They must exhibit qualities of these refined Spanish horses, and are bred in captivity. This registry has a closed studbook and does not accept any wild or formerly wild horses for registration. More information is available at spanishmustang.org.
  • American Indian Horse Registry. BLM horses may qualify as a class AA horse, but must be over 4 years of age at the time of the inspection. More information is available at indianhorse.com.
  • North American Mustang Association and Registry (NAMAR). Namar registers BLM branded mustangs and their offspring. This includes crosses to non-BLM horses which can be registered in their half mustang registry. This registry has been in existence since 1986. You can check out their website at namarmustangs.com.

Famous Mustang Horses

Cobra

Cobra is a BLM Mustang adopted in 2010 who has excelled at dressage. In fact, in 2018 he was named USEF Horse of the Year. Cobra has proven that you don’t need a million-dollar pedigree to compete in dressage.

Fledge

Elisa Wallace and Fledge took us along on their journey from wild to Extreme Mustang Makeover winner in 2012. Their winning freestyle routine was amazing. Elisa rode Fledge bareback and bridleless, and secured the #1 spot. The pair continue to work together to bring awareness to what is possible with a mustang.

If you haven’t seen this video, it is a must-watch. Keep in mind this horse made this transformation from completly wild to bridleless competition in only 100 days!

Hwin

Where Cobra has made his mark in the dressage world, the pretty gray mare Hwin has done the same for the eventing world. She competes in eventing with her owner/trainer, Elisa Wallace.

Maypop

The 2012 Supreme Mustang Makeover was where horse trainer Bobby Kerr was able to showcase his amazing horse Maypop. The duo brought home the top spot and wowed the crowd with an amazing freestyle performance.

Remember when watching these videos that trainers have only around 100 days to train their horses from completely wild, untouched horses to skilled competition horses.

Merv

No list if famous mustang horses would be complete without Merv. Trainer Tom Hagwood and this pretty gelding were the Mustang Million Champions.

The Mustang Million was an event put on by the Mustang Heritage Foundation where trainers from all over the country picked up wild mustangs to vie for one million dollars in prizes. The event was the subject of a National Geographic series, Mustang Millionaire.

Merv and Tom Hagwood took home the top award of $200,000 and a brand new Ram truck. Check out their freestyle performance!

Mustang Horses Made Into Breyers

Several mustang horses have been turned into world-famous Breyer model horses. Be sure to check out my article on 7 of these famous mustang horses who were immortalized by Breyer.

Wild Horse Controversy

Equine advocates often disagree with the BLM’s tactics for horse management. They believe that helicopter roundups are cruel and unnecessary and that holding horses in long-term pastures is detrimental to their overall well-being.

Some have criticized the BLM for unscrupulously adopting horses to individuals intending to send the horses to slaughter abroad. This directly contradicts the intent of the WHFRBA, but the BLM maintains that it does everything it can to secure safe homes for its adoptees.

There are caps on the number of mustangs you can adopt (the limit is 4, which is not economic for a horse broker), and you must also keep a mustang for a year before selling it to someone else. It can be re-assigned to another approved adoptive home with a training fee, but not sold privately.

Conflicts between cattle ranchers and wild horses continue to challenge the horse protection act of 1971, and there have been many attempts to repeal it over the years. On the flip side, there have also been proposals to expand the law, and increase areas for wild horses.

As it stands today, the BLM continues to improve methods of birth control in its wild horse populations, and employ less stressful roundup techniques to manage its wild horse herds.

Is a Mustang Right for You?

Wild mustangs are not a breed for everyone. While you may be able to adopt a wild mustang for a relatively low cost (and in some cases, there is a $1,000 incentive to do so), not all equestrians will make good mustang owners.

Not all equestrians will make good mustang owners.

Untouched by human hands, a mustang needs time and training to adapt to his new domestic way of life. Adopting a wild horse isn’t something that should be done on a whim.

Be ready to do research on training methods and ask for help if needed. The timeline for a mustang horse to go from wild to mostly gentle will vary from horse to horse. Some horses might be easily trained to halter, lead and pick up all four feet in under a week but some may require much longer.

The big key is to decide whether or not you are at a stage in your life where you can financially afford a horse that may not be rideable for months. Are you are in a position to be able to hire help if needed? Do you have the follow-through to work with your horse consistently to get him where he needs to be?

If the answer to the questions above is yes then you are ready to join the tens of thousands of other mustang lovers who have made the commitment. Be warned though, once you own a mustang you may never look at other breeds the same.

Connecting With Mustang Lovers

Social media is one way that wild horse lovers across the world are able to connect. Facebook has become quite the meeting place and some events and shows are organized and marketed almost exclusively on that platform.

As such, I’ve compiled a list of my favorite Facebook groups and pages that you should check out!

Official Pages

BLM Wild Horse & Burro Program – Page – This is the official page for the Bureau of Land Management. They update it regularly with information about upcoming adoptions and events.

Mustang Heritage Foundation – Page – This is the official page for the MHF. You can sign up for a membership, apply to be a TIP trainer, or just browse around for awesome information!

America’s Mustang – Page – This page is also run by the Mustang Heritage Foundation. The purpose of the page, and the corresponding website, is to educate the general public about the mustang horse!

Trainer Incentive Program – TIP – Group – This is the official group page for the Mustang Heritage Foundation’s Trainer Incentive Program. TIP trainers often advertise their available TIP mustangs and burros here.

Private Pages & Groups

Helpful Horse Hints – Page – Run by me. This is the page for this website. I often post about mustangs but there are lots of articles that appeal to horses, burros, ponies and mules as well!

Adopt A Mustang – Group – Run by me. A place to advertise BLM mustangs and burros for adoption for $125 fee or less. Also informational articles and mustang related events.

American Competitive Mustang Club – Page – This privately run organization specializes in hosting online challenges and in-person events for mustangs. They will also track points your mustang earns in open shows as well!

Happy Mustangs – Group – This is the perfect place to connect with other mustang lovers. They encourage content like adoption stories, brag posts and training questions.

The Modern Mustanger – Group – This group focuses on showcasing horses available for adoption either at the corrals or via the TIP program. This group often has volunteers who post pictures of horses currently available at the corrals.

Adopt A Living Legend – Group – This group is for horses available for adoption and sale. Similar to The Modern Mustanger, they often have pictures of horses in the corrals. This group is also forming on MeWe.

These are just a few of my favorites but there are tons more available at the click of a button if you run a search on Facebook directly.

Anytime you are joining groups online, please be sure to make yourself aware of the rules for posting and commenting on each group. Some Facebook groups have limitations on the types of wild horses that can be posted and many have specific rules regarding re-homing or for sale ads.

Due to Facebook’s ever-tightening rules regarding animal sales, many groups are starting to transition to the platform MeWe. Links have been provided where applicable.

For More Information

If you’re looking to get your hands on one of these majestic creatures, learn more about the adoption process in my article that outlines the BLM Adoption Process.

If you are looking into buying or selling be sure to read my 7 FAQ’s about selling BLM mustangs.

You can also check out the BLM Wild Horse and Burro program page.

April Lee

I've owned horses for 25 years and have a particular love for gentling wild horses. I write these articles to help others learn more about horses. If you enjoyed the article please take a moment to pin it to Pinterest or share on social media. It really does help! Check out my about page for more detailed information.