Wild Mustang

fattyboy70

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Apr 9, 2019
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23
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Idaho
I'm just curious what experience/knowledge can be shared on using wild mustangs from the BLM for hunting, trail riding, etc. I'm entertaining the idea and wanted to hear some of the good and bad if you have mustangs or had in the past or even rode with others that had them in the pack string.
 

BigAntlerGetter

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Sep 5, 2012
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Gypsum, CO
1 in 10 mustangs is good, just remember that. Find a Professional mustang trainer not the guy/girl that you found on Facebook. Many people got a mustang and got lucky training it, then they feel they’re a full blown trainer.


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keeleyenviro

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May 6, 2019
Messages
69
As mentioned, it is a very low percentage that a mustang will turn into a good riding horse. It takes a ton of work to get them there and only real professionals will likely get them there. You'll be dropping a lot of money in training. Also, make sure you get someone who is a pro wildie trainer to help pick the animal out you want to buy as a lot of the wild horses tend to have poor genetics and have many medical issues down the line. All that being said, if you get a good one, there is absolutely NO better animal for hunting in the hills/mountains.
 
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fattyboy70

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Joined
Apr 9, 2019
Messages
23
Location
Idaho
As mentioned, it is a very low percentage that a mustang will turn into a good riding horse. It takes a ton of work to get them there and only real professionals will likely get them there. You'll be dropping a lot of money in training. Also, make sure you get someone who is a pro wildie trainer to help pick the animal out you want to buy as a lot of the wild horses tend to have poor genetics and have many medical issues down the line. All that being said, if you get a good one, there is absolutely NO better animal for hunting in the hills/mountains.


That's interesting because you always hear of the mustang as being rugged, tough, hearty and not necessarily sickly. I also would think that genetics would be good due to "only the strong survive". I'm no expert though, I guess there might be more negatives than positives.
 

PNWGATOR

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Oct 14, 2014
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Rathdrum, ID
Wild Horse Wild Ride is another good documentary.

We’ve had several and still have a few. Personally, I have an affinity for them. When you find one with the right mind, they’re fantastic. One we’ve sold was simply too much horse for me. Stunning confirmation, but he needed more cowboy than I can deliver. Another, was an absolutely fantastic animal that we packed and rode as a young horse, but he was too little for lugging me around!

Do your due diligence and be prepared to cut the cord if it’s not the right fit. The potential exists, but you must find the right minded horse.
 

BigAntlerGetter

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Sep 5, 2012
Messages
539
Location
Gypsum, CO
That's interesting because you always hear of the mustang as being rugged, tough, hearty and not necessarily sickly. I also would think that genetics would be good due to "only the strong survive". I'm no expert though, I guess there might be more negatives than positives.

Mustangs used to be that way, but back in 07’ when the economy tanked so many people went and dropped their domestic horses off with the wild herds. Generally there isn’t a true wild mustang left they are tainted with domestic horses. Plus not having all the issues in the wild now. Finding a good mustang as stated can be a blessing or not, there’s a reason the BLM pays you money back when trained, they can’t get rid of them, they can’t euthanize the ones needed so they are overrun. I’ve got a horse in my pen with a mustang brand he’s a sweet horse but has issues with ring bone and side bone. The local vet has a mustang branded horse that’s navicular, has ring bone, hock arthritis, and bad feet. The tainted genetics have wrecked the mustang population.


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wymtnpounder

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May 26, 2014
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387
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Rocky Mountains
FERAL horse. Now that's out of the way, I've started one, he was good, smart, fast learner but small. I put 30 days on him, not sure how he did after that. Used a few that were in outfitter strings and they were good. Last I saw the gov. would give YOU 500$ to adopt one and another 500$ and title after a year if you could demonstrate it could do some of the basics. The old timers used to manage the herds and they were decent mounts, not so much now.
 

Werty

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May 28, 2019
Messages
546
Location
Montana
1 in 10 mustangs is good, just remember that. Find a Professional mustang trainer not the guy/girl that you found on Facebook. Many people got a mustang and got lucky training it, then they feel they’re a full blown trainer.


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You mean 1 in 10 people know how to train horses. Dont blame horses for people problem.
 

Lionhound1975

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Aug 25, 2019
Messages
263
Location
Virginia
Back in the 90s I worked as a cowboy for a few years throughout the West. I started a few mustangs for some ranchers and rode some that were already green broke to put miles on them and see if they would make a ranch horse. My limited observations are as follows:

Mustangs can become great trail horses IF YOU GET A GOOD ONE. I had to handle them a little different than other 2 year old colts I was starting but I actually preferred working with a wild one more than a spoiled 2 year old colt raised in a 2 acre pasture whose owners let it walk all over them. So it just takes a different approach. If you are going to pay someone to train one I would definitely make sure they have experience with training mustangs or at least big range raised ranch horses.

I found them to be tough and not get into some of the binds that some other horses would. They tended to do well on rough trails and had tough feet and would keep their body weight. Some have good conformation but some don't and that can affect them as riding horses if their bodies and bone structure can't take carrying a 200 lb rider plus saddle for hours at a time. Natural selection of being feral helped developed toughness and a lot of attributes we like but carrying a rider was not one of them so many mustangs have a poor build, back, shoulders, etc.

For a straight up cow horse I would still prefer some good foundation blood Quarter Horse but for an all-round mountain horse a good mustang will be tough to beat. Once of the best cow horses I ever rode was half Quarter and half mustang. A rancher had a good cowy Quarter stud and was breeding him to some well built mustang mares and they turned out some great colts. If you had a good QH stud with ranch horse lines and crossed him to some good looking mustang mares like some I saw in the Pryor Mountains, you could breed some top shelf mountain/hunting horses.
 

Artanis95

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Joined
Aug 9, 2020
Messages
103
I have two both wild captures, both outstanding mounts, riding, roping, castration, and vaccination are their areas of expertise, easy keepers, sure footed, and can move like mountain lions, always the first to the gate and genuinely get upset when not chosen for a job mine will pace the pen all day, never have health issues not even the first sign of a collic

BUTTT.... Getting there can be a big deal most of these guys are rounded up by helicopter, run through squeeze chutes, clamped, flipped, feet are done by electric grinders, flipped back up, freeze branded and run onto trailers like wild cattle, so there's no warm and fuzzy feeling on their part by the time they get to you for human beings, scared s##tless about sums it up pretty well.
Handling facilities are a big deal the last one I got tried jumping a 12 foot wall for no other reason than I stepped into the room and knocked herself out cold having somewhere to work where you and the horse can be kept free from injury is important.

I'd work 10 feral horses over 1 cuddled pony or a Jenny mule with a sour attitude any day.

If You don't want to do everything yourself from start to finish go to the mustang heritage foundation website and look at the TIP program for help finding a already gentled horse they'll be cheap and still need work but these animals should be halter broke, lead, step on and off a trailer, and you should be able to handle and trim their hooves which is a good place to start for any horse of any breed.
 

Kylep0801

Junior Member
Joined
Dec 26, 2018
Messages
14
Old thres but I'll chime in. I've had three mustang's all wild caught. Still have two and use them for cowboying and hunting more hunting these days than cowboying. Only sold one due to a buddy seen him after 40 rides and pulled his checkbook out and asked what would it take to buy him today. I named a price and he wrote a check so fast I had to accept. It seems to me that once they trust you they will do anything for. My daughter rode her mare out a few weeks ago with half an elk on it with her. My opinion they are tough hard to kill and will do anything for you if they trust you. Are they going to take you to the NFR prolly not, but I'm not that good enough of a cowboy.
 
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