Opinion on the Mustang Breed - The Horse Forum
  • 3 Post By verona1016
  • 4 Post By boots
  • 3 Post By srcosticov
  • 5 Post By smrobs
  • 1 Post By dbarabians
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post #1 of 10 Old 08-13-2013, 07:36 PM Thread Starter
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Smile Opinion on the Mustang Breed

I've been looking into a new horse, he's a 20 year old Mustang and I've never had a Mustang or had any experience with this breed. Opinions on this breed? He has fantastic western gaits, I haven't seen him do any English? Any sort of Mustang characteristic strengths and weaknesses?

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post #2 of 10 Old 08-13-2013, 07:42 PM
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You can't really generalize on mustangs as a breed. Different herds have different characteristics, and unlike other breeds, there are no breed standards- just natural selection. It also makes a big difference if the mustang was born in the wild or in captivity. If from the wild, it would make a difference at what age he was gentled and started under saddle.

With any horse, you need to judge the horse for itself rather than for what its breed is "supposed" to be like. I think this is especially true with mustangs.
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post #3 of 10 Old 08-13-2013, 09:41 PM
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Personal opinion... I had one that I traded a green arabian gelding for, and it was soooo worth it. I could not get the arabian ever settled down. The mustang was bomb proof (or firecracker proof, since someone set them off behind us while we were riding). He really did not like to run, but he could go all day at a trot, and loved our long distance rides. He was ugly, but I would have another like him in a heartbeat!

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post #4 of 10 Old 08-13-2013, 10:12 PM
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I picked the ones for my kids by conformation first and brains/temperament second. Correct form, I considered their temperament. They had to have both.

I had the best luck with 6 and 7 year old geldings that had run in bachelor bands. They didn't look like the cartoon "Spirit," but they were built to be sound and were pretty tolerant of life, having not been top of anything.

My kids did whatever they felt like doing. They were stuck home at the ranch while I worked 35 miles away in town. Western, English, trail obstacles... they even conditioned (trained) the ones they had to follow carrots on fishing poles and made me watch a show. It was hilarious. Now I wish I had taken photos. At the time it just seemed like kids having fun with horses.

As a whole, natural selection has given the survivors good hard feet. Oh, and the ones we had preferred not to get to close to cedar trees. We had to work on that. But here, mountain lion will pounce from cedar trees (a prominent variety of tree). And, at first they didn't like having to stick their head below the rim of the water tank. You can't watch the world around you with your head in a tank.

If the horse has a good temperament and is built to last, have fun!
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post #5 of 10 Old 08-14-2013, 01:13 AM
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I've been volunteering my time working with and training (gentling) wild mustangs for the last 2 years and currently have one at the barn in training.

I think that what verona1016 is saying is pretty spot on as far as there is no generalizing the breed as different herds have different histories/characteristics.

What I do think is true for the breed, all around, is that they are steadfast and sturdy horses. Most that I have worked with tend to be from herds on the west coast, so they are smaller in size and can have some Spanish influence. They also make for ridiculously awesome endurance horses.

The one thing about a wild mustang (captive breds will always be different for me now), is that when they trust you completely, it is an entirely new level of love/trust that I had no idea existed between a horse and rider/owner. I mean, it is just a different experience altogether - not better or worse.

My advice? If you have ridden the horse and it is a good match for you, it doesn't matter what the breed is. Just make sure you're buying a horse that is going to be what you're looking for in soundness of body and mind.
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post #6 of 10 Old 08-14-2013, 03:41 AM
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Mustangs are about like any other breed; there are great ones and there are not so great ones. I've had 2 come through my barn. One, I bought, trained, and sold on to a girl who is having loads of fun with him now. The other is my heart horse and will be with me until the day he dies.

If you like him and get along, then snatch him up......and we demand pictures

Edited to add: As a breed, they tend to be a "jack of all trades, master of none" type of horse. They can do just about anything you ask them to and do it well enough to be competitive at lower levels if you're competing, but it's relatively rare to find one that excels at a particular discipline.

My guy is a great roping horse, but he lacks speed. He tries his hardest to be a cutting horse, but he lacks agility. His strides are very short so he wouldn't be a suitable English horse, but his gaits are smooth.

About the only thing he's really really good at is covering country, but that's what he was born to do. He's the type of horse that can go all day and night for a week and still be bright eyed and bushy tailed in the morning.

Last edited by smrobs; 08-14-2013 at 03:45 AM.
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post #7 of 10 Old 08-14-2013, 07:54 AM
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I've had three here and they were all very different from each other.

My first two I adopted on the buddy system (they were fostered together when BLM was trying that method and were already bonded - which unfortunately I think did slow down the gentling process). The one I really wanted was a large black gelding that looked like a small draft cross and stood about 15 hands. He was a lovely boy and very stocky. Unfortunately we lost him to colic about 3 months after adoption. He had a very good mind to him and was not spooky and was coming around very quickly. He was from Wyoming.

His buddy that I adopted with plans of selling was a much smaller bay gelding. He was much lighter in build and full of spirit and had some very lovely movements. He was very leary of people and took a long time to gentle and even then he was still wary of strangers. I had him for a couple years but never did trust him enough to climb on. Ended up selling him to a lady who grew up with mustangs and she sent him to a trainer. Even her trainer could not get him to fully accept a rider on his back. He was from Nevada.

My current gelding is also from Nevada and is yet completely different than the previous two. His build is different and his temperment is different. He can be reactive to new things, yet once he has been introduced with something he is very consistant in accepting it. He has shown himself to be quite athletic in his movements and I can't wait until he is going undersaddle.

If this 20 year old mustang meets all of your needs - I would get him. You say you haven't seen him do English, but maybe his current rider just does not prefer that riding style? I know some mustangs out there look really nice doing dressage. And I agree with others - pictures are needed!

Edited to add: One thing I forgot to mention is the one thing that all three mustangs had in common were excellent hooves. I wish every horse I owned had hooves like them.

All I pay my psychiatrist is cost of feed and hay, and he'll listen to me any day!

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post #8 of 10 Old 08-14-2013, 09:24 AM
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I agree with srcosticov. If you click with the horse and he fits your needs, the breed part is just secondary.

Being a H/J rider, I really don't have all that much experience with Mustangs. The ones that I have worked with have made absolutely fabulous trail horses. Not to stereotype, but... xD!
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post #9 of 10 Old 08-14-2013, 09:41 AM
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They're not a breed, they're a type. Big difference.

As everyone else said, don't focus on breed or type, look for a horse with the right conformation and characteristics you want.

You want the truth? You can't HANDLE the truth!
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post #10 of 10 Old 08-14-2013, 02:51 PM
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I have a family near me that owns a mustang mare.
The whole family 5 members now ride the mare in playdays. Every event 5 times.
She has incredible endurance and is loyal beyond belief .
She reminds me of an Arabian as she is easy to train and very intelligent. Shalom
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breeds , mustang , mustangs

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