The Wild Horse Cop-Out - The Horse Forum
LinkBack Thread Tools
post #1 of 16 Old 03-10-2011, 05:37 PM Thread Starter
Join Date: Jan 2007
Posts: 4,648
• Horses: 6
The Wild Horse Cop-Out

You know what I'm talking about. People compare domestic horses to wild or feral horses, and use this to justify their (lack of) care.

A whole list of fallacies:
  • Mustangs don't get shod or trimmed. Therefore, minimal hoofcare is perfectly acceptable, particularly if you ride or board on hard ground. If you do need the fix up your horse's feet, never use shoes, as they are unnatural. Any trim should seek to emulate the natural Mustang model. Any deviation from this model will harm the horse, but following the guidelines will cure all lameness problems.
  • Mustangs don't get vaccinations or deworming. These medical "interventions" are only mildly beneficial at best and downright dangerous at worst. Healthy horses have natural immunity to many pathogens are are extremely unlikely to come into contact with most others. Even if they do get sick, they'll recover just fine with minimal supportive care, so there's no need to risk the dangerous side effects of the vaccine, or pay your vet the high cost.
  • Mustangs don't get special feeds. Grass is enough for them, and they are perfectly healthy. Never grain your horse or give him supplements. The former will make him hot, and the latter are unnecessary.
  • Mustangs don't get their teeth floated. This is another ploy to transfer money from your bank account to your vet's wallet. Very rarely will a horse need his teeth floated, and all dental issues are man-made from artificial living environments. So long as your horse is at a good weight, his teeth are fine.
  • Mustangs don't _________, so fill in the blank.
While there are some grains of truth in the above list, most of it is completely false, yet many people tout it as gospel. Whether they actually believe the above or simply hope to legitimize being cheap on horse care is a mystery to me.

Wild life isn't necessarily better, even though it is "natural." Domestic horses live longer and are healthier than their feral counterparts. Yes, some things should be made as "natural" as possible, such as continuous access to forage and room to move about. This is undeniably more healthy than confinement to a box stall 24/7. But other things, particularly those related to farriery or veterinary medicine....come on, we have knowledge and technology now, so we should use it. Our horses will thank us for using all resources available to us to better their lives.

sarah4494 likes this.
bubba13 is offline  
Sponsored Links
post #2 of 16 Old 03-10-2011, 05:38 PM Thread Starter
Join Date: Jan 2007
Posts: 4,648
• Horses: 6
  • Mustangs don't have blankets or sheets...
(but our horses often fail to have a winter store of fat or an adequate coat or the warmth-generating diet to stay sufficiently warm in the winter)
  • ...or shelter.
(but our horses, again, need windbreaks, and in some climates must have at least three-sided shelters or even barns with stalls)

  • Mustangs don't have to have good conformation. Or rather, they get around just fine, so their build must be perfect for what they do. Therefore, riding horses, which have far less strenous lives than wild ones, don't need to fit any mold of "correct" conformation.
Not so much. The roaming, grazing, and rugged-terrain navigating that Mustangs do isn't very comparable to dressage, jumping, barrel racing, or much of anything else. They aren't even all that suited to true endurance. The enormous strain that we put on competitive horses' legs is nothing like the movement that a wild horse normally undergoes of its own volition. Plus our horses live longer, meaning that arthritis extends into a crippled old age. And Mustangs who have conformational problems that lead to issues such as navicular still survive until breeding age in order to propagate that trait and flaw. In reality, domestic horses must have good conformation to remain sound under the demands of their chosen disciplines, or even to do well at a particular event.
bubba13 is offline  
post #3 of 16 Old 03-10-2011, 05:40 PM
Join Date: Oct 2009
Location: Just south of sanity
Posts: 16,373
• Horses: 3
I think I love you bubba, but I'm afraid you've just opened a really big can of worms.

You want the truth? You can't HANDLE the truth!
Speed Racer is online now  
post #4 of 16 Old 03-10-2011, 05:43 PM Thread Starter
Join Date: Jan 2007
Posts: 4,648
• Horses: 6
I seem to be good at that, don't I? Even when I'm honestly *trying* to behave myself....
bubba13 is offline  
post #5 of 16 Old 03-10-2011, 05:49 PM
Join Date: Oct 2007
Location: Missoula, MT
Posts: 6,594
• Horses: 1
This is one of my biggest pet peeves.

Our pampered little horses who live in fields =/= wild mustangs
Spastic_Dove is offline  
post #6 of 16 Old 03-10-2011, 05:49 PM
Join Date: Oct 2009
Location: Just south of sanity
Posts: 16,373
• Horses: 3
I have the same problem, so I hear ya. But then, I rarely behave myself, so it's probably mostly my own fault.

You want the truth? You can't HANDLE the truth!
Speed Racer is online now  
post #7 of 16 Old 03-10-2011, 06:03 PM
Join Date: Feb 2009
Location: Colorado Springs, CO
Posts: 250
• Horses: 2
My mustang does not wear shoes but sees the farrier every 10 weeks, I wormed him today in accordance to his regular worming schedule, he will being getting vaccines in the spring when he is due. He is not ever blanketed but has 24 hour access to a stall he is also never given grain but is fed a high quality hay. I treat him like any other horse he just happened to be born in the wild. I hear people make these excuses all the time for the inadequate care of their mustangs its truly silly.
sarah4494 likes this.
RoosterDo is offline  
post #8 of 16 Old 03-10-2011, 06:24 PM
Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: Higgins, TX. YeeHaw!!
Posts: 22,258
• Horses: 24
I must say that I have 2 mustangs and they honestly seem to really like the care that they get. I'm sure that it must be torture for them to see a farrier, get shots and de-wormed, or (God forbid) see a vet when they need it .

Yep, people always gripe about how "mustangs are fine with no care" but what those folks don't realize is that the average life expectancy of a mustang in the wild is what, 12-15 years old? I don't know about ya'll but I would much rather have my horses up into their 20's, or better yet, their 30s or 40s.

Always remember that feeling of looking at a big, open country over the ears of a good horse, seeing a new trail unwind ahead of you, and that ever-spectacular view from the top of the ridge!!! Follow my training blog:
smrobs is offline  
post #9 of 16 Old 03-10-2011, 06:51 PM
Join Date: Apr 2010
Location: Pennsylvania
Posts: 5,892
• Horses: 2
Yup...what a quality of life the Mustang has out on the range. If they get hurt, they must suffer through. No one is going to come out, stitch them up, give em a bute and keep them in. Even a nasty cut can be deadly without human intervention. Infection and the vulnerability to predators being the cause.

You see these huge herds of mustangs running wild and think that they are so very happy and free. For every ten that you see, there is one in the woods dying from a simple infection or being taken down by a mountain lion.

Froggy is a tough horse but turn him out on those rough plains...he would be lion meat in days. Most of our horses would be.
corinowalk is offline  
post #10 of 16 Old 03-10-2011, 06:59 PM
Green Broke
Join Date: May 2009
Location: Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada
Posts: 4,510
• Horses: 2
Awesome post, fully agree. I've heard that from my parents my ENTIRE life when it came to expenses for my horses. Needless to say, I've been working and paying for all the EXTRAS (aka. necessary care to prevent DEATH) since I was 15.

This doesn't really fall into the "wild horse" category, but a HUGE pet peeve of mine is people who refuse to trim any sooner then 8+ weeks. Like, somehow it became gospel that a horse only needed farrier attention every 8 weeks. We routinely have ours done at 6 weeks, and RARELY ever get to 8 weeks except in the deep cold of winter on occasion. Oh sure, they'll live, but I'd rather have that chip taken care of NOW thank you, before it comes a vet bill!

Survival of the fittest! Conformationally weak Mustangs don't survive. Flaws are one thing, but most older Mustangs are actually built pretty darn decent or they wouldn't have survived so long. However, our IDEA of perfect conformation differs very greatly from functional structural good conformation a lot of the times.

I hope God tells her to smash her computer with a sledgehammer.

MacabreMikolaj is offline  

Quick Reply

Register Now

In order to be able to post messages on the The Horse Forum forums, you must first register.

Already have a Horse Forum account?
Members are allowed only one account per person at the Horse Forum, so if you've made an account here in the past you'll need to continue using that account. Please do not create a new account or you may lose access to the Horse Forum. If you need help recovering your existing account, please Contact Us. We'll be glad to help!

New to the Horse Forum?
Please choose a username you will be satisfied with using for the duration of your membership at the Horse Forum. We do not change members' usernames upon request because that would make it difficult for everyone to keep track of who is who on the forum. For that reason, please do not incorporate your horse's name into your username so that you are not stuck with a username related to a horse you may no longer have some day, or use any other username you may no longer identify with or care for in the future.

User Name:
Please enter a password for your user account. Note that passwords are case-sensitive.


Confirm Password:
Email Address
Please enter a valid email address for yourself.

Email Address:


Human Verification

In order to verify that you are a human and not a spam bot, please enter the answer into the following box below based on the instructions contained in the graphic.

Old Thread Warning
This thread is more than 90 days old. When a thread is this old, it is often better to start a new thread rather than post to it. However, If you feel you have something of value to add to this particular thread, you can do so by checking the box below before submitting your post.

Thread Tools
Show Printable Version Show Printable Version
Email this Page Email this Page

Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Wild Horse Capture FireFlies Horse Protection 39 12-21-2010 09:51 AM
Horse gone wild! Help!!! Rowkay422 Horse Training 9 05-10-2010 01:38 PM
Wild Horses, Wild Dolphin video Pinto Pony Horse Videos 6 04-14-2010 04:38 AM
Man vs wild and "wild" horse blossom856 Horse Videos 20 10-15-2009 07:36 PM
RPG Wild Horse barnrat Games 21 03-24-2007 05:12 PM

Posting Rules  
You may post new threads
You may post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are On

For the best viewing experience please update your browser to Google Chrome