The height of Mustangs.
I have recently found out that i would probably need a 15hh+ horse to fit my height/weight ect. Now, i've heard that Mustangs range generally from 13hh to even 16hh. But, most Mustangs i see and hear about are generally small sturdy horses. I haven't ever been to a BLM, Mustang rescue, ect. to know how common exactly 15 hand and taller Mutangs are. I don't know if i'm just mind psyching myself out here about their height, but i'd like to have a breeding program/farm of Mustangs one day. But if the trait of taller mustangs isnt easy to find... being my height, they may unfortunately not be the breed for me. =/ Anyone had enough experience with Mustangs to know about this?
Height, conformation, physical traits, and genetics are going to vary from region to region and herd to herd. That's because Mustangs aren't a homogenous breed at all, but rather a ragtag group of feral horses from all different backgrounds. Naturally the groups with more recent additions from domestic populations, or with significant draft or Thoroughbred blood, are going to be taller.
At that very reason is why it's quite a bad idea to breed Mustangs. There's no consistency, no "type," and nothing desirable about them as a whole. Yes, there are good individuals, and some are very fine horses, but you can't make any sort of generalizations about them. Many of them ARE of poor quality, quite honestly, and thus they are in very low demand. No one wants the ones the BLM currently has, which is why there's all the current brouhaha about slaughtering them. Making more is completely and utterly illogical.
To take it a step farther, mustangs are not actually a breed of horse at all. Although there is no true universal definition of just what a breed is, they meet none of the normal criteria one associates with a breed...they are not similar in appearance, size, or conformation, and do not breed true - all predictable traits considering they are a Heinz 57 group of individuals...
They come in ALL sizes and shapes. I remember a wonderful obvious draft cross in Colorado named JB Andrew who did wonderfully in dressage. He was the result of a draft stallion turned out in a wild herd. JB was huge!
For more info on him....
Kelly Boyd Dressage Training - Calendar / News
I remember seeing that horse at dressage shows in Colorado back in the late 90s. He was a nice horse.
Yes, he was. I was there when he was WB approved and watched as he was being branded, although I can't remember which registry accepted him.
I was showing Training/First level but would go watch the FEI tests for the craic. He was often there at the big shows at High Prairie Farms or Table Mountain Ranch.
I agree wholeheartedly with Bubba. I have 2 mustangs, one is 14.2 and the other is 14.3, but there was a member here that had a gray mustang that was about 16 hands and had a very prominent Percheron influence. They are out there to be found, you just have to look a little harder.
As for breeding them...it's a nice fantasy but in real life it's a horrible idea. A mustang that was bred in captivity is no longer a mustang. It's nothing more than a grade mutt, no different than the other thousands of mutt horses born every day.
If you really care about the mustang "breed" you would get them from the BLM, where there are thousands (a good portion of which are decent) of true mustangs just standing around in holding pens waiting for someone to take them home.
i'd say the average size of mustang that i see on a daily basis is between 14.2-15.2. granted i also know more than a few branded BLM mustangs that are 16+ hands and are quite nice specimens, they're the exception rather than the rule. the two mustangs we have at home are (guesstimates here - haven't taped them) 14.2 and 15hh. both are VERY different in type - one looks like she came from a PRE breeding farm and the other is a TB type built pinto. two different herds = two very different horses.
*addition - i missed where you said why you feel the need for a 15+hh horse but let me tell you, some of these smaller horses (the 14.2hh mare at home) are built like tanks. TANKS I SAY <-- no exaggeration. hahaha i think you'd have a harder time fitting a saddle to one than having them break down due to a rider's size.
Here are a variety of photos that I have taken this past month of mustangs that are up for adoption as well as mustangs with their owners. Most of these horses are not small by any means. I have two BLM mustangs and they both have great conformation and movement. I highly suggest going to the pens to chose one because they literally come in every size shape and color imaginable. I had to shop really hard and pay attention to find what I wanted but I did.
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