Looking to get a Mustang Project - Page 2 - The Horse Forum
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post #11 of 31 Old 04-14-2019, 12:07 PM
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If you do not have a proper facility, nor an experienced trainer to work with, it seems that a good way to go is to buy a graduate of a "Mustang Makeover" program, that has been gentled and started already. I don't want to rain on your dream, but the reality is, dreams have a lot better chance of coming true if you add in a big dose of practicality.

There are thousands of people who had versions of the dream of "taming a wild horse", who FAILED. Who ended up with an injured horse, a dangerous horse, a horse that they ruined or spoiled because they didn't know what they didn't know, about wild horses, horses in general, or (most of all), themselves. I don't know very many horse people but I know TWO people like that. One has that BLM mustang years later -- still unrideable, utterly worthless to anyone.

There are good programs to teach people how to handle feral horses and turn them into riding animals. You could be part of one.

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Last edited by Avna; 04-14-2019 at 12:17 PM.
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post #12 of 31 Old 04-14-2019, 01:43 PM
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If you are getting a filly, you will not need the 6' high fences. I believe for horses 2 years and under you only need 5' fences, which is pretty standard. This is one of the regulations for adopting from BLM.

I know a small handful of tip trainers, a couple of people who have adopted directly from BLM/Mustang Makeover, and a few people who have adopted mustangs from other people once they had their paperwork from the BLM.

The coolest mustang person I'm familiar with on the east coast is Eliza Wallace. She does the mustang makeover each year and also helps people choose mustangs for private training. She is busy and has tons of fans, but it's certainly possible to contact her to find out about local arrangements. I know she is an advocate for the animals.

The It's a Pleasure group that was posted could be a great resource for you. You could train a mustang with their program and keep it, or adopt one from their program afterward. If it's close to you I would at least go see their competition before you adopt one on your own to see the variety of possibility in what one can do with a mustang in 100 days.

On the internet adoption you should be able to contact the ranch they are being held at and there is typically someone there who knows about the horses and will let you know which ones they think are good. Maybe they can give you a few id's and you can narrow it down to a few on the adoption website. There's certain things you can watch for in the videos to get a glimpse of how the horse acts. For example, I notice a lot of them turn the same way when they are scared, which can give you vital clues when you take them home and start training. There's some that are happy to prance around the pen rather relaxed. Some will look at the camera and other's are too afraid to. Just my thoughts on that.

I have only seen one mustang who was 16hh. You will be lucky to get on that's over 15hh. Most of them are under 15hh. They are mostly like large ponies, but they have a wide barrel. Mine is 15hh and takes up my leg with his barrel. I'm not short.

In addition to checking the online adoptions I would look at some finished mustangs online on regular horse sale sites, and go see/try them in person before you decide if you want to get one from the online adoption. That little bit of experience could teach you a lot about what you are getting into.

I would also find out which HMA is nearest you, and make friends with them. Not only will an internet adoption horse be sent to them for you to pick up, but they may also have sale authority horses where you wouldn't need to go through the year long adoption process. You could go look at ones they have and they can tell you about them specifically. The other option besides going through that year long adoption process is find someone who has and wants to sell their mustang directly to you. You will find ones who have been untouched that whole year, and ones that are broke and finished and anything in between.

From what I've seen and experienced it's a lot of work having a mustang. I'm not just talking about the training. They can also have health issues, for example my mustang had diarrhea for 2 years with previous owners, and 1 year that I've owned him. I got it to clear up finally, but it took me several months to figure out what he needed. He also has issues with his hooves. He has high low syndrome, which makes him difficult to ride at any higher level rather than just hacking around, and he was getting thrush regularly due to a huge cleft in his frog. Looking at his feet today, there's a lot of progress that's been made but we still have a long way to go. Due to how long my horse has had this unmanaged I'm not sure if I will ever be able to resolve it completely. You need someone very knowledgeable who can help you with balancing their feet correctly and who can trim them in a way that will let them use their bodies productively. I don't think I have seen a mustang who didn't have some high low/club/turned in or out feet.

I've seen people with no horse knowledge train both mustangs, and baby horses. Not sure it was the best for either party, but it can be done.

I didn't want an easy horse, and my horse was in peril with his last owners, which is why I have him now. Now he won't have to suffer (as much) by his owners lack of knowledge or lack of veterinary funds like he did before. Some old friends of mine adopted 3. In trailing, one got hurt and was sent back after a few days, a second one was let out by someone who had too many beers and got hit by a car. Then there was one left. I think he has baggage, he had his herd drop like flies until he was the only one left. The people were afraid of him, they sold him to a vaquero friend of mine. With him the horse got hurt and wasn't given veterinary care. I'm sure he lost a lot of faith in people. I couldn't let it happen, it was time for me to get another horse after losing mine, and that's how I ended up with my mustang. He is a good horse for me, and he's ok for my boyfriend who lacks any knowledge of horses but can safely lead him around and walk on him in a round pen. There's also been a lot of challenging times. He had issues with bolting, bucking, spinning, biting... some of those are gone now, still working to fix others. That's what happens when you set out to break your horse in 100 days then let some people adopt it who don't know what they are doing.

Others have pointed that part out too, foolish people get in over their head because they think it's cool to have a mustang. Make sure you are prepared and have others along the way to help you.
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post #13 of 31 Old 04-14-2019, 02:52 PM
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Originally Posted by Filou View Post

From what I've seen and experienced it's a lot of work having a mustang. I'm not just talking about the training. They can also have health issues, for example my mustang had diarrhea for 2 years with previous owners, and 1 year that I've owned him. I got it to clear up finally, but it took me several months to figure out what he needed. He also has issues with his hooves. He has high low syndrome, which makes him difficult to ride at any higher level rather than just hacking around, and he was getting thrush regularly due to a huge cleft in his frog. Looking at his feet today, there's a lot of progress that's been made but we still have a long way to go. Due to how long my horse has had this unmanaged I'm not sure if I will ever be able to resolve it completely. You need someone very knowledgeable who can help you with balancing their feet correctly and who can trim them in a way that will let them use their bodies productively. I don't think I have seen a mustang who didn't have some high low/club/turned in or out feet.
I just wanted to respond to this because it's a huge generalization and I don't even know if it's accurate. I bought my Mustang at age 12, already trained but he had no special health issues. He was healthy and had wonderful feet. Big, healthy wonderful feet than any domestic horse would be jealous of (I wish Quarter Horses had such nice feet). I rode him barefoot most of the time and only booted in heavy rocks. Here are two photos I found that show his feet.........no high/low in these! But I agree, many horses, domestic included, have some degree of high/low. It's a horse thing, not a Mustang thing. Heck, my Missouri Fox Trotter is high/low.


John the Mustang from Salt Wells Creek HMA: His old owner used him for roping (heeler) and for back country packing and hunting. For me he was the ultimate trail horse.
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File Type: jpg john wade saddle1.JPG (177.5 KB, 2 views)
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There's a lot of stupid out there!
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post #14 of 31 Old 04-14-2019, 03:27 PM
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@trailhorserider

You are right, I am generalizing, but also based off what I've seen in my life.
I hope that knowing to be aware of that sort of thing will help out op, or anyone else looking down the line.
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post #15 of 31 Old 04-14-2019, 03:47 PM
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If you're not experienced in taming training a wild horse I'd look into, getting a mustang that's been trained. I know of 2 different people who adopted wild mustangs going to tame and train them for riding horse's.

3 years later both mustangs are still wild untouchable both owners, have given up on ever getting the tamed or trained. Way more then their horse training experiences could handle.

So they have horse's they can just look at...that wasn't the way it was supposed to turnout. Both people had big dreams that were quickly squelched out.
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post #16 of 31 Old 04-14-2019, 06:06 PM
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I really donít know the girl who adopted off the internet, just her friend, and Iíd feel like I was crossing a boundary if I asked for her info. I am sorry.

On another note, I also thought all mustangs were small, but mine came at 16h and 1200 pounds at two! He is a massive beast. Lol. Another at the same sale was 16.3 at 3! So, apparently they can get big.
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post #17 of 31 Old 04-14-2019, 08:34 PM
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I do have a friend who successfully adopted two mustangs. They were a LOT more work than a domestic horse raised in a normal setting but she persevered and got a lot of help and has two very nice horses anyone can ride -- now, years later.

They also both short tough horses with giant hooves that never get sore. Enviable feet.
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post #18 of 31 Old 04-14-2019, 10:39 PM
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I had a mustang as a training project. He was super chill, trained easily. Was beginner friendly after 3 months. One of the easiest horses i have ever trained. He was bought for $25 because no one bid on him at the auction. Not spooky at all.

When I went to the auction, i picked out several possible horses based on their behavior in the pen. If they were curious and approached me, that was a bonus. If they were super fearful or nervous, i passed. I like a horse that is confident. There was one boss/bully mare. She chased everyone away from her side of the pen. She was gorgeous but you could tell she would be a difficult one. She was very anxious. The one i liked best was a black gelding, about 15.1 hands. He walked over and sniffed my hand. You could tell he was curious. He looked like he had some draft somewhere way back. Nice thick legs and a thick warmblood like neck. I would have bought him, if i had the finances for another horse.
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post #19 of 31 Old 04-14-2019, 10:51 PM
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Originally Posted by horselovinguy View Post
Why are you not looking into a Corolla baby from the wild herds there in your state?
The Corolla Bankers are not rounded up and sold, like the Assateague/Chincoteague or the BLM horses.
They are only removed when their life is directly at risk; a horse that is injured & needs intervention, horse that escapes to territories it should not be in repeatedly, orphaned as a foal and other similar situations.
Basically, they don't have them available often at all. And most are fairly tiny.

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post #20 of 31 Old 04-15-2019, 02:37 AM
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If you are getting a filly, you will not need the 6' high fences. I believe for horses 2 years and under you only need 5' fences, which is pretty standard.
Regulations are one thing. Being sensible & safety conscious is another. Just because a horse is under 2yo doesn't mean it can't/won't try to jump a fence to escape. If the horse(whether 'mustang' or just 'unmanaged'(there are a lot of 'station bred' horses here who would not see fences...) is not accustomed to fences, any wire fence - as opposed to big, solid... - can be dangerous, as the horse may not have the experience to know they can't try to go through/over them. And it also depends on the way you handle them - if you're going to terrify a horse into trying to escape, like I've seen CA do to newly caught brumbies for eg(not that I advise this, in a pink fit), then you will need 6' solid fencing.

Quote:
From what I've seen and experienced it's a lot of work having a mustang. I'm not just talking about the training. They can also have health issues, ... I got it to clear up finally, but it took me several months to figure out what he needed. He also has issues with his hooves. He has high low syndrome, which makes him difficult to ride at any higher level ... Due to how long my horse has had this unmanaged I'm not sure if I will ever be able to resolve it completely. ... I don't think I have seen a mustang who didn't have some high low/club/turned in or out feet.
Apart from the initial setup & getting them used to fences if they're not, I don't see any diff with brumbies(granted, maybe some lines of mustang are different, I don't know, but I doubt it) as with any other untouched/ungentled horse, in training or in health/hoof dept. Many, many domestic horses have diarrhoea & other probs, due to feed & management probs, that can indeed take a long time to get to the bottom of. Many, many, many domestic horses have 'high-low syndrome', or otherwise imbalance etc, due to body issues or incorrect/insufficient hoof care & management. Due to the chronic-ness of issues, how old the horse is etc, it may also be just as unresolvable in domestics.

In essence, a horse is a horse, whether he was born wild/feral or domestic, and generally speaking(aside from odd genetic defects), a 'good' horse(behaviour & health & soundness) is MADE, not bred.

On that note OP, people often go on about the wonderous hooves of mustangs compared to domestics. This *may* be so, depending on the environment & lifestyle, and age of the horse. As horses who do many miles a day over dry, rough footing tend to have well 'maintained' and strong hooves. BUT even in ideal situations, horses don't *begin* to develop good hoof strength until they're around 4yo, and horses that have grown up in 'cushy' environments, necessitating little exercise etc, will not grow good feet. And even horses who have grown great feet, having grown up 'on the range' are at risk of becoming 'poor footed' if they are managed badly, in a bad environment. \

Case in point is one of mine. He was a late-caught brumby(think he was around 6yo when caught) who had AWESOME feets when I met him. True 'rock crunchers'. Big, robust digital cushions. But when I met him he was living in a rich, damp, soft, ryegrass & clover paddock AND was fed twice a day & was fat as mud. I warned the owner of the risks of how she was keeping him. I trimmed for her for a while but then she sent the horse away for training & I moved.

It was a fair few years, before she rang me last year to say she needed to rehome her horses & she'd love me to have one. He'd been moved finally to a better environment, because his mate had finally foundered badly - I was told they had both lost heaps of weight since, but they were both HUGE! I was shocked to see the state of his feet - not that I expected them to be great, I'd warned her years ago & it was only 6 months ago she'd moved them, but he was supposed to be getting farriery from a rehab specialist - among other things, his heels were 2" high!! So... I've had him for a year now, and he needed boots for the first 6 or so months when ridden on rough ground. He has finally got back to a state pretty close to when I first met him(except for his obesity back then). We just got back from a 12km ride on sharp gravel('blue metal'), where they did a fair bit of trotting, some cantering, and he never put a foot wrong, his feet hardly showed any wear by the end even.

Quote:
I've seen people with no horse knowledge train both mustangs, and baby horses. Not sure it was the best for either party, but it can be done.
Just because it *can* be done, doesn't mean it's a good move. Way too much risk to the horse IMO, not to mention potentially to people involved too, if the horse is inadvertently made dangerous - too easily done. Not that I'm assuming OP has no knowledge, but IF they don't, I would advise against getting a young horse, regardless whether feral or domestic, find a well trained one, AND a good trainer to help teach them.
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Some info I've found helpful; [COLOR=Lime][B]www.horseforum.com/horse-health/hoof-lameness-info-horse-owners-89836/
For taking critique pics; [COLOR=Lime][B]https://www.horseforum.com/members/41...res-128437.jpg
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