Today on Light Future Art, we’re sharing some fun facts about wild horses, also known as mustangs. How many of these facts did you know?
1. Although mustangs are commonly also known as wild horses, they technically are not wild: they’re feral. Mustangs are descended from escaped Spanish horses from colonists in the 1500s and have since interbred with many other horse species.
2. It isn’t unusual for a herd of mustangs to venture as far as 20 miles in a single day.
3. The word mustang comes from the Spanish word “mustengo”, meaning “stray horse” or “ownerless horse”.
4. In hot climates, wild horses take mud baths or dirt baths to cool off. They can be found in the Western United States from Arizona to Montana, so they can live in some fairly hot climates as well as some fairly cold ones.
5. Mustangs don’t eat as much food as you’d think they do — only about five or six pounds a day! If food is scarce, they can get by on even less. The diet of a wild horse includes grasses and shrub brush.
6. The average mustang stands at about five feet tall at the shoulder and weighs upwards of 700 pounds. They can live up to 40 years in the wild and usually do.
7. Because wild horses aren’t native to America, they have no natural predators. If wildlife management teams don’t introduce birth control treatments into their populations, a herd can as much as double in size in under five years. Despite this, some mustang populations are still protected in sanctuaries and reserves and considered an at-risk species by many.
8. Another reason for substantial population growth is that mustangs protect their sick and injured. A horse who has sustained injuries can still live a very long life because they are cared for by the rest of the herd.
9. Young mustangs often play games together like play wrestling, which can be mistaken for fighting by human observers. Rest assured, though, it’s all in good fun.
10. About half of all wild horses are reddish-brown color, or roan, or bay, or sorrel, or dun, or … There are many names for this specific type of color.
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