Historically, the origin of wild horses or mustangs in America dates as far back as the 1500s when they were firstly introduced by Spanish explorers who came to America at that time. As history would have it, some of these horses became uncomfortable with the way they were handled by the explorers and so they made way into the wild – a land of the free. And ever since, they have been roaming parts of the land, till today, some of their descendants can still be seen in some parts of America like in the Pryor Mountains.
If you have ever seen the movie “Spirit,” you will understand how settlers and cowboys captured and tamed wild horses. These horses are a socialized kind of feral animals. They are mostly seen living in herds. Most times these herds are made up of female horses and foals that are led by a single male, known as the stallion. However, younger males are not expected to leave the heard until they are about two years old. This is when they can fend for themselves and go and establish their own herd.
Most times, these horses feed by grazing on grasses and leaves. This they do very often; it is very unusual to find them playing together or trying to snuggle for a nap. Sometimes their play can be mistaken for a fight.
In a large herd, it is easy to find a stallion and an older female horse (mare) guiding the herd. Sometimes separate herds can blend together especially when they are threatened or they happen to be in danger. Usually before a male horse can lead a large heard, he must have been well matured and experienced. They are usually over 6 years of age. When in a dangerous situation, it is the duty of the stallion to protect the herd while they mare leads the herd to safety.
According to history, there used to be more mustang roaming free in the wild on the North American terrain, however, what used to be about 2 million in population 100 years ago has fallen down to 25,000 today. This drastic change in their population figures were revealed by the Humane Society.
While in the wild, these feral horses can live up to 40 years. Even hurt or disabled mustangs have great chances of survival because they are always been protected by the herd.