The wild horse is a symbol of the American spirit, and wild horses have been in the country for hundreds of years. They’re a part of American heritage, but their very existence and future are threatened. Wild horses have to deal with overpopulation, but they are also subjected to development encroaching on what is left of their lands. This video provides an eye-opening look into the plight faced by the wild horse today.
Now, American mustangs face another threat: The potential repeal of financial support to their care and maintenance. Their care is a major expense, and the loss of funding would prove devastating, jeopardizing the horses’ future.
According to The Horse, wild horse overpopulation is an ongoing issue in the United States. In Nevada and Montana, wild horse herds are nearly twice the size that the land can sustain. Worsening the problem is the fact that wild horse herds double in size every four or five years, meaning that the overpopulation will get exponentially worse if action is not taken.
So why is overpopulation such a problem? When there are more horses than the land can support, the horses can starve because of lack of food. They are prone to diseases because of overcrowding, and inbreeding becomes frequent. Horses can even die of dehydration when herds cannot find adequate water sources to support all of the horses.
Unfortunately there isn’t any single solution to the wild horse overpopulation problem. The Bureau of Land Management has programs in place, including rounding up and auctioning off the horses, but the numbers are difficult to handle and finding adoptive homes for large numbers of untrained horses can be a challenge. Events such as the Mustang Makeover have evolved to show how trainable mustangs are, encouraging people to adopt.
But still, overpopulation continues. If a solution isn’t reached, these wild horses face a bleak future.