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Horse Training, Horse Care, and Riding Books and Videos from Cherry Hill at www.horsekeeping.comHorse Training, Horse Care, and Riding Books and Videos from Cherry Hill at www.horsekeeping.com   Horse Training, Horse Care, and Riding Books and Videos from Cherry Hill at www.horsekeeping.com  

Horse Training, Horse Care, and Riding Books and Videos from Cherry Hill at www.horsekeeping.com

January 17, 2009

Wild or Feral Horses?

  2008 Cherry Hill   Copyright Information

 

Hi Cherry,

I keep reading and hearing about how wild horses are overpopulating and causing problems with grazing land. Then my girlfriend corrected me and said there are not any "wild" horses left, that all the ones running loose are domesticated horses and their offspring and the only true wild horses are in the zoos. Is this true?

Bud

 

Hello Bud,

Horse For Sale by Cherry HillHere is an excerpt from our new book, Horse Hoof Care, that will help answer your question.

 

"It is now common and generally acceptable to refer to feral horses as wild horses. But biologically speaking, a wild horse is one that has not been domesticated nor descended from domesticated horses. The last truly wild horses mysteriously disappeared from North America along with saber-toothed cats, mammoths and most other large mammals around the end of the last ice age, 9 to 13 thousand years ago.

"A feral horse is a free roaming, untamed horse that has descended from domestic horses. North American feral horses spread from horses brought to the continent by Spanish conquistadors and others in the 1500s and later became known as mustangs. They are now commonly referred to as wild horses."

 

Cherry Hill's Horsekeeping AlmanacDomesticated horses which became feral horses were, and are, unwanted horses that were turned loose or those that got loose from ranches or other facilities. The only "wild" horses today the Przewalski horses, most of which live in zoos.

Cherry Hill horse trainer and author of 30 books and DVDs

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