A feral horse is a free-roaming horse of domesticated stock. As such, a feral horse is not a wild animal in the sense of an animal without domesticated ancestors. However, some populations of feral horses are managed as wildlife, and these horses often are popularly called “wild” horses.
Feral horses are dangerous if you are between them and where they want to be. They can also be dangerous if you are perceived as a threat to a harem or a foal.
Even though mustangs are not a native wild species – they are feral – most will agree America’s mustangs are a species of cultural importance, and one that deserves protection as such.
Most of the mustang populations are found in the Western states of Montana, Idaho, Nevada, Wyoming, Utah, Oregon, California, Arizona, North Dakota and New Mexico. Some also live on the Atlantic coast and on islands such as the Sable, Shackleford, Assateague and Cumberland Islands.
The obvious difference between the wild and domesticated horse is the wild horse is out there on open rangeland, where there are no stalls, no barrels of feed, no people bearing brushes and tack, no horse trailers, no veterinarians, etc.
25 – 30 years
Wild horses are here making a living like every other animal. The fault lies in management. … But any population of unmanaged large herbivores in an area, even if it’s a million acres, without predators can ultimately cause vegetation damage, whether its deer, elk, cows, sheep, horses, or bison.”
If socialized to human contact, horses usually respond to humans as a non-threatening predator. Humans do not always understand this, however, and may behave in a way, particularly if using aggressive discipline, that resembles an attacking predator and triggers the horse’s fight-or-flight response.
To me, wild horses are undoubtedly invasive in the American West: they are a species new to the systems after a 10,000 year absence in which plenty of natural and anthropogenic changes happened to the relevant ecosystems.
Today, wild horses and burros are present on 179 different BLM Herd Management Areas (HMA), covering 31.6 million acres in Arizona, California, Colorado, Idaho, Montana, Nevada, New Mexico, Oregon, Utah, and Wyoming. … Each herd is unique, but all herds have survived a gauntlet of serious selection criteria.
According to the Oxford English Dictionary, “feral” has three meanings: “existing in a wild or untamed state”; “having returned to an untamed state from domestication”; and “of, or suggestive of, a wild animal; savage”. … Then feral becomes, intentionally or not, dehumanising.
Apples and Carrots Kill Wild Horses.” The strong message is intended to make the public aware that wild horses cannot eat any food that is not from their natural habitat of beach grasses. The public is unaware that their snacks are harmful and often cause painful colic and may result in death.