My 2009 Extreme Mustang Makeover Training Experience.
Go to my extreme mustang makeover blogspot.
Rio-Spur-Ranch History. We started the ranch in 2004 as a business, owned the property in Weslaco, Tx. Since 1984. Our first horse was a 2 year old quarter horse stallion. When I started training him he was easy, never bucked or bolted, but he had his moments. I was riding him bridless and bareback with no experience. After 1 month, I was hooked. 6 months later, our second horse, a AQHA filly we got at the Rio-Rico-Ranch sale in Mercedes, Tx. She was a 2 year old. She was the total opposite from the stallion. She was a bronk, that gave me the knowledge of how different each horse can be and I learned how to read body language like a pro, which is very important to train horses and to be as light as possible but as firm as necessary which is now our ranch motto. Now she is a reliable mount. 3 Months later our first BLM adoption our plans were 1 to see how different it would be from a domesticated horse, we got >3< mustang fillys. Once I could handle them, they were easier than the AQHA filly any day, now they are my horse of choice. Reliable, worthy, noble and versatile, what more could you want in a horse. And the rest is history :)
The earliest ancestors of the horse lived in America about 50 million years ago. They did not look much like horses, they only measured three hands and had four toes. Over time the species developed and began to look more like the horses we recognize. About 10,000 years ago, during the ice Age, the species died out in America and the continent was without horses for a long time.
In the 15th century, the horse made a comeback thanks to Christopher Columbus and the Spanish Conquistadors who brought horses with them when they went ashore the Caribbean Islands in 1493.
Today there are many breeds, types and colors of horses in America. It's hard to define what the difference is between a breed and a type, because not everyone agrees on this subject. Horses of one breed can be registered with another, and new breeds are being created due to the crossbreeding of already existing breeds. Some people say you don't get a new breed this way, only a crossbred horse. Examples of this are the AraAppaloosa (Arabian + Appaloosa), the Walkaloosa (Tennessee Walking Horse + Appaloosa) and the Quarab (Quarter + Arabian). There are different color registers, in which horses of different breeds have been entered. The most famous are the Palomino and the Pinto, but there are many more, like the Buckskin, Cremello and Perlino. There are also height registers, in which horses are entered by height, and registers for horses of a special type or with special gaits. There are American horses in all colors and patterns, and there will surely be equine colors you have never heard of. Here are a few colors that are less well known:
Cremello> The skin is pinkish, the eyes are blue, the coat is creamy white, tail is white. Perlino> The skin is pinkish, the eyes are blue, the coat is white or cream and darker, either rust or orange-hued. Buckskin> The coat is golden, from pale cream to dark copper, and the manes and tail are black or dark brown. Grulla (pronounced: grew-yah)> The coat is light to brownish blue-gray, with black primitive markings and dorsal stripes. Grulla is the rarest equine color. The word grulla is Spanish and means "crane". Smoky cream> The skin is pinkish, the eyes are blue, the coat, manes and tail are light, with a copper hue.
Hernando Cortez brought horses ashore in Mexico 1519, and later other Spanish Conquistadors, adventurers and missionaries followed with their horses. These were strong, healthy Spanish horses, mostly crossbreeds between Andalusians, Arabians, Barbs and Jennet horses. The name Mustang comes from the Spanish word mesteno, which means wild or stray. The horses survived the harsh trip across the sea, which is a testament to their stamina. Afterwards, they spread over North America and the Native Americans didn't have much of a defense from the gun-carrying newcomers on their horses. Ultimately, the Native Americans became very adept at stealing the settlers' horses. In the beginning, the animals were eaten or set free, but the Native Americans soon realized that they were valuable riding animals. Spotter horses were especially popular, probably because of their natural camouflage colors. The Native Americans eventually became real horse experts, and some tribes even started actual horse breeding farms. The horses that were set free or fled, lived in herds in the wild. In the mid-19th century, there were more than two million wild horses in America, but by the end of the century this number had decreased. Farms and possessions had spread over the country, and the territory that was available for wild horses had rapidly shrunk. At the same time, many wild horses were killed: they were a threat to farmers because they ate the harvest, and in addition they provided cheap meat for the animal feed industry.
Today, the Mustang is a protected animal. There are only about 50,000 left and many herds are small that they suffer from inbreeding.
Description: Wild horses are only fully grown when they are 4 to 7 years old. In spring and summer they grow at a normal rate but, during fall and winter, they hardly grow at all because they do not have much food. During cold weather they need all their energy to keep their bodies warm. Their exterior varies and often reveals which bloodlines are dominant. Some herds have characteristics of the Quarter, others look more like other breeds, for example the thoroughbred, arabian or morgan. Also, the colors differ; some herds have mainly spotted horses, while others mostly have bay horses. Wild horses have strong legs which are stronger than those of other horses. The hooves are stronger than average because they have to be able to run without shoes on any kind of terrain.
Use: It is obvious that you can't really (use) a wild horse, but Mutangs can be tamed. If tame, they can be used as saddle horses.
The herd: Each herd has two leaders: a mare and a stallion. The mare leads the herd. When the herd is galloping, the stallion is usually at the back to check that all horses are coming along and keeping up with the pace. The stallion protects the herd when there is danger; he will go to the front, ready to challenge any intruder. He is constantly on guard, so the rest of the herd can graze and rest. Young stallions are chased away from the herd when they are two or three years old and the young mares are in season for the first time. These young animals form their own herds. This is the way nature fights inbreeding.
Colors: Mustangs come in all possible equine colors, but most are sorrel.
Height: Generally, the height varies from 13.2 to 15 hands. The leaders are usually taller than the other horses in the herd.
Kiger Mustang> The Mustang of today does not look like the Spanish horses from which it descends, but in 1977 a herd of Mustangs was discovered that strongly deviated from other herds. These horses were light yellow and had dorsal and zebra stripes on their legs. Furthermore, they had the head of a Barb. The Mustangs, which were found in Oregon, lived closed off from other herds, so they were able to keep their original characteristics. The herd was split into two groups: 20 horses in one and seven in the other. The herds were set free and supervised to make sure no other wild horses would come near them and breed with these Kiger Mustangs. A few Kiger Mustangs were tamed. They turned out to be good learners and were well suited for cattle driving.
To learn more go to http://www.blm.gov/adoptahorse/
The Appaloosa is an ancient breed. Cave paintings of more than 20,000 years ago display these spotted horses, and the old chinese emperors called them (celestial horses). In the 18th and 19th century, they were favored by the european artistocracy. In the United States the breed is all about the Native Americans, especially the Nez Perce tribe which lived in Oregon. It was the only Native American tribe that bred horses efficiently and selectively, and the Nez Perce were known as real horse experts. Only the best stallions were used for breeding; the others were gelded, so they could not have any descendants. The Nez Perce were also very handy. The horses which did not qualify were tradad with other Native American tribes. The horses of the Nez Perce eventually grew to be strong, fast animals which had strong legs and could be used on rough terrain, which was precisely what the Native Americans wanted. The spotted horses were the most popular. The Native Americans called the spotted horse (paulouse) became Appaloosa in everyday speech. Unfortunately, the Nez Perce Native did not have a pleasant fate, which had consequences for the Appaloosa breed. The Native Americans fell from favor with the authorities, and were chased off to Canada. They did not make it farther than Montana, where they surrendered. The Appaloosa horses, the strength and pride of the Native Americans, were confiscated by the army and sold. There was even a bounty on the killing of escaped Appaloosas; the beautiful Appaloosa stallions of the Native Americans were gone and all they had left were powerful pulling horses. The breed had to cope with this for generations, but at present the Appaloosa is a lighter type; a result of crossbreeding with the English Thoroughbred and the quarter. For fifty years the Appaloosa was a rare breed, but in 1938 the Appaloosa horse club was founded with the goal of saving the breed.
Description: The Appaloosa of today has many Characteristics that the Nez Perce greatly appreciated: stamina, good character and versatility. The horse has a body with strong hindquarters, good legs and hard hooves. The head is elegant.
Use: There are different Appaloosa bloodlines. Some are characterized by speed, others are very suited for Western disciplines like cutting and roping, while others are good for dressage and jumping. You could almost say there is an Appaloosa for every use.
Colors: the breed distinguishes itself from all other breeds by the special Appaloosa pattern. the most common pattern is a dark body with a spotted or white coat on the loins and hindquarters. however, there are several patterns-from ''snowflake'' (dark body with lighter spots and markings) to ''leopard'' (white body with black spots everywhere). No two Appaloosas are the same, but they have three characteristics in common: 1. a spotted coat (especially around the muzzle, eyes and genitalia) , 2. striped hooves, and 3. a white sclera (ring) around the iris, just like human eyes.
Heights: of most Appaloosas are between 14.2 to 15.2 hands, and are therefore considered small horses.
The Spanish adventurer Hernando Cortes sailed to America in 1519, chasing gold. He had 16 horses with him on his journey. One of these horses was a chestnut horse with white spots on its belly -- this horse that, together with the Mustangs, was the basis for the Paint breed. Many, many years later, in 1960, Redecca Tyler Lockhart was sitting at her kitchen table calling her acquaintance. She had an idea. Many people had been interested in spotted ranch horses, and now Rebecca wanted to register all of these horses and make them part of a breed association. Many people thought it was a good idea, and Rebecca put everything on paper. Eventually her whole kitchen table was covered with little notes, and she had to call two friends to help her keep track of everything. It went fine, until all three of them got the flu. Rebecca had to call three more friends for help.
They received the help, and the team was able to found an open class for spotted horses during a horse event in Fort Worth in 1961. The friends called everyone they knew who owned Paint horses; just the word "competition" was enough to entice people. A few weeks after the event, Rebecca held a meeting with seventeen other people to discuss if they could found a breed.
In 1962, Rebecca was once again sitting at her kitchen table, but now she was able to register the very first Paint horse with the American Paint Stock Horse Association. In was a black stallion with white tobiano colors called Bandits Pinto. Before the year had ended, she had 150 members and 250 registered horses.
Since then, the breed has only become more widespread - at present the breed association has more than half a million registered Paint horses. The breed is spread all over the world, but wherebe the horses are born, they are included in the American register, which is now called American Paint Horse Association.
Description: The Painthorse is compact and muscular, with a relatively small head. It has an exceptionally good character. Because of its conformation, it is fast and can make rounds on the spot. This is why it is very suitable for Western riding. It is said to have a kind of "cow sense".
Use: The Paint is mostly used for riding and it is suitable for all disciplines in Western
Height: 14.5 to 16.5 hands.
Colors: The three main colors are called tobiano, overo and tovero, but within overo there are different patterns: framed overo, sabino and splashed white. The spots can be all equine colors -- they are therefore called pied.
Tobiano: A horse with a tobiano pattern had color on one or both flanks, while all of its legs are usually white over the knees.The spots are equal and clear, oval or round and stretch from the neck to the breast, like a shield. The head is pinto, and the markings are solid colors with blaze, star, spots, etc. The tail is often two-colored, and a tobiano is either mostly white or mostly pied.
Tovero: The tovero is pied around the ears, muzzle and often also on its forehead up to the eyes. It had one or two blue eyes, spots on its breast and sometimes on its neck. The spots are different in size, often the spots on its belly and towards the loins are smaller. The horse can have spots of differnt sizes at the croup.
Overo: A horse with an overo pattern does not usually have white on its back between the withers and tail, and one or more legs may be pied. The horse has a lot of white in the face and the tail is usually one color. The overo is mostly white or mostly pied just like the tobiano.
Nobody can tell with certainty how the Quarter horse was created. Some people claim that it is the oldest horse breed in the United States, and is based on the Chickasaw horses that were secured from the Native Americans. These were small, stocky horses, probably of Spanish origin. The pioneers were interested in competitions and naturally they wanted very fast horses. It is assumed that the Thoroughbred horses, that came to the United States before the studbook had been created in England, were used for breeding Quarters. The Quarterhorse was named after the distance of the competitions, the quarter mile. All over the U.S. many competitions were organized, but not on the nice race tracks we know today. Most of the time they were held on some open land or an open space. The competitions were between horse owners or the riders, and the competition was won by whoever had the fastest horse. The breeding of Quarters and Thoroughbreds in the U.S. happened at the same pace. Some Thoroughbreds were used as studs for both breeds and many short-distance horses were registered as Thoroughbreds in the American studbook, even though not all their bloodlines could be traced back to the English studbook. Another theory is that the Quarterhorse was bred in the Southwest much later. There, peopie mainly held short-distance competitions and the cowboys needed a horse that could accelerate very fast, could be ridden easily, and was suitable to work with cattle. Maybe it would have been better if they had called the Quarters of that time, a horse "type" instead of a "breed", but today the Quarterhorse is definitely considered a breed of its own.
Description: The head is short and broad in comparison to the small pricked ears, the hindquarters are strong and muscled. The bow is powerful which gives the saddle a good base. The back is exceptionally short. The Quarterhorse has a nice disposition, is intelligent and a fast learner.
Use: Most people think of Western riding when talking about Quarterhorses, but this horse is also a competition horse. It has become increasingly popular in disciplines such as polo and jumping. It is also an outstanding recreational horse.
Colors: All solid colors are allowed, and the horse can have markings on legs and head. If there is too much white it will be registered as a Painthorse.
Height: Average 15.2 hands.