Spanish Mustang


The Spanish Mustang registry is one of the oldest mustang registries in the U.S., begun in the 1950's, principally by Robert E. Brislawn. As mustangs exhibiting a particular Spanish quality began to disappear from the American west, Brislawn began to collect the horses. These are horses whose resemblance to their ancestors is much more marked than other feral mustangs managed by the BLM.

The Spanish Mustang stands around 14.2 to 15 hands high. It takes the general appearance of its Spanish ancestors, although slightly smaller in the body and with a slightly larger head. It also takes on color patterns found in Iberian horses: Buckskins, duns, Grullas, and paints. The original Spanish horse was known for its excellent stamina; today, nature and man have made the mustang into one of the strongest and hardiest horses in the world.

These horses are descendants of the Spanish stock brought to the Americas by Spanish conquistadors. Some horses were released or escaped and were quickly procured by Native American Communities. By the time of European colonization in the east, the horse populations had grown considerably. The new inhabitants of America didn't recognize the horses as Spanish Mustangs and incorrectly identified them as Indian Ponies, Cayuse and Mustang's which means without owner.

By the mid 1800's many of the pure Spanish mustangs had been selectively bred with English and Arabian stock to "improve" them. These new mixes evolved into breeds such as the Quarter Horse, Morgan, Tennessee Walker, Palomino and Paint.

It has been said by some, that Chief Joseph was the finest Military leader ever seen in the United States. Much of his strategy depended upon the Appaloosa breed his tribe had created from the Spotted Spanish Mustangs. The Quality of the Appaloosa breed did not escape the US Government. When Chief Joseph surrendered in the 1860's, the US Government ordered the Appaloosa destroyed in a policy designed to ensure that the tribe would have to change their way of life. The Appaloosa breed was destroyed by removing all the stallions and crossing the mares with draft horses. Today's Appaloosa, except throes hidden in the Spanish Mustang herds, resemble Chief Joseph's horse in color pattern only.

1. Andalusian 2. Arabian 3. Barb 4. Turk

For more information:
The Spanish Mustang Registry
Some information probided by Nw Painted Ponies
Listed as "Critical" by The American Livestock Breeds Conservancy (2004)

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