The Wild Horses Of North America

Horses hold a loving place in the hearts of several Americans. For centuries, horses have been our companions and helped us achieve amazing feats throughout our history. They have played a large role in American history, from helping us fight in our wars to hauling us west into uncharted territory.

Horses are a living monument to American history. Yet, the 82,000 horses that roam wild in North America are not native to the continent. They were brought over from Europe centuries ago for professional use and have somehow found a way into the wild plains of America.

horses grazing
Photo by Tomasz Filipek on Pexels.com

Wild American horses reside in these states:

Eastern States

Georgia, Kentucky, Mississippi, Tennessee, Florida, Maryland, Virginia, and the beaches of North Carolina

Western States

California, Oregon, Utah, Nevada, Wyoming, Colorado, Montana, South Dakota, Arizona, and Texas

 

Horses have had no problem adjusting to life in the American countryside. They live in large herds and can live in just about any environment. In fact, if they go unregulated, their population size will quickly grow to problematic numbers.

For the past century, the survival of Americas wild horses has been threatened by government and local ranchers, which it still persists today. Many ranchers see wild horses as pests that eat the grass grazed on by their cattle and livestock. However, a counter argument that is commonly brought up is that the cattle and livestock primarily graze on the plains. Horses just eat the remainder of the available vegetation.

brown horse on grass field
Photo by David Dibert on Pexels.com

Historically, ranchers have waged an unnamed war on wild horses and led campaigns to kill off entire herds of them. Their numbers dwindled greatly in the early 20th century and it was not until the mid-20th century that legal action was taken to save Americas wild horses.

Today, wild North American horses are protected by federal law, but there are still loopholes that allow for the population management of wild horses. Americas wild horses today are largely protected by locals, nonprofit groups, and some aspects of the local/federal government. While North Americas wild horses still struggle to survive due to some government regulations, they persist as a strong symbol of the American spirit and continue to survive in Americas plains.

Thank you for reading this article! If you would like to read more about American wildlife, you should check out these articles!

Rattle Snakes

Mountain Lions

Black Bears 

Rainbow Trout 

Leopard Sharks 

California Parrots 

If you would like to contribute the conservation of North Americas wild horses, you can donate to American Wild Horse Campaign

Citations

“Horses in the United States.” Wikipedia, Wikimedia Foundation, 24 Apr. 2020, en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Horses_in_the_United_States.

Blitz, Matt. “The Best Places to See Wild Horses in North America.” Smithsonian.com, Smithsonian Institution, 17 Sept. 2015, http://www.smithsonianmag.com/travel/best-places-see-wild-horses-north-america-180956363/.

Mihaylo, Karen. “States That Have Wild Horses.” Animals.mom.com, 11 Aug. 2017, animals.mom.me/states-wild-horses-4014.html.

Babb, Robin. “6 Places Where You Can Still Spot Majestic Wild Horses Roaming.” Reader’s Digest, Reader’s Digest, 2 Dec. 2019, http://www.rd.com/advice/travel/wild-horses-in-north-america/.

“History of America’s Wild Horses.” American Wild Horse Campaign, americanwildhorsecampaign.org/history-americas-wild-horses.

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