Many people want to approach wild horses ; however, it is best to observe them from a distance for your safety and their best interest. Here is an excellent video dealing with a mare that has attacked its owners, and bitten them multiple times.
A horse’s rear leg kicks are powerful enough to break bones and kill animals and humans. Horses that don’t have the option of fleeing or feel threatened will bite and stomp an opponent with their front legs.
When humans approach horses, their instinct is to flee but left without an option, they attack and deliver devastating punishment. However, most parks and the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) have separate regulations in place.
So if you anticipate contact with wild horses, confirm with the park rangers or the BLM the requirement for the location you plan to visit. And although the general rule is to give the animals a 50-foot cushion, many parks don’t want you to get closer than 100 feet.
Total wild equines on public rangeland-88,000 Wild horses account for approximately 72,000 of the animals Burros are estimated at over 16,000 Besides the horses and burros free-ranging, the BLM also houses close to 50,000 animals at government holding facilities. The Government estimates that the land has water and grazing resources for approximately 26,500 animals.
In this same study, the BLM estimated that each wild horse kept in captivity cost $50,000 per animal over its lifetime. They calculated that it would cost one billion dollars to care and treat the animals at the current population.
They are tasked with the management of federal public lands, which includes, among other things, the responsibility to oversee the wild horse and burro program. To facilitate this, they employ a two-prong approach, first is the removal of the animals, and second is controlling their ability to reproduce.
The BLM removes horses and with the goal of placing them in a good and safe home. In conjunction with the removal program, the BLM is also actively taking steps to suppress the rate of births of wild horses.
First, the follow-up shot is only possible if the herd is tracked, and even if the horse receives the booster, the usefulness of the drug wears off after one year. The BLM is working with universities and private companies to develop a more efficient drug and permanent sterilization methods.
Not all wild horses are the same, but generally, they’ve evolved into hardy animals, with strong bones and tough feet. The population of wild horses is exploding; currently, over 88,000 mustangs are roaming public land, and at the rate they are reproducing, they could double their number in 4 to 5 years.
The act is called Congress recognized that free-roaming horses and burros have a symbolic and historical value that warrants preservation. The act provides wild horses protection against capture, branding, harassment, and death and recognized the animals as an integral part of the natural system.
Large herds of horses can reduce the amount of dry forage, which is fuel for fires. Wildfires are best defined as prey animals and owing to this reason they might pose some danger, especially when kept in a confined and completely unfamiliar environment.
As they aren’t familiar with humans, these horses tend to perceive them as a major threat. Over the next few sections of this article, we will discuss how and why wild horses are dangerous and the things you can do if you encounter them in the wilderness.
It is also worth noting that stallions and other wild horses separated from a large herd may be aggressive even without provocation. According to an average estimate, these animals are growing by a whopping 20 percent at an annual scale.
These horses are also deemed problematic due to their grazing habits which are known to wipe out plants while also endangering additional wildlife. If these horses continue reproducing at their current scale, they might as well destroy our ecosystem in the long run.
Wild horses primarily inhabit grasslands and if you are lucky enough you might as well encounter them during a hike or a camping tour. However, this distance may vary depending on the regulation of the park or the bureau where you spotted the horse.
If you expect spotting wild horses on a trip, it is best to consult the same with the designated park ranger. Follow the regulation of your designated park and make sure you do not distract or provoke the horses at any point.
If the situation permits, immediately move away from their path and avoid walking in the middle of a herd. In the wilderness, you will find them in smaller herds with one animal (stallion) dominating the rest.
Since wild horses are not domesticated animals, it always makes sense to exercise a safe distance from them. Wild horses, often considered elegant symbols of the American West, may be in danger with a new rule change by the U.S. Department of the Interior’s Bureau of Land Management.
“Zine is pushing the livestock industry agenda to rid our public lands of wild horses and trampling on the wishes of American citizens in the process.” Secretary Zine has made abundantly clear that he does not support slaughter or euthanasia of healthy horses and burros,” the Bureau of Land Management told ABC News in a statement.
Wild horses roam free on state and some private land, outside federal disengaged horse management areas on May 31, 2017, outside Milford, Utah. “Population control must be implemented to protect scarce and fragile resources in the arid West and ensure healthy animals.
In late April, the agency submitted a report to Congress recommending euthanasia as an option for population control. Obviously, since horses are animals, they are relatively predictable (they have known behavior patterns), but can be very unpredictable (they are autonomous creatures).
Even at that, in general, they are somewhat like deer; if they feel threatened, their first instinct is to evade the danger. However, they are tougher animals then deer, and they are well aware that they can defend themselves to some extent: their legs are so powerful they could kill you.
There's not a lot you can do as far as protective gear is concerned, short of carrying a weapon (I don't recommend). Pepper spray or other chemical solutions won't do a lot of good since they're coming at you.
“The world lost truly wild horses perhaps hundreds, if not thousands of years ago, but we are only just now learning this fact, with the results of this research,” said Olsen. Another of the report's authors, archaeologist Alan Outran from Britain's University of Peter, said the Przewalski's horse, named after a Russian who described them in the 19th century, is relatively small and stocky.
The study was conducted at two sites in northern Kazakhstan, where scientists found the earliest proof of horse domestication, going back more than 5,000 years. “This means that we must continue the search for the true ancestors of modern breeds by gathering samples from places like Ukraine, western Russia, Hungary, Poland and that region,” Olsen said.
One theory is that diamond prospectors brought horses more than a century ago to since-abandoned mining fields. Later the troops were bombed, Gold beck says, scattering the horses into the Najib coastal desert, where they remained.
The horses are the lifeblood of the economy, drawing tourists who come to see them living amid inhospitable sand dunes and the barren plains of Garb. “We've got about ... 800 local people, and of that 130 are actively involved in tourism,” hotel owner Bernd Roamer told CNN last year.
“If an attraction like the horses would fall away it will not kill tourism completely, but it will make a strong indent.” The future of the herd rests on a few precious foals, yet only one, named Zohar, has survived to see its first birthday in the past seven years.
In the early 1990s, a prolonged drought killed some horses (an event which brought Grazing to Au's). Hyenas have been responsible for scores of horse deaths, but complicating matters, the problem predator is also in danger.
In early 2019 the Ministry of Environment and Tourism (MET) reported it had killed three hyenas thought to have preyed on foals, after attempts to relocate them had failed. “The last few weeks (felt) like we have the place to ourselves again,” says Christine Swingers, secretary of the Namibia Wild Horse Foundation.
When visitors return, they will hopefully be able to see Zohar and this year's new foals -- six at the time of writing, according to Grazing. Buoying their prospects, the drought which had claimed other horses has now broken, with small tufts of grass growing on the plains.
“I hope and I will be delighted if I'm wrong,” she adds, “but the future for the horses and the hyenas are fairly uncertain at this point.” During her second journey through “America’s Outback,” the experienced Long Rider made a discovery regarding equine behavior.
Her eyewitness experiences resulted in the creation of a simple, effective and inexpensive device that could save human lives. While those who inhabit an urbanized world may be unaware of it, horses have long presented a potentially lethal threat to humans and other animals.
The image (above) shows a mustang stallion in Wyoming’s Red Desert trying to kill a dog owned by photographer Rob Palmer. The Encyclopaedia of Equestrian Exploration explains that for the first time in history large numbers of humanity have no meaningful daily experience with the animal world.
Professor Richard Bullet has warned there is a danger connected to not understanding animals accurately. Bullet is a professor of history at Columbia University, one of whose specialities am the influence of animals in the development of human society.
Thus, the average human being’s daily knowledge of animal nature has diminished to an alarming extent. In the movie, The Lion King, for example, prey animals, such as a Meerut and warthog, are depicted as wise teachers who counsel the predator.
Yet thanks to a variety of recent cultural misconceptions, horses are now commonly depicted as being peaceful herbivores that lack any defense except flight. Advocates of his theory have forgotten about the “Sultan Stallions” who were observed utterly destroying wolves on the Central Asian steppes.
Nor was this equine aggression restricted to one sex, as was proved by Rosette the French army mare who gleefully disemboweled enemy soldiers during Napoleon’s invasion of Russia. For example, because of Josef Stalin’s ruthless agricultural policies, 47 % of all Russian horses, fifteen million animals, were lost in the two-year period of 1928 to 1930.
As a result of the overall demise of horses in farming, military and travel in the last century, the groundwork was laid for the unforeseen formation of an intellectual equestrian vacuum. Adding to this collective human amnesia is the contributing fact that the vast majority of people who are still involved with horses primarily limit their dealings to mares and geldings.
Thus, despite thousands of years of evidence indicating how dangerous equines can be, millions of people have become largely out of touch with the natural world of horses. It may be true that if a horse is presented with an act of deliberate aggression, say a snarling wolf, he may flee.
The horse is an agile athlete who can run, jump, rear and turn round in less than the length of his body. His supple neck sways like a rearing cobra, ready to strike with a mouthful of dangerous teeth.
Scientists have established that receiving a horse kick is similar to being struck by a bowling ball travelling at 80 mph. When horses use their front hooves aggressively, a blow is struck by the sharp edge of the hoof which smashes their enemy into jelly.
This used to be such a common occurrence that Charles Dickens’s killed off a prominent character in Great Expectations by having the man die in this manner. By matching their agility to their ability to deliver crippling blows, horses can strike left, right and backwards with incredible precision.
According to nineteenth-century English authors, Great Britain’s King George IV presented a beautiful bay thoroughbred to his fellow monarch, the Maharajah of Rude. This occurred when Knight on chanced upon a trampled bloody mass which bore a faint resemblance to a human figure.
When he stopped the buggy to satisfy his curiosity, the journalist discovered it was the corpse of a native woman who had been terribly disfigured by the horse which was terrorizing the city of Lucknow. “The body was bruised and lacerated in all directions, the scanty drapery torn from the form; the face had been crushed by teeth into a shapeless mass; the long matted hair, which fell in bundles over the road, was all clotted with blood.
The attack, which occurred in Sunderland, England in 2012, left Steven with bite marks, bruising and swelling on his chest. The combination of agility, strength, speed, deadly kicks and meat-ripping teeth allows a horse to inflict terrible wounds or kill his opponent with relative ease should he feel the need to defend himself.
Many people lump horses in with cows; believing them to be non-violent herbivores who use their teeth to nibble succulent greenery. Though he is well known today for having created Sherlock Holmes, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle was a devoted student of history and a keen observer of deadly horses.
In his book, Sir Nigel, Conan Doyle not only provided a lengthy account of the Hundred Years War, he described the actions of a stallion who had slain many men. “The great creature turned upon his would-be captors and with flashing teeth grabbed the prior and began shaking him as a dog does a rat.
A loud wail of horror arose from the priests, as the savage horse, the most terrible and cruel in its anger of all creatures on earth, bit and shook and trampled the withering body.” The infuriated horse catches the victim in his teeth, shakes him viciously, throws him into the air and then stomps him to death.
In 1886, he killed his last victim, a Canadian groom named Brady, by shaking the man to death. The combination of agility, strength, speed, deadly kicks and meat-ripping teeth allows a horse to inflict terrible wounds or kill his opponent with relative ease should he feel threatened or the need to defend himself.
For example, English Long Rider James Wentworth Day wrote, “Anyone who has been chased by a stallion, as I once was, will not forget the nightmare of those bared teeth, flashing eyes and blood-curdling screams. This seldom understood part of the horse’s nature hasn’t disappeared and Long Riders have encountered aggressive equines in a variety of countries.
Bill Holt in France, Jane Dot chin in England, Temple Abernathy in America, Memo Phillips in Spain, Henry Savage Lander in Tibet and Bonnie Folk ins in Mongolia, all endured aggressive attacks by equines. Nor are many miles any guarantee of success, as one of the world’s most well-travelled Long Riders was nearly killed by a horse.
American Long Rider Bernice End has ridden more than 25,000 miles during the eight journeys she has made in the United States and Canada. Beginning in 2005, the veteran equestrian explorer has survived a host of predictable problems such as bad weather and aggressive drivers.
In an interview granted to reporter Pat Wolfe in 2015, the veteran Long Rider recalled how she “came as close as possible to being killed.” With several thousand miles under her saddle, the experienced traveler left the paved road, opened a gate, entered a large fenced area, rode a quarter of a mile into the open countryside and made camp as the sun set.
She had no tent, so after placing her mare, Honor, on a 25-foot picket line, the weary Long Rider got into her sleeping bag. In addition to camping close to a water hole, unbeknownst to Bernice, a large drum of shelled corn had been put out as bait for wild pigs.
To protect herself and Honor, Bernice tried to drive the stallion off by swinging and hitting the aggressive animal with a rope. In keeping with the tradition of an attacking equine, he came at Bernice with a lowered head and with his ears laid back.
After she managed to saddle Honor, Bernice tried to escape but became lost in the dark and couldn’t find her way back to the gate. Having been overcome with fear, the seasoned traveler sat on the frost covered ground and wept with relief.
She has had other close calls, Bernice told the reporter, including encounters with grizzly bears, but that nighttime attack was the worst experience she has ever endured. Though he is more often remembered as the “father of evolution,” English Long Rider Charles Darwin was an avid equestrian traveler who rode in South America, Africa and Australia.
“ Horses when savage,” Darwin wrote, “draw their ears closely back, protrude their heads, and partially uncover their incisor teeth, ready for biting…. Every one recognizes the vicious appearance which the drawing back of the ears gives to a horse. And luckily Samantha Szesciorka realized that a common household item could be turned into a potent weapon for self-defense.
In the summer of 2016, Samantha completed her second extensive journey through the wild horse country of northern Nevada. In stark contrast, Samantha and Sage found themselves either being inspected by curious mustangs or fending off attacks by aggressive wild stallions.
But one notable exception occurred when a herd of fifty wild horses boldly galloped up and entered the Long Rider’s camp. Having endured multiple encounters with wild horses, Samantha gave serious thought to how she might protect herself and Sage from curious or aggressive equines.
I tied an ordinary plastic bag (like you get in a grocery store) to the end of a short English riding crop. Multiple tests, done in the field, with varying numbers of wild horses, proved the effectiveness of Samantha’s device.
So when they charged, I simply pulled out the crop and gave it a few shakes (this inflates the bag and makes that distinctive crinkly sound). And in recalling how Bernice End endured a nighttime attack, Samantha learned that the device works equally well in the dark.
“Unfortunately, the attacks often came in the middle of the night when I was fast asleep, so I took to keeping the crop/plastic bag contraption in my tent with me, so I could rush out to defend Sage. This mustang stallion and his band of wild horses kept their distance thanks to the noise created by Samantha’s wild horse protection stick.
Given the aggressive behavior demonstrated by some Nevada mustangs, a person might be forgiven for thinking that all wild horses are potentially dangerous. In fact another Long Rider, making a journey at the exact same time, on a different continent, proves otherwise.
Kimberley Delivered is a young Long Rider who is making a 3,500-mile solo ride along Australia's tough Bicentennial National Trail. Having learned about Samantha’s encounters with antagonistic wild horses, Kimberley was slightly apprehensive when she and her horse, Archie, rode into the extensive Guy Fawkes National Park.
If Australia's Rubies are not as aggressive, could it be connected to the horses having been culled, which has left a strong residual association between humans and danger ? Having studied wild horses for several years, Samantha has had time to digest her experiences, reflect on them, and develop perspective.
A lot of people (illegally) feed the wild horses that come in the neighborhoods, so the horses have no cause to be wary or aggressive. Yet Samantha’s journeys into the sparsely populated and remote regions of Nevada confirm that horses which have little or no interaction with humans can present a potential threat.
The well-known Australian explorer, Mr. Stuart, recorded a striking account of stupefied amazement together with terror which resulted when an Aborigine native witnessed a mounted man for the first time. He stood incapable of moving a limb, riveted to the spot, mouth open and eyes staring.
He could not speak, and answered not a word to my inquiries, but trembling from head to foot, waved with his hand for me to be off.” That might seem to be a quaint episode from the colonial past, except for the fact that as fewer people journey on horseback the sense of amazement has returned when pedestrians witness the unexpected arrival of a Long Rider.
Case in point happened in 2011 when Long Riders Billy Benchley and Christine Hence arrived in Uganda. Regardless of whether the horses encountered are wild or domestic, a Long Rider would be wise to remember the hard lessons of the past.
My “what-if” mentality persisted well into adulthood until I finally realized that there was a lot I could do to decrease the chances of dangerous horse experiences. While horses can be dangerous, risks can be substantially mitigated with things like knowledge, situational awareness, and safety equipment.
Yet, if you ask any seasoned equestrian about how the risks associated with horses influence their decisions to ride, the vast majority will tell you that danger and injury are a negligible part of horse riding and pale in comparison to the appeal of horse/human partnership. Most equestrians agree they gain far more than they risk by spending time with horses.
Practical preparedness includes, at minimum, a proper-fitting helmet, safe footwear, and a qualified coach or mentor. Boots that are safe for horseback riding have at least a 1 heel that minimizes the chances of accidentally getting stuck in the stirrups during a fall and causing you to be dragged by the horse.
Boots with heels also help you keep your feet securely in the stirrups, increasing your balance, while riding. Safety gear is essential, but finding a qualified and knowledgeable equestrian guide also is critical.
The emergency dismount is a method of jumping off a horse’s back quickly in case things get out of hand. Stay Calm If you haven’t noticed already, you will soon find that horses are incredibly intuitive animals.
Instead, they simply sense your fear, and think that your emotions are cueing them in on a greater danger … like tigers! There are several things that new horse riders can learn from basic equine psychology.
Another thing you need to realize is that horses can be startled easily, so don’t make big, sudden movements around them. Likewise, don’t make loud and unprecedented noises that might scare them.
A strong but peaceful presence will foster trust between you and any horse you encounter. We get to interact with remarkable, profoundly intuitive creatures that genuinely want to be our friends.
She focuses on communication between horse and rider, with an emphasis in kind training tactics. She resides in Auburn, WA, USA, with her husband, and daylights as a non-profit administrator.
These traumatic helicopter roundups will be even more concerning than usual this year since every single wild horse captured is in danger of being killed or sold for slaughter. That’s because the Trump Administration’s Interior Department is lobbying hard for permission to destroy healthy wild horses and burros and sell these federally-protected animals for slaughter.
On September 14, the BLM began capturing 100 horses outside the Pittance/East Douglas Herd Management Area (MA) in an area called “Cathedral Creek.” The roundup contractor is Cattier Livestock. Day 1 (Sept. 14): The BLM captured and removed 46 wild horses and a 4-month-old foal was euthanized due to a “pre-existing” knee injury.
During this helicopter run, a foal was separated from his family and the contractors were “unable” to capture him. According to the BLM report : “Contactors used the helicopter and roping from domestic horses to try and catch the foal, but was unable to do so.
AHC Note: The BLM often deems very young foals “of weaning age.” It is tragic to think of this little one lost and alone in the wild without his family, another victim of the BLM’s heartless roundup program. Day 4 (Sept. 17): The BLM captured and removed 10 additional horses.
No public was present to observe and no deaths or injuries reported. The BLM is planning two massive roundups that will remove nearly 3,000 wild horses from our public lands in Wyoming.
BLM has requested permission from Congress to destroy “excess” horses and to sell them for slaughter. 2.4 million acres of land (3,470 square miles), 70% of which is public.
1,400 acres per horse at the high end of the population limit. Based on rancher self-reporting, the BLM states that actual use in this area last year was 55,535 AUM's, or the annual equivalent of 4,600 cow/calf pairs or over 23,000 sheep.
What else does the BLM plan to do: Release 20 mares and 20 stallions back to the Adobe Town MA. The BLM wants to remove the wild horses 2,096 horses, or 80% of the 2,620 horses residing in and around the Complex to just slightly above the low Appropriate Management Level (AML) at 524 wild horses.
BLM has requested permission from Congress to destroy “excess” horses and to sell them for slaughter. The total AUM's permitted for these allotments is 69,889 or the equivalent of 5,824 cow/calf pairs.
Treat mares with Pop to increase the time interval before another roundup would need to be completed. The BLM intends to return to the Complex within 3 years to round up and remove excess horses and/or gather and re-treat mares to maintain AML and the effectiveness of the fertility control measure.
Releasing large numbers of geldings to the range will not only destroy the natural behaviors of these wild stallions, it will also disrupt the social dynamics of the entire population. AHC is committed to stopping this practice, and is currently in litigation in Idaho over this very issue.
2,324 acres per horse at the high end of the population limit. Based on self-reporting permit tees, the ten-year average grazing levels are the annual equivalent of 6,800 cow/calf pairs or 34,000 sheep.
Reduced grazing is to be expected following multiple years of severe drought. • Skew the sex ratio of these wild horse populations to 60% male, 40% female.
• Reduce the population to near extinction level by maintaining score breeding population of 227 wild horses which is approximately 53% of the low end of AML” in Antelope and score breeding population of 272 which is 63% of the low end of AML” in Triple B.” The BLM wants to remove the wild horses to reach mid Appropriate Management Level (AML) at 415 wild horses and eliminate the wild burro population.
BLM has requested permission from Congress to destroy “excess” horses and to sell them for slaughter. 598 acres per horse at the high end of the population limit.
Despite drought conditions for several years, the BLM has not reduced AUM's for livestock, claiming instead that permit tees have voluntarily reduced usage. Records, however, indicate a steady increase in AUM's in past years.
BLM has requested permission from Congress to destroy “excess” horses and to sell them for slaughter. 13,281 acres per horse at the high end of the population limit.
The BLM is preparing to conduct two roundups that would remove over 300 wild horses from our public rang elands in Oregon. In both cases, the BLM’s management plan threatens the health and genetic viability of the herds by adhering to low Appropriate Management Levels while maintaining small core breeding populations by treating most returned mares with fertility control.
• Treat returned mares with Pop fertility control vaccine. • Reduce the wild horse population to dangerously low, genetically non-viable levels.
The BLM will conduct successive roundups and removals until low AML is achieved. BLM has requested permission from Congress to destroy “excess” horses and to sell them for slaughter.
436 acres per horse at the high end of the population limit. • Return 15 stallions and 15 mares to re-establish low Appropriate Management Level (AML) of 30 wild horse.