Friday, March 29, 2013

When is a Mustang not a Mustang? Rant & Quiz. Also: Dan de Lion is a hottie.


Bear with me a moment as I delve into some necessary background. I promise you, this becomes more interesting.

A "breed" of animal, in simple terms, is a group of animals that consistently pass on definite characteristics.

Mustangs are not a "breed" of horses. They tend to be shorter and have good feet, but beyond this, they're not recognizable from any other grade horse. They can be very stocky or quite lanky, any color and any conformation. Over the decades, mustang blood has been mingled with that of Thoroughbreds, draft horses, gaited horses, Quarterhorses-- basically, any horse abandoned by, or escaped from, the settlers of America. A mustang is therefore defined as a feral horse. (Think feral housecats.)

For many generations, the poor mustangs were treated as pests. Used hard by cowboys, poisoned, trapped and shot, sometimes slaughtered to supply pet food canneries and Indian boarding schools, they were destroyed to free up grazing land for cattle.

Then, in the 60s, a movement coalesced to save the mustangs. People began to idealize them as a symbol of America. Mustangs represented freedom, rugged independence and toughness. In 1971, an act was passed setting aside reservations and funding programs to study and protect mustangs.

From this point on, some mustang fans became a little... silly. They were not content to own tough-as-nails, intelligent horses with a place in history. They wanted more. I'm not sure why. Perhaps because breed snobs were pushing papers over performance. Maybe it began as a way to legitimize all mustangs to a skeptical public. Perhaps it was because of a basic human tendency to want your favorite thing to be recognized as the coolest.

Anyway, some mustang fans decided they needed to prove that their horses were directly descended from Spanish horses brought over to the Americas by the settlers and explorers from Europe. They faced several problems:
  • No single breed of horse was brought over by the Spanish.
  • The historical descriptions of the horses they brought over are almost completely nonexistent. 
  • Some of the early European "breeds" of horses were ill-defined, and disappeared, folded into later breeds.
  • DNA testing, especially of horses (because we haven't gathered enough data on them) is sketchy when it comes to identifying geographic or breed origin.
Because of all this, it's pretty much impossible to look at a mustang's DNA and say anything conclusive. However, a lack of science or historical record did not stop these folks. By now, some of them were becoming... well, breed snobs! The Spanish Mustang Registry yells in big letters, right across the front page of their website, "The Spanish Mustang is not to be confused with the BLM Mustang!"

Ouch. Poor BLM mustangs. So much for tough-as-nails symbols of freedom. I guess they can't join the club. Which is funny, because while SMR says they're not the same, weren't all mustangs at one point wild/feral/BLM? If many mustangs have Spanish blood, like some people claim, aren't there probably some sitting in a BLM corral somewhere? There sure isn't a lot of explanation on the SMR website.

There isn't a lot of explanation about what sets apart a "Spanish" mustang either. Although there are a great many words on on the SMR Breed Characteristics page, mostly defining the basics of good conformation found in any breed, the definition of a Spanish Mustang seems to be very wide open. The Spanish Mustang Registry describes their "breed" as horses that are: gaited or not gaited, of any color, any type which "ranges from a heavier type to lighter type," is over 13.2 hands but (hopefully) not over 15 (it's "frowned upon"), and has good conformation, including a shorter back. Um. Not very specific, eh? I think that describes at least 3/4 of the grade horses with decent conformation out there. But ah, there's more! The most important part is that you have papers. A Spanish Mustang has to come from registered parents! You may be able to sneak in by providing documents with proof of ancestry and a physical examination, but not having papers seems to be heavily frowned upon.

I think we just stepped into the Twilight Zone. Mustang breed snobs?

And wait a minute... if a mustang is defined as a feral horse, and is supposed to be known for its toughness, hard-won from spending years surviving in the wild... are these registered, purposefully bred horses really mustangs? Will they be mustangs several generations from now?

I envision two possible scenarios for this "special" type of "mustang."

1) The breeders do what good breed snobs do, and carefully select for great conformation, temperament and athletic ability. They pick the best mustangs (hopefully some from the thousands sitting in BLM corrals) and don't just go for coat color or mystique. Then they train, compete and market those mustangs in all disciplines. The organization goes on to rival AQHA for popularity among American horsepeople. Finally, we get an all-American horse built for actual use, instead of looking pretty in the show ring.

2) The breeders breed willy-nilly to whatever they want, including "registered Spanish/Kiger/Sorraia" mustangs, regardless of conformation or ability. The breeders don't breed for show or competition, they just breed, breed, breed. The "special" mustangs bunch becomes just another rather lame group, like the Blue Eyed Horse Association-- long on pretty words, made-up history and mystique, short on actual value. While thousands of mustangs rot in BLM corrals, these breeders produce more mustangs of no better worth. The "special" mustangs can no longer even claim to be good at surviving in the wild, having come from generations of captive-bred horses.

If you've read my Scumbag Mustang Breeder blog, you know there's already a ton of terrible mustang breeders out there that produce crap like this:



Ugh. No hip, super short upright shoulder, long back, no bone. Gross. Now check out this "Spanish Mustang" stallion, currently breeding mares for Bryant Rickman:



Ugghhh. Let's see, I guess one nice thing I can say about him is... his pasterns are nice? Which does not forgive the long back, non-existent hip, awful shoulder and utter lack of loin.

But perhaps we shouldn't totally despair. Far from the wild west, there's one Wisconsin breeder who may be on the right track. Meet Dan de Lion, the "Spanish Mustang" stallion, owned by Dave and Jessie Clason of the Windy Ridge farm in Soldiers Grove, WI.


Ooooohh! Hey there handsome! What a body. And have I ever mentioned I have a major softspot for buckskins? Now before we get to drooling too much, know that Dan de Lion isn't perfect. Obviously, he's build a bit downhill. I'd also like to see just a tad more bone in his legs. But he's got a great hip, a good shoulder, a nice shortish back, and fantastic leg angles. In this particular pic, you may be fooled into thinking he's sickle-hocked. Not so. He's just not standing square-- if you look closely, you'll see his right hind leg held back, hidden behind his tail, moving his left rear into the forward-and-under position you see it in. You can check out more pictures of Dan de Lion on his Facebook album. Just remember to put plastic down on your keyboard if you're going to drool all over. He's been at the Midwest Horse Fair the past 2-3 years, and I hope he makes it again. If we must breed mustangs, let it be with studs like him.

Now then, for those of you who think you can spot the difference between a mustang, a Spanish Mustang, and any other horse, let's have a little quiz, shall we?  In the picture below, I've mingled three mustangs (one regular and two "Spanish mustangs,") with five other horses. Can you pick out the mustangs? Post your results in the comments below, and I'll post the answers next time.

Click on the picture to see it bigger.

 To conclude our day of the mustang, here are a few links, and a few questions.

The "DNA test" done on one person's mustang came back showing tentative results of a mix of genes from gaited horses and... ponies. Underneath, however, is written, "The pony association probably is not real. Looks like Spanish blood." Is this wishful thinking, inadequate DNA testing, or something else? I've not been able to even find any DNA testing services that offer horse DNA testing for anything other than genetic diseases, coat color and matching horses to their immediate family. Have you ever had your horse DNA tested?

Mustangs become more popular thanks to the movie Hidalgo, which was "based on a true story." But did you know that the main character, Frank Hopkins, completely made up his horse adventure stories? Read more here.

54 comments:

  1. Replies
    1. This comment has been removed by the author.

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    2. I think B is a Kiger mustang (even though Kigers are not the same as Spanish Mustangs, Kigers do tend to fit a certain type - that one screams Kiger to me) and E - I know the horse is New Moon Girl - a horse that is ONLY 1/2 Spanish Mustang. She is not registered as a Spanish Mustang but registered with the American Indian Horse Registry - I think she is listed on All Breed as an SM. Her sire was a BLM, this horse is not a Spanish Mustang but rather a BLM X SM cross.

      By the way I have an SMR registered mare that is in foal to Dan De Lion for June of this year. He only has one other foal expected for 2013 (a mare that his owner sold bred....I think she went out east somewhere).

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  2. Why remove comments? I clearly stated that Steve Edwards is a stsnd up gentleman. You cslled him a scumbag. Steve is a prosecutor who puts molesters and abusers in jail. He cares for his horses, set up a charity to care for other people's horses, introduces new people to riding, and is the type of horse person we should all try to be. Please read his literature. I will gladly help pay for you to visit Steve. He has helped fund and promote the few studies done on these horses. He has cared for hundreds. He has tried to educate the masses of ignorant people about the history of these horses. Our " bullshit registries" are trying to prove our case. In the comments you removed, I asked if a " horse lover " would bash another. I haven't got an answer yet.

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    1. Your comment was removed from the previous post because that post has absolutely nothing to do with mustangs. We call that "spam." I've left everything else. I'm assuming you are the one who used the words "fucking retard?" Yep, it's still there.

      Perhaps you didn't bother to actually read my blog on Mr. Edwards. Regardless of whether he is a complete saint outside of the horse world, he continues to contribute to world full of badly-bred, unwanted horses. While literally thousands of mustangs rot away in BLM holding facilities or wind up at slaughter plants, he breeds more, of no better quality. He also appears to have incredibly strange and harmful ideas about training.

      Many neglectful horse hoarders also consider themselves "horse lovers." That doesn't mean they get a free pass.

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    2. He is not a hoarder. The horses are cared for very well. If a BLM beats a real breed at anything, should everyone stop breeding until every unwanted horse find a good home? All training methods are evil in someones eyes. If the horse is trained but not hurt, does it matter? I dont know his specific methods but I KNOW the horses are treated well by any sane persons stsndard. Safety is first at his facility. Look into his books or try to visit & you will see for yourself.

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  3. You mention thst the "inspectors" were probably Steves buddies. Tell everyone who they were. You mention yhe spanish didn't bring any one breed to the americas. Breeds did not exist in that time. They were defined by type. You say spanish mustangs dont resemble other spanish breeds like the Andalusian. The world wars nearly wiped out the breed. The few remaining animals were crossed with more modern breeds to bring thier numbers back up. This changed the breed. You mention the backbone is no different then others. The actual skeletons prove otherwise.

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    1. Those "inspectors" did not name themselves, or list any qualifications. They published no peer-reviewed scientific findings. Nor have I found ANY academic literature on comparisons of European and mustang equine skeletal structures. Can you list one? Dr. Sponenberg has so far confirmed by DNA testing only that certain groups of mustangs are substrains. He believes some horse groups of horses are more closely related to "Spanish," horses, but like everyone else, has no proof.

      Which is fine. If you want to believe that certain groups of mustangs are directly descended from Coronado's horse itself and have mystical powers, I have no problem with that.

      What is at issue here is those who use their beliefs as justification for breeding breeding breeding breeding with no regard to conformation or athletic ability when we already have a huge population of poorly bred, unwanted horses. Saying that "AQHA does some of the same bad stuff!" is NOT justification. You can read my rants about them, and poor breeders of every horse type, elsewhere.

      If you continue to spam the comments here with post after post, I will have to remove some of them. I urge you to be more succinct, or perhaps just go write your own blog. As for myself, I'm going riding.

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    2. American indians were subdued only after their horses were taken. The U.S. army mounted on "bred up " horses was bested by an opponent mounted on mustang that descended from spanish ferals. That is athletic ability.

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  4. A lengthy description of the breed characteristics can be found at www.horseoftheamericas.com. google dr. Phil Sponenberg and spanish mustang DNA. It will fill in all the blanks

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  5. You gave a link to Icelandic Horses. The color range is VERY broad. The height is defined with extremes being " frowned on". Several types are bred; riding, packing, meat ..... T he link defines Icelandics as a breed but you are picking apart spanish mustangs for some of the same reasons that make the Icelandic a breed. Soooooo, are Icelandics feral, grade horses?

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  6. Dan de Lion is a DUN. Dun is not buckskin.

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    1. Dan De Lion is actually a dunskin (he was tested by Jessie his owner and carries both the cream & dun gene).

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  7. You say mustangers got "silly" after 1971. The SMR was founded in 1957. The AQHA was founded in 1940. Aren't QH's bred with TB's pretty regularly? My QH has a few TB's on her papers. Quarter horses are a breed aren't they? Dont QH's have different types; halter, cutting, ect? How many times has the QH breed changed since the 40's?

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    1. Amen to that.....Having owned numerous breeds of horses including AQHA, APHA, Arabs, Halfingers, and a few Morgans - I must say my SM's are the best breed of horse I've EVER owned. Sure there is good and bad in every breed. But the SM's are different. Very little breakdown or lameness in the breed - and no need to test for things like HYPP, HERDA - in fact OLWS is the only thing that I know of that's a genetic issue in SM's at this time.

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  8. You envision 2 scenarios. How about a combination of the two? Good breeders and bad breeders. Sounds just like the quarter horse breeders doesn't it? HYPP!!!!

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  9. I could show plenty of good and horrible pictures of ANY breed.

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  10. You envision 2 scenarios. How about a combination of the two? Good breeders and bad breeders. Sounds just like the quarter horse breeders doesn't it? HYPP!!!!

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  11. This "3rd scenario" has been happening since 1957. Why do you envision anything else? The AQHA has been doing it more 17 years longer than any spanish mustang registry. Do you envision them with only 2 scenarios? The AQHA is extremely popular and they have more bad breeders than any registry. They have more good breeders than any registry. Because of the high numbers and the popularity of the breed, they have more PERFECT breeders than any other registry. NO registry will ever fit into your 2 scenarios.

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  12. Spanish mustangs can be inspected and allowed into the HOA registry. At www.horseoftheamericas.com, the process is clearly explained. All offspring of that animalwill also be inspected to gain entry into the registry. That sounds like the animals have to meet a stsndard to be considered a spanish mustang. Karma farms in Marshall, Texas has some information on endurance riding and competitive trail riding. I know of some breeders competing in dressage on the east coast. Sounds like some breeders are doing something right. If spanish mustangs have a breed standard, people show & compete in recognized events, have different strains, follow different training practices, breed for different results, ect; aren't they doing the same as the AQHA only on a smaller scale?

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  13. I checked! My guarter horse goes back to feral horses! Is she still a QH? Is she still a breed?

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  14. My QH goes back to feral book cliffs stock. Book cliff is a major contributer to some spanish mustang strains. Not many folks will say thst a quarter horse isn't a breed but i've foind TB and feral in her pedigree. So now we have 2 breeds with feral stock in the background, registries founded in not too far apart, similar politics in those registries, and lots of damn fine horses to enjoy. Two breeds plucked from a mixture of unknown genetic material that that went 2 different ways with the end result. Add in hundreds of other " breeds" originating from horses lost in history and we get the MANY various animals we call appys, warmbloods, hafflingers, shetlands, gypsy vanners, paso finos, belgians, the list goes on. All dogs came from wolves and now we have breeds. Are some not breeds because one is a little older than another?

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  15. Now I am sure it has been mentioned.. but if not I will...
    Shall we discuss the use of the US Army and their Remount program where they released Morgan, TB, Arab and many other stallions onto BLM property to get better horses for the remount program...
    That is why in a small area in Northern NV you can find mustangs with a heavy influence of draft in them....

    I grew up in NV, I miss the mustangs, and we all KNEW they were mutts...I think the only mustangs that can be in anyway shape or form be considered "purebred" are the ones that have the paper trail and Provenance ??(a term meaning SOLID story/paperwork) and isolated location that they can prove the strain of horse or even the group or herd are purebred.

    I helped a friend here in WI get a lovely young colt, who is now gelded, his dam and sire are half siblings, his breeder (a well known arab bloodline/color researcher) fell ill and her farm caretaker let the sire and dam/sisters run together for 5 years... talking with her she said that his grand sire or great grandsire was a pure bred spanish mustang... but he COULD NOT HAVE BEEN... on the pedigree for his registration (application) for buckskin registry, grandsire a stallion named AbStang, is listed as 3/4 mustang 1/4 QH....so.. um... yeah. He can't be a purebred spanish mustang...great great grandma/pa was a 1/2 mustang 1/2 QH....
    Gotta love how the current registry is allowing that NOW.. LOL

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    1. What current registry is that? No Spanish Mustang Registry I know of would allow that, and I am part of several.

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    2. Yeah, I think some people get too wrapped up in the mystique of "Spanish mustangs" and start ignoring facts...it only becomes a real problem for the rest of us when they breed a bunch of fuglies in order to "save the breed."

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    3. Show us one of Steves horses in a bad home or not being cared for. You called him a scumbag so show us a horse he owns or bred that is in a bad situation. Show me evidence of a "hoarder". My neighbor has 300 cattle that are all healthy. Is he a hoarder?

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    4. North Horse - there are people breeding "fugly" horses of all breeds. I go to numerous sales (just to watch and buy tack/equipment) and I can say that I've never seen a papered SM there. The majority of horses - fugly ones - going through are AQHA, APHA, draft crosses, arabs and a few Apps going through. There are about 3,000 SM's in the world - pretty small compared to the more than 5 million registered AQHA horses out there.

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    5. North horse- what facts have you presented.I see opinions and a time line that is off by 14 years but no facts.

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  16. Replies
    1. Who's Claire? Sorry, she doesn't write this blog :)

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    2. I am Claire, sorry I was just signing my name :) I have been enjoying reading this blog! :)

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    3. Oh and you got some nice trolls.........I don't live in America, there is good and bad in all breeding pools. How your mean't to tell the fancy pants Spanish Mustang from the not so desirable mustang is anyone's guess. But if people that are so passionate about the breed can't tell them apart, and it seems like they want to baffle you with bullshit. They can't really enjoy horses can they? All horses deserve a good standard of care, not just the ones that they love? Why would anyone be breeding lower quality mustang, spanish or not?

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    4. Thank you, great points! I hope you keep reading and enjoying.

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  17. The preservation of the "Spanish Mustang" began back in the 1920's by Bob Brislawn. The registry was formed in 1957. The SMR is now a closed registry. Some confusion comes in the the "name game" they are also known as "Spanish Barbs" and "Colonial Spanish Horses." The American Livestock Breeds Conservancy recognizes them as a breed (one which is listed as threatened). Actually this registry has been around LONGER than the APHA. I have SMR registered horses that go back over 10 generations until you find a foundation or "feral" horse. I have an APHA horse that has a "paint mare 1961" listed in her pedigree in the 3rd generation. There is good and bad in every breed. But yes, Spanish Mustangs ARE a breed. Bob Brislawn, Gilbert Jones and others spent their LIVES preserving these horses they felt were very worthwhile. Why? These were old time cowboys - the real deal who saw the horses they used being sub-planted and bred out of existence. Bob Brislawn used Spanish Mustangs to pack his equipment when he worked for the U.S. Geographical Survey Dept. - I believe he started working for them around 1911. As for DNA testing - the testing the SMR and other SM registries refer to was done by Dr. Gus Cothran from Texas A&M - samples were sent in for research (I don't think you can pay for this, this was a project to look for specific breed/iberian markers). In fact he is collecting hair for studies on other breeds right now. Markers do not indicate purity. You take that along with history, and type.

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  18. From Dr. Phil Sponenberg : The Colonial Spanish Horse is generally a small horse, although size is increasing with improved nutrition and some selection among breeders. The usual height is around 14 hands (56 inches, 140 cm), and most vary from 13 to 14.2 hands. Some exceptional horses are up to 15 hands high or slightly more. Weight varies with height, but most are around 700 to 800 pounds. Distinctive conformational features include heads which generally have straight to concave (rarely slightly convex) foreheads and a nose which is straight or slightly convex. Some convexity is the classic Spanish type head, in contrast to the straighter nasal profile of most other breed types. The heads vary somewhat between long, finely made heads to shorter, deeper heads. Both are typical of North American Colonial Spanish horses. From a front view the cranial portions of the head are wide, but the facial portions are narrow and fine. The muzzle is usually very fine, and from the side the upper lip is usually longer than the lower, although the teeth meet evenly. Nostrils are usually small and crescent shaped when the horses are resting and at ease, but do flare with alertness or exertion.

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  19. Continued : The horses typically have narrow but deep chests, with the front legs leaving the body fairly close together. It is difficult to describe this aspect of conformation without making it sound defective, when in actuality it is a strong, serviceable conformation. Deep but narrow conformation provides for lung capacity but also for cooling ability which is an important component of endurance. When viewed from the front, the front legs join the chest in an "A"; shape rather than straight across as in most other modern breeds that have wider chests. The chest is deep from the side view, and usually accounts for about half of the height of the horse from the ground to the withers. The shoulder is long and well angulated. The withers are usually sharp instead of low and meaty. The croup is sloped, and the tail is characteristically set low on the body. The rear quarters vary from fairly massive and heavily muscled to a more slenderly built and less excessively muscled conformation. From the side there is usually a break in the curve of the hind quarter somewhere in the area of the base of the tail, rather than the full even curve of the Quarter Horse from top of croup to gaskin. From the rear view they are usually "rafter hipped" meaning that there is no distinct crease at the backbone, but rather the muscling of the hip tapers up so the backbone is the highest point

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  20. Continued : The muscling is characteristically long and tapering, even in the heavily muscled individuals, rather than the short and bunchy muscling characteristic of bulldog Quarter Horses and draft breeds. Leg conformation is generally sound and serviceable, with ample angles in the joints and strong, harmonious relationships between the lengths of the varying parts of the limbs. Hooves are small and upright rather than flat. The chestnuts (especially rear ones) and ergots are small or missing altogether.
    These horses usually have a very long stride, and many of them have gaits other than the usual trot of most breeds. These other gaits can include a running walk, single foot, amble, pace, and the paso gaits of other more southerly Spanish strains (Peruvian Paso and Paso Fino). These gaits refer to the pattern of the footfall, and not to any sideward tendency of the path of the foot. It is important to not confuse the pattern of footfalls with this lateral motion. While both are typical of some of the Paso breeds, only the pattern of footfalls is the actual gait.

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  21. Continued : Another subtle distinction of Colonial Spanish Horses is a tendency for the cannon bones to be more round in cross section, as opposed to the usual shape of most horses where the posterior surface is flat. Subtle but characteristic differences are also present in the first vertebra (atlas) whose wings are more lobed in Spanish horses as opposed to semicircular in most other breeds. This difference apparently does not lead to any difference in function of this important area of the horse’s anatomy.

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  22. The actual charter for the SMR states to "perserve the Spanish Barb." It is probably somewhat unfortunate that the members who formed the SMR in 1957 decided to name the breed Spanish Mustang instead of Spanish Barb. Yes there is a Spanish Barb registry too - and guess what they are the SAME bloodlines for the most part as the SMR. In fact many horses can be registered in both.

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  23. Spanish Mustangs are known for their endurance : In 1989, Chief Yellow Fox, owned by Kim Kingsley and a descendent of SMR 3 Yellow Fox, one of the foundation sires of the Spanish Mustang Registry and Horse of Americas, competed in the AERC and won the Jim Jones Award for the most miles, 1450 in the 1989 season. The previous year he had gone 800 miles in 17 rides.

    In 1989, Chief Half Moon, also owned by the Kim Kingsley came in second with 1300 miles in 22 rides, while the following year he made 1250 miles in just 14 rides.

    Martha Grisham and Cholla Bay certainly racked up the miles between 1988 and 1991. The AERC listed them as completing 2,920 miles in 56 rides. That’s almost 1000 miles for three years running.

    Another AERC team of note is Dutch Pete and Steve Huffman. Together they have competed successfully in numerous 100 milers and came in between 13 and 14 hours in the 1990 Tallahala Marathon. The next year they placed 7th nationally in a series of endurance rides. The AERC lists them as accumulating 2,030 miles between 1988 and 2001.

    Stacie Funk on three different horses has really made the miles go by. Between 1992 and 2001, she accumulated 1,195 miles on Chief Red Arrow, 830 miles on Dun Right and 1,795 miles on Rodeo Ace.

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  24. 12th in lifetime miles in the AERC was this SMR registered Stallion. He also won the Jim Jones Stallion Award for the AERC five years in a row.

    H28724 10,335miles Geronimo's Warrior
    Don Funk MW Spanish Mustang

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  25. I notice that, despite all of their protestations, our mustang fans aren't letting us known which two horses in the picture are Spanish mustangs... strange, if they're so easily identifiable.

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    1. Can I get those pictures from all angles. If we are being asked to inspect horses, I think we should get the material like the HOA requests it. They have clear instructions on their website. Any registry that accepts animals by inspection needs several photos. Show me perfect photos of perfect animals and I will give a perfect answer.

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    2. "...the Spanish mustang should be immediately discernible upon sight by anyone familiar with the breed." -Spanish Mustang Registry

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    3. Anyone familiar with Steve Edwards knows his horses. They aren't hoarded or abused by Steve or anyone he sells to. He has strict guidelines for anyone he sells to, provides support to buyers, follows the horses progress, requires buyers to register the animals, and continues the training of animals that are already sold. How is he a bad breeder? His animals are placed in good homes or kept and cared for. How is this bad?

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  26. Hard to tell much based on those pictures - I think G is an SM but hard to tell with the head down - angle of the picture. When I get to my home computer I will try to enlarge the photos to take a better look and guess (on a small tablet right now).

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    1. B is a mustang - Kiger I'm pretty sure to guess (BTW the SMR does not accept Kigers - nor does the Spanish Mustang world for the most part.) Unfortunately many Kigers and non-SM's get listed as Spanish Mustangs in ads and even online - but they ARE NOT the same thing. But many Kiger breeders say "Spanish" - so not sure if this is the "other" mustang you have listed or the other Spanish Mustang you have listed.

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  27. North Horse, you seem to be unfamiliar with genetic testing for horses. If you pull 30 or so hairs from your horse's mane or tail and send them into Dr. Cothran at Texas A & M he can give you a list of which breeds your horse relates most to. So, if what is written below is from Dr. Cothran then he is the genetic expert stating what he thinks (he is a very well known equine genetic expert). So, unless you have a degree in equine genetics and are on his level of expertise, then I don't think you have any business in saying that what Dr. Cothran thinks his just "wishful thinking".

    On the SM. People have been breeding SM's since the 1930's and established a registry for them in 1957. The horses were plucked from many different areas of the US (methods that I think were a little bit too lax) that they thought looked Spanish. Amusingly enough, the main breeder of SM's (Cayuse Ranch) does use BLM mustangs in their program and have included random stock for color over the decades. Despite their stating that you shouldn't confuse the BLM Mustang with the Spanish Mustang, they do currently have several BLM branded horses that they use for breeding on their 3000 acre ranch. SMs come in a variety of different color patterns, gaits, and type because of this willy nilly selection of horses. To say that the SM is the DIRECT descendant of the conquistadors horses I think is a bit of a stretch considering how varied the horses are. If they were then there should be an actual type. I have seen over 100 SMs in person and can tell you from experience that the SMR has certainly failed in establishing a breed type where you can discern that the horse you are looking at is in fact a SM. There are some cases where I know it is a SM that I am looking at, but I have seen SMs that I thought were possible a Percheron cross or maybe just a grade that were registered SMs. I know that there is now a more concentrated effort to establish breed type with different registries which is a step forward for the SM. They also try to not include horses that have known BLM blood.

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  28. I also must add that due to the fact that when one is having a genetic test performed that the horse's genes isn't all the way mapped out (you could have this done if you have $15k lying around and have no better use to spend it...) that when one does have a genetic test done that they also MUST combine it with conformation as well as history of the herd it comes from. Without all three components, then genetic testing at this stage is only a section of the picture. It would be ill advised to only use genetic testing and not the other two components in establishing which breed group your horse belongs in.

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  29. Was just sent this link and had a good laugh. I would guess F and G are the mustangs.

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  30. Hello, North Horse please visit the California Vaquero Horse Association. It may tickle your fancy. I'd also be happy to show you pictures of my sister's two year old stud colt, Cesaré Borgia de España Antigua that I bred. He's a real stunner. Genetically, phenotype, temperament, and historically, these horses are old Iberian and come from Southern California. They also breed to type. Very interesting stuff. We have a website and Facebook page.

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  31. Oh, and the BLM mustang could be E or H, but it's H thanks to the BLM corral panels in the background.

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