The American Mustang is a descendant of the first horses introduced into North America by the Spanish Conquistadores. During the last two centuries some genetic influence has occurred from U.S. Cavalry mounts and ranch horses which have run loose among the herds of wild horses in the western U.S., so that a variety of conformation and color exists among the various herds of wild horses which comprise the American Mustang breed.
The mustang is essentially a light horse, with height at the withers averaging from 14 hands to 15.2 hands and weight generally from 800 to 1000 pounds. In a few instances, draft horses managed to get into some herds, so that occasionally a 17 h., 1400 pound horse will be captured in a gather.
Predominant colors are bay, sorrel and black, although many herds have buckskin, blue and strawberry roan, palomino, grey and pinto horses, even appaloosa.
The American Mustang is athletic and durable, with outstanding stamina. This horse, a product of the best breeding program in the world – survival of the fittest – is noted for overall soundness, with especially strong feet and legs.
(Breed History adapted from the American Mustang and Burro Association, Inc.)