Friday, January 04, 2008

The Wild Mustangs of Nevada

A couple of months ago I had to write a research paper on whatever topic I wanted. I chose to do it on The Wild Mustangs of Nevada. Here is what I wrote.

Which animal has run free in Nevada for 150 years and there are only a few left today?

Horses have run wild in Nevada for the past 150 years. Some horses were runaway horses from emigrant trains that were passing through. Then when the Spanish were taking their horses east to market some of them escaped and went wild. They mixed breeds with other horses and made different breeds. Other horses came from men that were looking for gold and lost their horses.

Wild horses traveled in herds with a stallion as the leader. While the mares in a herd rested and ate the stallion would go to high ground and watch for danger. If someone or something was following them the stallion could sense it. When the stallion rested the oldest mare known as the lead mare would stand guard.

There are many different names for a herd of horses they are band, bunch, drove, manada (in southwest mostly). Horses often stay in one particular area called a home range.

There are many different names for different kinds of horses. A mother horse is called a Dam. A baby horse is called a Foal. If that baby horse is a girl it is called a Filly, and if it's a boy the horse is called a Colt. A father horse is called a sire, and a plain boy horse after he is a year old is called a Stallion. And a girl horse over the age of one is called a Mare.

Mares breed in the spring. When it's time for a mare to foal she goes off by herself where it's shady and cool to have her baby. This is the only time the stallion lets her go off on own. The mare is pregnant for eleven months before she has her foal.

The horses are very different in southern Nevada than they are in northern Nevada. The reason for this is because the food in northern Nevada is more nutritious than the food in southern Nevada. Northern Nevada gets more moisture than southern Nevada so there is more food and water in northern Nevada. So the horses in northern Nevada are larger than the ones in southern Nevada.

Over one hundred years ago there were about two million wild horses in America. Now there are fewer than 50,000. The best we can do to help them is to just leave them alone, the way they want to be.


Cory said...

Dear Damsel,
this is a wonderful post with hard facts and a caring heart behind it.
Keep up the good work,

Terri Farley

Damsel said...
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