Breeds of Livestock, Department of Animal Science
Breeds of Livestock - Spanish Mustang
In the mid-1950's a group of dedicated men met to form an organization for the purpose of preserving the last of the true, old-type Spanish Mustangs, a breed that once roamed the western part of the United States in great numbers but was now threatened with extinction. The efforts of Robert E. Brislawn of Oshoto, Wyoming, were the primary moving force that brought this group together.
To preserve the breed, Brislawn collected individual animals that he considered the best examples of the breed. He chose his stock carefully, culling out those he believed less than ideal.
The name "Spanish Mustang" was agreed upon as the most descriptive of the breed.
Noted for its stamina and toughness, both in fact and in legend, this breed truly shows its Spanish inheritance in its ability to survive and multiply where other breeds would have perished. Considered to be finest in the known world at the time of the Spanish conquest of the Americas, the Spanish horses left in their tough, hardy descendants a legacy that endures to this day. Once the horses were left in the Americas, their heads grew larger, the ears longer, their eyesight more acute, and they developed a great sense of direction. They were greatly changed in conformation through feral life and feed, acquiring over time qualities not found in the domesticated horse.
The Spanish horse has had a profound influence on many breeds. Today's Spanish Mustang retains those qualities that allowed the Spaniards to conquer a new world.
Hendricks, Bonnie L., International Encyclopedia of Horse Breeds, University of Oklahoma Press, Norman, OK. 1995.
The American Livestock Breeds Conservancy PO Box 477; Pittsboro, NC 27312