Pryor Mountain Mustang Horses
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About Pryor Mountain Mustang HorsesAbout Pryor Mountain Mustang Horses



PryorrnMountain Mustangs are a substrainrnof Mustang considered to be genetically unique and one of the few strains ofrnhorses verified by DNA analysis to be descended from the original ColonialrnSpanish Horses brought to the Americas by the Spanish. They live on the PryorrnMountains Wild Horse Range located in the Pryor Mountains of Montana andrnWyoming in the United States, and arernthe only Mustang herds remaining in Montana. They are protected by thernWild and Free-Roaming Horses and Burros Act of 1971 (WFRHBA) and managed by thernBureau of Land Management (BLM), who has set the optimum herd number at 120rnanimals. Genetic studies have revealed that the herd exhibits a high degree ofrngenetic diversity and a low degree of inbreeding, and BLM has acknowledged therngenetic uniqueness of the herd. Pryor Mountain Mustangs are relatively smallrnhorses, exhibit a natural ambling gait, and domesticated Pryor MountainrnMustangs are known for their strength, sure-footedness and stamina.

Feral horses are documented as living in the Pryor Mountains by the early 1700s,rnalthough they may have been there since the late 1600s. By the late 1800s,rnthousands of feral horses inhabited the area. In the early 1900s, many of thernunbranded horses were rounded up, to allow domesticated livestock to graze thernrange without competition, and by 1964 there were only around 200 horses left.rnIn 1964, the BLM announced that the horses would be removed altogether, to thernoutrage of the public. The controversy continued until 1968, when the BLM was legally stopped from removing all of the horses, and the area declared a WildrnHorse Refuge. After the 1971 signing of the WFRHBA, the BLM spent the 1980s andrn1990s conducting population studies and developing management and adoptionrnpolicies; during this time, numerous genetic studies were also completed.rnrn 

rnrnThernBLM management of the herd has included improvements to the range to give thernhorses additional access to water, and numerous roundups that have resulted inrnthe removal and adoption of hundreds of horses to private individuals,rnincluding over 50 horses in 2009, and another 44 in 2012. In 2015, a plan wasrnapproved to gather 6-12 one and two year old horses annually until therncontraceptive vaccine the mares are given can lower birth rates more. Thisrnresulted in the most recent gather and removal of 17 horses and 1 foal. Once again, every horse captured was adopted. The Pryor Mountains Wild Horse Range is one of the most accessible areas to view feral horse herds in the United States and tourism to the area has increased in recent years.

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