On the boats of Columbus's second voyage to the New World in 1493 stood only the finest Spanish horses: Andalusians, Sorraias, and Spanish Barbs bred to perfection for war. A hellish two month journey across a raging, heartless ocean awaited them, crammed into slings with nowhere to move, standing in their own feces, eating molding food and facing other unimaginable conditions. Those who survived found themselves on breeding farms on islands across the Caribbean. Twenty-five years would pass before the descendants of the first roaring sea horses - well adapted to the new climate and regaining their numbers - would ride on the ocean once again, this time, to conquer Mexico.
Battery of Horse Artillery : 1862 : old-picture.com
The Pueblo, Jicarilla Apache, and the Ute tribes were the first of the Native Americans to discover these horses while being brought south as conquistador slaves. Some tribes acquired these horses by driving deep into Mexico and raiding settlements, others by capturing horses that were lost or escaped. They traded these horses to other tribes, being the primary method of spreading the horses North America. By the time the 1850's came, the Spanish Mustang numbers in the West had risen to over two million.
Easterners began heading West to settle the wild land, bringing along with them their best Eastern horses. These new horses, use to soft dirt and fertilized grass were no match for the New World and it's drastic weather, treacherous rocky ground and the dry weed shrubs that grew. The Indians used their mustangs to rebel against the white man. The Eastern horses were no match for this rather small horse of a thousand colors. Many Indians were killed and their horses stolen once again. The American cowboy became forever linked with the Spanish Mustang when he adopted the Indian pony as his transportation. Even still, Easterners continued to bring their fancy horses with them to the West, and an idea of "Mine is better than yours" arose, fences cut across the land and the Spanish Mustang, after hundreds of years of admiration and partnership with man became nothing more than vermin.
Only Little Big Horn Survivor : 1887 : old-picture.com
In the early 1900's, every Spanish Mustang in the West was at the mercy of the U.S. Army. Thousands upon thousands of Spanish Mustangs were rounded up, corralled, and shot with machine guns, murdered en mass, one herd after another. But a glimmer of hope shone at the end of this bloody tunnel; he came by the name of Robert Brislawn. He began an endless search for pure Spanish blood through untouched ranches and Cheyenne, Crow, Shoshone and Ute tribes. The Brislawn family is the principle force for saving this unparallelled horse from extinction.
They were the horse of the conquistadors, the original Indian war-horse, the buffalo pony, the pony express horse, and the first cowboy horse. They were our partner and our friend. They were the ones upon whose backs this country was built. They have been through countless battles both by the hand of man and the will of nature, yet somehow they survived through it all. And in 1957, the first mustang registry in the country was created, the Spanish Mustang Registry, and the future of the first horse in North America in over 11,000 years was saved.
The Breed Standard
The Mane & Tail
The Spanish Mustang is a beautiful and iconic horse. They are smooth muscled, solidly built horses without extremes. The muscles should not be meaty but should give the appeal of a strong animal. Feathering is not permissible. Mature stallions should have a well-crested neck. The head should be straight or slightly convex in profile. The mane and tail are often long and full. Cut manes are acceptable for showing and eventing. Short tails are undesirable and may not be permitted. It is preferred that the mane and tail stay at their natural, full lengths. The height ranges from about 13.2Hh to 15Hh.
The Spanish Mustang enjoys the company of other animals and people, and is typically affectionate. They are innately curious, observant and eager to learn and please their rider. The Spanish Mustang is highly intelligent with a deep sense of self-preservation and is intolerant of abuse.
Color & Patterns
All equine colors are present in the Spanish Mustang. There is no restriction on coat or pattern. The most common colors are Black and Dun.
Spanish Mustangs have legendary endurance and excel as working ranch horses. They are best suited to endurance or competitive trail riding for their astonishing mile-eating trot and hardiness. They are also often used for pleasure riding, and under every category of western riding, and are keeping up with their much bigger competitors.
Lineage & Permitted Outcrosses
Preferably, your horse will be 100% pure Spanish Mustang, however we have made an exception to the rule that allows for any breed of horse originating from the Spanish Conquistadors stock. All horses applying for breed registration must be no less than 50% Spanish Mustang and meet all the breed conformation standards. One parent horse may be an American Indian Horse, American Paint Horse, Andalusian, Appaloosa, Argentine Criollo, Azteca, Barb, Colonial Spanish, Criollo, Kiger Mustang, Nakota, Palomino, Paso Fino, Peruvian Paso, Pryor Mountain Mustang, Sorraia, or Steens Mountain Kiger.
Official Equus-Sims Registrar of the Spanish Mustang