I get asked a lot what I think would happen to a domestic horse if it was turned loose with the wild horses. And my answer is, a few would make it and thrive, but most wouldn’t. As a farrier I get to see a lot of different conformations in horses and in my opinion we as humans have ruined most of them with selective breeding. A hundred years ago we used horses for work and bred them for traits that would keep them sound, durable, and able to handle the workloads asked of them. That required big bones and big feet. And after looking at lots of pictures of back in the day, they bred for big heads too. I could live without the big heads, but big bones and big feet are what help keep horses sound. Today horses are bred for color, popular genetics that have high potential resale value, breed discipline, and then conformation. And good feet are rarely in that equation. Wild horses tend to have good and durable feet. Allowing them to travel long distances in a days time to and from water holes and feeding grounds. The other thing I wonder about is a domestics ability to assimilate into a herd without getting the snot beat out of them. Especially a horse that has lived in a stall for most of his/her life. In the wild herds it’s a constant battle and daily activity to establish social structure. And the wild horses are always training for it. Domestics rarely get to socialize on that level. It would be like pitting an inexperienced boxer against Evander Holyfield…. In the picture two bachelor stallions sparring as friends and preparing for the day they will need those skills to acquire their own mares and protect them.
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