Last Updated on December 25, 2021
Mustangs are an elusive breed of horse, and most of them live in the wild. However, some people do own Mustang horses, and they can make excellent riding horses. But how much does a Mustang horse cost?
These speedy and versatile horses are highly sought after, and many people think that buying a Mustang horse is a cheap way to get a quality riding horse. However, they can take many years to train, and need an experienced handler.
Let’s take a look at Mustangs, and find how much Mustang horses cost.
What Is A Mustang Horse?
The Mustang is a breed of horse that lives in the wild. However, contrary to popular belief, the Mustang is not a wild horse. This breed is descended from horses that were once domesticated, and they are actually feral horses.
Mustang horses live freely on the open grasslands of the western U.S, surviving by eating mostly grass and brush. This population of feral horses has access to over 26 million acres of public land, and they are monitored and managed by the U.S Bureau Of Land Management.
The name Mustang comes from the Spanish word ‘mesteño’, meaning wild or stray. European settlers, some from Spain, brought horses with them to America. Some of these escaped, and some were stolen in Indian raids. These were bred with native American horses, along with other breeds.
Over the centuries, many other horses joined the herd of feral Mustangs. These included draft horses, used for farm work and warfare. U.S cavalry horses and French warmbloods also joined the mix. Any horse which escaped or was set free would join a herd of Mustangs, adding to the wide variety of bloodlines in this breed!
Over the years, at some points, the population of feral Mustangs has become very high. This has led to various management strategies, including the culling of horses. Luckily, in modern times there are more effective ways to control the population, such as neutering male Mustangs.
Another way that the population of Mustangs is kept under control is to bring them into captivity. These feral horses need a long period of retraining but can make good quality riding horses with many advantages.
Why Buy A Mustang Horse?
After centuries of surviving on rugged terrain, the Mustang has many qualities that make it desirable as a riding horse. This feral horse is very athletic and has high levels of endurance. This is a result of traveling many miles in search of food, water, and shelter.
The Mustang is also a quick thinker and can respond quickly to commands and aids. They can turn sharply, stop and start rapidly, and are not phased by rough ground and tricky obstacles.
These qualities make the Mustang perfect as an everyday riding horse. They are comfortable riding over long distances and have the endurance to cover many miles every day. Their agility and quick thinking make them ideal for competitions such as reining, barrel racing, and agility classes.
Some Mustang horses are also naturally gaited. This means that they have a unique movement or pace not normally found in other breeds of horses. This gait allows these horses to cover ground rapidly, with a movement that is very comfortable for the rider.
Another advantage to owning a Mustang horse is that they do not need to be pampered! These are tough horses and can survive in the most difficult of conditions. A Mustang will thrive in a domesticated home and can live outside all year round.
How Much Does A Mustang Horse Cost?
Mustang horses are rounded up and selected for sale by the Bureau of Land Management (BLM). As a rough guide, expect to pay as little as $25 for a young Mustang with no training. Mustangs that have had basic handling training start at around $125.
However, if you want a Mustang which has been fully trained, expect to pay a lot more! A good-quality Mustang with proven ability will cost anything up to $5,000.
To ease the Mustang population crisis, the BLM sometimes offers financial incentives to people willing to adopt untrained Mustangs. A small adoption fee is paid when the horse is taken on, and the BLM will pay back a larger bonus if the horse is kept for a certain period and the ownership of the horse is registered.
This might sound like a good deal, but there are certain conditions associated with adopting an untrained Mustang horse. You are expected to provide a certain standard of living conditions, that will be inspected by the BLM. There are also restrictions on selling the horse in the future.
Factors Affecting Mustang Horse Cost
With a price range so wide, many things can affect the cost of a Mustang horse:
A Mustang that has not been trained at all will normally be put up for adoption, with a fee of $25. Training a Mustang takes considerable time and expense, and the more training the horse has had the higher the price will be.
It would be difficult to trace the bloodlines of a Mustang, as they are bred in the wild. However, there are specific types that are more desirable and attract a higher price tag.
Some purchasers prefer more refined Mustangs and will pay more for an elegant example of this breed. On the other hand, stockier and sturdier Mustangs are more suited to working with cattle and can be more expensive.
Mustangs come in a huge range of colors, and some of these are very desirable. Colors such as cremello, buckskin, roan, and pinto will attract more interest and can be more expensive.
Mustangs aged 6 or younger are normally much less expensive than older horses. The ideal age range to purchase a Mustang is between 7 and 14 years of age.
Summary- Mustang Horse Price
So, as we have learned, the Mustang is a feral horse that can be a versatile and useful riding horse. However, they take a lot of time and effort to train and are not suitable for a novice or inexperienced rider to purchase. A Mustang horse will cost anything between $25 and $5,000, depending on how much training it has had.
We’d love to hear your thoughts about Mustang horses – do you know anyone who has ever retrained one? Or perhaps you dream of owning one of these magnificent wild horses? Add a comment below and we’ll get back to you!
Next up, learn all about Horse Aggression Towards Humans.
Kate Chalmers is a qualified veterinary nurse who has specialized in horse care for the vast majority of her career. She has been around horses since she was a child, starting out riding ponies and helping out at the local stables before going on to college to study Horse Care & Management. She has backed and trained many horses during her lifetime and competed in various equestrian sports at different levels.
After Kate qualified as a veterinary nurse, she provided nursing care to the patients of a large equine veterinary hospital for many years. She then went on to teach horse care and veterinary nursing at one of the top colleges in the country. This has led to an in-depth knowledge of the care needs of horses and their various medical ailments, as well as a life-long passion for educating horse owners on how to provide the best possible care for their four-legged friends.
Kate Chalmers BSc (Hons) CVN, Dip AVN (Equine) Dip HE CVN EVN VN A1 PGCE