Are Wild Horses Dangerous?

Wild Horses are best defined as prey animals and owing to this reason they might pose some danger, especially when kept in a confined and completely unfamiliar environment. As they aren’t familiar with humans, these horses tend to perceive them as a major threat. However, wild horses are only known to attack when they are threatened and have no way to retreat.

While you can always watch wild horses in the wilderness, it is vital to maintain a proper distance. Always remember that they are not pets and therefore require a different type of treatment. Over the next few sections of this article, we will discuss how and why wild horses are dangerous and the things you can do if you encounter them in the wilderness. So, the first question in your mind is will they attack?” here are some of the things you need to know.

Do Wild Horses Attack Human Beings?

Yes! While horses can attack human beings, but they only do so upon provocation. If you leave them unprovoked, these horses will barely bother you. Note that being prey animals, the initial and primal instinct of these horses would be to escape danger. So, they will only proceed to attack them if they feel provoked from your end. It is also worth noting that stallions and other wild horses separated from a large herd may be aggressive even without provocation.

Despite the threats posed by wild horses, many individuals try approaching them. However, in light of your own safety, you should only observe these animals from a safe distance. This will serve both your and the animal’s interest.

Can Wild Horses be Problematic?

In the current situation, wild horses are being deemed problematic. This is primarily because they are stressing our environment by reproducing at a rapid scale. According to an average estimate, these animals are growing by a whopping 20 percent at an annual scale. These horses are also deemed problematic due to their grazing habits which are known to wipe out plants while also endangering additional wildlife.

If these horses continue reproducing at their current scale, they might as well destroy our ecosystem in the long run.

What to Do Upon Encountering Wild Horses?

Wild horses primarily inhabit grasslands and if you are lucky enough you might as well encounter them during a hike or a camping tour. However, regardless of where you find them, make sure you give these animals enough space. The basic rule of thumb is to keep a distance of at least 50 feet from the wild horses. However, this distance may vary depending on the regulation of the park or the bureau where you spotted the horse.

If you expect spotting wild horses on a trip, it is best to consult the same with the designated park ranger. They will also inform you about the BLM requirements of the spot you plan on visiting. Note that although the general rule of thumb is to keep a distance of 50 feet from the horses, certain parks keep this distance at 100 feet or more.

Follow the regulation of your designated park and make sure you do not distract or provoke the horses at any point. If you spot them unannounced, try to be completely respectful about their habitat. If the situation permits, immediately move away from their path and avoid walking in the middle of a herd. Do not leave trash in the parks and avoid feeding these animals at any point. Your goal here is to remain completely unintrusive.

In case you are observing the animals from your car, stay in the appropriate path, and immediately turn off the car engine.

How to Identify Wild Horses?

Wild horses can be identified by specific physical characteristics. Although every horse is not the same, most of them are trained to evolve as hardy animals. Their bones are strong, and their feet are extremely tough. In the wilderness, you will find them in smaller herds with one animal (stallion) dominating the rest. Mustangs tend to be significantly smaller than others with a height of only 14 to 15 feet. Unlike other horses, they are also found in a wide range of colors.

Bottom Line

Since wild horses are not domesticated animals, it always makes sense to exercise a safe distance from them. Do not try to venture close to these horses or pet them. Always observe them from a proper distance. If the horses are left undisturbed, they won’t try to attack you.