Conserving Genetic Diversity among Square Horses

Over the past year I been appalled to learn how much genetic diversity among Square Horses has been irrevocably lost due to short-sighted breeding and management practices, especially here in the USA. The Bureau of Land Management has been gelding free roaming stallions for decades. Now the policy is turning towards surgically sterilizing free- roaming mares through a truly gruesome procedure with a high rate of shock, infection and death as an incision is made in the wall of the vagina in order to insert an instrument into her abdomen and destroy her ovaries.

There are currently about 50,000 wild horses and burros being held in off-range facilities. Perhaps 5% of those horses are Square or Rectangular individuals. Mares should make up about half of that 5%. That means that there could be approximately 1250 Square and Rectangular mares languishing in BLM holding pens.

Only a few of that number are offered on the adoption site at any given time. And BLM side views are not the best means of judging a horse’s conformation and ancestry.Since there are so few of these horses registered, every single Square Horse added to the gene pool is a treasure that can help insure the health of future generations.

So please share these links to possibly Square and Rectangular mares that are available through the BLM Wild Horse Adoption program with those who will take action. As of 9/22/2021 there are a dozen or so geldings available for viewing online. I hope that means the mare below was adopted by someone who will appreciate her.

https://wildhorsesonline.blm.gov/animals/18635987?fbclid=IwAR1BXYr6GurEbqsF9xDRRkbeExQrino2uYPBPZWuNEsVPJoVgQLkfChPF7w

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