The American Mustang is a horse that has descended from horses that were brought to America by the Spanish. The word Mustang is derived from the Spanish word mesteno, which means "stray or ownerless." It is a word that describes all the wild horses in the United States. Today's modern horse is the product of what has evolved over three million years; they disappeared from this hemisphere over 10,000 years ago. When explorers Cortes and DeSoto came to the North America, they brought horses back to the continent with them. The Pueblo Indians learned to ride horses and then this skill was passed on to other Indians throughout the years. In 1680, a revolt against the Spanish caused them to retreat and in turn leaving thousands of horses behind.
The American Mustang numbers probably exceed any of the other horses that are out there, by 1900, there was an estimated two million of these horses roaming freely. They became known as "the living symbols of the historic and pioneer spirit of the West," which happened to be a Congressional statement that led to the passing of the Wild Free Roaming Horse and Burro Act in 1971. This protected these wild horses from being killed off by ranchers to protect their cattle herds, when this was being done, there were only around 17,000 horses by 1970. Today there is an estimated 41,000 Mustangs that roam freely, few however are of original Spanish descent.
Famous American Mustangs include "Nevada's Miss TangTang" born in 1977 who made quite a name for herself in all aspects. She represented the Mustang horse at the Big D Charity Horse Show, which was held in Texas in 1992. She was also featured in the car magazine "Mustang Horse VS Mustang Car" and then in 1997, she was further honored with her own trading card. She was the first Mustang to win the Distinguished Achievement Certificate; the horse went on to win three all together.
The Kentucky Horse Park Mustang Troop, which is a part of the park's educational department has 24 Mustangs; this is an effort between the park and the Lexington Police to give young people the chance to become horsemen and women as well as give wild horses a bright future. This troop has even made an appearance in the Presidential Inaugural Parade that took place in 1997.
The Mustang as we all know has made a name for itself in the machine world as a few different things; the most popular probably is the Ford Motor Company's Mustang sports car, which has been around for decades. The military has even named a couple of their aircrafts after the wild horse; they are the P-51 Mustang (which was used in World War II) and the P-82 Twin Mustang aircraft. The Cessna Citation Mustang is one of today's modern business jets, it is also the smallest. There is also a manufacturer of miniature motorcycles that is called Mustang. These horses have also gained fame for being the mascot for many different colleges and other educational facilities all across the country.