These Horses Are Wild!

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These Horses Are Wild!
release dates: August 14-20
33-1 (10)
© 2010 Universal Uclick
Symbols of American Spirit
from The Mini Page © 2010 Universal Uclick
These Horses Are Wild!
photo by S. Nystrom, courtesy National Park Service
Have you ever ridden or petted a
horse? The friendly, helpful animals
we use to pull wagons and march in
parades are called domesticated
horses. Along with their cousins, feral
(FAIR-uhl) horses, they have a long
history in the Americas.
This week, The Mini Page talked
with experts to learn more about wild
horses.
The first horses
Millions of years ago, a small fourlegged animal called Hyracotherium
(HY-rak-ah-THEER-ee-um) lived in
North America. It grew only about 8
inches high, and it had four toes on its
front feet, each with its own hoof.
Hyracotherium, the first horse, became
extinct about 45 million years ago.
Other types of horses evolved with
changing predators and climate. The
ancestor of the horses we know, Equus
(EHK-wuhs), lived on our continent
about 5 million years ago.
Thank the Spaniards
Experts think Equus may have
moved to Asia and Europe by crossing
a land bridge in the Bering Strait*.
For a long while, there were no horses
at all in North America.
Just about 500 years ago, Spanish
explorers brought horses back to the
Americas. These horses had been
domesticated, but some escaped and
began to live in the wild. They were
the ancestors of today’s feral horses.
*The Bering Strait is a small sea passage
between Alaska and Russia. Archaeologists
believe the two continents were connected
before the last Ice Age.
This newborn foal
and a yearling foal
stay close to their
Nokota mother. They
live in the Theodore
Roosevelt National
Park in North
Dakota.
The “wild” horses
found in the western
states are really
feral horses. People
sometimes use
either word to mean
the same type of
horse. They’re also
called mustangs.
Horse talk
Meanings of some “horsey” words
Feral — describes animals (or
their ancestors) that were once
domesticated, or tame, but are now
wild
Mustang — from the Spanish
word mesteno, which means feral
Stallion — a full-grown male horse
Mare — a full-grown female horse
Filly — a young female horse
Colt — a young male horse
Foal — any young horse
Burro — a donkey
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33-2 (10); release dates: August 14-20
from The Mini Page © 2010 Universal Uclick
Wild Around the World
Color in states where feral horses are found.
• Arizona
• California
• Colorado
• Georgia
• Idaho
• Maryland
• Montana
• Nevada
• New Mexico
• North Carolina
• North Dakota
• South Dakota
• Oregon
• Utah
• Virginia
• Wyoming
The only ‘wild’ horse
Horsing around the USA
Looking out for horses
Most of the feral horses in the West
are found in Nevada. These are the
horses we call mustangs.
In the East, Chincoteague ponies
live on Assateague Island off the
coast of Virginia and Maryland.
Banker horses live on the Outer
Banks of North Carolina. Because
these horses are surrounded by salt
water, they’ll sometimes dig holes to
reach fresh water for drinking.
Some of the feral horse herds
are privately owned, such as the
Chincoteague ponies. Others are
protected by the National Park
Service or state government agencies
where they live.
Wild burros
Today, only about 300 of these
special horses live in the wild. They
are considered critically endangered.
However, wildlife refuges and zoos
around the world continue to house
and breed the Przewalski horse.
Burros live mostly separate from
the horse herds. Arizona has the
largest population of feral burros.
from The Mini Page © 2010 Universal Uclick
Ready Resources
The Mini Page provides ideas for websites,
books or other resources that will help you learn
more about this week’s topics.
On the Web:
• www.blm.gov
• www.nwf.org/Kids/Ranger-Rick/Animals/Mammals/
Wild-Ponies.aspx
At the library:
• “Face to Face With Wild Horses” by Yva Momatiuk and
John Eastcott
• “The Horse: Faster Than the Wind” by Valerie Tracqui
photo courtesy The Wilds Wildlife Preserve
Although we use the word “wild” to
describe feral horses, there is really
only one wild horse left in the world.
The Przewalski (shuh-VAL-skee)
horse in east-central Asia has never
been domesticated. In fact, this
species almost became extinct in the
1960s. Zoos and wildlife sanctuaries
around the world, including the San
Diego Zoo, have worked together to
keep breeding the Przewalski horse.
from The Mini Page © 2010 Universal Uclick
Brown
Bassetews
try ’n
The N d’s
find
Houn
Words that remind us of wild horses are hidden in the block below. Some words
are hidden backward or diagonally, and some letters are used twice. See if you
can find: ADOPT, AMERICA, BURRO, DOMESTICATED, EQUUS, EXTINCT,
FERAL, GATHER, HEALTHY, HERD, HORSE, HYRACOTHERIUM,
MANAGE, MUSTANG, PONY, PRZEWALSKI, SPIRIT, SYMBOL, WILD,
ZOOS.
TM
Have you
ever ridden a
horse?
Wild Horses
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Please include all of the appropriate registered trademark symbols and copyright lines in any publication of The Mini Page®.
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®
33-3 (10); release dates: August 14-20
Mini Spy . . .
TM
TM
Mini Spy and Basset Brown are on a trail ride to
locate some wild horses. See if you can find:
• number 3 • bird
• angelfish • snake
• rolling pin • lips
• banana
• bell
• tooth
• safety pin • shark
• word MINI
• dragon
• question mark
Rookie Cookie’s Recipe
Salmon and Pasta Salad
You’ll need:
• 8 ounces elbow macaroni, cooked and drained
• 2 ripe tomatoes, chopped
• 2 medium dill pickles, diced
• 2 (5-ounce) cans salmon, drained and chopped
• 1/2 cup reduced-fat mayonnaise
• salt and pepper to taste
What to do:
1. Allow cooked pasta to reach room temperature.
2. Combine pasta with tomatoes, pickles, salmon and mayonnaise.
3. Add salt and pepper to taste. Mix well.
4. Chill 1 hour before serving.
You will need an adult’s help with this recipe.
from The Mini Page © 2010 Universal Uclick
Meet Leon Thomas III
photo by Lisa Rose/Nickelodeon
© 2009 Viacom International Inc.
Leon Thomas III plays Andre in the Nickelodeon
TV series “Victorious.” When he was 8, he became
the singing voice of Tyrone, the orange moose, in
the preschool TV series “The Backyardigans.”
Leon appeared as the young Simba in the
Broadway musical “The Lion King” when he was
10. He has acted in other plays too.
He later appeared in TEENick’s “Just for Kicks,”
as well as in several other TV series. He also
starred in the movie “August Rush.”
His parents are professional musicians who also owned a
recording studio. His mother taught him the guitar for his role in
“August Rush.”
Leon, 17, also plays the drums, bass, piano and saxophone,
writes songs and dances.
from The Mini Page © 2010 Universal Uclick
from The Mini Page © 2010 Universal Uclick
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Book of States
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Conveniently spiral-bound for ease of use, this invaluable
resource contains A-to-Z facts about each state, along
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from The Mini Page © 2010 Universal Uclick
TM
All the following jokes have something in common.
Can you guess the common theme or category?
Harold: What kind of horse does a ghost like
to ride?
Harriet: Nightmares!
Horace: Why is it hard to identify horses from
the back?
Henry: Because they keep switching
their tails!
Hillary: Why did the horse scold its colt?
Harry: He was misbehooving!
Please include all of the appropriate registered trademark symbols and copyright lines in any publication of The Mini Page®.
®
33-4 (10); release dates: August 14-20
Caring for Horses
from The Mini Page © 2010 Universal Uclick
About 40 years ago, the U.S.
Congress decided that feral horses
were an important symbol of the
American spirit. It gave the job of
watching over many of them to the
Bureau of Land Management, or BLM.
Today, the BLM manages 33,700
horses and 4,700 burros in 10 western
states. The animals are divided into
179 herd management areas.
The herds can be hard on
rangelands. They eat grass and other
plants. They can cause erosion, or
wearing away, of the soil. Biologists,
conservationists and other scientists
A new life
study the rangeland to see what
After horses are removed, the BLM
effect the horses are having on it.
gets them ready for adoption. About
3,500 horses, or 10 percent of all feral
Too many horses?
horses on BLM lands, are adopted
The BLM is in charge of counting
each year. They go
the feral horses on public lands.
to individuals and
They do this by taking surveys from
to agencies such
airplanes and by counting horses on
as the U.S. Border
the ground. Experts say most herds
Patrol, where
grow by 20 percent in a year.
When the BLM decides that there they’re used to
help agents watch
are too many horses or burros living
our borders with
in an area, it may do a “gather.”
Canada and
Animals are rounded up, and some
This Border Patrol
Mexico, and to
are removed from the herd.
officer at Glacier
police forces.
National Park in
Montana rides an
Some have
adopted feral horse.
become part of
the Caisson Platoon at Arlington
National Cemetery, where they pull
flag-draped caskets to their final
resting places.
photos courtesy Bureau of Land Management
A big job
These
mustangs run
on rangeland
in Utah.
Wild horses
have very
few natural
predators, or
animals that
hunt them.
Gathering
and removing
some of the
horses is
a way for
officials to
control their
effect on the
land.
Training and health
Experts say feral horses are
intelligent and curious, qualities that
trainers like.
Because of their rugged lifestyle,
the horses are tough and strong. Their
feet are sturdier than domesticated
horses’, so they are sure-footed.
Most of the wild horses available
for adoption have not yet been
“gentled,” or trained. But some are
trained by inmates in special prison
programs.
After adoption
An adopted horse becomes the
property of the new owner after
a year if the BLM finds that it is
well cared for. Horses that can’t
be adopted because of age or other
problems may be sold or sent to live
in pastures in the Midwest.
The Mini Page thanks Tom Gorey and Sally Spencer of the Bureau of Land
Management Wild Horse and Burro Program for help with this issue.
The Mini Page Staff
Betty Debnam - Founding Editor and Editor at Large Lisa Tarry - Managing Editor Lucy Lien - Associate Editor Wendy Daley - Artist
Please include all of the appropriate registered trademark symbols and copyright lines in any publication of The Mini Page®.

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