Free-Roaming Horses In Placitas Debated

May 6, 2013

Credit Fran├žois Marchal

The popular, free-roaming horses of a New Mexico mountain hamlet may have outstripped the ability of the land to support them.

The Albuquerque Journal reports (http://bit.ly/124PS9Z) that the some residents are complaining that horses of Placitas are tearing up yards and causing public safety risks because of its rising population numbers.

Last month, a horse was killed when it was hit by a vehicle on N.M. 165 in Placitas.

The horses have long been a divisive issue in Placitas between residents who believe the animals should be allowed to roam freely and those who say providing them with food and water is fostering an unsustainable population increase.

Placitas residents estimate the horse population to be around 200. But the horses do not fall within the category of "wild" horses - as defined by a 1971 federal law.