Thursday, February 18, 2010
Romance of the West - wild horses
Nothing speaks of the American West like the sight of a wild horse racing across the horizon. The horse, free, wild, untamed, and independent truly reflects the indomitable spirit of the land and the people of the old west.
Anyone who has read Misty of Chincoteague recalls the Spanish brought horses to the Americas. The Pueblo Revolt of 1680 set numbers of horses free along the Spanish footholds. Soon they ranged over the Great Plains and into the Rio Grande area in vast numbers similar to the bison or buffalo of the Great Plains. This natural resource lured many Anglo's to the Tejas province with the hopes of rounding up herds and bringing them to the east to make money. This led to many confrontations with the Mexican government, settlement of the Tejas lands, and eventually TEXAS would break away as its own republic before joining the rest of the United States.
The wild horse was also a revolutionizing moment for the Native American people. It gave them a source of wealth as well as transportation. Riding horses allowed Native American tribes in the Great Plains to easily hunt and kill the buffalo. Pueblo Indians bred the animals selling their fine steeds to other tribes such as the Apache and the Comanche. The Comanche used their horses and developed their riding talents becoming fierce warriors of the west.
As the west tamed, ranchers allowed their stock horses to roam free and mingle with the wild herds. Their offspring produced "cow savy" animals that became highly prized. The introduction of the European breeds also created larger animals more suited for the size of the American people.
Wild horses are a gift and should be treated with respect - for without it the ranches, the history , the romance of the west would cease to exist. God Bless the Wild Horses of America.