Skip to main content

Horses Celebrate Wyoming

 It was quite a view from the knoll I was camping on. It has always surprised me how little altitude you need to open up the landscape. The view was mostly of Wyoming cattle country, mesas, river valleys, and antelopes. To the south were the Uintah Mountains, covered with yellow aspen.

What is more miraculous is how uncrowded and untouristy it was. It was possible to relax, without fearing that a late-arriving camper was going to move in close and start slamming car doors. 

Off in the distance, a couple miles from my knoll, a herd of 15 horses ran parallel to the foot of the mesa. They looked like fast-moving white dots. What a contrast between their furious motion and their near-anonymity,  since they were so tiny visually and were almost lost in a vast landscape. What a classic image of the olde West!

If only I had been closer to their path on my mountain bike! Why were they galloping along, anyway? Ahh dear, there is so much about animals and land that I don't know.

I've read about the horse culture of the steppes of central Eurasia. There is quite a history to it all. But was the horse good for anything other than war and hunting? It seems that it wasn't as good a "tractor" as oxen and mules. I am still suffering a 'you mean, there is no Santa Claus?' disillusionment after learning that oxen moved the wagon trains across the Wyoming.

In our era, our notion of horses comes from Hollywood's glorification of the horse in movies and television shows. But that is almost excusable, considering how good fast-moving horses look.



Ed said…
"But was the horse good for anything other than war and hunting?"

The Amish seem to favor horses. The standardbred racehorse or American saddlebred is most commonly used for pulling buggies; and draft horses, Percheron and the Belgian, to work in the fields.

I will not live long enough to see it but would not be surprised that people other than the Amish are going to be using horses again in this country. There are people in England right now that are in need of a horse.
Ed, I forgot about the draft-horse breeds.