“The historical sense involves a perception, not only of the pastness of the past, but of its presence”
― T.S. Eliot, Four Quartets
To resolve the situation of the Wild Horses of today, to form an informational basis to establish the American Wild Horse (i.e. currently the Mustang) in the Western United States as an Indigenous Species, remains the objective of this series of articles. Ultimately, upon resolving the issues of Indigenous Species we can then, and only then, establish an Endangered Species status for the Wild Horses on America’s Public Lands. This will defend America’s Heritage, from greed and destruction — The Wild Horse.
This series of articles will aspire toward intellectual history as well as develop a literary analysis or cultural history of the Mustang. The basis for this two-fold:
1. Much of the literal history of the Wild Horse in the Western United States has been, and continues to be overlooked, or simply passed off as innuendo;
2. Modern industrial agendas and economics remain definitive within the scope of “Uncceptability” or to not place the Wild Horse within the category of Indigenous, due to unsound and irresponsible monetary reasoning that prohibits their inclusion.
The arguable situation, most often quoted in reports, legends, and research: Ancient species of horses had existed in North America many thousands of years ago, but they became extinct long before the ancestors of American Indians arrived on the continent. Thousands of years later, modern horses were brought to North America by Europeans.
This type of innuendo lacks credibility and definition in the matter of Wild Horse history in the United States. It also contradicts many references, whether bones, hieroglyphics, etc., found in areas within the Western United States,
Counter to Present Day Perspective: Today, as usual with myth and misinformation, the perusal of documents, research, and articles of the history show beyond a doubt Wild Horses existed within the United States (the Americas) much earlier than thought. The European’s were not the ambassadors of the Wild Horse’s as claimed, rather their breeds (i.e. Arab, et al.) simply intermixed with the Wild Horses already in Western America, well referenced but ironically the material ignored.
In reality Wild Horses’ already populated the Western Americas in the 6th century thru the 16th Centuries. The 16th century is when humankind began to write about horses, but indirectly; yes written records only, rather than the American Indian’s form of history (oral history passed from one tribe historian to another, and drawings, etc.), was recognized back then. Unfortunate for the history of the horse, most of the historical attributes of that era were either in error, totally fiction, or totally true – no gray areas. As usual in cases such as this, the untruth is often more glamorous, dramatic, or useful to those who profit from information manipulation. History never changes within this aspect of record keeping over the ages.
Within an irresponsible manner, severe prejudice and ignorance stepped forward, and the history of the Wild Horse recorded by (or socially acceptable and classified) civilized human’s only (historical description, not mine); this simply developed into written records and history from only a select few writer’s, whether credible or not, as long as they were of a civilized human writing the information — (note: makes one wonder about much more of our history in America, judging what’s acceptable compared to unacceptable, or what was considered humane compared to savage). After reading much of the historical records, and background of record origination, this situation alone, it can be said, decimated the history of Wild Horses, that is, until today.
Petroglyphs and Cave Paintings
Cave paintings’ as well as rock carvings and hieroglyphs’ remain common-finds within the Western United States. Many people who hike trails, explore caves, and spend time on rivers or hiking the banks of rivers and streams, often locate American Indian signs – communications – their history.
This subject is not contained within this article, but will be the subject of a later article, as references plentiful but require interpretation and a little positive limelight for a change. The significance of the American Indian history, accomplished in art-form, drawings, and carvings remain a substantial reference to the items within all articles on Wild Horses. These references mirror one another quite responsibly and ironically mostly ignored. Why? Hopefully, this question will be answered soon.
But one item, of many, is assured, that the American Indian form of communication is a wholesome and true exhibit of history. There exist no manipulative agendas or ideologies, nothing but the truth. Horses are a significant part of Indian history, just as in the land-growth aspects within American history – a Heritage that should not be passed-off or forgotten, but placed within an iconic prestigious element of our humane growth as a people on this planet.
“. . . he surveys the human relationship to nature, from 10,000 B.C. until 100 A.D., and concludes that, in contrast to totemic hunter society, the Judeo-Christian world view was “a virtually perfect rationalization of agriculture” as a system of production and ground of existence.” (Max Oelschlaeger. The Idea of Wilderness: From Prehistory to the Age of Ecology. New Haven: Yale University Press, 1991, 353 pp. + notes.)
So if we assume that something used so robustly, as the horse was used within farming, industry, and day to day use as we would an automobile or any other tool, then we only begin to understand the problem of establishing the Wild Horse as indigenous and within a literal as well as an Iconic circumstance.
“. . . to the Renaissance and the Industrial Revolution, which he characterizes together as “modernism.” As used here, this term roughly means instrumental thought after Galileo and Descartes, as developed by classical physics and laissez-faire economics . . .” (Ibid. . .)
Standards of Our Industrial Nation
A Contemporary Wilderness Philosophy” attacks the “resources” rampant in western society, which treats nature as raw material, and offers a range of alternative philosophies: preservationism, biocentrism, ecocentrism, and deep ecology. We can bring together these strains into “a postmodern wilderness philosophy” that can, indeed, help develop a more humane venture for a true civilized society. This type of situation can build upon compassion, respect, and kindness toward fellow human’s, domestic animals, and wildlife alike. The Wild Horse then becomes a significant Icon within this perspective.
In this account national differences are of little significance; the American experience was, in the 16th century especially, seen as an extension of European developments until the twentieth century, and when the voices of Thoreau and Muir were first really heard – thought essentially become more free, becoming that of ideology turning into reality. Not so coincidental with the Wild Horses, English carry-over mostly neglected the history of the horse as bland and even perhaps redundant and insignificant.
Then the growth spurt of the American west, gold and oil; which before then only moderate growth experienced; it was the horse, not inclusive of the Wild Horse Herds yet, that were considered iconic within a necessity-perspective for transportation and farming, similar to the car or tractor of the later period of industrialized America.
Conclusion to Part 1 Nature
The Wild Horse remained symbolic of nature, an uncontrolled freedom, not to be tamed or harnessed, but allowed to roam. This eventually turned into another ideology, modernism rears up again to capture nature, to suspend freedom and at the same time grasp and destroy if not able to control — toward utility or profit.
The wars started over land-grabs, railroads, timber, highways, industrial use over farms, cities to be made to develop enough people gathered into one place to work at these industries, and on and on — simply overwhelmed nature, and especially the Wild Horse – and the fact is, quite obvious, no one cared about the Wild Horse enough to establish a detailed history.
This was the stuff of poetry, the ideology of what Nature was back then — and then industrial society reared its tarnished ideologies of profit, of industrialized corporate structure, of modernism, of elitist society, of criminal politicians. The Wild Horse becomes a non-virtue and unneeded any longer, a throw-away to be sacrificed — and many people, at that time, simply assumed they were in the way of modernism or progressive behavior. The Wild Horse shunned in an odd contempt within the virtues of the Pioneering Past versus America’s Evolutionary Future.
This article as well as the articles to follow, strongly suggests a new epoch in human thought is upon us. It is solely based upon a vision rooted in earth consciousness, a rediscovery of the wisdom of the ages, known to primal peoples across the face of the earth during the Paleolithic era … a world in which computer technicians might walk in autumn with migrating elk.”
We, as a people within this society, within this social spectrum of ongoing event, must contend that the wilderness ideology is not a romantic anachronism; rather, it is the idea of wilderness necessary to help us all, as a society, to transcend the ideology of “modernism” and reestablish an organic connection to nature. Wild Horses, among much other wildlife, do this quite well.
To preserve the Wild Horse as an icon, allowing them to run free over America’s Public Lands, is merely an image currently. We can make this a reality with a little work, and a little perseverance, but above all, with a lot of intelligence and a lot of American’s to speak up and preserve our National Heritage – The Wild Horse. . .
Aplet, G.H. “On the Nature of Wildness: Exploring What Wilderness Really Protects”, Denver
University Law Review. 76 (1999):347-367.
Ayres, R.U. “Limits to Growth Paradigm”, Ecological Economics, 19 (1996):117-134.
Bergstrom, J.C. and J.B. Loomis. “Economic Dimensions of Ecosystem Management”,
Chapter 11 in Cordell H.K. and J.C. Bergtrom (Editors), Integrating Social
Sciences with Ecosystem Management. Champaign, IL: Sagamore Press (1999).
Cleveland, C.J. “Reallocating Work Between Human and Natural Capital in Agriculture:
Examples from India and the United States”, in Jansson, A.M. et al. (Editors),
Investing in Natural Capital. Washington: Island Press (1994).
Costanza, R. and H.E. Daly. “Natural Capital and Sustainable Development”,
Conservation Biology, 6 (1992):37-46.
Constanza, R. et al., “The Value of World’s Ecosystem Services and Natural Capital”,
Nature, 387 (1997):253-260.
Daly, H.E. and J. Cobb, Jr. For the Common Good. Boston: Beacon Press (1996).
England, R.W. “Natural Capital and the Theory of Economic Growth”, Ecological Economics,
Godfrey-Smith, W. “The Value of Wilderness”, Environmental Ethics. Winter (1979):309-319.
Hammond, J.L. “Wilderness and Heritage Values”, Environmental Ethics, Summer (1985):
Loomis, J.B. and R. Richardson. Economic Values of Wilderness in the United States.
Morton, P. “The Economic Benefits of Wilderness: Theory and Practice”, Denver
University Law Review. 76 (1999):465-518.
Noss, R. F. “Soul of the Wilderness”, International Journal of Wilderness, August (1996):3-8.
Oelschlaeger, M. The Idea of Wilderness: From Prehistory to the Age of Ecology. New Haven:
Yale University Press (1991).
Rolston, H. “Valuing Wildlands”, Environmental Ethics, Spring (1985):23-48.
Russell, K., J.C. Hendee and S. Cooke. “Social and Economic Benefits of a U.S. Wilderness
Experience Program for Youth-at-Risk in the Federal Job Corps”, International
Journal of Wilderness, December (1998):2-8.
June 14, 2014 at 4:48 pm
Groups seek protection for North American Wild Horses under Endangered Species Act
To read the petition, click on the following link:
Click to access Final_Petition_Complete_As_Filed.pdf
“Misclassification of wild horses as a non-native species is politically, not scientifically driven,”
Friends of Animals (FoA) and The Cloud Foundation have filed a petition with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to list North American wild horses on public lands as threatened or endangeredunder the Endangered Species Act (ESA) since the Wild Free-Roaming Horse and Burro Act (WHBA), which was passed in 1971, has failed to protect our wild horses. Six states have already lost their wild horse populations—Missouri, Iowa, Arkansas, Texas, Oklahoma and Kansas.
“Misclassification of wild horses as a non-native species is politically, not scientifically driven,” said Ginger Kathrens, executive director of The Cloud Foundation. “Wild horses are severely endangered but without recognition of current scientific evidence of their native status, they could become extinct.”
Most people do not realize that instead of protecting these horses, BLM has rounded up—forcibly driven off the land and put in holding facilities—more than 200,000 horses since the WHBA was passed. And this is not just an issue of importance to American’s living out west.
“Everyone’s tax dollars contribute to the animal abuse caused by roundups and fertility control,” Barnes said. “In the 2013 fiscal year, BLM spent $4.8 million on gathers and removals and spent $46.2 million on holding costs. A report by the National Academy of Science concluded ‘the continuation of business-as-usual practices will be expensive and unproductive for BLM.’”
June 14, 2014 at 7:15 pm
American Journal of Life Sciences
“The horse and burro as positively contributing returned natives in North America”
Craig C. Downer
Click to access 10.11648.j.ajls.20140201.12.pdf
June 14, 2014 at 8:35 pm
Reblogged this on Pass the SAFE Act!.
June 14, 2014 at 10:05 pm
June 15, 2014 at 6:13 pm
Click to access Wild%20Horse%20Stress.pdf
Important info on stress to wild horses.
June 22, 2014 at 4:30 pm
I applaud your efforts and to be quite honest I have not even read all your posts due to time constraints (this is a joint e-mail utilized by my partner and I). In short, I have tried to preserve (via a long term 20 year breeding program until recently) of horses gathered from the BLM Sulphur herd management area. Basically knowing long ago that the corrupt BLM and their lies will ultimately be the demise of these historical treasures.
Perhaps this information, if you are not aware of it already may be a bit of service to you and your efforts. I am aware, (but would need to be verified further by Dr. Gus Cothran of Texas A & M) for your intended purposes that at least the Sulphur herd has been tested by Dr. Cothran with the genetic findings that the Sulphur horses have an alleged genetic linkage to the Puerto Rican Paso Finos, American Paso Finos, Chilian Criollo which is a closed breed registry from South America since the 1500’s and what I still find the MOST intriguing of all is a yet unidentified gene that apparently Dr. Cothran cannot match to any equine “groupings” including any in Europe.
While all of this would obviously need to be verified by Dr. Cothran himself. Perhaps it may be another piece to that proverbial puzzle of “were the horses always here?” (which I truly believe myself). I have always wondered if that unidentifiable gene is because there simply is no group to compare it to due to the fact that those horses were always here and therefore we simply did not have those genes/group to compare genetic testing to? Hmmm?
Obviously, I am no expert (I do own at least a dozen of the Sulphur horses still and what a beautiful treasure they are!) but if you would like to take it upon yourself to contact Dr. Cothran, I highly encourage you to do so if it helps your research.
On another note, yes, the BLM is corrupt as I have dealt with that corruption and it is still unfortunately affecting my and my families life…they lie on a lot of things! One such lie is telling people that two 2 year old adopted stud colts are intact only to discover they are not or they have been inoculated with something to cause them not to drop at all. One thing to watch is their so called “3 strike” horses. In my opinion, and with at least 1 document to possibly prove it, I believe they are NOT “maintaining” those 3 strikers as they should be because if those horses are not loaded with regular dewormers or traces of immunizations, etc , and if they do not get adopted, then isn’t it “easier” to unload them for meat consumption? Good question huh? Do the math…what another quick way to dispose of wild horses! Again hmmm?
Hope this helps!