Popular horse breeds from the 1880’s
This article highlights some of the most popular horse breeds during the wild west era of USA. During this time horses were a part of the political, social and economic lives of people. They were a source of income, used for transportation, sports among others. Horse racing was as common and popular a sport as football is today.
This breed of horse was first introduced to the USA in 1877 through General Ulysses S. Grant on his visit to His Imperial Majesty the Sultan of Turkey. While there, he was gifted with two stallions from the Sultan's stable named, Leopard and Lindentree. The Arabian horse is a graceful horse that was sought and celebrated for its beauty, intelligence, courage, nobility, and loyalty. In the Islamic faith, the Arabian is revered and cherished because according to them, prophet Mohammed proclaimed that those who treat the horse with kindness would be rewarded in the afterlife as it was created by Allah.
The Mustangs were originally brought to the USA by Spanish colonialists and explorers. They were referred to as wild horses because they loved to run and they were difficult to catch and tame. During the wild west era, cowboys also known as Mustang runners would catch and tame mustangs then sell them. Once domesticated Mustangs were used for all kinds of tasks such as transportation and racing. Mustangs are strong intuitive horses that were known for their intelligence, speed, and stamina. Fan fact, Mustangs can live up to forty years in the wild.
Paint horses also known as Pintos during the wild west era were first brought to North America by Spanish explorer Hernando Cortes in 1519. In the 1800's Paint horses became a favorite for the Native American Indians because of their flashy color patterns and stamina. The Native American Indians used paint horses for hunting, transportation and in war. They also believed that the white patches on the horses gave them special powers during battle.
American Quarter Horse
The American Quarter Horse came about as a cross between native Spanish horses used by Spanish colonialists and imported English horses. One of the first sires of the American Quarter Horse breed was a horse called Steel Dust. The American Quarter horse was highly favored by cowboys in the wild west era because of its good-natured calm cooperative disposition and cow-like sense. It was used for transportation, to drive cattle, race and pull wagons and buggies.
The Appaloosa was a breed beloved among the Nez Perce Indians of Oregon, Idaho, and Washington. Nez Perce Indians were sophisticated and skilled horse breeders who only breed the best horses. Weaker or injured breeds were not allowed to produce offspring. The Nez Perce Indians and their horses were famous for their hunting skills all throughout the Pacific Northwest. The Appaloosa was a distinctive horse with irregular patches scattered all over its body. It was also admired for its endless stamina, strength, speed, courage, and intelligence.
Missouri Fox Trotter
The Missouri Fox Trotter is a mixture of the Arabian, Morgan and Thoroughbred breeds. It was developed in 1821 by Ozarks to perform a variety of tasks that their daily lives demanded. Tasks like plowing fields, driving cattle in the rugged, rocky terrain, hauling logs, and transportation. During the wild west era, the Missouri Fox Trotter became a favorite for the sheriff, country doctor, stock raiser, assessor among others because it was able to travel long distances comfortably.