Wild Mustangs

Wild mustangs have captured the thoughts and imagination of almost everyone at some point in time. From pictures of wild horses silhouetted against the sunset, to visions of the Wild West and the Cowboys and Indians that rode the wild mustangs and ponies. But how much of these stories are true and what part is pure imagination? My grandfather was a farmer for many years in southern Nevada, and although he was never a mustanger he used to tell me some very exciting stories when we would go back to the farm for a visit. I remember as a child looking out across the horizon, and thinking, if I looked hard enough, maybe, just maybe, I would catch a glimpse of the wild horses that ran through those parts. And as a child with a great imagination, I was sure that I saw them -just beyond the horizon! My grandfather has long since sold the farm, moved to town, and passed away. But the stories that he told me and the pictures that I made in my head remain as clear as day and they are what brought me to my topic. I wanted to know where the wild mustangs came from, and what has happened to them. One of the first reported sightings of a wild horse in Nevada was by John Bidwell in the narrative he wrote as a member of the first emigrant train to California in 1841. The train had been following the Humboldt River and at a stop he writes, we saw a solitary horse, an indication that trappers had some time been in the vicinity. We tried to catch him but failed; he had been there long enough to become very wild.(Amaral 15) Another early siting was made by Dan De Quille, who was on a prospecting trip as a reporter for the Territorial Enterprise that was published in Virginia City. He reported that his party saw seven wild horses feeding in the valley of the Stillwater Range, east of Fallon. De Quille surmised that the horsed were American horses strayed from the droves brought across the plains by emigrants. (…

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