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Honest Horses: Wild Horses In The Great Basin
by Paula Morin
University of Nevada Press, 2006
Paper: 978-0-87417-673-5 | eISBN: 978-0-87417-674-2
Library of Congress Classification SF360.3.U6M67 2006
Dewey Decimal Classification 599.6655097


Horses have been part of the American West since the first Spanish explorers brought their European-bred steeds onto the new continent. Soon thereafter, some of these animals, lost or abandoned by their owners or captured by indigenous peoples, became the foundation of the great herds of mustangs (from the Spanish mesteño, stray) that still roam the West. These feral horses are inextricably intertwined with the culture, economy, and mythology of the West. The current situation of the mustangs as vigorous competitors for the scanty resources of the West’s drought-parched rangelands has put them at the center of passionate controversies about their purpose, place, and future on the open range. Photographer/oral historian Paula Morin has interviewed sixty-two people who know these horses best: ranchers, horse breeders and trainers, Native Americans, veterinarians, wild horse advocates, mustangers, range scientists, cowboy poets, western historians, wildlife experts, animal behaviorists, and agents of the federal Bureau of Land Management. The result is the most comprehensive, impartial examination yet of the history and impact of wild mustangs in the Great Basin. Morin elicits from her interviewees a range of expertise, insight, and candid opinion about the nature of horses, ranching, and the western environment. Honest Horses brings us the voices of authentic westerners, people who live intimately with horses and the land, who share their experiences and love of the mustangs, and who understand how precariously all life exists in Great Basin.

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