Salute to the Heritage Herd of Wild Horses of the Cascade-Siskiyou Mountains

We all live under the banner of our Constitutional Republic, the American Flag and the promise of freedom, justice and equality for everyone.

We forget that this country and its blessings all stemmed from our American wild horses. 

Science informs that when Columbus arrived in America in 1492, there were 60-million bison and 20-million wild horses on the continent. 

It’s a fact that in 1580, Sir Francis Drake documented our local heritage herd of wild horses in the Cascade-Siskiyou mountains along the Oregon-California border in the present-day counties of Curry, Josephine, Jackson and Klamath in Oregon and Siskiyou County in California.

Even after the decimation of the bison and wild horses by Europeans, 3-million wild horses managed to survive into the early 1900’s.

American herds of wild horses were the source of horses used by ranchers, soldiers and calvary and farmers. They carried our police, pulled our wagons, plows and fire wagons, and served humankind for centuries.

During World War 1, America rounded-up 1-million wild horses and sent them to the European war front to support our troops and our allies.

We forget, America was built and defended off the backs of American wild horses. We owe them a debt of respect and care.

If we fail to honor our relatively few remaining American wild horses, we should consider ourselves dishonorable and unworthy.

This 2-minute music montage of the wild horses of our local heritage herd of wild horses is being offered as a Salute to these noble sentient beings who have served all of our forefathers faithfully. 

It’s our turn to be faithful to them.

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  1. The Native American

    I barfed at this article when you wrote

    “American herds of wild horses were the source of horses used by ranchers, soldiers and calvary and farmers. They carried our police, pulled our wagons, plows and fire wagons, and served humankind for centuries.

    During World War 1, America rounded-up 1-million wild horses and sent them to the European war front to support our troops and our allies.”

    I guess you forgot somewhere in between centuries that horses were also part of Native American culture and way of life. Heck, the Comanche domesticated these horses, which were pretty much wild mustangs acquired/leftover from either the Apaches/Spanish, to a new feat which made them practically unstoppable on top of their archery skills: It took centuries just to conquer the Comanche and have family who are descendants of the Comanche to this day! The horse is still well regarded and respected in our culture as well!

    The problem with this so called “history” is more like European history. If you going to talk about the Spanish, World War, Agricultural “way of life” and going there, why not write about the amazing history on how horses were also vital to Native Americans and not just Europeans!?


    Avoiding future reads due to bias!

    • I have written extensively documenting the natural history of the Spirit Horses, and their evolution and presence on the N. American continent among Native Americans.

      Most editors won’t publish articles, even feature stories that exceed 800-900 words. In order to say what I wanted to briefly explain, and also including all of the Natural History of American wild horses and their co-evolution with Native Americans over the 20,000 years they co-evolved in North America, I would have required 5,000+ words.

      I recently wrote a brief article here at Siskiyou News that covers the topic of the relationship of the Indigenous people with the wild horses: (

      It more fully details with research citations and a PBS Documentary that wild horses (Spirit Horses) RIGHT HERE and across many states, co-evolved and lived among Native Americans.

      Furthermore, one of my best friends and also brother in law was a Native American (Klamath tribe).

    • Mrs.mcmurray m.s. biological sciences & certified teacher

      If you have objections and disagreements, please focus on the one thing we do agree on: that these indian ponies (mustangs) are used to the wild, and need to allowed to be wild, unmolested by people. Wild horse annie spoke up decades and decades ago, and her message still stands. Keep them free. Keep them wild. Honor the indian pony, the mustangs. So many from all walks of life love them and what they stand for. They are resilient. Beautiful. Aware. Freedom loving. Strong and brave. And they belong in the wild, they are a part of it.

      This author and their team is offering maybe the only bipartisan answer; and, hope to save the mustangs (indian ponies) BLM manages from sterilization and slaughter. They and their supporters (including of native descent) want the horses to be free, free from harassment, sterilization, extinction under BLM.
      How BLM manages these horses to genetic extinction and death so that HMA’s convert to HA’s and then to land that can be sold breaks hearts of all mustang freedom lovers in usa. We hope they can at least be unmolested and set free in wilderness where already some are safely rewilded.
      Please join us all trying to save the ones blm was told to protect but is not, by not recommending skipping over the message. I am glad these mustangs remain sacred to Native peoples. – It is appalling and demoralizing to watch the relentless destruction of the bands and whole herds no matter the protests, letters, and calls. I have said to many in d.c. that BLM should not be doing this when native american horse tribe teens are suiciding. It is so morally wrong on all fronts. There is a long history of such slaughter 😔 of whole herds of tribal ponies.
      I highly respect Bill Simpson and the people trying to cross political and economic barriers to save the indian pony (mustang). I read all his material i can, and am glad that they are studying a wild herd much like dr. Goodall studied primates (classic ethology) ,because imho no one in government or academia has done this , and the information is desperately needed to protect the horse in today’s political economic climate challenged arena. We need people from all heritages, political views and work to agree on one thing: these mustangs must be saved, there are so few left now.

  2. Salute to the Heritage Herd of Wild Horses of the Cascade-Siskiyou Mountains – Siskiyou News

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