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“The Culture of the Horse”

Footpath by Southwest Crossroads

The Spaniards’ earliest explorations, or entradas, into the New World brought significant changes to the peoples living in the American Southwest. Beginning in the 1500s, the Spanish introduced the horse in their journeys through the land and their battles with the indigenous populations.

Native Americans, particularly the Apache, Navajo, and Utes, quickly adapted to horses. Horses enabled them to travel great distances, mount raiding parties on Pueblo and Spanish settlements, engage in battle and, eventually serve as scouts with the United States Army.

The horse has played a significant part in settling the American Southwest. Native American, Hispano, and later Anglo settlers established cattle ranches, roamed the range, and drove cattle drives. The American cowboy culture came into being.


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