Jun 14, 2012

Creatures of the Land: Horses

In 1971, Congress declared “wild, free-roaming horses and burros living symbols of the historic and pioneer spirit of the West, which continue to contribute to the diversity of life forms within the Nation and enrich the lives of the American people.”

But here's an interesting fact: modern day horses are not native to North America. For unknown reasons, native North and South American horse species became extinct 10,000 years ago. No horses existed on our continent until Spanish settlers brought horses, specifically Andalusian horses, to the Americas during the 15th century.

Andalusians were considered a fine breed, traditionally kept by nobility and used for diplomacy. Known for being strong with long, elegant, thick manes and tails, Andalusians were often used as warhorses. 80 percent of Andalusians are grey, 15 percent are bay, and the other 5 percent are black, palomino, or chestnut.   

Horses brought over by the Spanish quickly became popular with Native Americans as they made daily tasks easier. They helped with transportation, hunting, and warfare.

The stallions and mares that escaped from the Spanish thrived on the land and formed wild herds from Mexico all the way to the plains in the United States. The Wild Free-Roaming Horse and Burro Act of 1971 protect wild horses from being captured.

The FAC is honoring western heritage in the Pikes Peak Region with their third annual fundraiser Whiskey for My Men, Beer for My Horse  and new exhibit, Wild Horses. Pieces by Luis Jimenez, Myron Wood, Lawrence Barrett, and Frank Mechau are currently on display in the Wild Horses exhibit.

Fri., August 17 | 6 - 9 p.m.
Non-members $25 (FAC Members $20) — $5 discount if you wear a big-ass belt buckle
Tickets online, Box Office 719.634.5583, or at the door

Wild Horses
On view in the first-floor galleries
General museum admission $10

Sat., June 30 | 10 a.m. -2 p.m. 
Invite friends 

No comments: