Ben Masters [00:00:00] You know, a lot of people point back to J. Frank Dobie, his book "The Mustangs". And there's certainly some, some really good historical references.
Ben Masters [00:00:11] He, you know, he claims that there may have been two million horses in Texas and on the Great Plains. But obviously there's no way that you could actually do a population estimate back then.
Ben Masters [00:00:22] But, but that would indicate that there was vast numbers of horses across Texas. And, you know, with the Wild Horse Desert of South Texas, that sand sheet country, that was certainly a reason why they called it that.
Ben Masters [00:00:39] I would imagine that the wild horse history is somewhat similar to our longhorn history. Texas, up until about 1860s or so, whenever the Comanche were pushed out of, out of their homeland and onto reservations, there was vast swaths of the state that was unsafe for, you know, Texans and Americans to travel in.
Ben Masters [00:01:08] And it was in a lot of those areas that you had huge populations of longhorns, and also horses, that were just living their existence, and evolving or adapting in the survival of the fittest. You know, it didn't go back from a species standpoint, but there was certainly many, many generations where, you know, only the toughest animals survived.
Ben Masters [00:01:34] And it wasn't until, until the Comanches were placed under the reservation, or diminished to such an extent, where a lot of that stuff along the Caprock and, you know, west of Uvalde, and really, South Texas that wasn't until they were able to figure out how to get water down there, 'til people really moved into that country.
Ben Masters [00:01:54] But you know, that's, that's where you, you had your origination with a lot of the famous cattle trails - your Goodnight-Loving - and these big 20-year periods where they're gathering all these longhorns that were just running wild in the brush, and out on the grass. You know, there was horses out there, too.
Ben Masters [00:02:15] And you know, they'd push them up to Kansas to hit with the railroad lines. And, you know, following the cattle drives.
Ben Masters [00:02:26] But yeah, in Texas, we didn't, we didn't have wild horses that made it through, through the, I guess, the taming of the Texas landscape, to my understanding, at least.
Ben Masters [00:02:38] But you know, their bloodlines are still in the horses that we have today. I mean, there's a lot of ranch horses all over the place that, you know, trace their heritage back a couple of hundred years in Texas. So their bloodlines are still there. But there's, you know, been many, many, many, many generations of animal husbandry and domestication to produce our more common breeds like, you know, quarter horse and the thoroughbred and the popular stuff.