This skeleton and many other fossil remains of horses have been found on U.S. soil. Once discovered the process to identify the genus species is rigorous and must be studied in many schools of science. When I was making “Wild Horses In Winds of Change” horse remains were found with camel and Clovis Points in a cache above Boulder CO. It was through following these results I learned how long the process of identification takes. The Equus Caballus is the modern horse and remains tell us that it was among the species of horses to roam on land which is now American soil, long before humans populated it. If they were designated indigenous to this land, the laws would have to change for their management in the wild. Environmentalist groups wouldn’t be able to lump the wild horse with cattle as livestock and wild horses would be given more respect. I have found that some Genus names have been assigned to remains only because the remains were found among a particular fault – within a dig area, tied to an era. Now with molecular biology the DNA can be identified, so less random identification of the Genus should happen. The horse is a great adapter. It’s DNA probably developed it’s ability to adapt because for millions of years it has been required to. Today it can thrive in swamp land on islands and in desert. I had no idea horse would chew into cactus for fluid until I made this film. The horse changes it’s diet based upon what’s available. It is commonly believed that the horse died out during the ice age. Some speculate that the horse survived the ice age because the ice did not cover all of our land. If the horses were in the plains of mid-west they may have survived as miniature horses, able to run swiftly from predators and seek hiding places and refuge in trees. There are pictographs depicting images of horses dating back to the era of Clovis which is post Pleistocene ( end of ice age). The Lakota called horses Shirwakhan, or Milawahaka , meaning sacred dog. It seems unlikely they would call a horse the size of today’s modern horse a ‘DOG’. They were likely not ridden if they were here, and they had many large predators so they did not over-populate. They may have traversed the northern land bridge, on their own, or perhaps they were used as pack animals, along with camels. If the wild horses would not have been crossed with the larger horses brought in by the Conquistadors they would take up less land, need less to eat and require less water. There are still some of these smaller horses found in free roaming mustang areas. They are wonderful hunter- jumper ponies according to Mary Lee Brighton of Brighton Meadows in Salt Lake Utah, who are featured in the film. CHECK OUT VIEW MUSTANG MOVIES on this site.
Some Native prophecies predict a return of the horse culture. As I made the film, “Wild Horses In Winds of Change” I wondered how this might come about since we don’t need horses for transport or heavy work. My conclusion is that humans and horses are inextricably linked, throughout time. They’ve been with us through every aspect of building cities and civilization and now they’re plight as well as their “energy” is available to us to grow into more conscientious human beings. By not letting them down, we also do not let down ourselves or the human race. Our pasts and our future are interrelated.