Horse News

How Horses Took Over North America (Twice)

“Now before everyone goes nuts on me, please take a deep breath and sit back.  This PBS film is a really great story of the evolution of our beloved Equus…AND it validates and verifies what we all have been saying that the world’s horses origins come from right here in North America.  Now on the issue that Europeans brought them back to this country, I am not 100% sold on that theory.

My Ute friends tell me of  times long before the Whiteman showed up that their ancestors worked with horses, for as long as their legends go back.  Likewise, there have been reports that several small herds may have survived the great extinction event of 10,000 years ago so I, personally, lean towards the unproven theory that there is a chance that the horse never completely disappeared from North America.  

Did the early explorers bring horses over and have an impact on the wild population, but of course, you can see the Spanish influence in Cloud’s herd.  But are the horses from across the pond the exclusive source to our current wild equines?  Me thinks not.  Enjoy the video…it has a lot to offer the lover of horses and donkeys.” ~ R.T.

4 replies »

  1. Thank you! Have read this reality & fossil records for years. Goes against the cattle industry BS. Please forward to NY Times for their education & correction of previous & false article. Thank you!! Stay well out there ~

    Liked by 1 person

  2. From: Miner, Karen@Wildlife []
    Sent: Thursday, March 03, 2016 4:18 PM
    To: Kathleen Hayden
    Subject: RE: CA data base of special concern mammals.

    Interesting theory.
    When and if available scientific information convinces the experts that determine the checklist of native species to North America that Equus caballus should be considered as an indigenous species, they will make the change in the next revision to the list, and then we would take that fact into consideration for inclusion on our state animal lists.
    From: Kathleen Hayden to
    California Department of Fish and Wildlife 1416 Ninth Street, 12th Floor Sacramento, CA 95814.
    Karen Miner Environmental Program Manager
    Danile Applebee Recovery Coordinator

    This is a request to incorporate California’s rare and endangered Coyote Canyon wild horse herd into the state’s data base of special concern mammals.
    AS co-founder of Coyote Canyon Caballos d’ Anza Inc. nonprofit, (CCCdA) I, Kathleen Hayden am taking the opportunity again to provide California Fish and Wildlife with information that, by fossil evidence, wild horses are indigenous to California; they evolved as a reintroduced native species of special interest into distinct population segments since 1769. They contribute to the natural diversity of California. They are rare, threatened, endangered, and listed as a federal protected species under the 1971 Free Roaming Wild Horse and Burro Act PRIOR to the 1973 Endangered Species Act.
    Wild horses originated in North America and migrated over the Bering Land bridge about 20,000 years ago. Wild horse became domesticated about 5000 years ago in Europe. Those released into the wild quickly revert to their wildlife instincts. While the Lakota people insist that their herds never left this continent, it is generally accepted that the equus species was reintroduced by the Spanish in the 1500s. None the less the species is native to CA based on CA fossil evidence they should be listed in the CA inventory of non-game Special Status Species.
    While California’s Coyote Canyon Wild Horse herd is a Federally protected species, the herd is also native to Ca. based on the discovery of equus fossils in the Anza Borrego Desert State Park. The following fossils are listed in the Anza Borrego Desert State Park inventory .
    †Equus enormis—Enormous Horse (Murray 2008)
    †Equus francescana*—Francescan Horse (Murray 2008: cf.)
    †Equus pacificus—Pacific Horse (Murray 2008: ?)
    †Equus simplicidens—American Zebra (Murray 2008: cf.)
    †Hippidion sp.—Hippidion Horses (Murray 2008: cf. gen.)
    The Coyote Canyon wild horse herd qualifies as Ca. non game native wildlife that was segregated from other herds after the 1850 Gara Revolt at Warner Springs CA. More documentation is available upon request.
    In 1971 the herd became protected under the federal Free Roaming Wild Horse and Burro Act, and habitat was designated in perpetuity as the Coyote Canyon Herd Area. Much more of the CA historic habitats are documented in “Born of Horses:” Missionaries, Indigenous Vaqueros, and Ecological Expansion during the Spanish Colonization of California by Paul Albert Lacson (
    In 2003 The herd was removed by the Anza Borrego Desert State Park by circumvention of FLPMA, CEQA, NEPA, CESA, NHPA sec 106. To date the agencies have not provided a deed of transfer of the Federal Coyote Canyon Herd Area to the State, yet the State is claiming ownership of this herd’s critical habitat designated by federal law. The herd is now extinct in the wild except for the rare few in captivity, and must be restored genetic viability and posterity.
    According to CA law, species of greatest conservation need are eligible for and considered as priorities for conservation funding via state wildlife grant funds whose funds are linked to State Wildlife Action Plans.(WAP) Revisions to the WAPs include threat assessments for current SSCs and their habitats, and will change conservation actions and priorities accordingly. This issue is an emergency measure for the Coyote Canyon herd to prevent extinction of the few animals captured and held in captivity for the sole purpose of rewilding to genetic viability.
    In spite of previous notifications to Wildlife Services the Coyote Canyon Wild horse herd has not been included , and extinction in the wild has been a result of multiple state and federal agency oversight. I believe the CA wildlife agency, as a result of my multiple notices, should have notified me of the opportunity to comment on the 2015 update : None the less it is not too late to correct to oversights to include the Coyote Canyon herd into the state’s data base of Species of Special Concern and listed under the criteria as stated in and the California Endangered Species Act (CESA) (Fish & Game Code 2050, et seq.)

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I agree with you that the horses never left or went extinct. I do believe the newcomers bison and elk had an effect on horses self regulation in that horses did reduce their herd size because resources were in competition… One factor of self regulation.
    Also, I believe in the conspiracy of limiting findings of fossils and labeling those pre 10000 yrs. One eg: A foal was found in Utah. The news first stated it was a different specie of equss and dated it at 7000. It was reported in a couple of news areas. Fast forward a year and they found the fossil to be a modern shetland horse, so the same articles were updated. Saying they were modern horses but the time was also changed from 7000 to — one said 14,000 the other article now says 2 million years old. — Wishing the pandemic virus would effect the minds of those cheating us out of truth so they may embrace equine “truth” and release all hidden finds.


  4. Regardless of historic millenniums of N. American occupation, distinct population segments and/or evolutionarily significant units (ESU) are an important factor in securing sufficient habitat to maintain and rewild out native “protected ” heritage herds. The majority of captured horses are NON-EXCESS, and, the resource management plans are fatally flawed. .
    “Broadly speaking, CUs are population units identified within species that are used to help guide management and conservation efforts. Identifying CUs is an essential first step in conservation so that managers and policymakers know the boundaries of the population units that they are trying to conserve.
    The two most commonly discussed conservation units are evolutionarily significant units (ESUs) and management units (MUs). Moreover, major intraspecific units, such as ESUs, are granted legal protection in many countries, including the USA (under the Endangered Species Act), Canada (Species at Risk Act), and Australia (Endangered Species Protection Act).”
    Robin S. Waples codified the ESU in the administrative context in 1991, defining it as a population unit that, first, “[i]s substantially reproductively isolated from other conspecific population units,” and, second, “[r]epresents an important component in the evolutionary legacy of the species.”” Though the biological literature has elaborated the ESU into several related concepts, Waples’s 1991 definition has remained in force at NMFS National Marine Fisheries Service.
    Genetically unique and isolated populations represent independent evolutionary units that contribute important diversity to the species as a whole, and thus merit individual protection. Genetic data plainly underlie the ESU; such information can simultaneously estimate the degree of reproductive isolation and evolutionary distinctiveness. Genetic data are not, however, a prerequisite for ESU identification. If direct observation or geographic separation indicates reproductive isolation and evolutionary distinctiveness, for example, the agency can designate an ESU with no genetic data at all.


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