A horse is a horse, unless it's a Choctaw or Cherokee horse. Only 200 horses of these strains remain. Half a millennium ago, Spanish conquistadors brought horses to North America. Horses had been extinct in North America for 10,000 years. After the Spaniards began establishing colonies, they banned the native peoples from owning and even riding horses. That would have been the end of story, except many of the horses escaped into the wild where Indians found and tamed them. The rest is history but for the new challenge: surviving in the modern world.
In steps the American Livestock Breeds Conservancy (ALBC). For centuries, the Spanish Colonial horses were the most common type of horse throughout the Southeast and regions west of the Mississippi. But in the mid-late 1800's, almost all Spanish stocks were crossbred with or replaced by horses like thoroughbreds, riding horses and draft horses. The Spanish Colonial horse was nearly extinct by 1950. ALBC advisor, Phillip Sponenberg, DVM, has researched and written extensively about both the Choctaw and Cherokee strains. "Besides being an important part of American history, their genes are irreplaceable. Red Road Farm in Morrisville, VT, has a Choctaw horse breeding program and a horse sponsorship program. The ALBC, in Pittsboro, NC has info and the Southwest Spanish Mustang Assoc. has extensive info on the breed.
And, this beautiful specimen, whinnies and comes running to my back fence whenever she sees me outside. No, she's not mine, but I feed her carrots, oats and apples.