People of the Horse

Posted By Toyacoyah Brown March 11th, 2014 Last Updated on: October 5th, 2018

National Geographic talks about the special bond that Native Americans have with horses.

From the history of the Comanche equestrian empire to the current Pendleton Round-Up and Indian Relays, horses have played an important role in Native American lives.

“Horses forever changed life on the Great Plains. They allowed tribes to hunt more buffalo than ever before. They tipped the balance of power in favor of mounted warriors. And they became prized as wealth.

For Native Americans today, horses endure as an emblem of tradition and a source of pride, pageantry, and healing.”

Read the full story and see beautiful photography from Erika Larsen.

Photograph by Erika Larsen

Photograph by Erika Larsen

Home » Native American Articles » Native American Culture » People of the Horse

About Toyacoyah Brown

Toyacoyah Brown is an enrolled member of the Comanche Nation, currently living in Chicago. She received her B.A. in Journalism from the University of Oklahoma and an M.A. in Media Studies from the University of Texas at Austin. When she's not scouring the Internet for fun things to share with PowWows.com readers you can find her digging for vinyl in her local record store or curling up with a good book.

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Monica Onsurez Orozco Diaz

Hello everyone, My name is Monica Diaz, I live in Los Angeles, Ca.. I just found out that I’m 46% Native American, Comanche…. my question is how do I get registered to become a member of the native Comanche tribe…

Paul G
Fred W.

I personally believe the horse is the Creators’ gift to us as the horse made life easier and gave us wealth we never had before. In the Apache Way, the horse is our brother and I believe he should be treated as such. I have horses and I have rescued some from other people. Some buy cheap hay and hardly ever feed them. I feed them as good as I can and mine show no ribs. As they are natural athletes the should not be put in small pen, which to them I think are like solitaire confinement. There are many things these gifts can teach us if only you ask.

Nancy M

Problem is these days they are rounding up the mustangs & selling them to the highest bidder for slaughter. These mustangs are the descendants to the horses that helped the Indians to better survive & this is how they are thanked. A terrible injustice to the horses.

Harold Goldstein

I been complaining about that for a few years I just sent a message to my congressman that they are our horses and they are to be rounded up for pets not slaughter by bureau of land management they schould be slaughtered the workers and fed to Mexicans we need to stop slaughter at once in the movie Billy Jack he said they are on Indian land you can’t have them rounded them up so he forced them to release them I don’t like them being slaughter


“Horses allowed tribes to hunt more buffalo than ever before.” Indians respecting Earth, never hunt more then they have to. That’s such “white man” kind of thinking. More…more…MORE!….. 😛

Brian French

The Creator gave mankind all the natural tools to live successful and prosperous lives, the horse was one such creature that changed the course of our destiny. The plight of the American Indian is one of mankind. Even though technological advancement has merit, these advances were meant to be tools, not to become an encompassing lifestyle. Let us glean the best of our technology and climb back up on the noblest of creatures, along with our native brothers, and forge a new future, one that is sustainable.


The vet didn’t have to do anything at these races, because the horses aren’t drug tested. The thoroughbred that had to be shot was probably so full of bute that he didn’t even know that his leg was broken.

Horses that are very unfit for racing, due to past injuries or lameness, are entered into these races because they’d never be allowed in legal racing. This is cheating, besides having no concern for the horse who is giving his all to win.


Nancy, do you even realize what article you’re commenting on?

Nancy M

I did not post that.

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