Teddy and his horses

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During his time as a rancher in the early 1880’s Theodore Roosevelt met, and worked with, many horses in the Little Missouri Badlands area in North Dakota. In the book ”Theodore Roosevelt – An Autobiography” he wrote about the Nokota® horses, or their ancestors to put it very carefully:

”The ponies were of course grass-fed and unshod. Each man had his own string of nine or ten. One pony would be used for the morning work, one for the afternoon, and neither would again be used for the next three days. A separate pony was kept for night riding …. Each man would picket his night horse near the wagon, usually choosing the quietest animal in his string for that purpose, because to saddle and mount a “mean” horse at night is not pleasant.”

To put iron shoes on a healthy horse to make the hooves last over long working hours or heavy overload, is not  always an optimum solution. Another way is, naturally of course, to keep more horses to alternate between.

Theodore also wrote:

”I broke my own horses, doing it gently and gradually and spending much time over it, and choosing the horses that seemed gentle to begin with. With these horses I never had any difficulty.”

Gentle horsemanship is not a new invention and especially when it comes to free roaming horses like the Nokota® horses, it is probably the only way that turns out well.

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