THE AMERICAN INDIAN HORSE REGISTRY – 40 YEARS IN TEXAS
2019 marks the 40th anniversary of the American Indian Horse Registry’s move to Texas in 1979.
Founded in 1961 in California by Native American Frank Green Frank Green, the registry has been dedicated through the years to preserving and promoting the horses of Native American Tribes and Nations. In 1968 the registry was sold to the Kluth family in Arizona and was incorporated at that time. In January of 1979 AIHR moved to Texas where it and its museum are housed at Rancho San Francisco near Lockhart, Caldwell County TX.
The history of the American Indian Horse is a long and colorful one with its fair share of hardships along the way. It is generally agreed by historians that the Spanish Conquistadors brought their horses to the New World in the late 1400s, although archeological evidence discovered in the past few years has shown that the horses developed in the Americas before the 1400s, and disappeared. The horses brought by the Spanish explorers were a mixture of Iberian, Barb, Arabian and Andalusian blood and were considered the best horses in the world at that time. The horse was indispensable to the exploration of Mexico by Cortez, who stated that “Next to God, we owe our success to our horses.”
Native Americans of that era had never seen horses (although elders of that period remembered their ancestors telling them of the animals) and to them the horses and their riders were Godlike beings. To try and keep this belief it was illegal for many years for Native Americans to ride or handle any horse, much less own one. However, in time, with the spread of the horse and the Spanish ranchos, into what we now know of as North and South America, the natives did acquire this “Big Dog” or “God Dog” for their own and their lives changed dramatically. The horses brought about a culture totally dependent upon themselves.
These horses contributed to the making of a number of American breeds which include the Morgan, The American Quarter Horse, the American Saddlebred, the Tennessee Walking Horse, the Galiceno, the Pony of the Americas and others. All American color breeds, the Paint, Pinto, Palomino, Appaloosa, Buckskin and Dun, trace their ancestry back to the Original Indian Horses.
Modern day Original American Indian Horses have retained their toughness, their spirit and their willingness to partner with humans. They come in all of the colors known to the equine world and in all sizes, although the norm is 13 to 15 hands. They are easy keepers and loyal friends and partners, often bonding with one person or family. Those of us who share our lives with them are truly blessed.
The American Indian Horse – an Original