The AMERICAN INDIAN HORSE REGISTRY honors the horses of Native America, their hybrids and descendants.
The AIHR was established in 1961 in California for the purpose of collecting, recording and preserving the pedigrees of Native American horses. It moved to Arizona in 1968 and in 1979 came to Texas where it is still housed at Rancho San Francisco near Lockhart, Texas, together with a collection of western and Native Americana and a library pertaining to the history of the breed.
The breed had a profound impact on the founding of many American breeds. In recognition of this contribution, the AIHR has five classifications of registration. The Original Indian Horses are eligible for registration, their hybrids and modern descendants as well. Registration classification is based on pedigree information, if known, DNA, and inspection by photograph and evaluation of each horse.
Nanci Falley administers the registry. “The registry came to me on January 2, 1979, so next week will be 43 years,” says Falley of the years she has been responsible for the registry. “AIHR registrations are at over 5,000, however, that includes horses who are long dead so it isn’t an accurate count of living horses.”
“AIHR membership is down to roughly 150 or so, no doubt due in part to the pandemic. We used to have clubs in Texas, South Carolina and Mississippi that hosted shows, the biggest one in Texas that put on the National show. Unfortunately they have all dissolved, so no more clubs, no more shows. Various members do still take their horses to open shows and exhibits, but again the pandemic has shut a lot of that down,” said Falley.
All of the colors known in the horse world occur in this breed. One may choose solid, roan, appaloosa, paint and any combination. No color or pattern is discriminated against. AIHR follows the old truism: “A good horse cannot be a bad color.”
Indian Horses are normally a smaller, more compact animal of under 15 hands. A narrow but deep chest is normal. Hooves are hard and healthy and shoeing is not recommended. Indian Horses are well prepared by Mother Nature to survive hot summers, frigid winters and sloppy conditions in between on less feed than other breeds. They can be ridden long distances with fewer injuries, perform heavy ranch and range work with more power than horses much larger than they.
More about the American Indian Horse and the registry may be found at:
www.indianhorse.com/ or contact: The American Indian Horse Registry, INC (AIHR),9028 State Park Road, Lockhart,TX 78644-4310 Nanci Falley; 512-738-0211, aihrnanci@gmail