I have been 75 years assembling the material needed for this History on the
Mustang.  I never borrowed books or checked books out of a Library all my life.  If I
needed information I could find in a book, I bought it!  For 75 years I have collected
books for my personal library in which all the information in this article was found.  
Find books listed as follows.
According to ancient history three different types of wild horses existed throughout the Pleistocene Age in
Europe beginning with the Lower Period 800,000 years ago.  They were classed as Forest, Steppe and
Plateau horses.  Two types are still evident in today's domestic breeds, the heavy and the light type, also
classed by some as hot or cold-blooded.       
A species of the horse, the Onager of Asia, was worked and bred by the Sumerians in the settlements of
Sumer where four Onager stud farms existed.  One was located above the Black Sea, another near the Aral
Sea and two in the vicinity of the Tigris River.  Before the horse was ever ridden, they were yoked to heavy,
clumsy, solid four-wheeled carts and controlled by lines (reins) attached to a ring in their nose.  This was prior
to 3,000 B.C.  Evidently the Onager had a very intractable disposition as they were replaced as a work animal
by a small, sturdy Aryan horse from the South Asiatic Russian Steppes.

The first actual record of horse domestication by man was at Mesopotamia in 2,200 B.C.  These horses
appeared as a small, light type, driven to chariots by the Hittites as they came down from north of the Black
and Caspian Seas through the Caucasus Mountains where they settled on the western edge of the Persian
Desert.  The Hittites learned horsemanship from their neighbors, the Hurrians from the kingdom of Mitanni on
the Hisatan Plains.  These Hurrians migrated from the Central Russian Steppes and settled around Lake
Van.  They were later known as Medes.

The first written instructions on training horses to chariots and horse care were found on five clay tablets
written in 1360 B.C. by Kikkuli, a Mitanni horse trainer.  These clay tablets were in the great library of
Boghazkoi in the ancient Hittite capitol Anatolia.  These tablets indicated the Mitannis had been working
horses to chariots several centuries before 2,200 B.C.  It was several centuries later before the horse was
strong enough to ride, as history indicates they had weak backs.

Ancient archeological records and cave paintings indicate the Hittite horses were slender, spirited horses
similar to the Caspian pony with both standing nine and one-half to eleven and one-half hands, very trim and
refined with heavy mane and tail.   

In 1965 a small band of horses was found on the northern slopes of the Elburz Mountains near the Caspian
Sea in Iran.  From blood tests and bone structure analysis, scientists believe these horses could well be the
descendants of the first horses used to chariots in Mesopotamia.  It was thought they had been extinct for
1,000 years.  The Persians have long claimed that the Caspian pony was the founding blood of the Persian
Arabian, the oldest known Arabian.

History indicates that the first domestication of the horse spread from the Danube River area across the South
Russian Steppes into China just west of the Yellow Sea.  This vast area, which stretches 3,500 miles, was the
original breeding ground of the horse and was inhabited by the Scythians and other barbaric mounted
nomads of many tribes.  These nomads, known as Aryans, rode small native horses they had domesticated
from the wild horses of the Karsh Steppes.

Indications show that the first horse breeding and domestication developed, was by race known as Sacre, who
lived in great horse country between the Oxus and Jaxates Rivers above Ferghana in Russia.  According to
ancient graves, the people of this area also developed a large superb strain of thoroughbred type horse near
Ferghana.  Many were buckskin in color but some strains were pintos and others were appaloosa colored with
sparse manes and tails.  These horses were known by the Chinese as fabulous, heavenly blood sweaters and
were sought with gifts and war in order to acquire fifty head by the king of China.  This was in 102 B.C.  Up
until that time the Chinese cavalry rode small Mongolian horses.  Eventually through breeding programs, they
produced 300,000 head of these Bactrian horses, which were valued at 300 pounds of gold each.

Early historians stated these horses were originally ridden by Aryan chiefs and aristocrats as indicated by
ancient gravesites.  These superb horses had unbelievable stamina and could gallop 100 miles a day for six
or seven days without rest.  There could have been as many as six different types of wild horses developing
from one light horse branch, the Pritzvola, in the vast wild area.  When the Asiatic Hyksos or "shepherd" kings
conquered part of Egypt in 1670 B.C. using Mongolian horses to chariots, these barbarian tribesmen
introduced the first horses, predominately brown in color, to Egypt.  The first recorded domestic horse in
Egypt was a horse skeleton found in Queen Hatsheput's tomb in 1490 B.C.  After two centuries the Egyptians
drove the Hyksos out of Egypt, forcing the to leave vast herds of Mongolian horses.  The Egyptians gradually
became active horse breeders, acquiring superbly bred stallions from the Phoenicians to cross with the
horses left by the Hyksos.  The result was a tall, racehorse developed for chariots.  Herodotus later described
them as having a slender tapering neck, well-rounded chest and shoulders, high withers, long clean legs and
long and plentiful tails.  Their colors were mainly white, bright bay, piebald of black with white stockings on two
to four feet.  They stood fifteen to eighteen hands and were called Donkolawi of Nubia.    

By 1450 B.C. the Phoenicians had become the greatest marine traders of that time.  They operated from
Gadir, opening up Atlantic and Mediterranean trade routes by 1000 to 800 B.C.   They acquired highly bred
stallions from stud farms at Mesopotamia and sold them at every port along their trade routes.  Their routes
also included the Arabian Peninsula between the Persian Gulf and Red Sea.  They sold horses to the ancient
warlike Celtiberians of Spain.  They probably carried the ancient ram-nosed, striped, dun Sorraia horse from
Spain to the Barbary Coast of North Africa to be crossed with the Berber horse, causing the North Africa
horse to have the convex face or ram nose.

When the fierce Hittites conquered Syro-Palestine in 1370 B.C., they used their light three man chariots and
brought their droves of horses with them.  While spreading across North Africa's Barbary States, they had to
continuously replenish their horses from famous breeding studs north of Mesopotamia in the Lake Van area.  
Thus, the famous Nisaean horse arrived in North Africa.  The northern Bedouin of Arabian tribes migrated to
Egypt when the Persians pushed them out of Mesopotamia in 1,000 B.C.   Although they spread across North
Africa, these ancient Bedouin tribes were not the aristocratic Arab of Nejd; their horses were Kudush, not
pure.  These Bedouins developed three strains in Africa, preferring orange and saffron colored (palomino)
horses.  One of the strains was the Bornu from the district south of Lake Chad.  Another strain was called the
Dongola from the District of Nubia and the third strain was the Morgrabin from the side of the plains south of
the Atlas Mountains.

The North African Berber breed undoubtedly descended from these three Bedouin strains and was at times
incorrectly called Barb.  (See picture No. 2)   The Numidian horses used in Hannibal's cavalry in conjunction
with his elephants in the Second Punic War were probably descended from the Berber and the ancient
ram-nosed Sorraia horse of Spain.

From all indications, the Barb evolved from the Numidian horse, but was crossed up with oriental horses
during the Arabian invasion in 700 A.D.  After this invasion several types existed.  The Barb was strictly of
North African origin and when carried to Spain by the Moors in the invasion of 711 A.D., the Barb and the
Kuhaylai-Jinah-At-Tayr Arabian blood mixed with the indigenous horses in the world for eight centuries, the
Spanish Ginete.  The light Andalusian evolved from this Spanish Ginete through seven centuries of
occupation of Spain by the Moors and their practice of scientific breeding, creating several Andalusian strains
- one of which was spotted.

My friend, Carl R. Raswan, the most knowledgeable authority on the Arabian and Barb horse in Arabia and
North Africa who lived with both Bedouin an Berber tribes and rode both breeds, stated that "We are unable to
prove a fixed type or predominating strain of Barb horse.  The name Berber Horse was changed to Barb in
English language, therefore, Berber and Barb was likely the same horse.  As is, the word Barb merely
designated a horse from the Barbary Coast of North Africa, not a breed.  The Barb more than any other horse
changed its type with the times and its human masters, and many were mixed with Arabian blood, imported
into Morocco by its powerful Sultan rulers."  This is why many historians from as far back as 1100 A.D.,
including J. Frank Dobie (The Mustang, 1934), refer to the conquistadors' horses as more Arabian and Barb
in type.

The mounted Scythians moved south out of the Asiatic Russian Steppes in 700 B.C. and emerged masters of
the horse.  They were noted for their highly trained battle mounts that wore elaborate ornaments of bronze,
silver, and gold.  They practically lived on their horses, riding geldings and in emergencies would open up
their mount's vein and use the horse's blood for food and drink without dismounting.  They were the first horse
breeders to practice gelding inferior colts to upgrade their horses.

These Scythians made raids to Egypt in 610 B.C. and while they were on a raid to the west in the present day
Hungarian Plains they met a migrating band of Western Celts using shaggy Celtic ponies to chariots.  These
Celtic people knew how to exploit the horse to the fullest extent.  After the Scythians taught them the
technique of riding, many Celtic tribes recognized the cavalry's superiority over chariots for warfare and the
cavalry gradually replaced the chariot.

As early as 750 B.C. a larger horse for cavalry was bred above Mesopotamia and famous horse breeding
farms were established at Armenia and Media where the famous Nisaean horse developed.  The tall Turk
horse descended from the Nisaean.  The Turk is closely related to the Numidian.  The Nisaean was large for
that time, standing fourteen and one-half hands, bred by the Medes in the cool grassy country near Hamadan
in the Lake Van area.  They were developed from the small sturdy Aryan horse and the Blood Sweater of the
South Russian Steppes near Ferghana.  They were bred for 1,500 years.  Many were honey colored with light
colored manes and tails.  This blood sweating - Aryan strain is closely related to the ancient Pinto and
Appaloosa horse brought by invading horsemen from Ferghana to Central Europe in 1,000 B.C., and taken
on the North Africa and Spain.  This blood was later carried by the Spanish Conquistadors to become part of
the equine blood of the New World.  The Persian king, Xerxes, evidently used some horses of this blood when
he invaded Greece in 480 B.C. using chariots pulled by Appaloosa colored horses.

History indicates the Greeks acquired their first horses from a long chain of Scythian horse dealers across the
Danube River.  These Greek horses were predominately sorrel in color.  Xenophon mentions the beauty,
courage, and endurance of the Greek horses.  Crete probably got their first horses from Egypt.

All horses up to 710 B.C. were developed from the light type horse.  The Bronze Age burials of Old Austria
revealed the first domestication of the heavy Diluvial European Forest Horse in 710 B.C.

In 648 B.C. horses were first introduced in sports with chariots and riders entered in Olympic games.  
Thereafter, horses often appeared in Greek art.  These ancient paintings are positive proof of type and color
of the Spanish horse of that era and those of the centuries that followed.  Listed below are just a few
examples in the museums of the world.

King Phillip mounted on a tobiano Andalusian

Queen Margherita of Austria mounted on a
tobiano Andalusian.

Francis I of France mounted on an Isabella Andalusian.

Queen Isabella of France mounted on a Medicine Hat.

Two pinto Berber horses racing at a roman carnival.

Of all the ancient paintings, none reveal all colors in ancient Spanish horses like the "Painting from Life" by
Johann George Von Hamilton of the band of twenty-four Spanish broodmares and nine stallions at Lippizza in
the Karst hills.  This was near Trieste in old Austria, a country the ancient Greeks had long recognized as
producing superior horses with speed, stamina, and strength.  These horses came directly from Spain.  Their
descendants are the gray Lipizzaners of today.  These Spanish horses were famous as far back as Caesar's
time, originated at Carthage in North Africa.  The following colors are represented in the painting: palominos,
buckskins, grullas, bays with dorsal stripes, appaloosas, grays with bloody shoulder marking, tobiano paints
and other odd-colored horses.  

Their conformation shows ram faces, long heads, and short ears; however, the ears may have been snipped,
as was the custom of that time.  They had a moderately low tail set, were slightly leggy and had
well-proportioned bodies standing fourteen and one-half to fifteen hands.  A thorough study of this painting
proves that the North American mustang has all the known colors of the equine race in its ancient Spanish
ancestors' background.

After being exiled by the Scythians the Parthians left the Turanian Steppes and settled east of Medea,
establishing their empire of Partha of the Pontic Steppes from 300 to 65 B.C.  Included were parts of Persia,
Afghanistan and northern Saudi Arabia.  This empire of barbaric horsemen had two cavalry branches that
fought in conjunction with each other.  The heavy cavalry, riding Nicaean horses, was the first in the world to
use armor.  It was a light-scaled armor formed of plates overlapping one another like feathers on a bird,
covering both horse and rider entirely.  Some was made of silver and gold.  The light cavalry used no armor
and depended on their small, fast, and nimble footed Arabian type horses to confuse the enemy with hit and
run tactics, using the bow and arrow.  40,000 of these Parthians caused the Roman army at Carthage some
of their blanket days.

Ancient coins of Carthage bear witness to fleet Arabian type horses in 360 B.C. the Phoenicians of Carthage
invaded Spain bringing Berber, Numidian and Kuhaylai-Jinuh-At-Tayr Arabian blood.   When the Romans
defeated Carthage in 146 B.C. they continuously imported hot desert Barbary Coast horses all over the
Roman Empire to improve their Latium breed of horses.

The Celts invaded Spain from Gaul in A.D. 600 bringing a Norse horse type, which was usually dark dun in
color with a wide dorsal stripe, stripes on withers and neck and prominent zebra stripes on the legs.  They
also had a heavy mane that fell to both sides of the neck.  This Norse horse is believed to have descended
from the Northern Dun, which in turn descended from horses of the Stone Age.  These Norse-Celtic horses
crossed with Spain's native Sorraia horses resulted in the breed known as Villanos, a coarse heavyboned
type bred in Castile in old Castilan Province.  They were a large mediaeval type Andalusian horse capable of
carrying the heaviest of armor and probably standing fourteen hands.  They were classed as a desterier of
Knight's charger.

In 409 A.D. the Vandals from Gaul crossed the Pyrenees Mountains into Spain with their great horses.  They
moved through Spain into North Africa in 429 A.D. staying one hundred and four years.  These Vandal horses
were the Descendants of the old Suffolk Cob crossed with the Nisaean horse carried to Europe from the
Nisaean Plains at Medea.

Fifty years later the Visigoths from Italy moved into Spain with their great horses, some of which were shod
with gold and silver shoes, and stayed in Spain two centuries.  This heavy infusion of the great horse blood
put more size on the native Spanish horse.  Alien the Roman stated, "The Numidian and Mauretanian horses
were small before this Vandal and Visigoth infusion into Spain.  These war horses were nothing more than well
proportioned active Cobs, not the heavy, clumsy draft horse later developed for heavy, slow work.  For
confirmation of this fact see the picture of Bamberg Rider From the Cathedral, an excellent example of the
conformation and size of the armored knight's charger.

In 711 A.D., 3,000 Arabs and 7,000 Berbers, all mounted cavalry, invaded Spain at Tarfia, defeating and
exterminating 90,000 Goths of the Plains of Xeres near Cadiz, bringing herds of Berber, Moorish, and
Kuhaylai-Jinah-Arabian and Barb horses to Spain.  These Mohammedan warriors stayed in Spain 700 years.  
These Saracen horses from North Africa crossed with the indigenous Spanish horse resulted in a superior
breed called the Spanish Ginete.  (See picture No. 4)   They were bred at Cordoba.  For more evidence of the
Spanish Ginete, see paintings of King Charles of England (1636) mounted on a Ginete from Spain and Prince
Mauritz of Orange-Nassau riding a long maned white Ginete.  In 1618 King Phillip III of Spain presented the
future Charles I of England with twenty-four Spanish Ginetes selected from his stud at Cordoba.  He also
made a gift of twelve Ginetes to George Villiers, the Duke of Buckingham, who had been appointed Grand
Master of the Horse by King James I of England.

From this same stock came many of the Spanish horses to the New World.  The boyhood friend of and
historian for Cortes and his expedition was Bernal Diaz Del Castillo.  He kept a detailed record of all horses in
the expedition.  He referred to them as Andalusians.  If this statement is accurate, the horses brought to the
New World were of Spanish Ginete and Villanos blood, as two types of Andalusians were bred, the small
Ginete bred at Cordoba and heavier ancient Villanos bred at Castile in the old Castilian province.

History reveals that the pure-in-the-strain Asil Arabian with the wedge shaped head, dish face, and straight
croup, bred under very rigid pedigrees with records beginning in 610 A.D., was not a part of the Moorish
invasion of Spain in 711 A.D.  They were not produced in sufficient numbers at that date to have mounted an
army.  History indicated that the Asil Arabian spread under the reign of Harun-Al-Rashad, the fifth Caliph ruler
of Baghdad (736 to 809).  He believed the finest bred Asil Arabians were essential for cavalry.  His triumphs in
battle riding at the head of his legions extended Arabian rule to three continents.  He was responsible for Arab
culture reaching 6000 miles to all of Spain, North Africa, Egypt, Morocco, Tunis, Algeria, and the greater part
of southwestern Asia.  See the painting by Julius Kockert of Harun mounted on a dished face Arabian leading
his army during the Golden Age of the Mohammedan                        
Ancestors Of The Mustang
The Earliest Ancestors Of The Mustang
Gilbert H. Jones
King Phillipe Riding A Tobiano Andalusian
Queen Isabella Of France Mounted On  Medicine Hat

Quoted below is a portion of an article that appeared in the April 1951 issue of The Western Horseman and is published by
kind permission of The Western Horseman.

Vertebrae in the Arab.  It is a fact Arabian and Barb horses have less lumbar vertebrae than other horses (but not
constant).  The variation in skeletal structure, which has been noted over the centuries, has always aroused the curiosity
of anatomists.  It is agreed by most observers the horse normally has six and the ass only five.

According to such authorities as A. Chauvean of Lyon Veterinary School, Professor Arlong of the same school and of
Veterinary Surgeons to the Royal Engineers, all are agreed that there were variations in the number of lumbar vertebrae.  
And that it was more common to observe five lumbar vertebrae in African horses.  In the past it was not uncommon to read
translations of European writers who had visited the African countries bordering on the Mediterranean Sea and to find that
they noted the number of lumbar vertebrae to be usually five.  When the Moors over-ran Spain and brought in Barb and
Arabian horses, the Spanish people called attention to this variation.  The next question is, do Arabian horses always have
only five?  The answer is, not always.  It is not a constant fact but it can be assumed from all data available that more North
African or Arabian horses have been noted to have five lumbar vertebrae.  Vets Corner, by LL Glyn, DVM, Page 31.


Austerman, Wayne R.,                                                                                                            Espenshade, Edward B. Jr.,

SHARPS RIFLES AND SPANISH MULES                                                                     
GOODES WORLD ATLAS, Rand-McNally, Chicago, 1966          

Bancroft, Herbert Howe,                                                                                      
Goodall, Daphne Machin,

ARIZONA AND NEW MEXICO                                                                                        
A HISTORY OF HORSE BREEDING, Robert Hall London, 1977                        

Bancroft, Herbert Howe                                                                                       
Goodall, Daphne Machin,

CONQUEST OF MEXICO                                                                                      


From   R.S. Summerhays:  Frederick, Warne, and London, 1978                                    
Grimm, Agnes G.,

Bolton, Herbert Eugene, PR N.D.,                                                                                     

AHANASE DE MEZIERES   LOUISIANA-TEXAS FRONTIER                                                 

Bradford, Ernie,                                                                                                        
Haines, Frances,

CHRISTOPHER COLUMBUS, The Viking Press, NY, 1973                                        
Caballus Publishers, Michigan, 1972


ATLAS OF ANCIENT CIVILIZATIONS, John Day Co., NY 1976                                           
Haisell, H.H.,


Castereagh, Duncan,                                                                                                 

THE GREAT AGE OF EXPLORATION, Aldus Bks. London, 1971                                        
Howard, Robert West,                                   

THE HORSE IN AMERICA                                               

Catlin, George,                                                                                                         

NORTH AMERICAN INDIANS, 2 Volumes                                                                   
Hudson, W.H.,            


Churchill, Peter,                                                                                                       

THE WORLD ATLAS OF HORSES AND PONIES, Crescent Bks, NY 1980                        
Jackson, Jack,             


Cianoll, Luici,

HORSES AND HORSEMANSHIP THROUGH THE AGES                                       
Kane, Harnett T.,


Cook, James H.,

FIFTY YEARS OF THE FRONTIER                                                                     
Laughlin, Ruth,

                                                                                                  CABALLEROS THE ROMANCE OF SANTE FE

Covs, Elliott,

ZEUBULO M. PIKE IN YEARS 1805-06-07, 2 Volumes                                   
Lewis, Merithea and Clark, William, (edited by Elliot Covs)


3 Volumes

Dary, David,                                                                                                            

COWBOY CULTURE                                                                                               

THE EPIC OF MAN, Time Incorporated, NY, 1961

Daumas, General E.,                                                                                                 

THE HORSES OF THE SAHARA, Univ. of Texas Press, 1968                                              
Magoffin, Susan Shelby,    


Dent, Anthony,                                                                                                       

Maclean, Fitzroy,


Brown & Co, Boston/Toronto, 1976

Dodge, Colonel Richard Irving,                                                                                                                                                                         

OUR WILD INDIANS                                                                                 
McEvedy, Colin,                                                                       


Dodge, Therodore Aurault,                                                                                    
Books, Hong Kong, 1961    

RIDERS OF MANY LANDS                                                                                                                                                    



McEvedy, Colin,                                                                                                      
Trippett, Frank,

THE PENQUIN ATLAS OF ANCIENT HISTORY,                                                               
THE FIRST HORSEMEN, Time-Life Books, NY, 1974

Penquin Books, Great Britain, 1967

VanDoren, Mark, edited by

Mohr, Dr. Erna,                                                                                                       


Daphne M. Goodall, J.A. Allen, London, 1971                                                        
Vernman, Glenn R.,  

THE RAWHIDE YEARS                                  

Moorehead, Max L.,                

NEW MEXICOS ROYAL ROAD AND DOWN INTO                                                  
Vernman, Glenn R.,

CHINVAHVA TRAIL                                                                                     

Morgan, Dall L.,                                                                                                      
Verner, John Grier and Jeannete (translated and edited)

JEDIAH SMITH   THE OPENING OF THE WEST                                                             


Myers, Sandra L.,                                                                                                     
Weiss, Pola,

THE RANCH IN SPANISH TEXAS                                                                    
A PAGEANT OF HORSES, Minerva, Geneve, 1974

Nevins, Allan,                                                                                                          Wellman, Paul I.,

FREEMONT PATHFINDER OF THE WEST                                                             

Otero, Miguel Antonio,                                                                                  
Wellman, Paul I.,

MY LIFE ON THE FRONTIER, 2 V volumes                                                   
DEATH ON HORSEBACK                                                    

Osborne, Walter D. and Johnson, Patricia H.,                                                                              Willoughby, David P.,

THE TREASURY OF HORSES, Golden Press, NY, 1966                                       
THE EMPIRE OF EQUIS, A.S. Barnes and Co., Inc., NJ, 1974

Pardo, Antonio,

THE WORLD OF ANCIENT SPAIN, Minerva, S.A./Geneve, 1976

Raswan, Carl,

BLACK TENTS OF ARABIA, Farrar, Straus & Giroux, NY, 1935

Raswas, Carl,                                                                                                            

DRINKERS OF THE WIND, Ariel Books, NY, 1971                                                     


Rouse, John E.,

THE CRIOLLO:  SPANISH CATTLE IN THE AMERICAS,                                            

University of OK Press, USA, 1977                                                                           

Santee, Ross,                                                                                                            

MEN AND HORSES                                                                                                      

Smith, Bradley,                                                                                                        

THE HORSE IN THE WEST, Leon Amiel, Publisher, NY, 1969                                                                                 

Steffen, Randy,                                                                                                        

HORSEMEN THROUGH CIVILIZATION, The Western Horseman, 1967                           

Stout, Joseph Jr.,                                                                                                      

APACHE LIGHTNING                                                                                            

Streeter, Floyd Benjamin,                                                                                                

PAN HANDLE PLAINS HISTORICAL REVIEW 3                                                                    

Sweet, Alex U.,                                                                                                        

ON A MEXICAN MUSTANG ACROSS TEXAS IN 1883                                            

Templeton, Sardis W.,                          


Terrel, John,



Edited by Bundesministerum Fur Land,

Und Forstwirtschaft, Vienna, 1967

Time-Life Books,                                                                                                                    


Times Books Limited,


Maplewood, NJ, 1980

I have been 75 years assembling the material needed for this History on the Mustang.  I
never borrowed books or checked books out of a Library all my life.  If I needed information
I could find in a book, I bought it!  For 75 years I have collected books for my personal
library in which all the information in this article was found.  Find books listed as follows.