Remington Cowboy
It was in this environment my father grew to manhood, among cowboys,
outlaws and wild Indians just across Red River in the Indian Territory.
He saw thousands of mustangs rode by cowboys in the cattle drives near
his home. At that time, buffalo hunters were exterminating the great herds
just west of where he lived. Wagon after wagon were passing his father's
house, loaded with buffalo hides going to Fort Worth to market. The
Comanche Indians were still off and on their reservation, occasionally
raiding in Texas, riding their fancy fleet pinto ponies. However, their
freedom was nearing an end as their source of food, the buffalo, was
practically killed out. The government was turning the land over to the
white man and determined that the Indians would become reservation
farmers. The Army had already slaughtered thousands of their ponies,
which the Indians prized above everything else.
OK Land Run
In early 1900, the government opened up a vast
area for settlement by drawing in Indian
Territory. My father rode to Fort Sill, Indian
Territory (now Oklahoma) and was quite lucky
in drawing 160 acres of land just across Red
River from where he was raised.
He told of seeing, while on this trip, about fifty Indian boys, 8 to 14 years old, riding their ponies of
every color from the top of a hill to a cache creek about half a mile away. They would ride single
file at full speed up to the creek bank and dive off their ponies into a deep hole of water. Their
ponies would run off a short distance and start grazing, waiting for their riders to return. No doubt
these boys looked forward to someday being buffalo hunters and warriors. I think my father telling
me this true story kindled my desire in later years to own a colorful mustang band
My grandfather, a Civil War Confederate cavalry man, left the Jessie and
Frank James outlaw country in Missouri in
1872. He drove his covered wagon,
pulled by four Steel Dust mares, to north Texas, locating at Spanish Fort,
almost on the banks of Red River. In that very place, H.J. Justin started his
famous frontier cowboy boots shop, near Red River Station, the beginning of
Chisholm Trail. Justin's handmade boots were in great demand by cowboys
driving north thousands of Longhorn cattle out of Texas to Kansas cow towns
with rail heads.
"The History of
Medicine Springs Mustangs"
By Gilbert H Jones
My father married my mother in Texas and moved immediately to the homestead he had won. My
mother's family had moved from Mississippi to Texas in a covered wagon in 1880. My grandmother
was part Cherokee Indian and both my grandfathers were life-long breeders of running horses. So I
think I inherited my love for horses honest.

I was born on my father's homestead in Indian Territory, November 10,
1906. The country was soon
getting settled up and my father started moving west when I was seven years old. I was the only
child and my father taught me very young to ride, swim, shoot guns and drive teams. I started
riding at six years old on a black mustang cross gelding named Old Tough, my father's pet saddle
horse. These were the essentials of life for boys in that day and time. My mother was a very good
horsewoman; she rode and drove teams all her life. I owned my first horse when I was ten years old.
My uncle gave me a little mare named Susie, a
900 lbs. Coyote dun Indian Territory mustang. She
had blood in her veins to be proud of; her dam was a Coyote dun Texas mustang and her sire was a
sorrel 850 lbs, 13.3 hand Comanche Indian pony named Old Harry. This was the horse that won the
160 acre homestead in northern Indian Territory in the early day land run. This stallion was fast
and had stamina to hold it for miles. When I was growing up, my mother's brother was breaking
many mustangs and Standardbred/Mustang crosses. He gave me all his old horse training books and
always told me that mustangs and Indian ponies were the world's best long distance endurance
horses. No doubt this was a great influence on me liking mustangs.
By the time I was fourteen years old, I had ridden every mile from where I was born at Hastings,
then Oklahoma, to the New Mexico border on Susie. Our first move was from Hastings to Judd,
Texas on the Brazos River. I drove a small herd of cattle behind my father's covered wagon. We only
stayed there two years. My father decided to move on west to Seagraves, Texas on the New Mexico
border, which was on Llano Estacado. So I drove a larger herd this time on the same mare behind
the same covered wagon. These moves were made in dead of winter with snow storms, blizzards and
sand storms to face. A boy had to take life as it came in those days to help his family survive.

Seagraves was a new town that the Santa Fe Railroad had built a branch to, for shipping the vast
herds of cattle driven out of New Mexico and all directions from Texas. At that time, it was the
largest cattle shipping point in the United States. It was truly a land of cowboys and mustang
horses. These big ranches all had cowboys working for them with a reputation as being top bronc
riders. Between the different ranches that had the best riders, there was naturally quite a rivalry
and the one main street in Seagraves was where the contests were settled, while the vast herds were
being held awaiting cattle cars.
In 1963, Ed Phillips of Kansas City brought down to Bob a very outstanding grullo stallion he had
bought from Bob a few years before, while Bob lived in Gusher. This stallion was sired by Buckshot
and a very outstanding mare by the name of Little Buck, SMR #
17. Ed Phillips thought he was too
small. He carried Rim Rock back and left this grullo stallion on the range at Medicine Springs
Ranch. He was never recaptured. I did get some colts out of him. When Bob moved back to the
Cayuse Ranch, he gave me the stallion. The great old purple roan mare, Teton, SMR #24 died here,
leaving me an orphan filly by Chief Pushmataha, SMR #
47. Bob gave this filly to my wife, who hand
raised the foal. She was registered as Orphan, SMR #
249. The grullo stallion, Jack, SMR #59 also
died here.
The Llano Estacado was called the staked plains by Coronados
conquistadores and so named from the cane-like stem growing out of the
center of the many yucca plants, which were locally called
bear grass. These stems had the appearance of stakes driven into the ground.
The vast plains, almost as level as a dance hall floor,
were devoid of any trees. For centuries, it had been the favorite buffalo
hunting ground of wild Comanche and Kiowa Indians, called the lords of the
southern plains. It was truly a land of mustangs, buffaloes
and the dreaded lobo wolves.
Bear Grass
Laguna Sabino was eight miles east of where we lived. It was the biggest of several salt lakes,
covering ten sections of land. It was covered with about two inches of salt brine water. All around
the edge were rough brakes with thousands of diamond back rattlesnakes, fossil rocks and scrubby
cedar trees. At each end of the lake were clear, fresh water springs where the Indians got their
supply of drinking water, and water for their hundreds of ponies and mules. This was also a very big
Indian burial and campground for centuries where the famous Indian, Chief Quanah Parker was
born in
1849.

For centuries, the Indian carried on a trade at Laguna Sabino with the comancheros of New Mexico.
These were a very unscrupulous bunch of renegades who would trade guns and ammunition for
stolen mules, horses, and cattle as well as captured Indian women and children. These would be sold
as slaves in New Mexico. And no questions asked as anything once on Llano Estacado was out of
reach of the long arm of the Texas Rangers.

New Mexico had an agreement with the Indians for this trade and this domain was a barrier between
the hated Texans, known as Tejanos and New Mexico. For many years, no white man dared
penetrate this desolate and supposedly waterless country. As a matter of fact, the sources of water
were unknown by anybody except the Indians who had camped at Laguna Sabino and the
comancheros of New Mexico, who had plain trails marked deep going back and forth from New
Mexico to Texas. One company of soldiers, trying to explore this desolate area, lost several men from
thirst. All over this treeless plain were small, dry lakes caused from buffaloes wallowing in the same
spot for centuries. In these dry lakes grew the hairy loco weed that was so deadly to livestock,
especially horses, as stockmen found out when the country began to settle up with white people.
There was one wet year in five usually that these lakes would fill up with water.
It was in this atmosphere that I grew to manhood and at seventeen, I began acquiring the mustang
blood I have today. Although as my mustang experience unfolds, the reader will see that, at several
stages in my life, I have been almost wiped out of the blood I started with, but never completely,
always having a few of the original blood left.  At seventeen, I traded a bull for a very old,
well-trained mustang stallion. He had been an iron grey, but had turned white. He weighed 800 lbs.
and stood 14 hands. I believe he was as pure a mustang as ever lived.
At that time, many little iron grey ponies were scattered over the country, the grey being one of the
Barb horse colors.  I bred my first little mare, Susie, that I had ridden to that country, to this grey
stallion, named Grey Eagle. The result was one of the nicest fillies I ever saw. She was a palomino
color, then called claybank, speedy and really had cow sense. I named her Blondie and she was a
natural running walker. I was also buying and trading for a few outstanding mares. Horses were
cheap at that time and though money was hard for me to get, I was slowly accumulating what I
thought to be the purest in the country
Grey Eagle had died, but not before I got one more filly out of him and Susie. I named her Little
Coalie because she was black as a crow, with one white sock on a rear foot. Her mane and tail were
long and heavy. Then Susie died of old age as well. At this time, I traded a .30-.30 saddle gun for an
old, highly trained roping stallion named Baldy Sox. He was an apron faced bay roan, with four
white socks with dark eyes and eyelids. I bred him to Blondie, getting a red roan filly I named
Comanche Squaw. The next year, I got a blood bay filly from Little Coalie and Baldy Sox; naming
her Miss Comanchero. About this time, Baldy Sox died with blind staggers. I had traded for Old
Dunny Boy as a two year old; he was the best stallion I ever owned. He was a true buckskin, no
stripes with a black mane and tail and a silver overlay. His mane was long and heavy and he had
roan hair at the base of his tail, a big, bald face, glass (blue) eyes with dark eyelids, big mustache
and pin ears that at times almost touched at the tips. Old Dunny Boy had a very small muzzle with
very crescent nostrils and a heavy jaw. He had no chestnuts on his legs and he stood 14 hands,
weighing 925 lbs. His sire was a perfect red roan and the dam was a bay pinto overo Indian pony. I
considered his breeding the very best. I had bought and traded for three of the best mares I had
ever seen before or since. Their names were the Bobtail Dun, a honey-colored true buckskin; the
Gotch-eared Dun, a true claybank as classified today and Laguna Sabino, a sorrel and white pinto. I
had also bought a mare I named Miss Staked Plains; she was a rare brown grulla color.
By this time, I had married. We lived on Llano Estacado for thirteen years. The country was getting
fenced up and we were ready for greener pastures over the hill with big open range. We loaded our
stock, household goods, wagons and enough barbed wire to fence a section of land on three
semi-truck trailers and headed for Horse Springs, New Mexico, locating at the foot of Horse Peak. We
moved into the big open range in Bear Canyon. The altitude where our log house set was
7,800 feet
with pine trees 80 feet high in the yard. I saw three pine trees burning near the house at one time,
struck by lightening, which seemed to be right on the ground.

I unloaded my mustangs at Horse Springs on April 26th,
1935 and drove them twelve miles on the
27th through the mountains to Bear Canyon. They were fat and shed off slick. On May 6th, it came
twelve inches of snow and it was deadly cold. Fourteen head died in twenty-four hours. I was sure
ready to move to a warmer climate. The mustangs stood it better than the other stock, but I only
saved Old Dunny Boy, five mustang mares, one Spanish jack and two jennets. In five years, I had
rebuilt to twenty-five head of pure mustangs, three Spanish jacks and nine jennets. I lost several
head of stock from lightening.
My wife held what stock we had left together with my two under school age daughters, in this
remote wild country, as I was away working to make ends meet. If she hadn't been the pioneer type,
the years I had spent accumulating my mustangs would all be lost. At that time, cattle were very
cheap and every cowman in that country owed more money than it looked possible to ever pay. It
was practically impossible to sell any horse. What mustangs I had were badly locoed. My two
daughters were becoming school aged so it was time to move again. I hired two semi-trailer trucks
and moved all our stock and household furniture to a place I had leased one half mile west of the
Rio Grande River, directly west of Albuquerque, New Mexico with open range for 40 miles.

Here I had the most disastrous luck with my stock I have ever had in six months time, all my stock
was either dead or locoed so bad they were practically worthless. This time, it was from eating the
roots of rattle weed loco in the winter time. It was a sandy land and the mustangs would paw down
in sand, locating the green roots. The rattle weed loco was much more poisonous than hairy loco I
knew in Texas. I only saved four mustang mares, Old Dunny Boy, one jack and jennet. I was some
forty miles north of the old Romero Ranch which had been raising mustangs for over 100 years.
Some thirty years later, my friend, Susan Field, started the Spanish Barb Breeders Association with
the Romero blood and the help of Ilo Belsky and Bob Brislawn's Buckshot (SMR-1) blood.
I moved east of Albuquerque at Tijeras, New Mexico, in the Sandia Mountains on 35,000 open acres
range. My mares were so locoed and I was getting very few colts but I did get a few colts from Old
Dunny Boy before he died. However, a big rancher from Texas had given me a real old Coyote dun
stallion that was foaled in deep south Texas supposedly around
1916, named Little Buck. He had
been used on big ranches as a cutting horse; he had never been overworked and had been taken
good care of. He had a big, white spot under his belly and occasionally sired snow white foals with
coal black eyes. He was a true old south Texas Spanish horse. I got a few outstanding colts out of
him before he was shot by hunters. He sired an outstanding stallion named Zebra Dun, whose dam
was The Gotch-Eared Mare. He was the finest mustang stallion I had ever owned up to that time. He
had every stripe known to Spanish Horses and was a true mustang in every respect.
In 1955, I got a letter from Bob Brislawn in Veterans Hospital in South Dakota. He said my old
friend, Ilo Belsky, had given him my address as a mustang breeder. I had corresponded with Ilo since
1936, and at that time, his address was Tuthill, South Dakota. He had been breeding a strain of
horses that came up from Texas trail to that country in
1885. By 1936, he had bred them up to
perfection with conformation like the old Spanish Ginete of Spain. They were mostly grulla, blue
roan and dun colors, and he called them Spanish Barbs. I had hopes of getting a stallion from him.
Bob Brislawn stated in his letter that his oldest son, Emmett, was in the Army and would be out
soon. He hoped to turn the Cayuse Ranch over to him and come down to New Mexico and inspect
some mustangs. He also said he had hopes of starting a mustang registry to preserve and record
what pure ones that were left for future generations to see. So, in September of
1956, Bob, Emmett,
Colleen and Shane Brislawn showed up at my home near Tijeras. We went out and looked at my
little band of mustangs. Bob pronounced the four-year-old Zebra Dun stud one of the best he had
ever seen. Emmett went on back to the Cayuse Ranch (Wyoming) and Bob rented a house and started
Colleen and Shane to school in Albuquerque. His oldest daughter, Dipper, also came down and
stayed awhile. We saw the Brislawns every two or three nights in the week. For the next year and a
half, they stayed at Tijeras. Bob had a box of pictures of his and other mustangs. Bob wrote to
Ferdinand L. Brislawn, his older brother, living in Casper, Wyoming to bring down a small truck
load of mustangs from Cayuse Ranch. There was no doubt that Ferdinand had, at that time, the
biggest band of War Bonnet and Medicine Hat mustangs in the world. So in about ten days, Ferdy
arrived with several mares and the stallion, Ute and later registered in the Spanish Mustang
Registry as #2 stallion. Ferdy bought Buckshot, registered later as SMR #1, and Ute from Monty
Holbrook, the famous mustanger who raised these two horses from the famous Montie stallion (and
an Indian mare, registered as Bally, SMR #3), that he had caught in the Book Cliff Mountains of
southern Utah.
Ferdy kept Ute as he told me because Ute got more color and that he
was the best of the two colts. Ferdy always bred for color and he gave
Buckshot to Bob. Buckshot and Ute were full brothers and the main
SMR foundation stallions.
Ute
As soon as I saw Ute, I fell in love with him, as I had never seen northern mustangs before, with the
heavier bone, ram nose and much blockier than the southwestern mustangs I was raised with. I tried
to buy Ute, but Ferdy said no. He would in no way sell him or give him to me, but would let me keep
him until he died. When he was SMR registered, the papers were made out to Ferdy, but he gave
them to me and said, "Handle Ute as if he belonged to you." Ute died at Medicine Springs, Oklahoma
in
1962. It has been stated that Ferdy carried Ute to Gusher, Utah, but Ute never saw Utah. I had him
in my possession before Ferdinand moved to Gusher.
About a week after Ferdy went back to Casper, Wyoming, I was riding the Zebra Dun around a
narrow trail on a very steep mountain slope near my house, leading a very snaky Spanish mule that
was tied hard and fast to the saddle horn. The Zebra Dun was very bad to buck; he started bucking
off this trail with the mule setting back. The mountain was almost straight down. He went down
about a hundred yards and suddenly fell on his side, kicked about two or three times and was dead.
So this left me with Ute as my only mustang stallion.
In 1956 and 1957, Bob and I looked at many mustangs in New Mexico. While Ferdy was down, I went
with him and Bob when they went up to Cedro village in the Manzano Mountains. They bought the
old mare, Cedro, registered as SMR #
29, from a Spaniard. Then my old cowboy friend, Raymond
Meeks, located the famous Medicine Hat stallion at the San Domingo Indian village on the San
Domingo Reservation. Bob bought him and registered him as San Domingo, SMR #4. The man who
founded the Ponies Of The Americas, from Mason City, Iowa, was buying Navajo's ponies for
foundation stock from my friend, Homer Autry, a big horse dealer. They were shipping the horses in
box cars and holding them in Santa Fe railroad stock pens in Albuquerque. So we inspected many
true Indian ponies that came right off the Navajo Indian Reservation. Larry Richards, the university
professor who was helping Bob to get the mustang registry founded, had written to me, saying that
he thought that between Bob Brislawn, Ilo Belsky and myself, we had enough mustangs to get a
registry started. Larry did come down to see me and I sent him the Zebra Dun stallion skull and also
his dam's skull, The Gotch-Eared Dun mare. (My neighbor was killing my mustangs and selling the
meat in Albuquerque for human consumption.) Larry was making up a collection of mustang skulls
for study. He had lived in Hawaii and knew the native Hawaiian ponies with hooves so hard that
even riding on the lava rocks, they had never been shod. We even thought of importing a few to cross
with our mustangs. As it turned out, all I had to do with founding SMR was registering two mares,
since between loco weed and my neighbor butchering my horses, I was about out of breeding
mustangs again.
In 1958, we moved to Finley, Oklahoma, leaving the loco, alkali, snow banks, poison water and the
five year drought behind, bringing what few mustang mares I had, Ute, my only stallion; one Spanish
jack and jennet; a few saddle and work mules; furniture and wagons. I bought Medicine Springs, ten
miles back in the Kiamichi Mountains with one and a half million acres of Big Timber Company
open range to graze by permits. I have always run my stock on open range as I don't like to be
fenced in. I talked to several very old men, including Indians, the first six months I was there.
Several of these men had at one time run several hundred Choctaw ponies, using native stallions,
and I found out at one time that there were hundreds of wild Choctaws here. But when the tick
eradication program was imposed here, every wild pony was shot, except a very few they couldn't
kill. So it was about the same old story as in all places I had lived before. The mustang or Choctaw
pony was on its way out; the only difference was that southeast Oklahoma still had real big open
range and the country was more backward, allowing the native horses to remain in certain areas
until the
1960s.
I did buy a few good mares and one outstanding stallion named
Chief Kiamichi, aka Rooster. He ran back to the Lock Indian
Choctaws brought here in the Trail of Tears. He was a buckskin and
white pinto. Today, he is the most sought after strain I have for
endurance races.
Chief Kiamichi
Buyers began coming and buying all the nice little ponies and
hauling them out of the country. In the spring of
1958, Bob and
Emmett Brislawn came down to look at the Choctaws and they were
impressed with what they saw. Emmett traded for the great sorrel
stallion, Choctaw, SMR #66, and used him over his mares at Cayuse
Ranch.
Choctaw
I had located Chief Pushmataha and checked his pedigrees. When
Bob saw him he pronounced him as the best appaloosa Indian
stallion he had seen in forty years. (Bob and Ferdinand were raised
among Nez Perce Indians and were plenty knowledgeable to judge.)
Bob and I bought him jointly in partnership.

Emmett had moved to Lovelock, Nevada, taking Chief Pushmataha
with him, so I only got one crop of colts from Pushmataha as he was
never back in Oklahoma again.
Chief Pushmataha
At this time, Bob and Emmett were moving to Gusher, Utah.
Ferdinand hired Red Clark and Emmett to catch some outstanding
mustangs out of the Book Cliff Mountains. These were Four Lane,
SMR #
175, a blue corn stallion; Syndicate, SMR #100, and several
pure mares. Red Clark's father, a famous mustanger, had caught
mustangs in the Gusher area since
1907, which gave Bob and Ferdy
a better knowledge of purity of horses in that area. Bob later moved
to Nevada, to a newly built ghost town named Sundown Town,
carrying some of his horses for dudes to ride.
For Lane
Sydicate

In about a year, Bob moved back to Gusher. He wrote me that he was
out of grass, so I wrote and told him to bring all his horses down. He
brought the following stallions: San Domingo, SMR #4; Straight
Arrow, SMR #5; Jack, SMR #
59; Rim Rock, SMR #158 (Romero blood)
and Syndicate, SMR #100. Buckshot, SMR #1, had died at Gusher in
1960 and Ute, SMR #2, died here in 1962. So I was getting about out
of mustang stallions when Bob arrived with most of his early
stallions. So I had the use of these stallions until Bob went back to
the Cayuse Ranch in
1964.
San Domingo
Jack
"The History of
Medicine Springs Mustangs"
By Gilbert H Jones