by Hope Ryden
In the public library the other day I started browsing, and picked up several more books on wild horses. This one caught my eye because of the great photography; it wasn't until I sat down to read it that I realized it's juvenile non-fiction. Still well-written and enjoyable; I even learned some new things.
Wild Horses I Have Known describes experiences the author had observing and photographing wild horses. Most of the brief chapters describe behavior, survival tactics and social organization of the horses. The last chapter explains that horses are not really a non-native species brought to the American continent by Spaniards, but were actually re-introduced. Horses were once native to North America, evolving "from tiny Eohippus to might Equus, the true horse" which roamed across North America for two million years before becoming extinct. I had no idea.
I also learned that bachelor stallions who don't yet have their own mares will sometimes hang around a mare who has left her herd to give birth, then make off with the mare and new foal to start his own herd. That stallions will not only rescue mares that have been appropriated by other stallions, but also go after foals which have gone astray. And the most curious incident Ryden observed was during a skirmish between a stallion and a group of young bachelors, when the stallion knocked one of the yearlings off his feet, and then instead of biting him, pulled hair out of his mane!
Rating: 3/5 Published: 1999, pp 90