The Lakota Indian tribe, who once lived in the rugged southwestern North Dakota, used to have hundreds of horses. These horses were tough with a lot of stamina. Tey had to be, because southwestern North Dakota was barren with the little vegetation it did have being rough prairie grass.
In 1881, the Lakota's leader, Sitting Bull, had to surrender both his land and his horses to the U.S. Army, who later sold the 250 of the latter to French aristocrat Marquis de Mores. Marquis de Mores released the herd onto his land near the town of Medora, hoping to breed the horses. His plans were cut short, though, when he died in 1896, and many of his horses were rounded up and sold.
|Nokota mares credit|
Some of the horses had not been gathered, leaving herds in North Dakota. When the Theodore Roosevelt National Park was founded there in the 1950s, it was decided that wild or feral equines remaining would not be allowed to stay, so the horses were removed and slaughtered. By the '80s, many of the original horses had been slaughtered, and other breeds were added to the area: Arabians, Quarter Horses, mustangs, and a part-Shire horse.
To prevent the horses from becoming extinct due to crossbreeding or slaughter, Leo and Frank Kuntz, residents of Linton, North Dakota, purchased as many of the horses as possible and began building support for the breed, which they thought to be related to Spanish mustangs.They dubbed the breed Nokota and decided not to release them back into the wild because the remaining horses in the park were all cross-breeds.
|Nokotas can even do dressage. credit|
Breed Description and Uses
Nokotas are large-boned horses, standing only 14.2 to 15 hands high, and have tough hooves, strong legs, prominant withers, and sloping shoulders and croups. They have medium-sized heads, often with slightly concave profiles. Usually, the Nokota's coat is some kind of roan, such as blue roan, strawberry roan, bay roan, or black roan.
Nokotas are used for both English and western riding, including dressage and ranch work.
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After nearly a year of consistantly blogging 5-6 days a week, I have now reached 300 posts. Yay!