Great Plains Studies, Center for


Date of this Version

Fall 2012


Great Plains Research, Volume 22, Number 2, Fall 2012, p 207.


© Copyright 2012 by the Center for Great Plains Studies, University of Nebraska-Lincoln


A combination of myth and reality, the American West evokes images that feature the mustang as a central player. By using oral histories, books, and images, Hockensmith provides meaningful insight into how the mustang weaves together history and culture. He acknowledges his book is not a regurgitation of historical facts. Rather, it seeks to captures the essence of how one animal evokes cultural values over time.

Spanish Mustangs can also be read as a cautionary tale. Throughout, there is an implied superiority of the Spanish mustang in comparison to the Others. the disparate feral horses that currently roam the Great Plains. Hockensmith comingles pictures and stories of both types of mustang whose ultimate survival will be determined by the actions of their human counterparts.