The ~Texas~ Mustang Project's Blog

Working for better management options and cohabitation through compromise and communication for the American Wild Mustang

Back in 1861… From the Salt Lake Tribune, June 25, 2010

Posted by Texas Mustang Project on June 26, 2010

Updated Jun 25, 2010 07:13PM

Last week, as the Pony Express riders raced northeast from Nevada toward Eagle Mountain and then Salt Lake City as part of the 150th anniversary celebration, my friend and I slowly caught up with them south of Dugway in the west desert about 7:45 p.m. 

Off in the distance, a beautiful wild horse stallion with a flaxen mane and tail spied the Pony Express rider dismounting his horse on the dust covered road. Surprisingly, the stallion turned his whole herd of horses to charge toward the Pony Express crew of horses, trucks, people and horse trailers in the evening glow. We all held our breath as the wild herd raced at full gallop toward us. 

As they got closer, I nervously wondered where the news cameras were to photograph such a confrontation. I imagined the Pony Express of 2010 being chased by wild horses, not Indians. What a story. 

Then, like a bolt of lightning, the wild herd of horses stopped abruptly and defiantly studied us, as we studied them. “Go back,” they seemed to say. Time stopped for an instant, and I did go back. It was 1861. 

Linda Turner, Salt Lake City 

(Note: I attempted to send this message directly to Ms. Turner via the Salt Lake Tribune’s website. However, I was informed that I was registered as a “known spammer” and therefore would not be allowed to register to comment or to send the message. Hmmm. Guess it’s a good thing I have my own website. T.) 

Ms. Turner,  
     I have to say that I am somewhat envious of you. This must have been a magnificent sight. However, even with my own belief of being born in the wrong time, I can’t say that I agree with your interpretation of the message your group received from the herd. “Go back,” yes, they wanted your group to go back, but not back in time. Go back to where you came from. Get off their land. Get out of their house. Your kind (mankind) have tormented, harassed, and disrupted their lives far too much.  
     I have no doubt that this stud rallied his entire family to charge your group with a fierceness that rivals the strongest forcing winds. Likely, he was taking a stand for what was rightfully his: everything and everywhere your group was even remotely close to on that range. His family was more than willing to be rallied because they are tired of losing their family members, their homes, their way of life, and most importantly they are tired of losing their heritage.  
     Just like your Pony Express riders were trying to preserve their own heritage and keep the spirit of the Pony Express alive and in the hearts and minds of this far too disrespectful society, the True Spirit of the West is desperately trying to preserve theirs. Unfortunately, they cannot express their anger in words as we can. Therefore, they will charge the line.  
     Thank you for sharing this experience with us. It represents a great deal to the Wild Horse and Burro Advocates. I only hope that it will remain in your heart and mind as a reminder of what could be lost and not re-enacted. 
Tracie Lynn Thompson 
Owner & Lead Instructor
Lessons Learned Equine Instruction
The Mustang Project
Working for Better Management Options and Cohabitation Through Compromise and Communication for the American Wild Mustang



8 Responses to “Back in 1861… From the Salt Lake Tribune, June 25, 2010”



  2. Linda, I have just been through this area twice this spring. It is great horse range. I have seen wild horses here going back 12 years. This is a wonderful image. Thanks. They are truly a wonder to see in their element; Our Wild Horses! mar

  3. Linda said

    Thanks so much, Linda & T. I use creative visualization imaging to bring me up when I’m down, and a mental movie of this untamed herd is certainly among the best

  4. sandra longley said

    spoken straight from the wild horses heart! Somehow they know their days are numbered as their bodies are numbered with brands, the way prisoners are numbered in concentratin camps..Remember the storey in Frank Dobies book of the stallion who defied capture with his band and instead chose to go off the cliff to his death..Maybe that is the choice they would make, we will never know as we try to save them.

  5. sandra longley said

    A KNOWN SPAMMER!!!..LOL….word gets around..spam and eggs????



  7. Roxy said

    T. stands for Tracie – forgive my error on an earlier article, I’m still learning the players.

    Beautiful piece and letter.

    I wonder, did they not have cameras to capture such an event?

  8. sandra longley said

    I think about the stallion, Freedom, often and remember my heart in my throat-not knowing whether he was going to kill himself or escape to that momment it sealed forever in my mind what freedom meant to that wild horse and the will he had..may he be- forever free- and sire many colts with his spirit, and I will always remember him on the fourth of july as the true embodiment of ‘freedom”

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