Unbridled: The Western Horse in Fiction and Nonfiction

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9781592286706: Unbridled: The Western Horse in Fiction and Nonfiction
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The Western horse has transcended divisions of race, culture, gender, and age to become an American icon. Without it--and the stories it inspires--the West would be impoverished. While much has been written about and by cowboys and the West, no other anthology exists that focuses exclusively on the animal itself.

How Joyous His Neigh has assembled some of the best Western horse stories ever written. The Western horse is seen and described from a variety of perspectives. These are the stories of ranchers, cowboys, soldiers, hunters, trappers, Plains Indians, vaqueros, pioneer women, and even a president. Many of them are well known; some are waiting to be discovered. The unifying sentiment is their respect for and admiration of this most remarkable animal.

A long line of commercial successes--from Black Beauty, The Horse Whisperer, and All the Pretty Horses, to Seabiscuit, and the newly released Hidalgo--proves that the "personalized horse story" is more than a fluke. It also demonstrates that the circle of aficionados encompasses more than just Quarter Horse owners or rodeo fans. While the success of some of these stories may in part be due to their human characters, horses play an important role in all of them.

This anthology includes thirty-two selections, spanning the traditional short story, reminiscence, folk tale, journalistic and historical sketch, and mythology. They speak of an entire landscape, of a way of life now almost obsolete. Writers include such well-known luminaries as Mark Twain, Sir Thomas Seton, Theodore Roosevelt, and Zane Grey, along with the modern Western voices of Thomas McGuane, Mark Spragg, and Linda Hasselstrom.

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From the Back Cover:

Native American myths, songs, and rituals speak of people's longstanding reverence for an animal re-introduced to the Americas by the Spanish, an animal that has become symbolic of The Frontier, like the bison, grizzly, or wolf.
More than just a means of transportation, the Western horse has powered our imagination. It has transcended divisions of race, class, age, and gender, to become an American icon. Popular culture and countless works of art have immortalized it. Without it, the West would be impoverished, lacking in the stories that continue to shape our identity.
Unbridled is the first literary compilation focusing entirely on this tough and charismatic breed. Edited by outdoors educator and horseman Michael Engelhard, it represents the best of equestrian writing with contributions by ranchers, cowboys, wranglers, artists, journalists, soldiers, vaqueros, Native Americans, Western women, and even a president. This is a book for enthusiasts of wide-open spaces and the people and creatures inhabiting them.

About the Author:

Michael Engelhard is the author of Canyonlands: Colors of Silence and Where the Rain Children Sleep: A Sacred Geography of the Colorado Plateau. He is the editor of Hell's Half Mile: River Runners' Tales of Hilarity and Misadventure. His writing has appeared in Plateau Journal and Interdisciplinary Studies of Literature. He lives in Moab, Utah.

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Published by Lyons Press (2005)
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