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  • Writer's pictureNotes From The Frontier

The Comanche and The Horse

Updated: Feb 25, 2023

The Comanche were one of the first tribes to acquire the horse from the Spanish, through trade and raiding. They considered the horse a relative and a great gift from the Creator.

Today the image of Indians on horseback is iconic. But Native Americans never set eyes on a horse before the 1400s when Europeans brought them to the New World as a weapon of conquest. The Comanche and other native peoples adapted the horse as a powerful ally in the fight to protect their land and way of life.

The Comanche consider the horse a relative and a gift from the Creator. With the horse, they became one of the greatest Native warrior cultures in North America and built one of the most extensive indigenous empires on the continent before their culture was nearly wiped out be white colonialism.

Watch this wonderful five-minute video (link below) about the Comanche and the horse, produced by PBS as part of their Native America series that first aired in 2018.


"The Comanche and The Horse" originally posted on Facebook and on March 8, 2020

143,265 views / 2,656 likes / 1,965 shares

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37,242 views3 comments


joe Guerrero
joe Guerrero
Dec 16, 2023

If you to strip away the European European narrative and listen to the Native People's oral history then you learn that the Native People had horses long before the Europeans came to the America's. Native People had horses in the northeast of the US when Europeans came off the boats. When they crossed into Kentucky and Tennessee Native People had horses,gaited horses! The settlers coveted these horses and traded and bred them.


Notes From The Frontier
Notes From The Frontier
Feb 09, 2021

Thanks so much for your comment, Enor. Yes, that’s what my research indicates also. Lewis and Clark wrote in their journals of 1804-1806 that the Nez Perce’s horse husbandry techniques were far superior to whites & that their gelding techniques were far more efficient and the horses mended quickly and with no infection, compared to white techniques. They asked the Nez Perce to geld a number of their stallions.


Enor Martinez
Enor Martinez
Feb 09, 2021

The Indigenous people in the Americas were quite adept with horses from the moment they came in contact with them. That is what I gather from all I have read about them in North America and South America. I bought a book while I was in Argentina about the horse in South America after colonization. Natives seem to use the training methods that are more in line with how horses are handled these days


Deborah Hufford

Author, Notes from the Frontier

Deborah Hufford is an award-winning author and magazine editor with a passion for history. Her popular blog with 100,000+ readers has led to an upcoming novel! Growing up as an Iowa farmgirl, rodeo queen and voracious reader, her love of land, lore and literature fired her writing muse. With a Bachelor's in English and Master's in Journalism from the University of Iowa, she taught students of Iowa's Writer's Workshop, then at Northwestern University, Marquette and Mount Mary. Her extensive publishing career began at Better Homes & Gardens, includes credits in New York Times Magazine, New York Times, Connoisseur, many other titles, and serving as publisher of The Writer's Handbook


Deeply devoted to social justice, especially for veterans, women, and Native Americans, she has served on boards and donated her fundraising skills to Chief Joseph Foundation, Missing & Murdered Indigenous Women (MMIW), Homeless Veterans Initiative, Humane Society, and other nonprofits.  


Deborah's soon-to-be released historical novel, BLOOD TO RUBIES weaves indigenous and pioneer history, strong women and clashing worlds into a sweeping saga praised by NYT bestselling authors as "crushing," "rhapsodic," "gritty," and "sensuous." Purchase BLOOD TO RUBIES online beginning June 9. Connect with Deborah on, Facebook, and Instagram.

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