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Wild Horses I Have Known
     

Wild Horses I Have Known

by Hope Ryden
 

Naturalist Hope Ryden's stunning photographs accompany clear, conversational essays telling of her observations and experiences as she tracked the mustangs of the West. Wild horses evolved and roamed in North America until becoming extinct ten thousand years ago. Not until the early sixteenth century, when the conquistadors brought tough mounts to carry them as

Overview

Naturalist Hope Ryden's stunning photographs accompany clear, conversational essays telling of her observations and experiences as she tracked the mustangs of the West. Wild horses evolved and roamed in North America until becoming extinct ten thousand years ago. Not until the early sixteenth century, when the conquistadors brought tough mounts to carry them as they explore what is now Mexico and the Southwest, did the horse reappear on American soil. Hope Ryden describes how the Plains Indians adopted the horse, which transformed their culture. But many of their horses escaped into the wild and reverted to primitive behaviors-such as forming tight-knit social groups with complicated social hierarchies-that enabled them to thrive and survive. Horse lovers and history buffs, as well as all who relish a good true-life adventure, will be fascinated and moved by this compelling portrait of a national treasure. Bibliography.

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"...superior pictures and riveting text." School Library Journal, Starred

Ryden's newest nature book is a delight—not just for horse fanciers, but for anyone interested in animal behavior. Years spent studying the wild mustangs of the Pryor Mountains have given her insight into how the animals interact, and her ability to get close to the horses provided opportunities for shooting dozens of spectacular color photographs. Writing in a conversational (though never flippant) tone, she conveys the fascination of being able to closely observe individual animals, such as Old Nellie, the cagey head female of one stallion's "harem." She also gives readers plenty of action—close encounters with skittish horses and stallions battling for dominance. Her final chapter covers the sad history of the over-hunted creatures. The pictures, which are separated from the main text, are a nice large size, and smaller captioned photos at the back show different types of coat and mane coloration. Sources appended.
Booklist, ALA

A carefully crafted book that features abundant use of strikingly beautiful photographs, simply framed and captioned, of western U.S. mustangs presently living as wild horses. In a clean, succinct introduction, the author traces the history of wild horses and explains the controversy over assigning mustangs to the "wild" category since they were once domesticated and later returned to a wild state. The following sections of text become more conversational as the author relates her personal observations and encounters with the mustangs on the Pryor Mountain Wild Horse Range in Wyoming. Much of the text is drawn from Ryden's thirty-plus years of mustang study, although other sources are cited. A nice combination of elegance and sound information about this distinct group of horses that includes their habits, evolution of the breed, and the history of its presence in North America.
Horn Book

Ryden (Wild Horse Summer, 1997, etc.) photographs the wild horses of the Pryor Mountains and chronicles their ancient origins, how they live, their colors and markings, and how she and others have fought to get the federal legislation that protects such horses from those who would hunt them down or take away their habitat. In passing she describes some of the mustangs she came to know, if from a distance: Lonesome, The Black King, Buck, Old Nellie, and others. The complex structure of their male-female relationships are described in detail as part of the larger social formation that ensures food and space for all, improving the chances of the animals' survival in an extraordinarily harsh environment. Stunning full-color photographs show the mustangs running free, one of the last species that does; Ryden makes a convincing case for guaranteeing that they always will.
Kirkus Reviews

Horn Book Magazine
A carefully crafted book that features abundant use of strikingly beautiful photographs, simply framed and captioned, of western U.S. mustangs presently living as wild horses. In a clean, succinct introduction, the author traces the history of wild horses and explains the controversy over assigning mustangs to the "wild" category since they were once domesticated and later returned to a wild state. The following sections of text become more conversational as the author relates her personal observations and encounters with the mustangs on the Pryor Mountain Wild Horse Range in Wyoming. Much of the text is drawn from Ryden's thirty-plus years of mustang study, although other sources are cited. A nice combination of elegance and sound information about this distinct group of horses that includes their habits, evolution of the breed, and the history of its presence in North America. A list of sources is appended.
The ALAN Review - Wendy H. Bell
For horse lovers this book is a "must read." Suggested ages are 9 and up, but anyone can appreciate the extraordinary photographs and storehouse of information in Wild Horses I Have Known. In the Pryor Mountains along the Wyoming-Montana border mustangs still roam. For thirty years, Hope Ryden has observed these fascinating creatures, documenting their social hierarchies, survival strategies, habits, and personalities. Her stunning pictures and clear prose are integrated so seamlessly that you feel as if you, too, are watching them through her eyes. Her purpose is to examine the question, "What exactly is a wild horse and how is it different from a domestic one?" The answers are presented in a personal way as we are introduced to specific horses and get to know them almost as intimately as she does. Animal lovers of all ages will enjoy this book. It is a treasure.
Library Journal
Gr 4 Up-Based on three decades of observation, Ryden shares her thoughts about the origins, nature, and habits of wild mustangs. The grace and spirit of these free-roaming creatures are beautifully captured in her striking photos. (Apr.) Copyright 1999 Cahners Business Information.
School Library Journal
Gr 4 Up-This fascinating photo-essay is a study of the wild mustangs of the Pryor Mountain Wild Horse Range located along the Wyoming-Montana border. Ryden has spent years observing these horses, and this book is a tribute to their spirit and beauty. As the author lovingly describes the actions and behaviors of individual animals, she affords readers a real voyage into their everyday lives. She discusses where wild horses came from, what happened to them during westward expansion in this century and the last, grazing rights, and land-use issues. Explanations of the animals' complex social structures and survival methods are greatly enhanced by the stunning, full-color photography. Single- and sometimes double-page photos appear in sections after each chapter; they range from close-up shots of a mother and foal to broader perspectives with breathtaking background vistas. The last chapter describes the colors and markings found in wild horses, complete with photographs. Libraries that own Alvin Silverstein's The Mustang (Millbrook, 1997) will still want to purchase this one for its far superior pictures and riveting text.-Lisa Falk, Los Angeles Public Library.
Kirkus Reviews
Ryden (Wild Horse Summer, 1997, etc.) photographs the wild horses of the Pryor Mountains and chronicles their ancient origins, how they live, their colors and markings, and how she and others have fought to get the federal legislation that protects such horses from those who would hunt them down or take away their habitat. In passing she describes some of the mustangs she came to know, if from a distance: Lonesome, The Black King, Buck, Old Nellie, and others. The complex structure of their male-female relationships are described in detail as part of the larger social formation that ensures food and space for all, improving the chances of the animals' survival in an extraordinarily harsh environment. Stunning full-color photographs show the mustangs running free, one of the last species that does; Ryden makes a convincing case for guaranteeing that they always will. (sources) (Nonfiction. 9-11) .

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780395775202
Publisher:
Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
Publication date:
03/28/1999
Pages:
96
Product dimensions:
9.50(w) x 9.50(h) x (d)
Lexile:
1060L (what's this?)
Age Range:
10 - 12 Years

Related Subjects

Meet the Author

Hope Ryden has written four nonfiction books on wild horses, and her articles and photographs on the subject have appeared in National Geographic and other publications. She is also the author of the novel Wild Horse Summer. Ms. Ryden lives in New York City and Wolf Lake, New York.

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