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Book Review: Nobody's Horses

Updated on October 11, 2012
DonnaCSmith profile image

Donna Campbell Smith is a published author, freelance writer, and photographer. She also specializes in horses.

The Dramatic Rescue of the Wild Herd of White Sands


Nobody's Horses: The Dramatic Rescue of the Wild Herd of White Sands by Don Hoglund

$25.00 retail

Free Press


A friend gave me the book, and I thought, "Oh no. Another sappy save the horses book." Not that I don't care about the welfare of wild horses, but sometimes folks get a bit fanatical about their approach. I read the book, and I am very glad I did. I love non-fiction that reads like a novel, and this is such a book, with mystery, adventure and heart. Hoglund made me care about the horses and the characters involved with him in their rescue.

After over one hundred horses died of supposed starvation on the White Sands Missile Range in New Mexico, Hoglund was given the job of removing the 2,000 remaining horses from the two-million acres of desert.

The horses are descended from those that built the Old West. Many had obvious draft horse characteristics, which were used to pull the wagons that carried families and all their worldly good west. Big, bold and beautiful, Hoglund paints their portrait with the passion only a horse lover can achieve. Having built a reputation for knowing wild horses from his innovative program of having prison inmates train them off the range and making them adoptable, and his work as an veterinarian, he was the right choice for this overwhelming task.

There was one man who may have disagreed with the army's choice; in fact Les Gililland was not happy about removing the horses. His family lost their ranch when in 1945 the Army built the weapons testing range, the same range where the first atomic bomb was tested. Add this bit of conflict to the story, along with a mystical band of young stallions that show up out of thin air and the story gets better and better.

While not a bleeding heart "save the horses" kind of book, Nobody's Horses gives the reader a good balanced look at the growing problem of managing the increasing population of free-roaming wild horses in the American West. I give this book a thumbs up.


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    • heart4theword profile image

      heart4theword 6 years ago from hub

      I love to watch horses run, maybe even more fun to see the wild ones run so free! Thanks:)

    • profile image

      gaston monescu 9 years ago

      cool....kinda makes me think about the camargue horses in spain.

      sounds like a good book.

    • Sally's Trove profile image

      Sherri 9 years ago from Southeastern Pennsylvania

      Donna, I will be sure to check this book out. I hadn't heard of it before.

      Could you write another hub about the prison inmates' involvement in training horses in the west? These days, prisoners aren't allowed to do anything for the good of others, hardly, as once they did, in maintaining vegetable gardens for inmates, or, dare I say, producing license plates for their states. There was a program, "Cell Dogs", where inmates brought dogs along to another step in their ability to become service dogs. But overall, prisoners don't seem to be allowed to make the kind of contributions they did, as you mention, with the horses.

      Best regards, ST.

    • Rochelle Frank profile image

      Rochelle Frank 9 years ago from California Gold Country

      Sounds like a great story-- I especially like great stories that are true.