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Book Review: Nobody's 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
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.
- Nobody's Horses
Learn more about the author, Don Hoglund, DVM, and the story behind the book.