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The Horse in the Old West
Horses were one of the major contributors to the American West. Nothing would be the same without them. Yet they only arrived on the scene in the mid-1500’s. Native Americans had never seen a horse and didn’t have words for these animals. Various languages called them a type of dog or deer. In one case, “elk-dog”, in another “big dog” or “seven dogs”, referring to the weight each animal could pull. The changes in lifestyle brought about by the acquisition of the horse dramatically revised Native American life over the next several hundred years and definitely changed the nature of the European invasion of the continent.