“The earth has received the embrace of the sun and we shall see the results of that love.” — Sitting Bull
“Ten-year-old Jumping Badger rode right into the middle of the herd with his arrow fitted into his bow. He went after a big buffalo bull. His shot was true and he felled the big bull. The rest of the herd spooked and ran away, fortunately not trampling Jumping Badger in their panic.”
“Four Horns was angry but proud of his nephew. He asked Jumping Badger why he chose this particular big bull when there was a cow closer to the edge of the herd he could have taken. The boy replied that he had seen the cow, but he also saw her calf. If he had taken the cow, her calf would surely have perished as well.” (1)
That story is about the very young Sitting Bull as orally told through generations and more recently committed to the written word by his great grandson. “Returns Again was very proud of his newborn son and gave the infant his childhood name, Jumping Badger.” (1) Earning his name “Tatonka Iyotake” did not occur until he was fourteen-years-old when he counted coup on a raiding party against the Crow. His father was proud of him and his bravery that day and gifted him a magnificent bay horse. “I give you this fine bay horse, a warrior’s horse, and this shield, and may they serve your well.” (1)
This majestic and handsome Curly stallion who lives wild in Sweetwater County, Wyoming could very possibly be, in some distant way, an ancestor of one of those warrior horses once ridden by the great Sitting Bull. There are three separate historical examples that distinctly show the Curly horse entrenched in the lives of the Sioux nation. One are the drawings by Red Horse, an eyewitness of the battle at The Little Bighorn in the year 1876. Red Horse shows Sioux Warriors riding Curlies leading away captured Army horses. The second is the Lakota Winter Count of the 1803-1804. Winter Count are drawings done on buffalo hides recording major events using symbols and this hide carefully copied from year to year, unmistakably show that the Sioux Tribe stole Curly Horses from their enemy, the Crow, during those years. Finally, there are the colorful ledger drawings depicting the Lakota — Sans Arc way of life by Black Hawk, where he includes images of a curly coated horse. (2)
The Curly story and Sitting Bull are just one of many debates still occurring on the question; where did the North American Curly Horse come from? My vivid imagination loves the idea of this stout, stallion with the filigree mane carrying a young boy into a herd of buffalo, sparing the life of a cow because he recognized her purpose, and that magnificent curly coated stallion galloping for all he is worth to carry him to safety. Yes….he is a warrior’s horse!
1. Ernie Lapointe, Sitting Bull, His Life and Legacy (Utah: Gibbs-Smith, 2009)
2. Karen Zierler, “The North American Curly Horse”, Curly Horse Journal (January 2017)
This one of a kind 24×16 limited edition print is professionally framed to protect your investment for the next generations. Printed by a master printer this fine art piece is framed with a black wood frame, white archival mat, and archival UV acrylic. Includes an added professional look to give the artwork more depth when viewing. Signed, titled, and numbered by the artist with a graphite pencil and includes a Certificate of Authenticity (COA).
We are donating a portion of this sale to a non-profit in the state the image was captured who advocate for wild horses through education or therapies, or who work directly with the BLM or NPS in providing on range management or ongoing adoption solutions.