Did outlaws prefer Spanish Mustangs?

Did outlaws prefer Spanish Mustangs?

Ted Mulligan

Massapequa, New York

I wouldn’t call them the “first choice.”

Outlaws wanted to ride the fastest horse money could buy (or they could steal). A Spanish Mustang might be good in country that required stamina and durability, but it generally was not fast enough to make a getaway in flat, open country.

Jesse James was known to be fond of fast horses (either Quarter Horses or Thoroughbreds). He raced them, and he rode them in his criminal enterprises. During the James-Younger foray into Minnesota in 1876, the gang came riding in on the finest animals the townsfolk had ever seen. This aroused suspicion. As a result the Northfield residents kept a close eye on the heavily armed strangers. Yet those fast horses didn’t do the outlaws much good after the raid. The animals were ridden hard in tough terrain, to the point of exhaustion, and had to be abandoned.

What do you think?

Marshall Trimble

Marshall Trimble is Arizona’s official historian and the Wild West History Association’s vice president. His latest book is 2018’s Arizona Oddities: A Land of Anomalies and Tamales. Send your question, with your city/state of residence, to marshall.trimble@scottsdalecc.edu or Ask the Marshall, P.O. Box 8008, Cave Creek, AZ 85327.