By the mid-1700s, the Dakota are riding horses, obtained in trade with other tribes, on their buffalo hunts on the prairie. They can now follow the herds farther west on the plains.
Horses had been extinct in the Americas for about 8,000 years. Columbus reintroduced them when he carried European breeds to the continent in 1493. Nearly 200 years later, horses were abundant on the plains, where they transformed the lives of the region’s inhabitants.*
Master, thank you for the creation that You allow us to live and thrive in! Thank you that horses have blessed the lives of the Dakota and immigrant alike! Thank you for the gift of the buffalo to our forbearers! Thank you for reintroducing the horse to North America, and for it’s profound impact on Dakotans’ survival!
Why did You use Europeans to bless North America with the horse? It is good to remember that European explorers were not solely the “exploiters” of North America as some revisionists may hold. In this case, will You remember those who brought the horse as “contributors?” Thank you, Father, that all cultures are free to choose to contribute and be blessed by those they may not yet know!
Will You bless both horse and rider in Minnesota forever? Will You make us better as a people in our treatment of all horses? Will You give us insight into Your masterpiece; the horse?
*Note – PrayThroughHistory uses the timeline located for several years at the Minnesota Historical Society Web site, at this URL: mnhs.org/about/dipity_timeline.htm . The current URL is http://www.dipity.com/Minnesota/History/Minnesota-History/ and only works if typed, not pasted, in browser. It is worth the effort!