The Equipments Of Their Horses
Were Rude And Inconvenient.
High saddles, roughly made of deer
skin, stuffed with hair, which chafe the horse's back and leave
it raw; wooden stirrups, with a thong of raw hide wrapped round
them; and for bridles they have cords of twisted horse-hair,
which they tie round the under jaw.
They are, like most Indians,
bold but hard riders, and when on horseback gallop about the most
dangerous places, without fear for themselves, or pity for their
From these people Mr. Stuart purchased twenty horses for his
party; some for the saddle, and others to transport the baggage.
He was fortunate in procuring a noble animal for his own use,
which was praised by the Indians for its great speed and bottom,
and a high price set upon it. No people understand better the
value of a horse than these equestrian tribes; and nowhere is
speed a greater requisite, as they frequently engage in the chase
of the antelope, one of the fleetest of animals. Even after the
Indian who sold this boasted horse to Mr. Stuart had concluded
his bargain, he lingered about the animal, seeming loth to part
from him, and to be sorry for what he had done.
A day or two were employed by Mr. Stuart in arranging packages
and pack-saddles, and making other preparations for his long and
arduous journey. His party, by the loss of John Day, was now
reduced to six, a small number for such an expedition.
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