Purebred Choctaw Ponies
In Pushmataha County
Pure Choctaw
FINLEY, OK:
Today, Mustangs are running wild on one and one half million
acres of open range in the Kiamichi Mountains. According to
Gilbert Jones, owner of Medicine Spring Ranch In Pushmataha
County, the pure bred Choctaw ponies have the most stamina,'
strength and endurance of any strain of the Spanish Mustang
horse.
There were once hundreds of these hardy Indian ponies surviving
in the wild, but only a small number of the pure bred Choctaw
ponies exist
today due to Inter-breeding and extermination. A conservation
effort Is being made by a few Individuals to preserve
this unique line of horses.
The Southwest Spanish Mustang Association, founded by Gilbert
Jones, is working to prove that the Mustangs are #1 In the country
for endurance and stamina. Only horses from the purest bloodlines
are accepted
for. registration with the SSMA.
The Mustang, noted for it's  "cow-sense", agility, alertness and
hardiness, usually weighs between 750 and 1000  pounds and
stands between
13 to 15 hands. The narrow ears and bright, Inquisitive  eyes give
the impression of high Intelligence. Choctaw ponies and the other
breeds
of Mustang horses nave a narrow chest, which V's up well, sloping
shoulders and strong legs. The hooves are of a harder texture than
domestic horses and may never need shod, even though the land
they' run free on isvery rough and rocky.
Many times, the mane and tall  reach almost to the ground.
There are no horses more colorful than the Mustangs.
It is not uncommon for a Mustang
to have a light overlay mane over a dark mane
or a dark overlay over a light colored mane.
The Spanish Mustangs date back to the horses
brought to America by
Spanish conquistadors In the 1500's.
There are several strains of Choctaw ponies In Oklahoma. Gilbert
Jones brought about 25 Mustangs to Medicine Spring Ranch 29
years ago. Now he has about 100 of the horses, some of which are
pure-bred Choctaw.
Another feature at the ranch are the mule-foot,wattled
Indian hogs that run wild on the property. Mr.,Jones has
one large sow so tame that she comes up to his back
door for supper. .
Two Choctaw men from Kosoma, Oklahoma,  Abb and Hoots Crisp,
have what are considered the purest Choctaw ponies around today.
Their family's stock dates back to about 1915, when their uncle,
Frank Poe, bought a mare & a stallion that were Choctaw.  

A fine example of the Crisp  Strain of Choctaw ponies is  Choctaw
Star, who In 1983, was the first Mustang on the' North American
Continent to earn the 1000 Mile Horse Award In NATRC. She
finished 1000 competitive miles with legs as clean and sound as
when she started,
with no blemishes or unsoundness.
Another little Choctaw pony, Banditto's Gold, owned by Eddie
Rickman of Soper, won the award for Best Conditioned Horse in
the October 1986 100-mile American Endurance Riders Conference
(AERC)race. After completing the race In 15 hours and 47 minutes,
the horse was pronounced sound In
every way and was ridden 31 miles two days later.
One of the most sought after blood lines of Choctaw ponies is the
Locke strain which has been bred in Pusmataha County since the
removal along the trail of tears.
Owners of horses registered with the Southwest Spanish Mustang
Association are taking every opportunity to prove the stamina and
ability of the Mustang, horses. Races are being entered and won
across the country. The annual spring trail ride at Medicine Ranch
Is coming up, May 22 through the 25. 1987.  The Association
Directors encourage everyone to make plans to attend.