The burden of a name that has come to mean so much.
The word derives from the Spanish mesteño, which is defined as “wild; untamed; ownerless”. By letting the tongue dwell on the roof of the mouth you get to mestengo, a “stray beast”. From there it’s a small step to the word and an idea that has entered into our modern mythology.
Mustangs are wild horses which roam the North American southwest. These were initially descended from horses which escaped, were turned loose or stolen from...
Listen to the rest by clicking the play button, above. The text version of this essay can be found on Medium where it was originally published on August 15th, 2016. (header photo and cover art: “Wild Horses in the Prairie” ©Giorgio Galano on iStock)