Author Gavin Ehringer was a longtime contributor to stock horse-centric publications like Western Horseman, so it’s likely he won’t win any popularity contests for calling out the American Quarter Horse industry and competitive ranching disciplines (among others) for such gross injustices to modern equine domestication as flooding gene pools with “popular sire” effects and ravaging young horse potential before it can reach maturity through the allure of futurity systems.
Nope, he’s not going to win friends. But his new book, Leaving the Wild, published by Pegasus Books, Ltd., is nonetheless correct in calling out the domestication of horses, as well as cats, dogs, and cattle, as all too often
“unnatural,” as well as selfish and short-sighted.
If you enjoyed The Horse:The Epic History of Our Noble Companion by Wendy Williams, who calls Ehringer’s effort a “powerful entreaty to animal lovers,” then Leaving the Wild will also resonate with you. Like Williams, he weaves his own autobiographical accounts into his chapters so that we more clearly understand that these are not the judgments of a detached observer but the heartfelt connecting of the dots by one of our own tribe.
Leaving the Wild is an intelligent investment to the library of anyone who shares their life with—and thus shoulders the responsibility for—the four-legged souls whose ancestors chose to accept and trust our domestication and who became the first to pay the high price for our mistakes.