Horses were first brought to North America by the Spanish in the 16th century. Some of these horses escaped and they soon increased rapidly in number. Most of theses eventually became the property of Native Americans. They also stole them from the Spanish. The Nez Perce particularly liked the Appaloosa. They were valued for their endurance, stamina, and good temperament. Whereas the Comanches and the Kiowas favoured the pinto breed.
Horses were also imported to America by the European settlers. They were especially important to cowboys who took cattle from Texas to the railroad cowtowns of Abilene, Dodge City, Wichita and Newton. They were also used to pull stagecoaches and wagons. Native Americans also used horses hitched to travois to transport wood and other materials.