Our Horse-tory – Horse History in Kittitas County

We love our 4-legged riding partners. They are the best best-friends, always ready to listen, never gossiping behind your back, and equipped with the softest shoulders to lean on when the trail gets long.

So it won’t surprise you that hoses have been a major element in our county’s history and culture.

This is Where the Horses Are

The first Caucasian settlers, a team lead by Alexander Ross, entered the area looking to trade for horses and found a rich valley were the Native American tribes (including Cayous, Nez Perce, and Yakama) grazed their horses. It wasn’t just a few scattered encampments or small herds, either. Kittitas Valley supported thousands of horses. In one description, Ross claims there were over 9000 horses in one gathering!

The Grass is Greener in Kittitas County

And by that, we mean our high-protein timothy hay is beloved by horses far and wide. With the return of horse racing in the 1930’s and the boom of recreational horse riding in the 1950’s, our hay industry has fed horses across the nation (including Kentucky) and even internationally (as far as Japan and Europe). Timothy hay is now our largest cash crop.

Historical Horse Club—Roslyn Riders

In 1954, a bunch of horse people got together, had some fun, and said “let’s do this again!” Ok, so that might be a very simple version of the story of how the Roslyn Riders began, but the recreational horse club is still having fun together, some 67 years later. The historical craftsman-style home that is their club-house has been preserved and expanded since its purchase in 1958 (for just $150!). Today, horse-lovers of all kinds are welcome at their meetings.

Of course, there are more stories about how horses have shaped our local history, and it would take a lifetime to hear them all. Horses have been a big part of Kittitas County for hundreds of years, which makes sense because they hold such a big part of our hearts. Let us know your horse history story.

Colette@TheRardenTeam.com | 425-327-3915
Hailey@TheRardenTeam.com | 425-974-9312

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