The State of Texas and Horses 德克萨斯州和她的马

根据德克萨斯农工大学的农业和动物学科系1998年的研究结果,近全美百分之十五的马都在德克萨斯州,总数超过一百万匹,是仅次于加州。近两百年以来,牧马、马术竞技、赛马、马的展览和表演已经成为德克萨斯州的生活的一部分。所有的马都是由独立的家庭来饲养;有的家庭只饲养一匹马,就像家里的宠物一样,也有像W. T. 瓦格纳那样的大牧场,饲养了成百上千匹马。

瓦格纳牧场是在一条篱笆里面的,没有被分隔开的最大的牧场。(德克萨斯州南部的皇帝牧场虽然比瓦格纳牧场大,但是是由四块不连接的牧地所组成。)瓦格纳牧场占地面积216,506公顷(也就是535,000英亩),或者说2,165平方公里(836平方英里)。换一个方式来说:如果你以每小时近一百公里(95.54公里/小时,也就是60英里/小时)的速度开车的话,你将需要开14小时才能绕瓦格纳牧场一圈。现在你应该可以理解这个牧场之大了吧!这个牧场就在德克萨斯州的佛农市南边,在达拉斯市西边约三个小时的汽车距离。那里以饲养著名的美洲奎特马而盛名。美洲奎特马是具有德克萨斯州传统的马,而且在德克萨斯州存有丰富的历史。

饲养在德克萨斯州的一百多万匹马中,几乎有一半是美洲奎特马。虽然奎特马在四分之一英里的赛马场上有出色的竞技能力,但是它之所以出名并受大众欢迎是因为它的工作能力和训良的骑坐性能。在美国南北战争以后,德克萨斯州的畜牧业发展的很快,美洲奎特马与牛一起被训练来工作。这就是为什么这些马有时被称为孺子马。美洲奎特马是大养牛场里牛仔们首选的骑坐。

美洲奎特马在美国电影里也很出名,尤其是从上个世纪四十年代到六十年代美国人所喜爱的西部电影里特别显眼。西部影片是描写在十九世纪时期的牛仔们和他们的生活。无可争辩,约翰.韦恩在所有的牛仔明星中出类拔萃。约翰·韦恩常常在那些西部牛仔电影里骑着美洲奎特马,而且他私人也拥有一些美洲奎特马。

虽然我们现在是处于汽车和先进科技时代,但是美洲奎特马在德克萨斯州的人们生活仍然占有重要的一席地位。在牧场里、在放牧牛群的时候,美洲奎特马还是经常被使用。对于那些热衷于骑骑马、消遣消遣的人们来说,美洲奎特马是他们最喜爱的了。

总的来说,马的事业每年为德克萨斯州的经济作出了超过110亿美元的贡献。一匹马的价格可以从一千美元到好几万美元不等,其价格的高低取决于它的血统和对于它血统的证明文件。



讨论问题:


1. 你是否曾经骑过马?

2. 你喜欢骑马吗?

3. 你是否看过美国的西部电影?你是不是知道约翰·韦恩?

4. 你是否参观过牧场?

According to a 1998 study, by the Department(s) of Animal Science and Agriculture at Texas A&M, nearly 15% of all horses in America live in Texas. The number is over one million. Texas was second only to California. Horse ranching, rodeos, racing and shows have been a part of Texas life for nearly 200 years. Horses are raised by individual families with just one horse, like that of a pet, up to ranches like the W. T. Waggoner Ranch with hundreds of horses.

The Waggoner Ranch is considered the largest unified ranch enclosed by one continuous fence. [The King Ranch in south Texas is bigger, but is divided into 4 divisions of land.] The Waggoner Ranch is 535,000 acres (216,506 hect acres); or 836 square miles (2,165 km2); or think of it this way: If you drove a car at 60 miles per hour it would take 14 hours to drive around the property. Now that is big! The Waggoner Ranch is just south of Vernon, Texas and about 3 hours west of Dallas. It is famous for raising champion Quarter Horses. The American Quarter Horse is the official horse of Texas and has a rich history in Texas life.

Of the one million plus horses in Texas nearly half of them are Quarter Horses. Although the quarter horse can be a powerful quarter mile racing horse its real fame and popularity has been in its ability as a work horse and pleasure to ride. In Texas, as cattle ranching grew rapidly after the Civil War, Quarter Horses were trained to work with cattle. This is why such horses are sometimes referred to as “cow horses.” In Texas, the Quarter Horse was the horse of choice for the cowboys who worked the large herds of cattle.

The Quarter Horse was also made famous in the movies. From the 1940’s to the 1960’s America loved to watch western movies. Westerns are movies about cowboys and their life during the 19th century. The most famous of these cowboy actors is, arguably, John Wayne. He rode Quarter Horses in his movies and even personally owned them.

Even in this modern age of automobiles and technology, Quarter Horses play an important part in the life of Texas. They are still used in ranching and the herding of cattle. They are a favorite among people who want to own a horse simply for riding and recreation.

Overall, the horse industry contributes over $11 billion annually to the Texas economy. The price of individual horses can run from $1,000 to the tens of thousands of dollars depending on their ancestry and proof of papers.


DISCUSSION:

1.     Have you ever ridden a horse?

2.     Would you like to ride a horse?

3.     Have you ever seen a western movie? Have you heard of John Wayne?

4.     Have you ever visited a ranch?

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