Horse ownership became a mark of personal and family prestige.
In early times, people spent all their energies gathering the bare necessities of survival. Horses brought abundance: more food from the hunt, more leisure time. Horse ownership, or an association with horses, conferred status and respect within the community. In many tribes, class divisions, based on the number of horses a family owned, appeared for the first time.
A name that included the word “horse”—such as Crazy Horse, Horse Capture, American Horse—signified strength of character. And images of horses on ceremonial objects, clothing, and other personal possessions were signs of deep respect.