When Mick Jagger sings the Rolling Stones’ hit song "Wild Horses" he is probably not referencing the wild horses that freely graze the Anacoco Prairie on Peason Ridge.
The wild horses of Peason are however iconic and historic without the aid of Jagger and the Rolling Stones.
The horses’ breed variety tells a story dating back to a time when the Spanish and Native Americans occupied the area.
"See that horse over there?" Peason historian Rickey Robertson asked as he pointed to a black mare. "It looks just like the horses that the Spanish brought to this area well over a hundred years ago."
Horses were among the items the Spanish used in trade with Native Americans who lived on the Anacoco Prairie at Peason Ridge.
The Native Americans followed buffalo that migrated to Peason during the winter. With milder winters in this area, the buffalo could graze until spring.
"It's hard to believe, but buffalo used to graze right out here where those horses are," Robertson said.
Artifacts from Native Americans who lived on the Great Plains have been found on Peason which indicates that they followed the buffalo migration.
"Mr. L.C. Curby killed the last know buffalo in Louisiana right over there in Kisatchie around 1871," Robertson said. "He asked to be buried right in the spot where he killed that buffalo. And he was."
As two stallions on top of a hill fought for the dominance of a herd, Robertson pointed out the different breeds and their significance to area history.
Some of the horses on Peason Ridge are descendants of the animals used in the lumber industry which thrived in the area from 1918 to 1935.
At its peak, the Peavy-Wilson Lumber Company employed more than 400 workers and increased the population in the area to around 2000 people.
It was during this historic time period when Peason was given its name. "Most people don't know this but they took the first three letters from Peavy and the last three from Wilson and that's how they came up with Peason," Robertson said.
The United States Army in 1941 conducted the largest ever training exercise in Louisiana.
More than 400,000 soldiers took part in the Louisiana Maneuvers. A large portion of this training took place at Peason Ridge.
At that time, the Army had yet to become fully mechanized and most of the calvary were on horseback.
"Some of these horses are from those cavalry soldiers that trained right here on Peason Ridge during the Louisiana Maneuvers," Robertson said. "They are as much of a part of American history as anything."
The United States Government in 1942 purchased a portion of Peason Ridge for the purpose of military training.
Approximately 29 families living within the purchased property were displaced. "Some of the families had horses and couldn't bring them where they moved to," Robertson said. "So they just turned them loose and some of the wild horses came from them."
The land has since changed. The people and the buffalo are gone. But the wild horses of Peason Ridge are living testimony to their history and heritage.