Horses In History

Hernando Cortez conquered Mexico and parts of Central America on his famous black stallion, El Morzillo in the early 1500’s. El Morzillo saved Cortez’s life on many occasions and was his favorite horse. It said that when Mexico City fell to the Spaniards in the summer of 1521 Cortez wrote in a letter to his monarch, Charles V of Spain, “ After God, we owed our lives to our horses,”

El Morzillo picked up a long splinter is his hoof while he was be ridden in Honduras. Then the horse’s leg became infected from the splinter. Due to the horse’s subsequent lameness, Cortez was forced to leave his beloved stallion El Morzillo behind when he returned to Espana.

The conquistador left El Morzillo in the care of a Mayan village chief, who showed the spirited stallion much respect. They treated the black stallion like a god, trying to keep hin alive with ritual offerings of chickens and fruit. When the Spaniards returned they learned the horse had died from worsening of his original wound, his end no doubt hastened by unintentional starvation due to the Mayans not knowing how to care for horses.

The Mayans revered the stallion and renamed him Tziminchac ( Mayan god of thunder & lighting). After his death they created a statue of him and continued to worship him for many years.