Did you know that horses and mules are still a very important part of the management of Yosemite National Park? For example, horses are used for Mounted Patrols and for educational events like portraying the history of Buffalo Soldiers. Thousands of people each year visit the Pioneer Yosemite History Center and take a dramatic carriage ride through a covered bridge. And mules are critical for wilderness restoration and trail repair, where they carry equipment into the backcountry for trail crews and others working to maintain the wilderness essence of Yosemite.
The park is committed to providing these horses and mules with a fair work life. As herds age, many individual animals need lighter duties or retirement. In 2011, Yosemite Conservancy donors funded the purchase of new livestock, allowing older animals to retire while ensuring their vital work and traditions in the park continue.