James Willard Schultz (1859 - 1947) was born in New York. Always fascinated by the West, he was keen to go and shoot a buffalo. His mother gave him $500 to do just that, and off he went, promising to return in time to enter West Point. He never returned to the East. He lived in a part of Montana that is now part of the Blackfeet Reservation, working as a trader. He developed an interest in American Indians, and for many years lived with the Blackfeet, accepted by them as part of their nation. He married a Blackfeet woman, Fine Shield Woman of the Pikunis. After her death, he moved to Los Angeles, where he became a film critic.
His experiences inspired his books, many of which, including his horse story, remain in print. He kept in touch with the Blackfeet until he died.