Hatatitla and Iltshi

Hatatitla and Iltshi


Some time after Karl May’s death in 1912, his Winnetou trilogy was adjusted to include Iltshi and Hatatitla, Winnetou and Old Shatterhand’s famous black stallions; however, the trilogy as published during May’s lifetime, did not contain Iltshi and Hatatitla.

In the first volume of the Winnetou trilogy, WinnetouI, Karl May, the young German greenhorn in the Wild West, obtains a roan in St. Louis when Mr Henry takes him to the horse dealer:

“Alright, we’ll see what we can do with a greenhorn. And you know how to ride a horse as well?”

“If need be.”

“If need be? Hm! Not as well as you can shoot?”

“Pshaw! Riding isn’t difficult! It’s the mounting up that’s the toughest part. Once I’m in the saddle there’s probably no horse that can get me off.”
He scrutinized me to determine whether I was serious or had only spoken in jest; I kept my facial expressions under control and so he remarked:

“You really think so? Are you planning to hold onto the mane? That would be a mistake. You were quite right: mounting up is the most difficult part, because you have to do that yourself; getting off is much easier: the nag takes care of it and, therefore, it’s much, much faster.”

“No nag will take care of my dismounting!”

“Oh? Let’s wait and see! Do you feel like giving us a demonstration?”

“I’d love to.”

“Then come! It’s only seven o’clock and you’ve still got an hour. We’ll go to Jim Korner, the horse trader. He lets you ride his horses around the yard and he’s got a roan that’s got you pegged.”

We returned to the town and visited the horse trader. There was a corral, surrounded by stables, which doubled as a kind of exercise yard. Korner greeted us and enquired about our business.

“The young man here claims that no horse can throw him,” Henry replied. “What do you think about it Mr Korner? Won’t you let him climb onto your roan just the once?”

The trader looked me up and down, nodded with a satisfied expression and replied:

“His bones seem strong and supple; besides, young people don’t break their necks as easily as older ones. If the gentleman wishes to try out the roan, it’s alright with me.”

He gave the order and after a short while two stable hands led the saddled horse out of the barn. It was very agitated and strained to tear loose. My old Henry had second thoughts and became worried about me; he asked me to reconsider; but, firstly, I wasn’t afraid, and, secondly, the affair had turned into a matter of honour. I asked for a quirt, a kind of short whip, and had the spurs strapped to my boots. Then, I swung into the saddle, although only after a few failed attempts because of the horse’s refusals. As soon as I sat atop, the stable hands hurried away and the roan went straight up in the air with all four, and then to the side. I remained in the saddle, although my feet were still outside the stirrups. I quickly got them in. As soon as that was done the nag started to buck; when that didn’t have the desired results it headed for the wall to scrape me off; but with the aid of the quirt I quickly managed to get it away from the boards. Then began a fierce, almost dangerous battle between rider and horse. I used all the scarce talent and insufficient training I had, and my strong thighs finally won the battle for me. When I dismounted, my legs shook from the strain; but the horse blew foam and dripped from sweat; it obeyed every leg pressure and tug on the reins.

In Winnetou II, Old Death, the scout addicted to opium, chooses a couple of horses for himself and the young Greenhorn, to go after the villains:

“This young gentleman insists that he can ride,” he said; “but the likes of us know what to think of it. And I don’t think he’s got any horse sense. If I buy a horse, I may choose the one that seems to be the least likely. But, naturally, I know that it’s the best possible for my purpose. I’ve proven that on more than one occasion.”

I had to ride and parade all the horses in the stable before him, and he observed every one of their moves with a knowledgeable eye, after having asked the price beforehand. And it really turned out the way he had said; he didn’t accept the ones that had been allocated to us.

“They look better than they are,” he said. “Would be spent in a few days. No, we’ll take those two old chestnuts that are so marvellously cheap.”

“But they’re the worst nags!” Cortesio exclaimed.

“Allow me to explain. The chestnuts are prairie horses, but have been in bad hands. They won’t get short of breath, and I figger that they won’t fall over when the going gets tough. We’ll keep them. And that’s that!”


Later, when Winnetou joins them, the Apache hands Old Shatterhand and Old Death two of his own horses:

When Winnetou had satisfied himself that the scout was engaged in negotiations with the leader of the Comanche, he returned and led us to the horses that had arrived last. Among the spare horses were some that were especially trained to perform in extreme situations.

“I’ve promised my brothers that I’ll give them better horses,” he said. “I will choose them now. My white brother shall have one of mine.”

He chose five horses. I was thrilled with the magnificent black animal that he presented me.


Swallow, the mustang Old Shatterhand rides in the second half of Winnetou II, receives attention when Old Shatterhand arrives at New Venango:

Encountering Harry upon arrival “[…]pirouetting my mustang on his hind legs, I added: “There you have me from all sides, on horseback, and life-size! How do I please you?”

“Wait just a moment and look me over first!” he joked back, reared his animal and presented himself in the same manner as I did before. “Now the presentation is complete, and you’ll tell me how I fare in your eyes!”

“Hm, not bad! At least you seem adequate for these localities here. What about me?”

“So-so! But something tells me that one has to be guarded from getting closer to you on account of certain reservations.”

“Yes, the horse is quite superb, ignore the rider,” his companion said in a disparaging tone of voice, while he looked at Swallow admiringly. I disregarded this insult, and replied to the boy, who showed extraordinarily elegant manners for his age:

“Your reservations are justified, sir, but the surrounding wilderness will forgive me.”

“Wilderness! Then you’re unfamiliar with this region?”

“So unfamiliar that I’ve been looking an entire day for the correct address without finding it.”

“Then follow us if you want to find out how enormously large this wilderness is!” He turned in the direction I had been heading in the first place, and put his horse through its paces from slow walk to stretched gallop. My stallion easily followed, although we had been on the move since daylight. The animal seemed to sense that this was a test, and stretched out in such a manner that the boy’s horse couldn’t keep up any longer. He pulled up his horse with an admiring shout.

“You seem to be extremely well mounted, sir. Is the stallion for sale?”

“Not for anything in the world, mister,” I replied, taken aback by the question. “Forget the mister!”

“As you wish. The mustang has carried me away from so many dangers, that I owe him my life many times over, and thus can never be for sale.”

“He has Indian training,” he said with an expert eye. “Where did you get him from?”

“From Winnetou, an Apache chief with whom I last got together for a while at Rio Suanca.”

He was surprised.

“From Winnetou? That is the most famous and feared Indian between the Sonora and Columbia![…]”


See also: Old Shatterhand–Genesis, Lulu.com (the older versions of The Scout and Old Firehand)