The hero has been provided with every facility since his birth but he is not happy in his society. It is only after his capture by the crow indians that the realizes that " a future is something to be earned". so his quest for identity is also quest for freedom. At the end of the story the white man comes to terms with himself .
We sympathis with the hero when we come to understand that his mother had died giving birth to him. We understand that although he was rich he never received motherly loves. This is probably one of the reasons why he is not happy at the begining of the story and decides to leave home. In his quest for identity, he discovers himself partly through suffering and abasement and also through love. He finds love which perhaps was earlier missing in his life when he marries pretty carf whom he refers to as "little freedom". similarly his acceptance of the old woman can be turned as a from of love. It is definitely an acceptance of responsibility. After pretty carlf's death he is free to leave the crow indians yet he chooses, to remain there for another three years. his noble act suggest that he considers the old woman as his mother.
The white chooses the horse because he had been captured by the red indians by crows. The horses is a considered as a wealth for the red indian. maybe he had called himself, horses because he wants to show the red indians that he is important, as the horse is just as to survive. At the begining of the story the white man himself does not know himself the reasons for "his bitter discontempt". His decision to leave home and to live a jugged life hunting prove that he is in search of his identity. When he is captured by the crows, offered as a gift to the old woman and created as a beast of burden, the man decides to learn to be quiet and docile like a horse. he is concious that there is no possibility of escape and becomes a horse because it is only way to survive.
The writter's message is that happiness is not synonymous of wealth...............