In another life, in another time, perhaps Horace would've been a lawman protecting a community that he loved. Or perhaps he would've been a soldier, fighting for his homeland against the aggressors. He could've taken up a flag, made it his own, and put in every ounce of his soul to protect it. God knows he tried many times - so many times - to find a place to call home. But the Wastes' unforgiving nature made this impossible, and nothing more than a dream.
Born in the desolate town of New Caliente, tucked away somewhere halfway between New Reno and Vegas, he could've lived a simple life. He could've taken up the trade of his father, a simple tinkerer, and lived out his days in obscurity and in ignominy. It would've been a pleasant life, if a bit boring. It would've, if God did not turn against the town and blight Horace's life with constant struggle. For at the young age of twelve, the entire town was descended upon by raiders. They spared little, and destroyed so much. A once thriving community, an oasis in the desert, was ransacked and left for ruin. Horace's family, his entire clan, were butchered before his eyes as he hid in a barrel.
Some days, dark days, he wishes he would've died with them. A part of him died that day anyway.
With his only home in flames, the young boy left and wandered the desert north, towards New Reno. He was picked up by a caravan on its way to New Caliente, and they brought him back with them to the Biggest Little City in the World. One of the drivers, the eldest of the group by far by the name of Boyce, took him in and raised him as best he could in his old age. He brought him along the Brahmin trails and the caravan routes stretching from New Canaan to Vault City, and soon became an indispensable figure on the long routes. He was quick shot, easily handling a repeater, and soon earned his keep.
But it wasn't meant to last.
Returning from the Long Haul to New Canaan, they found that the caravan company had been bought out and liquidated by the Crimson Caravan, another victim of the Californians. Forced out of a job, and quickly afterwards out of his home, Horace took up his rifle and what little belongings he could carry and ventured out into the Wastes. He traveled a little bit, until he stumbled upon a Desert Ranger outpost. Welcomed in initially as a simple refugee after telling the story of New Caliente, he quickly made himself useful and joined up with the Rangers as they patrolled the stretch of highway leading from New Reno to New Vegas.
And so he lived the life of a Ranger, protecting the roving caravans and laying down law to the towns along the Stretch. One of these towns, Goldfield - in the shade of Montezuma's Peak, became his regular spot. He grew to love it, to nurture it, and to care for it. Horace even found a lady, and began a courtship that would lead to ruin. He fell in love with this Latin beauty, by the name Eunice, and set out to make her his. But she had been pledged to another, a brutal Brahmin driver, who did not take kindly to the Ranger consorting with his betrothed.
The two settled their dispute with a challenge: a duel. And Horace's draw was quicker than the Brahmin driver's. As he lay dying on the ground just outside of town, the Ranger hopped on his horse and rode away, the screams of Eunice cursing him to a life of ruin echoing into his ears.
He drifted about the Ranger outposts in relative obscurity until, in 2271, the Rangers merged with the NCR's. This was unacceptable to Horace, who soon left the Rangers behind and set off into the desert. The only thing that kept his life secure, the only thing that made sense, had been ripped from him. He felt insulted, betrayed, and angry. The roads that he followed all led to Vegas, and he soon found himself in Westside.
There, he was able to kick his feet up a little bit. These people, they didn't know his past. He could rewrite himself, and so he did. He pretended to be a lawman, roving the Wastes in search of ending injustice. And the people believed him! And they took him in, putting him in with their militia, which was tasked with repelling the Fiend gangs that roved outside the walls. Horace took joy - immense and immeasurable pleasure - in killing them. He imagined that each of them were those raiders who, nearly thirty years before, had killed his family. He ended their lives slowly, making sure they felt the pain that he did.
When the Second Battle of Hoover Dam came, and all of the chaos that followed, Horace soon rose to be the unofficial sheriff of Westside. They repelled roving gangs of raiders and pillagers in the chaos directly following the NCR Evacuation, and managed to restore law to that part of Vegas. But it wasn't to last. Soon, bounty hunters from Goldfield came to Westside in search of the fugitive Ranger, who proceeded to shoot them dead. He left that night, heading off towards the south in search of a quiet town where he could retire, or at least kill himself in peace.
As he readied himself to leave Vegas, he read the news of the Courier, the Leader of the Free State, calling on volunteers to head East. And with little other option in his tank, he took it. There was no other choice, and besides, he doubted that bounty hunters would cross into the wild lands of the East to come and find it. The caps weren't worth it.