The Story of the Horse

The story of the horse is as old as the story of man. There isn’t another being on our planet that has played as significant a role in the evolution of man or has forged as great a bond with man through the ages as the horse, Equus caballus.

From the beginning of time, the American Indians have forged an unbreakable bond with the horse, allowing them to become nomadic and recognizing their spiritual place amongst man. 

Horse's eye for story of the horse
horses and the environment
CANA FOUNDATION American Indian Horse BLOG

Horses have fought our wars, built our cities and healed our wounded with therapeutic programs.

Their niche as a keystone species and a hind gut grazer places them as important environmental architects of our lands.

But our government chases down our wild horses with helicopters and warehouses them in government holding facilities, separating family bands and taking away their freedom. The BLM goes against their political mandate so that special interests groups can use the very land they call home to benefit from, destroying the land, environment and the animals.

To learn more about wild horse gathers and how your tax dollars are being spent go to wildhorseeducation.org.

The relationships and bonds that the horse has with man is mystical, romantic, totalitarian and practical, but most of all it is forever…….

Wild horse roundups

What is the real story of the horse?

Ross MacPhee Cana Foundation

Ross MacPhee

Cana Foundation

Here are twelve key facts related to the horse’s history.
 
  • The earliest members of the horse family known as Equine or Equids arose some 13 million years after the demise of the dinosaurs in North America, 53 million years ago.
  • This places the “equidaes” among the oldest living mammals that have survived into modern times. 
  • Equidaes evolved in North America about 53 million years ago. They diversified and flourished in an unbroken stretch until 11,000 years ago. 
  • Fossil records indicate the at the end of this interval, Equus populations were living throughout North America¬¬–– from Alaska to Central America, from California to the Atlantic Coast. They were also in South America, roaming the grasslands and savannahs of Venezuela and the pampas of Argentina. 
  • Over time, equids crossed from North America to Asia via the Bering land bridge, on several occasions finding new lands and opportunities. 
  • Once in Asia, they dispersed into and diversified throughout Asia, Africa and Europe. Everywhere horses went, they prospered. 
  • But then something happened….. one of the greatest natural history mysteries of all times. All of the large animals or Megafauna in North America disappeared 11,500 years ago, the horse being one of them. 
  • For most of the largest mammals and birds, this mystery spelled extinction, but, in a few cases, the wandering species ultimately returned back home to the place from which they originated. The horse is one of them. 
  • Meanwhile, throughout Asia, Africa and Europe, various lineages differentiated into some of the species we know today. 
  • Thanks to their ability to successfully dispose, the horses we have today are among these survivors, having originated and evolved in North America, migrated over the Bering land bridge, and radiated through Asia, Africa and Europe. 
  • By 11,000 years ago, horses had completely died out in their original homeland of North America… or did they? 
  • According to indigenous people of North America, not all horses died out at the end of the Pleistocene epoch 11,000 years ago. 
 
And follow us at @CanaFoundation to learn more about the“Back Home Project” as we search for concluding fossil evidence combining science and native culture in bringing the horse back home as the native species to North America that they rightfully are.