The History of Horses in North America


The image of a wild horse, free and running through a rugged landscape, has long been the symbol of the American West. This is echoed in our film and literature and contributes to the idea of America as a bold new landscape. However, much of the history of wild horses in America is disputed. The origin of this species is a debate that looks not only at the deep history of our planet, but also the claims to land management and ecology that various organizations and communities are involved in, to this day.

The once common idea that horses arrived in the “New World’ via Columbus in 1492, has now been discussed in several publications that look at the prehistoric records of North America. Wild horses have always been a part of the North American landscape. It is the question of whether or not this animal is “native” or introduced to the landscape that haspeople looking closer at this narrative.

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