Horses

Participants in First Nature Tours help mitigate damages from wildfires in Central Oregon.

Regenerative Tourism Invites Travelers to Get Their Hands Dirty

Vacations that allow tourists to participate in conservation activities, such as habitat restoration, are growing in popularity

In her new historic novel, Brooks reimagines the life of the itinerant artist Thomas J. Scott, who rendered the distinguished race horse in the oil painting, Portrait of Lexington, ca. 1857, a work that Smithsonian curator Eleanor Harvey describes as "visually riveting."

The Lost Story of Lexington, the Record-Breaking Thoroughbred, Races Back to Life

For her latest novel “Horse,” the Pulitzer-prize winning author Geraldine Brooks found inspiration in the Smithsonian collections

Horses have shaped human history over millennia, just as humans have influenced their evolution

When Did Humans Domesticate the Horse?

Only recently have scientists discovered exactly when and where the animal went from wild to tame

Further analysis of bones collected from the Bluefish Caves in Yukon is expanding scientists’ understanding of what early Americans were up to

What Were Humans Doing in the Yukon 24,000 Years Ago?

Scientists have examined remains from caves and think the shelters served as temporary camps for hunters who targeted horses

The more than 7,000-acre Rowse's 1+1 Ranch hosts vacation stays in Burwell, Nebraska.

Unleash Your Inner Cowboy on These Dude Ranch Vacations

Fans of 'Yellowstone,' live out your ranching dreams, even if for just a few days

A partial woolly rhinoceros mandible with several teeth still attached.

Cool Finds

Dozens of Extinct Ice Age Animal Remains Found During Construction of a New Town in England

Archeologists found bones from a woolly mammoth, woolly rhinoceros, wolf, hyena, horse, reindeer, mountain hare, red fox and various small mammals

The elite used the highly-prized, donkey-like creatures for travel and warfare.

This Ancient Wild Ass Was the Earliest Known Animal Hybrid Bred by Humans

Called a kunga, the donkey-like creature may have been considered a status symbol about 4,500 years ago

In the largest-ever study of horse bones to date, researchers examined equine remains from 171 unique archaeological sites including castles and medieval horse cemeteries.

The Horses of Medieval Times Weren't Much Bigger Than Modern-Day Ponies

A study of the remains of 2,000 specimens reveals the steeds were around 4 feet 10 inches tall

A 1918 photo of a Christmas tree for horses in Washington, D.C.

When Humane Societies Threw Christmas Parties for Horses

Held across the U.S. in the early 20th century, the events sought to raise awareness for poor living conditions and offer the animals a holiday respite

Frozen DNA evidence trapped in soil suggests that mammoth and wild horse populations petered out slowly, instead of vanishing quickly.

Mammoth and Horse DNA Left in Freezer Rewrite Ice Age Extinctions

New research reveals the ancient animals survived some 8,000 years later than previously thought

The modern horse overtook other equine lineages as it spread across Europe and Asia thousands of years ago.

Genetic Sequencing Pinpoints the Origins of the Domestic Horse

One lineage in southwestern Russia gave rise to all modern domestic horses, from sleek thoroughbreds to heavy-built Clydesdales

Riders outside the Patee House Museum in St. Joseph, Missouri, the route's eastern terminus. Every year the National Pony Express Association conducts an annual re-ride of the famous delivery route.

Six Stops on the Pony Express That You Can Still Visit

Established 160 years ago, the short-lived route was once the quickest way to deliver mail across the United States

Saka artisans crafted ornaments using gold and inlaid precious stones.

These Horse-Riding Ancient Nomads Made Astonishing Golden Art

An exhibition at the Fitzwilliam Museum in Cambridge displays ornate Saka treasures discovered in Kazakhstan

A donkey digging a well in the Sonoran Desert of Arizona.

New Research

Wild Donkeys and Horses Dig Wells That Provide Water for a Host of Desert Species

A new study finds these equine wells attracted 59 other vertebrate species, boasting 64 percent more species than the surrounding landscape

The team speculates that ancient Romans used the vehicle for festivals, parades, weddings and other ceremonial events.

Cool Finds

'Miraculously' Well-Preserved Ceremonial Chariot Found at Villa Outside of Pompeii

The carriage's intricate decorations include metal medallions depicting satyrs, nymphs and cupids

Henry Bergh (in top hat) stopping an overcrowded horsecar, from Harper’s Weekly, Sept. 21, 1872.

The Horse Flu Epidemic That Brought 19th-Century America to a Stop

An equine influenza in 1872 laid bare how essential horses were to the economy

Conservationists report that the Przewalski’s horse is extinct in the wild, and only an estimated 2,000 remain in zoos and reserves.

Scientists Cloned an Endangered Wild Horse Using the Decades-Old Frozen Cells of a Stallion

The cloned foal will hopefully provide an 'infusion of genetic diversity' as conservationists work to restore the Przewalski’s horse’s population

Dead Horse Bay gets its unsavory-sounding name from the numerous horse-rendering plants that operated along its marshy shoreline from the 1850s until the 1930s.

New York’s ‘Glass Bottle Beach’ Closed After Survey Finds Radioactive Waste

The Dead Horse Bay shoreline was a magnet for beachcombers and sightseers who came to peruse the eroding contents of 1950s landfill

Potential human ancestor Homo heidelbergensis used this 480,000-year-old bone hammer to create flint tools.

Cool Finds

Europe's Oldest Bone Tools Hint at Early Hominin Sophistication

480,000 years ago, Homo heidelbergensis used hammers to fashion flint tools in what is now southern England

Amateur treasure hunter Mariusz Stepien found the cache of Bronze Age artifacts (including these pieces of a horse harness) while searching a field with a metal detector.

Cool Finds

Rare Bronze Age Sword, Horse Harness Unearthed in Scotland

The "nationally significant" trove of 3,000-year-old artifacts also includes a pendant, rings and chariot wheel axle caps

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