Most of the following can be found at the American Academy for the Advancement of Science (AAAS). Or merely Google “Evolution of the Horse”. All of your “hits” won’t be scientific, but most will be. And see Craig Downer’s book The Wild Horse Conspiracy, Chapter One, available on Amazon in print and Kindle versions.
Remains of the earliest animal anywhere in the world to bear recognizably horse-like anatomy were found in the Idaho/Utah/Wyoming area dating 52 million years ago.
Three-and-a-half million years ago the now famous fossils found near Hageman, Idaho represent the oldest remains of the fully evolved genus Equus, roughly the size and weight of today’s Arabian horse. At this time the horse had not yet migrated across the Bering Strait Land Bridge and spread throughout the world.
Carbon-14 datings of mitochondrial DNA by Dr. Ann Forsten have substantiated the origin of the modern horse in North America at 1.7 million years ago.
Bones found in South America from horses that had migrated from North America dated one million years ago appear indistinguishable from Equus caballus (the modern day domestic horse).
DNA sequences taken from long bone remains of horses found preserved in the Alaskan permafrost deposits dated 12,000 to 28,000 years ago differ by as little as 1.2% from the horse in your back yard.
When the Spanish brought the horse to America they were bringing him home. Back to his native land. Wearing the same genetics, the same DNA sequencing he was wearing when he left, and when those left behind were wiped out, if in fact they were, by some unknown cataclysm 2000 to 10,000 years ago. Whether or not the horse was actually wiped out is now under scientific scrutiny because of recent archeological discoveries.
Either way, the wild horse is as native and indigenous to North America as the Bengal tiger is to India or the lion is to Africa and it is of no significance whether he was missing for a short number of years because the horse had already migrated across the Bering Strait Land Bridge and spread into the rest of the world.
Which, at the very least, makes him what is termed reintroduced native wildlife.
The horse, therefore, by definition, is indigenous. And native. Much to the frustration of the BLM, the cattle ranchers, and the big game hunters.
The entire story of our journey with horses (at least through early 2014) is told in the two books that follow: the national best seller The Soul of a Horse – Life Lessons from the Herd and its sequel Born Wild – The Soul of a Horse.
And what a story it is as two novices without a clue stumble and bumble their way through the learning process so that hopefully you won’t have to. If you haven’t read both of these books already please do because with that reading, I believe, will come not just the knowledge of discovery but the passion and the excitement to cause you to commit to your journey with horses, to do for the horse without waiver so that your relationship and experience will be with loving, happy and healthy horses who are willing partners and who never stop trying for you. Horses like ours.
The highly acclaimed best selling sequel to the National Best Seller
The Soul of a Horse – Life Lessons from the Herd
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But first read the National Best Seller that started it all
Now in it’s 17th printing: