The Journey Back

The horse originated in North America nearly two million years ago and spread to Eurasia over the Bering land bridge. Then, about 10,000 B.C., horses vanished from the New World, possibly killed for food by humans who had come to the continent from Eurasia. When the horse returned with European conquistadores and colonists, it transformed the culture of many tribes. In turn, Native Americans and settlers changed the horse, developing new breeds from Old World stock.
Fernando G. Baptista and Matthew Twombly, NGM Staff; Patricia Healy; Debbie Gibbons, NG Staff (Map). Aldo Chiappe (Horse Art).
Sources: Emil Her Many Horses, National Museum of the American Indian; Phillip Sponenberg, Virginia Tech; Jeanette Beranger, Livestock Conservancy