NATIONAL DAY OF THE HORSE
National Day of the Horse on December 13th encourages people of the United States to be mindful of the contribution of horses to the economy, history, and character of the United States.
The domesticated horse we know today, also known as Equus caballus, was introduced into North America by Spanish explorers. Escaped horses eventually spread across the American Great Plains.
Interestingly, there is a debate about the origin of E. caballus. Recent mitochondrial studies of an ancient horse called Equus lamei suggest that it is equivalent to the modern, domesticated horse. E. lamei once populated North America and died out more than 11,000 years ago. This could mean that E. caballus is technically a native species, and its evolutionary origin is North America.
The North American Horse
Aside from the anthropological debate, the horse has contributed significantly to the advancement of civilization in North America. Not only did the horse serve as vital transportation, but they cleared forests for farmland. They led the way westward and into battle, too. Horses diversified Native American hunting habits and defined the western cowboy.
In North America, the legendary horse is embedded in our culture and runs deep into the roots of our history. As the country grew, our indebtedness to the horse grew, too. While few people see the horse as much more than a recreational animal today, they still serve on working ranches. As a therapy animal, horses relieve the symptoms of PTSD, anxiety, and other disorders. Long past their age as a plow horse or part of the cavalry, they continue connecting to humans, and we continue to rely on them.
HOW TO OBSERVE #DayofTheHorse
Celebrate the horse and its contributions to North America. Explore their history and learn more about how the horse continues to play a vital role in North America today. Use #NationalDayoftheHorse to post on social media.
NATIONAL DAY OF THE HORSE HISTORY
On November 18, 2004, United States Senate Resolution 452 recognized December 13th as the National Day of the Horse.
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