As we head into the weekend of the 154th Belmont Stakes, horses are on our minds and in our hearts. The major media focus may be on the racetrack, but as the stories we’ve published show, the equine has filled many a role in cultures around the world and throughout history—as a companion, a co-worker, and an inspiration.
Horses at Work and Play
May 7, 2022
Researchers consistently observe that longshot horses are overvalued by bettors at the racetrack. Why are they willing to risk it all?
May 4, 2022
The breeding of race horses validated those aspiring to belong to an American elite while feeding into racist beliefs about genetic inheritance.
May 20, 2022
The bankers and entrepreneurs of Montana Territory turned to the race track to bolster their reputations.
February 10, 2020
Despite all the whips and spurs involved, nineteenth-century Americans believed racehorses loved a little manly competition.
April 12, 2019
Horses and mules played a major role in the American Civil War. In the end, there were about twice as many dead equines as humans.
March 6, 2018
Horses were omnipresent in the West until only a few generations ago, but then they were replaced by machines and disappeared from our streets as well as our consciousness.
Horses in Art
September 16, 2019
The original inspiration for the now-ubiquitous equestrian statue, a classical bronze of Emperor Marcus Aurelius, was almost melted down and lost forever.
June 9, 2021
They’re big in elementary school, but unicorn tableaux also have a complex iconographic history that combines religious and secular myths.
June 9, 2021
These rare creatures have by turn—and somewhat paradoxically—been associated with purity, fertility, seduction, healing, sacrifice, immortality, and divinity.
July 19, 2019
Napoleon didn't like sitting for portraits, and yet artists and mass market prints helped cement his legendary status.
Horses, Yesterday and Today
November 4, 2016
Mustangs, as the wild horses of the American West are known, represent something different for everyone.
September 23, 2021
A white horse of chalk both defines and defies a common understanding of what English heritage is, and is not.
December 12, 2017
It’s the National Day of the Horse! Do You Know Where the Real Wild Horses Live?
July 30, 2018
Old houses in Ireland often have horse skulls buried beneath the floors, but folklorists and archaeologists disagree on exactly why.
April 21, 2016
A new study traces Hannibal's path across the Alps by examining preserved horse poop.
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