Racing to Respectability
The bankers and entrepreneurs of Montana Territory turned to the race track to bolster their reputations.
Betting on the Longshot
Researchers consistently observe that longshot horses are overvalued by bettors at the racetrack. Why are they willing to risk it all?
Fast Horses and Eugenics
The breeding of race horses validated those aspiring to belong to an American elite while feeding into racist beliefs about genetic inheritance.
The Myth of the Noble Racehorse
Despite all the whips and spurs involved, nineteenth-century Americans believed racehorses loved a little manly competition.
Why Are Cities Filled with Metal Men on Horseback?
The original inspiration for the now-ubiquitous equestrian statue, a classical bronze of Emperor Marcus Aurelius, was almost melted down and lost forever.
A Horse’s-Eye View of the Civil War
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.
The Toadmen, Masters of Equine Magic
A strange initiation ritual involving a toad was required for members of a secret caste of nineteenth-century horse mystics.
The Horse Skulls Hidden in the Dance Floors of Ireland
Old houses in Ireland often have horse skulls buried beneath the floors, but folklorists and archaeologists disagree on exactly why.
Why We Still Use “Horsepower”
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.
Restoring the Prehistoric Horse
It’s the National Day of the Horse! Do You Know Where the Real Wild Horses Live?