National Day of the Horse is observed annually on December 13.
National Day of the Horse 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. There have been recent mitochondrial studies of an ancient horse called Equus lamei. E. lamei once populated North America and died out more than 11,000 years ago. The studies suggest it is genetically equivalent to what we know as the modern, domesticated horse. This could mean that E. caballus is technically a native species and its evolutionary origin is North America.
Aside from the anthropological debate, the horse has contributed greatly to the advancement of civilization in North America. From clearing forests for farmland and a form of travel bringing pioneers to the west to diversifying Native American’s hunting habits and rounding up livestock on ranches, the horse is embedded in American history and legend.
HOW TO OBSERVE
Use #NationalDayoftheHorse to post on social media.
On November 18, 2004, United States Senate Resolution 452 recognized December 13 as the National Day of the Horse.