11.30am New York
8.30am San Francisco
I’ll be taking part in an AMA on the History subreddit. Click here to find it!
Humans have turned horses into everything from buttons to symbols of political power. We’ve molded them into racing machines and solar-powered engines of industry and agriculture; we’ve made eating horsemeat taboo and thrown elaborate horse-flesh banquets; we’ve used them to test machine guns, deliver bombs, and carry our most important leaders; sold them for millions and ground them up into fertilizer; we’ve even made them dance to prove a kingdom was stable and bred wild horses to legitimize dodgy eugenic theories. No other animal has had such an effect on human history, or been used in so many ways.
Horses, meanwhile, are just trying to get on with being horses. The core mystery of why they ever let us do all these things with them is what intrigues me most. Why does a horse trot into a bull ring? Why on earth did they ever consent to go into battle if they’re “prey animals” with a strong flight instinct? What does a horse get out of pulling a plow? Was domestication a good deal or a bad one, as far as horses are concerned?
I’ll be there to try to answer your questions on all topics from Nazi wild horses to bidets, elephant combat and equine anarchy.