Between horses and people
People (Homo sapiens sapiens) and horses (Equus ferus caballus) have lived together for thousands of years.
At first, people hunted and herded horses for food, but around 6,500 years ago they began riding horses and using them to pull loads. Horses have derived food, care and safety from humans, and humans have benefited from horses' strength, speed and grace.
Along the way, people have endeavoured to understand, communicate with and influence equine companions, often coming to love them in the process. But how do horses think and feel about us?
Explore some of the stories and objects
George Hamilton's illustrations
From an early treatise on horse welfare in Australia.
Parts of Phar Lap’s heart
Sections of ventricle wall, aorta and pericardium cut from the legendary racehorse's heart.
Medal for ‘Vermont Junior’
1883 show society prize presented to Mr W Harris for best coaching stallion.
Silent Conversation, by Harrie Fasher, 2014. National Museum of Australia.
Artist Harrie Fasher describes the process involved in creating her steel rod sculpture Silent Conversation. This work explores the relationship between horses and humans.