Who, what, when, where, and how? These journalistic questions also are the backbone of historic research into the history of the world. There are many scientists who have studied and theorized about how man and horses came to be together, but modern science has changed some of what we thought was fact.

Except for horses and chickens, the farm and pet species we have today are believed to have been domesticated about 10,000-15,000 years ago. It's been fairly well accepted that dogs, cats, goats, sheep, cattle, and pigs all preceded the horse in domestication by a few thousand years. (The chicken was domesticated about the same time or slightly later than the horse.) While it is commonly cited that the horse was first domesticated in Eurasia about 3,000-4,000 BC, scientists still can't say with much accuracy or certainty when, where, and how horse husbandry started.

While some early hypotheses about these questions have held more or less true over the decades, many have been challenged by recent evidence. Inspired by some important new techniques and major findings, research teams around the world have been re-thinking the entire body of evidence related to early domestication of the horse. Their work seems extremely challenging and fun–some of their new hypotheses are fascinating.

What is Domestication?

A species becomes domestic when its care and breeding is managed for generations by humans. Domestication is different from taming, which refers to taking a wild-born animal and keeping it under your care for its lifetime. Tamed wild horses, just like rabbits and other species, were likely kept as pets by many ancient cultures