New World Horses


Excerpt from the Oxford Journal of Heredity, ‘Iberian Origins of New World Horse Breeds’: 1

“Fossil records, archaeological proofs, and historical documents report that horses persisted continuously in the Iberian Peninsula since the Pleistocene and were taken to the American continent (New World) in the 15th century….The genus Equus evolved in North America, and during the first major glaciations of the late Pliocene (2–3 million years ago), some species crossed to Eurasia. North American and South American Equus species became extinct about 10,000 years ago from causes that are not fully understood, probably due to a combination of overhunting by humans and environmental causes, such as climatic changes…Horses only returned to the American continent (the New World) in 1493, with the navigator Christopher Columbus and during the subsequent Spanish colonization period. Those stallions and mares were bought in Seville’s province, mainly from the peasant stock bred in the islands and salt marshes of the Guadalquivir River.”

Various references to horses in the Book of Mormon: 2

Alma 18:9 – “And they said unto him: Behold, he is feeding thy horses. Now the king had commanded his servants, previous to the time of the watering of their flocks, that they should prepare his horses and chariots…”


1 Nephi 18:25 “And it came to pass that we did find upon the land of promise, as we journeyed in the wilderness, that there were beasts in the forests of every kind, both the cow and the ox, and the ass and the horse, and the goat and the wild goat, and all manner of wild animals…”


Enos 1:21 “And it came to pass that the people of Nephi did till the land, and raise all manner of grain, and of fruit, and flocks of herds, and flocks of all manner of cattle of every kind, and goats, and wild goats, and also many horses.”


3 Nephi 4:4 “Therefore, there was no chance for the robbers to plunder and to obtain food, save it were to come up in open battle against the Nephites; and the Nephites being in one body, and having so great a number, and having reserved for themselves provisions, and horses and cattle, and flocks of every kind…”


3 Nephi 21:14 “Yea, wo be unto the Gentiles except they repent; for it shall come to pass in that day, saith the Father, that I will cut off thy horses out of the midst of thee, and I will destroy thy chariots;”


3 Nephi 3:22 “And it came to pass in the seventeenth year, in the latter end of the year, the proclamation of Lachoneus had gone forth throughout all the face of the land, and they had taken their horses, and their chariots, and their cattle…”


Alma 20:6 “Now when Lamoni had heard this he caused that his servants should make ready his horses and his chariots.”


Ether 9:19 “And they also had horses, and asses, and there were elephants and cureloms and cumoms; all of which were useful unto man, and more especially the elephants and cureloms and cumoms.”


3 Nephi 6:1 “And now it came to pass that the people of the Nephites did all return to their own lands in the twenty and sixth year, every man, with his family, his flocks and his herds, his horses and his cattle, and all things whatsoever did belong unto them.”



1 Iberian Origins of New World Horse Breeds, Oxford –
2 The Book of Mormon (search:horse) –