Kentucky Tourism
Back to Articles

The Horse comes to Lexington “A horse, a horse!

The Horse Terra CottaMy kingdom for a horse!”  This cry from William Shakespeare’s Richard the Third underscores the connection of humans and horses. What better place to explore this connection but at the block buster exhibition The Horse at the International Museum of the Horse on the grounds of the Kentucky Horse Park Oct. 22, 2011-April 6, 2012.

The exhibition, developed by the American Museum of Natural History, illuminates the timeless union between humans and horses.  From the horse’s earliest ancestors grazing on the plains of what is now Nebraska, to a magnificent contemporary Deborah Butterfield horse sculpture, the eternal bond between horses and humans is explored in the largest equestrian traveling exhibition ever assembled. The Horse graphically portrays the horse’s impact on trade, transportation, labor, warfare, culture, and sports.  

The New York Times called this exhibition "charming and illuminating" and "an uplifting example of how horses enrich our lives."  The New York Post said, "You absolutely must see it."

The Horse is divided into six major sections: The Evolution of Horses; Horses and Hunters; Domesticating Horses; The Nature of Horses; How We Shaped Horses and Horses Shaped Us; and, An Enduring Bond. These themes are illuminated by more than 140 artifacts and cultural objects from around the world including a complete Samurai saddle from Japan, a full suit of 15th-century German horse armor, and Native American horse accoutrements. Bringing the exhibit to life are a stunning 220-square foot diorama that depicts the horse’s ancestors, a high-definition video that captures in slow motion the rippling muscles of a Thoroughbred race horse, and an interactive video of a life-size horse where visitors can investigate a horse’s pulmonary and digestive systems and other biological traits.

For more information on The Horse, collaboration between the renowned American Museum of Natural History in New York and the International Museum of the Horse go to,, or