The equine world is beautifully diverse. With around 60 million horses across 835 horse breeds, the variety between breeds is almost too great to name. Six thousand years ago, horses were domesticated for the first time, but the 'modern' equine evolved as early as 4.0 to 4.5 million years ago.

While equines have developed and diversified over the millennia, many of the endangered or rare breeds that exist today have remained unchanged for centuries and have an age-old, rich history.

They have played an important role in the advancement of human society, and have left a profound influence on local cultures across the world. From loyal warhorses, to vital roles in agriculture and transport, to becoming a part of the family and contributing to the health and biodiversity of the ecosystems in which they graze. Their intelligence, adaptability and willingness to work have always made them fill many roles.

The importance of horses

Our why


Today, 303 horse breeds (32%) are at risk of extinction. 
(FAO, 2021)

extinction is forever

Every breed has unique characteristics that have developed over centuries. Either through exposure to changing living conditions or selective breeding, horses have perfectly adapted to their environment.

Yet, the painful reality is that many breeds are slowly disappearing due to industrialization, political matters or aging breeders with no one to take over. Among mammalian species, horses have both the largest numbers (303 breeds) and percentages (32%) of breeds at risk of extinction. Already 98 horse breeds, equivalent to 11%, have gone extinct.

To prevent the extinction of the 303 horse breeds that are at risk today, it is important to take conservation initiatives and spread awareness.

the Declining numbers

Figure 1. diagram of threat status and numbers of horse breeds (FAO, 2021)

When looking at the history of horses, their legacy, we get a better understanding of our own past. This makes them a living cultural heritage that we can learn from. Horses offer us not only a glimpse into the past, but also hope for the future.

The importance of Conservation

More and more, we are learning about the anthropogenic effects of climate change. These effects include the deterioration of water, soil, and air quality, the disruption natural hazard regulation, and the loss of wildlife habitats.

With increasing industrialization and machinery, horses have become redundant in farming practices in many places. However, in an ever-evolving world, many breeds have unique characteristics that can contribute to meeting challenges related to climate change and shifting futures.

Effects of climate change

Biodiversity is an important driver of ecosystem health. The greater the variety of nature in an ecosystem, the greater its capacity to withstand shocks, such as the negative effects of climate change. Hence, an ecosystem with low levels of biodiversity is more vulnerable to the effects of climate change. Horses can increase biodiversity and help shape the landscape through their grazing habits. They disperse plant seeds and fertilize the soil with their manure which increases the resilience of the ecosystem. 

The preservation of horses is therefore important both in terms of genetic diversity as well as for biodiversity conservation. 

conservation grazers

Join our mission


That is why we are on a mission to raise awareness for endangered or rare horse breeds. By creating and sharing high quality content in our coffee table book, documentary series and podcast series, we want to educate people on some of the most extraordinary yet vulnerable horse breeds.

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