The International Museum of the Horse has been in existence since 1978 and is dedicated to educating the public on the vital role these graceful animals have played in the lives of humans over the centuries. Preserving the history of horses and the relationship between horses and humans is the mission of the International Museum of the Horse, which is located in Kentucky. The museum covers an area of more than thirty-eight thousand square feet and offers permanent and temporary exhibitions, ensuring that the museum remains fascinating no matter how many times it is visited.
The artifacts and exhibits displayed in the museum highlight the importance of horses in ancient times, and how their interaction with humans evolved over the ages. At present there are two temporary exhibitions on display, namely Imperial China and All the Queen’s Horses: The Role of the Horse in British History. In the Imperial China exhibition, visitors can look forward to three thousand years of history of horses in China, ranging from warfare, leisure activities and sport, to art and culture. There are over three hundred and fifty artifacts in this exhibition, and it begins with the Western Zhou Dynasty that ruled China from 1027 BCE to 721 BCE. Some of the highlights of this exhibition include two chariots that were used by the Western Zhou Dynasty, as well as the Western Han Dynasty, and the latter chariot is especially spectacular with its gold fittings and detailed inlays. Of the famous terracotta army of China, visitors can view twelve of these life-size statues that include a stable boy, a horse being led by a soldier, as well as a chariot being drawn by four horses, complete with flanking guards and chariot driver. The value of the artifacts in this display, which also includes other figurines, horse art, the Silk Road, horse harnesses, the introduction of polo, hunting on horseback and other items, is estimated at $100 000 000. All the Queen’s Horses includes the history of horses of the Isle of Man, England, Northern Island, Wales and Scotland. This exhibition features more than four hundred and fifty artifacts, including fifty-eight paintings, an incised horse head from 10 500 BC, cavalry helmets, miniature carriages, horse armor and much more.
The latest addition to the exhibitions is the display dedicated to the legendary horse Affirmed, and focuses on the career of this horse through his trophies, his halter, racing silks, audio displays, numerous photos and various other items. The museum also takes visitors into the world of horse sports, explains the legacy of the horse, it looks at the different horse breeds found around the world and recreational horse activities. The International Museum of the Horse is most definitely an attraction that horse enthusiasts are recommended to explore, as it will also broaden their knowledge on the animals that have become their passion.