Native Americans corralled Spanish horses decades before Europeans arrived

DNA and skeletal clues rewrite the tale of how horses came to the Great Plains by the 1600s

An image of a Native American man standing next to a brown horse while other brown horses mill in the background.

A collaboration between Western scientists and Native Americans finds that Indigenous groups rapidly incorporated horses of Spanish ancestry into Great Plains cultures by the early 1600s. Some Indigenous oral histories say their relationship with horses goes back even farther to possible equine survivors of the Ice Age.