First came the equid fossil that can be traced back over a period of more than 50 million years.
The early ancestors (ancient horse) of the modern horse of today Hyracotherium (Eohippus), also known as Eohippus also known as the (Dawn horse) was about as big as a fox (a small animal) and walked on spread out toes.
Next followed Mesohippus
Again, this fossil was common in North America and lived some 40 million years ago, during the Oligocene period.
Stages of evolution were in process.
At 60cms tall, this mammal was much larger than its predecessor, Eohippus the Dawn Horse.
It stood taller and the face was longer and larger, and the eyes were now wider apart and further back.
It had one less toe (three toes on each foot), and stood predominantly on its middle toe.
Indications show that due to more weight being put on the middle toe, the ground would have been much harder or firmer under foot.
Evidence shows that the skulls also began to develop premolar, incisor teeth.
This would have enabled them to eat a greater range of vegetation in the wooded, scrublands.
Over the next 15 million years, there were changes in climate, terrain and vegetation.
Woodlands eventually became, grassy plains and the "equus" evolved and adapted to their new environment.
Mesohippus was eventually succeeded by the slightly larger Miohippus,and then followed by Parahippus.
Evolution horse - 2 > > Home
Hyracotherium - early equid - 1
Miohippus - early equid - 3
Parahippus - Merychippus- equid - 4
Hipparion - Phiohippus- Dinohippus - Plesippus - equid -5
Tarpan - extinct horse type -6
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