The horse (Equus ferus caballus) is one of two extant subspecies of Equus ferus. It is an odd-toed ungulate mammal belonging to the family Equidae. The horse has evolved over the past 45 to 55 million years from a small multi-toed creature, Eohippus, into the large, single-toed animal of today. Humans began to domesticate horses around 4000 BC, and their domestication is believed to have been widespread by 3000 BC. Horses serve in a wide variety of sport competitions and non-competitive recreational pursuits, as well as in working activities such as warfare, police work, agriculture, entertainment, and therapy. Some cultures eat horses, though in others this is taboo, whether officially or unofficially.

Literary commentEdit

Horses are present in nearly every Harry Turtledove work, usually in their millennia-old OTL role of pack-animal, livestock, or warhorse. In a few fantasy stories, the unicorn (a mythical beast usually depicted as a horse with a horn on its head) exists alongside and/or in places of horses. Only in a few stories is the presence (or absence) of horses relevant to understanding how a particular world works.

Horse in "Gentlemen of the Shade"Edit

During the Black Plague, many vampires, Jerome among them, had to feed on horse blood, due to a shortage of human flocks. Five centuries later, the remembered experience still rankled in Jerome's mind.

Horse in "Of Mice and Chicks"Edit

Horses did not exist in the world where Georgia and Lani lived. Instead, people rode on rabbits which were the size of horses, not that a person from that world could make any sense of this comparison.[1]

Horse in "Topanga and the Chatsworth Lancers"Edit

After The Change rendered all internal combustion engines and electric devices useless, horses resumed their status as the primary transportation vehicle of the world. In warfare, horses took the place of tanks. Bruce Delgado, head of the Chatsworth Lancers, named his horse Sherman after the M4 Sherman tank for this reason.


  1. Turn the Other Chick, p. 276.

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